“Even a bad cup of coffee is better than no coffee at all.”
Coffee is a powerful drink. We start our day with it and rely on it to carry us through to the evening. Some people need it to survive and others enjoy it for the taste or its social aspect. Without a doubt coffee is king. In the past, let’s say 10 years, the way in which we enjoy coffee has changed. Millennials want to drink their coffee surrounded by decor that seems it came right out of a movie. I blame it on Friends, Central Perk, but it seems those who are coming of adulthood want a “local” artisan café to call their very own. And no, Starbucks is not cutting it anymore. We want to enjoy our coffee in the comforts of a really trendy shop. And the coffee? Well it needs to come in an unique mug, be the best coffee we have ever tasted, and have a design on top that is “totally Instagram worthy.” Even if the coffee shop is minimal (which has been purposely decorated this way to show “we didn’t give a shit about our decor, we are totally serious about our coffee), we still have expectations. This wave of artisan coffee shops has not only hit your local city but all over the world.
I noticed this in Paris, which is known for its cafés. The café’s which were once good enough for Ernest Hemingway have been redecorated with blue tiles and mirrored walls and their coffee now comes with an elephant on top. And don’t think retailers are not getting in on a piece of the action. Brands like Kitsuné and coffee shops like The Broken Arm have attached clothing stores so you can sip that latte while browsing the racks of “artisan” clothing. Now don’t get me wrong, I may be slightly making fun of this new wave but I am totally guilty of perpetuating the trend. I am a big fan of these new coffee shops. I actually hunt out the best ones before heading to a new city. Maybe us millennials are onto something because enjoying your coffee in the surroundings of perfectly thought-out interiors and like-minded people is much more fulfilling.
When I head to a new coffeeshop I have a handful of expectations: 1. Does the shop have its own personality? 2. How good is the coffee? 3. Could I spend numerous mornings here? 4. Is it different from other local shops? When all of the answers are yes, then I have a favorite! Because tasting great coffee and finding the best “instagrammable” café’s has now dictated how I drink my coffee when I travel I wanted to share my favorites. And this Coffee Shop Guide starts in Paris, France!
Boot cafe is a tiny cafe tucked away in an old cordonnerie (shoe repair) shop. The original “cordonnerie” facade is kept, while the interior has been transformed into a really eclectic space – with color-block stools, fresh flowers, and book lined walls. The space is very original and one of my favorites! Be sure to say hi to Beth while you’re there!
19 Rue du Pont aux Choux, 75003 Paris, France
This minimally decorated cafe founded by Australian Chris Nielson lets its coffee do the talking. But don’t expect to find anything overly fancy, Nielson keeps his coffee very french traditional, except for that much needed iced latte in the summer!
6 Rue Dupetit-Thouars, 75003 Paris, France
image by chrissy lambert
There are no words to describe this space, one must experience it for themselves. The outlandish yet totally cohesive decor is a treat for anyone looking for a unique experience. And don’t expect the decor to be the only thing blowing you away. The coffee you will find at Kitsuné is made by highly trained barristas!
18 Boulevard des Filles du Calvaire
The Broke Arm
This cafe is in a really great area of Le Marais. With lots of other cafes, eateries (my favorite, Season), shops and parks I recommend heading here before you make a day out of the Marais. It also has a really cool clothing store attached so be sure to head next door!
12 Rue Perrée, 75003 Paris, France
The Caféothèque is where the coffee revolution in Paris first kicked off seven years ago. It is quaint, quiet, and is a favorite among the young, local Parisians.
Located: 52 Rue de l’Hôtel de ville, 75004 Paris, France
image by My French Life
From the moment I walked in I liked this place. I was warmly greeted by the staff (rare in Paris) and thoroughly enjoyed not only the coffee but also the food. It is quite large, unlike the other cafes, so heading here with a group of friends is really easy!
47 Rue de Babylone, 75007 Paris, France
You might know Merci from their famous store but what I recommend even more is their very cozy cafe (attached to the store). With walls of books, dark walls, and delicious coffee you are sure to find shelter on a rainy Parisian day! **It is across the street from Café Kitsuné so you can kill two birds with one stone!
Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris, France
Ob La Di Cafe
This café is the epitome of millennial cool. With its exposed piping, blue tile floor, and minimal furniture it is an Instagrammers dream. Ob La Di is by far the most popular on the list. You can plan on seeing “the cool kids” sipping on their carefully crafted cappuccino.
Honor is the city’s first independent outdoor specialty coffee shop. It is tucked away in the upscale 8th arrondissement in a cobblestone courtyard. I love the uniqueness of this place as well as the founders desire to give the customer a completely different Parisian experience. In the wise words of Angelle Boucher, one of the founders, “We’re not interested in doing what everyone else is doing; we want to be part of the movement’s evolution.” Amen!
54 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
images via Hip Paris