Get a coffee, take an arm, and flâner along these embankments of slanted stone.
Where to Get Coffee
*opening times may have been impacted by COVID
52 Rue de l’Hôtel de ville
Considered by many to be Paris’s first specialty coffee shop, spacious yet cosy La Caféothèque transports visitors back across the coffee supply chain, with maps and infographics explaining various coffee origins on the walls, old jute bags lining the sofas, and the smell of coffee always in the air, carried over from the on-site roastery.
Monday–Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m
Saturday–Sunday: 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. lacafeotheque.com
31-33 Rue Juliette Dodu
Wednesday–Sunday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. lafontaine.cafesbelleville.com
3 ter Rue Marcadet
Having expanded from a tiny roastery to a vast space that includes a coffee shop and training centre, Lomi still exudes a chill and laid-back vibe. With its brick walls and huge windows, it feels like a Brooklyn loft or workshop that fits in perfectly with its graffiti-clad surroundings.
Monday–Friday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday–Sunday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
53 Avenue Trudaine
Featuring one of Paris’s best terraces and a stellar location, KB is one of the best places in Paris to sip an espresso in the sun. KB has also managed to maintain an ‘it-place’ vibe since opening in 2010 and develop a diverse selection of quality coffee, currently roasted at Beans on Fire (an- other competitor for the title of best terrace in the city).
Monday–Friday: 7:45 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Saturday–Sunday: 9 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.
Terres de Café
36 Rue des Blancs-Manteaux
Located at the heart of the historical Marais neighbourhood, Terres de Café has a stylish, Parisian-salon look, a vast array of coffees from which to choose (including capsules), and a very knowledgeable and friendly staff with whom you can chat over an espresso at their zinc bar.
Monday–Friday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday–Sunday: 10 a.m. to 7. p.m.
60 Rue des Écoles
Coutume means ‘custom’ in French, and this roastery and its six coffee shops offer an innovative take on tradition, with their laboratory-meets- Parisian-chic feel. While the historic location in Rue de Babylone is probably the best place to appreciate their coffee because it has the most brewing methods available, we prefer the luminous and minimalist Coutume Institut, located inside the Finnish Institute.
Tuesday–Saturday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 6. p.m.
121 Rue du Château
Hexagone is both a great neighbourhood café and a classy place that offers consistently high-quality coffee. The place has a delicate, welcoming feel to it: a bright and luminous design, respectful and professional service, and French radio playing in the background. All this makes for an excellent escape from the hectic city centre.
Tuesday–Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Saturday–Sunday: 10 a.m. to 6. p.m.
La Café Alain Ducasse
12 Rue St Sabin
Michelin-starred chef Ducasse and his team turn coffee into a high-end experience through meticulous attention to detail, bringing specialty coffee into the world of French fine dining. With two beautiful coffee shops and a roastery, Ducasse offers a menu ranging from affordable blends to high-end coffees from Yemen and Réunion to original takes like a whiskey-style cascara. Drinks are prepared by a team of glove-clad cafeliers (coffee sommeliers) and accompanied by fresh madeleines or Ducasse chocolate.
Tuesday–Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday: 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m. to 6. p.m.
12 hours in Paris
A quick guide to some of its best-kept secrets
You can easily spend a whole day exploring Belleville, sampling one of its numerous Vietnamese or dumpling restaurants (we recommend Ravioles Nord-Est), climbing up the lively Rue de Belleville, and stopping to take in the stunning panoramic view from beautiful Parc de Belleville.
One of the best ways to explore Paris is to flâner, which means to aimlessly stroll around the city. In addition to, like Walter Benjamin, exploring the city’s marvellous arcades (passages), you can go on a more hectic walk around Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, making a detour to Rue des Petites Écuries, where you can choose between Turkish, Kurdish, Italian, and Jamaican restaurants. If you prefer a calmer and greener stroll, head to the Coulée Verte, the inspiration for New-York’s high-line, wander the lesser-known, picturesque Rue des Cascades if you’re near Belleville, or go to the beautiful Rue des Thermopyles on the city’s left bank.
Paris’s canals may not be the subject of romantic poems like the River Seine that feeds them, but they’re just as atmospheric. Spend a couple of hours strolling along the Canal Saint-Martin, stop for brunch at Holly Belly, coffee at Craft or Ten Bells, or a rum cocktail at Le Comptoir Général. Then, continue to the Canal de l’Ourq, where you can grab a beer, dip your feet, and watch the bar lights reflected in the cool water.
The city’s luxurious department stores are beautiful, but oh so crowded! We prefer strolling the city’s outdoors markets. Marché d’Aligre is a food market dotted with wine bars and small cafés where you can sip mint tea and people-watch for hours. On weekend mornings, head to the Vernaison part of the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen flea market to admire gorgeous antiques you can’t afford and small picturesque alleyways.
Although rightfully known for its classical art museums, Paris also sports a fantastic contemporary art scene. Fondation Louis Vuitton’s architecture is worth a detour in its own right, as are its well-curated exhibitions. Fondation Cartier’s selection rarely disappoints, with an added bonus of a transparent exterior and a lovely garden. At the little-known Halle Saint-Pierre, you can discover the fascinating genre of ‘outsider art’, while it’s always a good idea to check what’s on at the Grand Palais.
Paris also stands out for its fantastic wine bars. Some of our favourites are Le Comptoir du Canal, where you can savour high-quality cheese platters; Fulgurances-en Face for gastronomic plates to share; trendy La Cave de Belleville; and Le Baron Rouge for a surreal, old-times, all-day-drunk vibe and unbeatable prices.
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