As spring arrives, Parisians head to their favorite cafés to while away the day on a sunny pavement terrace – a Gallic ritual that begins with a strong black coffee in the morning, through to a kir or pastis at lunchtime, and then a chilled rose or a vino blanc in the evening.
When you’re in Paris and you’re looking for a nice spot to relax, give one of these places a try. Off most tourists’ radars, I shared some of the best urban brews, breakfasts, brunches, and lunches in town.
Tucked down a side street of one of the coolest addresses in Paris, Café Oberkampfs the spot to head to if you need to retreat from the world for a while with some great coffee and seriously delicious food. As well as creative breakfast and lunch options, you can enjoy their all-day brunch menu until three o’clock.
The secret about Belleville being Paris’ coolest neighborhood is well out in the open by now. On one of its most remarkable streets, the sensationally graffitied Rue Denoyez, is Le Barbouquin, a gem of an establishment that is part coffee shop, part bar, and part library and bookstore. The welcome is always warm and the menu is equally reliable with its all-day selection of scrumptious dishes. Like all the best secrets, you’ll be torn between keeping this place to yourself and telling all about it to your friends.
A la Folie
Hidden at the North end of the Parc de la Villette, this bar and club is the place to be this summer and fall! It has a huge terrace surrounded by trees and complete with large picnic tables. If that wasn’t already good enough, they also have some delicious food choices, including an outdoor barbecue. If you’re in the mood for something a little lighter, they also have delicious salads, sandwiches, and baked treats. Oh! And did I mention that there’s a dance floor inside that really heats up in the evening?
It can sometimes seem like a diehard love of all things coffee has become mandatory to successful, or even acceptable, modern living but warm feelings towards home-roasted brews shouldn’t preclude anyone from leading a normal, happy life or enjoying a great coffee shop. Enter Blackburn. The coffee is brilliant, there’s no doubt about that, but there’s also a juice bar for those for whom it just doesn’t do the trick. The health food menu is a mixture of French and vegetarian dishes and, in the summer, you can sit outside in the sun.
La Caféothèque has been around for a decade already but, still, it retains its charm and pull among the locals of the Right Bank. What makes this place special is the depth of its team’s passion for and knowledge of coffee. Inside the café, there is a store selling beans and other products as well as a school training the next generation of coffee aficionados.
Le Petit Moulin
Also situated in Montmartre (although closer to Pigalle than the Sacré-Coeur) Le Petit Moulin is much like Le Tambour Café in that it seems to be at odds with the surrounding architecture. The quirky interior is matched only by the unique outside decor.