It was my first trip to Paris so I spent my days roaming and soaking in the energy of the city – and actively in search of the best coffee in Paris.
While I drank a considerable amount of espresso at brasseries around town, only a few places provided me that moment of pause after taking a sip, and this was what I wanted when looking for the best coffee in Paris. When the coffee is so perfectly roasted and balanced that it is the drinkable equivalent to a symphony. A little over the top? Perhaps. But I really like my coffee.
Several things helped influence my decision on whether a cafe made the Best Coffee in Paris list, but none more important that the quality of the coffee itself.
Like my coffee, I want a space that is perfectly balanced, allowing me to sink in and quietly people watch or open myself up to a conversation.
How did a cafe design the guest experience, from entrance and ordering to paying?
- Coffee Quality – The single most important thing for me when choosing which cafes made this list for the best coffee in Paris was the quality of the coffee. Was it roasted well? Did the brewing method compliment the roast? If served with milk, how was the barista’s preparation?
- Cafe Design – The aesthetic of the spaces was important. I looked for comfortable places that weren’t cluttered or too stark, with a lot of daylight to keep the place feeling warm and welcoming
- Overall Atmosphere / Experience – The perfect cafe is energetic enough that it has life but not so frenetic that it disallows mental space to read a book, chat with friends, or sit silently and get lost in your thoughts.
Best Coffee in Paris
I don’t even know where to start with Cafe Lomi. It is everything – coffee shop, artisan roaster, specialty retail boutique, and world class coffee educator! In addition to having what I consider to be THE best coffee in Paris, their staff is well informed and incredibly friendly.
I first discovered Cafe Lomi after visiting Shakespeare and Company Cafe and commenting on how good their coffee was. Their staff then urged me to visit their roaster, who happened to be Cafe Lomi. Since that afternoon, Cafe Lomi became my favorite coffee shop in Paris. I spent my last few mornings in the 18th arrondissement at Cafe Lomi.
The cafe space has an immediate welcoming community feel. The marriage of rustic, industrial, and modern design touches all come together in one beautiful space that is awash in sunshine. The roasting room is visible to the cafe through glass windows that stretch to the ceiling, adding to the light and openness of the space.
But you want to know about their coffee, right? My favorite? Their signature espresso blend named Goutte D’or – it is a fat and happy black cherry and chocolate blend that makes everything in the world …. just feel better. You can order that blend online here.
If you stop by the cafe, don’t miss a visit into their retail and educational workshop space next door. Whether it is a 3hr workshop on discovering specialty coffee or an intensive coffee diploma, the Cafe Lomi coffee school is a must if you are a coffee nerd.
3rd rue Marcadet
Hours: 10AM – 7PM
Le Peloton Cafe
This is the story of the love affair between the owners of a bike rental and touring company in Paris …. and coffee. Of course, in a country that hosts the single largest global cycling event, it really isn’t that shocking of a love affair.
Located in the 4th arrondissement, this cafe oozes joy with its bright yellow chairs and quirky decor. Bright and welcoming is the initial feeling one gets when walking into the space. The staff loves what they do and Le Peloton Cafe truly feels like a perfect intersection of locals and foreigners, all united by their mutual love of bikes, Paris, and coffee.
As a side note… the snacks are tasty, so don’t leave without trying a waffle. You don’t want to look back and regret what you didn’t do.
17 Rue du Pont Louis Philippe
Hours: 9:30AM – 5:30PM M-F (closed W) + 9:30AM-6:30PM Sa/Su
This is THE roaster/cafe that started the resurgence of the craft cafe culture in Paris. Founded in 2005 by coffee sommelier Gloria Montenegro, Le Cafeotheque is deeply woven into the very fabric of the specialty coffee industry in France. That is evident in every sip of a coffee drink prepared at Le Cafeotheque.
In a model similar to Cafe Lomi, Le Cafeotheque isn’t just a cafe and roaster, they also offer specialized training for industry people and classes for the layperson. Additionally, they have a robust retail business that compliments their cafe nicely. You can order 25lb bags of green beans from them as well as most of their coffee roasts online here – they ship globally!
52, rue de l’Hôtel-de-Ville
Hours: 8:30AM – 7:30PM M-F + 12PM-7:30PM Sa/Su
One part art gallery and performance space and one part lovely cozy little cafe, Cassiopee Cafe had my heart from the moment I spotted it across the street on one of my walks through the 18th arrondissement. The owner created a space that was both modern and warm, filled with touches of art and sculpture that made it stand out from the average coffee house. Cassiopee Cafe is a true community gathering place and pours a perfect espresso with a golden mahogany crema.
21 rue Custine
Hours: 8AM – 6PM M-F + 10AM – 6PM Sa/Su
Shakespeare and Company Café
Shakespeare and Company Café was one of the first times in my trip when I felt “at home”. As a stranger in another country, that can sometimes be hard to find. You won’t realize how much you’ll miss your community until you become a stranger everywhere you go. The staff at the cafe are diverse, hailing from countries around the globe, including a Connecticut native who was familiar with my neighborhood in Massachusetts! While it can be fun to get lost, sometimes it is nice to be rooted in something familiar for a moment.
The Shakespeare and Company Café is located next door to their bookshop. They offer a small menu of organic and vegetarian foods and a great selection of teas and fresh juices. The cafe sits across from Notre Dame, overlooking St. Julien le Pauvre park. Whether you prefer sitting at one of the cozy tables inside or outside on their patio, the view is breathtaking.
Their coffee? They were the ones that turned me onto their supplier, artisan roaster – Cafe Lomi!
37 rue de la Bûcherie
75005 Paris, France
Hours: 9:30AM – 7PM M-F + 9:30AM – 8PM Sa/Su
It is worth noting that my time in the city was limited, therefore my guide to the best coffee in Paris is NOT exhaustive. Thrillist compiled a great list in 2016 with their picks for the best coffee shops in Paris. I would highly recommend checking out as many of them as possible!
Be sure to check out my detailed What to Do in Paris – A Weekend Guide for more tips on places to visit, shop, and eat at!