I remember when I lived in Paris there were only a handful, at best, of specialty coffee shops and with just an exception or two you had to go to the outer arrondissements, i.e. not tourist areas, to get to one of these places.
I go back to Paris every year since moving back to the USA and so if you flash forward to today, I can tell you that the specialty coffee world has exploded in Paris. Today, you can find some really good coffee without traveling outside of the center of Paris and away from the main tourist attractions are.
After visiting most if not all of the craft coffee places, my Top 5 Espresso Coffee Shops in Paris are:
- Bleu Olive
- Hardware Societe
- La Cafeotheque
- Coutume Café
The top 5 coffee shops I have chosen above are all close to some of the major tourist spots of Paris so you won’t have to go out of your way to get to any of them.
I did it this way because although there are some great coffee shops in some of the outer neighborhoods, I understand the battle that usually ensues with the family when you tell them you want to go 30 minutes out of the way to “just” to get a coffee.
Also, my reviews here are all based on having an espresso as I think that gives one of the truest ways to taste the coffee and my go to drink at any coffee shop.
If you usually have a latte or cappuccino, I cannot tell you how those are but if the espresso is any indication, I am sure you will not be disappointed and I am sure they take the same time and consideration in making one of those as they do their espresso.
With that in mind, let me go over each one of these 5 coffee shops so you better understand why I chose them:
This place has expanded lately and opened up a second location, which normally I am not a big fan of as usually something “gets lost in the translation” and its hard to keep the quality and consistency the larger you get. But with Holybelly this is not the case, I am happy to report.
The service is incredible as it was before and so is the coffee as well as the food. I won’t go too much into the food here as this more of a coffee blog but whatever you don’t just go there for the coffee even if you just go for a dessert.
If espresso is not your preferred drink of choice they have plenty of other options that you typically find like Cappuccino, Latte, Flat White, Long Black etc. (If you are unsure what some of these drinks are check out this post I did)
The prices are reasonable for the quality as well as being in Paris. For example an espresso is currently 2 1/2 Euros.
This is not a big place by any stretch of the imagination but the location is incredible as its close to the Eiffel Tower, Les Invalides and at the end (or beginning) of Rue Cler, a great street for both food and drink at anytime of day.
The espresso at Bleu Olive is amazing and although they don’t roast it themselves, they do have some input with the roaster on the type of roast profile they are looking for. I can personally attest to this as I was there on a day that the roaster was talking to them.
On your first visit they may not seem as friendly as if you were in a coffee shop in the USA but if you make the effort to talk to them in French or English, you will find out that they are super out going and very friendly.
What I also like about this shop is that it gets a great mixture of both locals and visitors and that the espresso is always consistently exceptional. There is a small board showing what they are using for espresso that day and changes fairly often.
An espresso here currently costs 2 1/2 Euros and not surprisingly they have other options such as cappuccinos, latte’s etc.
If you are visiting Sacre Couer and the Montmartre area to the church and the area where the famous writers of the 1920’s hung out (if you are visiting Paris, it is a must place and area to see), then you just have to stop by the Hardware Societe coffee shop.
This place is one of 3, the other 2 being in Australia and is open and inviting with service that is as good as the coffee and food. Its not on the main tourist path so it has a more local neighborhood feel to it and there is seating both inside and out.
I always stop at this place whenever I am in the area whether its visiting the Sacre Couer church, coming from an area restaurant or after visiting one of my favorite museums the Montmartre . I also, always save room for desert since the pastries are always fresh and delicious.
This place is one of those classic old school coffee shops that has been around since 2005 before the coffee craze in Paris was in thinking of starting. Even though I don’t think it gets the publicity that is should since its a very low key type of coffee shop, I would highly recommend you give it a try.
At La Cafeotheque, they not only roast their own coffee but they also sell it by the bag or cup and have plenty of choices from the around the world to choose from (at least for the bag).
The place is really relaxing as you have combination of couches and your typical table and chair set up to be able to sit back and take a break from all that walking your doing while in Paris.
The service, as in all the other places is great and one of the big bonuses is that they have air conditioning, which may not sound like such a big deal until you are in Paris in the middle of a heat wave ( personal experience).
The only downside, depending on how you look at it, is they stopped offering free Wi-Fi.. Hopefully they will reconsider that in the near future but it doesn’t take away from the coffee or the experience.
The espresso cost 3 Euros here and they have a wide variety of coffee drinks to choose from including even cold drip coffee
This was the first specialty coffee shop I went to, even before I had moved there and it was not because I was looking for a coffee shop like this or something like that, it simply was because it was close to the Rodin Museum after visiting the museum I wanted a coffee. Sometimes you just get lucky, I guess.
Coutume Cafe roasts its own coffee as well and from the very first time I was there I impressed by both the service and the coffee. It tends to cater to a younger college type crowd and on nice days the big doors are open which makes for a very pleasant atmosphere. But then again its pleasant whether the doors are open or not.
They have also expanded their food options over the years and the food and the breakfast in particular are as good as the coffee(although a little on the expensive side). If its your first time and fits your budget, make sure to try out the pancakes or French Toast (of course)!
Its always good to see that one of the veteran coffee shops of Paris, regardless of time or popularity has never lost it way and the coffee and service continue to be as consistently good as ever