But, thanks to a new generation of roasters and baristas who vacillate between ‘inspired by the immigrant Aussies’ (for their prowess in the field of specialty coffee in Paris) and « repulsed by the cheap and bitter ‘old-school’ Parisian brew » (personally I find it best suited to cleaning the Covid off my iPhone screen), Paris is now a city with a REAL coffee scene.
So, if “COFFEE. NOW.” is the tantrum your cerebellum offers first thing in the morning before the PTSD flashbacks start rolling again or your neurons start firing the command to Answer Emails, Check Instagram, and Scroll Reddit (maybe I’m projecting here), these Parisian coffee shops are here for you.
From the quaint and quiet to the quirky and modern, we have culled from the 1,000s (seriously, but say it with a California accent) of Places To Get Coffee and chosen the spots that are frothing it up with passion and care.
Take note, our focus is on specialty, craft-roasted, coffee shops here that are ~bomb AF~ and not on the traditional Parisian corner cafe, many of which pop up on Google Maps when you search. As they are not coffee-focused, they usually serve the bitter, industrial, French ‘expresso’ and not the real deal.
If you are a ~Come Correct~ type, just FYI: in Paris we don’t really take coffee to go. We sip an ‘expresso’ standing up with a croissant at the bar or maybe sitting down. (This is more apropos in the traditional corner cafe than the next-gen shops below where you can let your dirty-foreigner flag fly.) But in this town, coffee = short espresso.
In Paris, even at the traditional corner cafes, we also do all the usual cappuccinos, lattes, etc. (See below.)
While take-away coffee is so not French, the next-gen places below won’t give you the side-eye for doing it Anglo-style. So take a cup to-go to a nearby park, or sit on the ‘terrasse’ and pair it with something sweet. (Pound cake is super-trendy in Paris right now, but not so French.)
With a breakfast like this, you might just pass for Parisian.
PARISIAN COFFEE DECODER
Café (or a coffee) means a little espresso (that’s ‘expresso’ in French). You can have a double, or ‘double’ (conveniently the same word) pronounced ‘doobleh.’
Allongé is an espresso with a little more water. AKA an ‘Americano’, although…
Café Filtre is a drip coffee like the old school and is what Americans expect to be in their cup when they say ‘coffee.’
Noisette means ‘hazelnut’ in French, but there are neither nuts nor flavoring syrups involved as it’s a nickname for the ‘espresso macchiato,’ aka espresso plus a dab of milk foam.
Café Crème (say it: cah-fay crehm) is a cappuccino, but in French. Expect a ton of milk: it’s how the Parisians do it.
Café Latteis *usually* the same as a Café Crème, a lazy truth about Paris. Beaucoup milk…
Flat White is not Parisian (it’s Australian) but is super-popular here. When made properly, it’s almost like a cappuccino but with a more velvety foam.