The quaintest cafés and brasseries in Paris
Paris is undoubtedly the world's best city for café life. You could easily spend your entire trip doing nothing but hopping from one sidewalk coffee spot to another, watching the world go by, and tasting the sweet and savoury treats on offer. Start with our list of great options, in traditional, fashionable, or quirky style.
Le Procope is one of the oldest brasseries in Paris, dating back to 1686. Year after year it remains to be a great destination to sample some well-known French dishes, such as Vol-au-Vent or Coq au Vin, or local cheeses and delicate pastries. The biggest draw is however the atmosphere. You can enjoy your meal in a room full of antiques, chandeliers, and artwork. One of the famous furniture pieces in the restaurant is a desk that Voltaire did some of his writing on.
For some of the most stunning baked goods in Paris, and the most luxurious hot chocolate, visit Angelina. The pastries are out of this world, you could for example try the classic Opéra cake, a refreshing Tarte Citron, or a very light chocolate Éclair. The café now has several locations but the original one on Rue de Rivoli is the most beautiful, crafted in Belle Epoque style in 1903.
If you are looking for seasonal French dishes, book a table at Allard. From artichokes to snails, profiteroles to floating islands the menu is a feast of classics. The wine list is very thoughtfully compiled, and the atmosphere distinguished but casual.
La Caféothèque is the place to be for both coffee geeks and very stylish people. The café not only brews your perfect cup from Ristretto to Aéropress, but also hosts classes for coffee making and sells everything you need to make a drink at home. The atmosphere of the place is cosy and cool, with lots of contemporary artwork, recycled furniture, and greenery.
The Hood is like a little bit of New York transported into Paris. It is a coffee shop but also an Asian style canteen, serving food from breakfast and brunch all the way to late evening. The restaurant is also focused on music, it even has its own weekly mixtape! The location used to be a junk shop and the decor still has a fun industrial edge.
Pompette is a cool and easygoing choice for a drink or a meal with the city’s creative types. The food is served as sharing dishes and the selection is changed almost daily. You could pick one as a snack to enjoy with the bars great offering of natural wines or choose several to feast on with friends at dinner.
In Marais one of the most atmospheric spots to visit is the used book shop and café Merci. The place is very popular for breakfast. Nothing beats a leisurely morning sipping coffee, eating perfectly cooked eggs, and reading one of the over 10 000 books on shelfs spread over every wall. Despite its coolness factor the café is also reasonably priced by Parisian standards.
La Maison Rose is one of those places where being in a strangers Instagram shot cannot be avoided. The brasserie is in possibly the cutest house in Paris, a tiny bubblegum pink building with green shutters in its mismatched array of windows. The inside is simple but trendy, with whitewashed walls and wooden furniture. You can have brunch, lunch, or dinner and the menu is always inspired by fresh, seasonal produce. There is also an emphasis on eco-friendliness with no single-use plastics or canned drinks on offer.
Treize au Jardin is a very idyllic tearoom and lunch spot serving food and baked goods with a British and American twist. The sweet offering includes carrot cakes and brownies, or you could have something savoury, such as eggs benedict or fried chicken. The decor is a jumble of plants and dried flowers, antique wrought iron furniture, bowls of fruit and stacks of books.
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