Escape the crowds of tourists in Paris and opt for these local cafés with views of Notre Dame or quietly tucked away in the streets of the Left Bank
Honestly, you can’t really go wrong with any authentic French café while visiting Paris.
Yes, there are the classics that everyone knows—Les Deux Magots, Café de Flore, and Closerie des Lilas. These well-known cafés where philosophes and American expats Sartre, Beauvoir, Hemingway and the like had discussed literature and philosophy have changed since the 19th century—now they offer a more commercial experience at a much higher price.
With that being said, it doesn’t mean that these establishments are not worth visiting entirely. How can you pass up visiting living historic landmarks on your first trips to Paris?
If you want to explore Paris as a local, or if you’re living in Paris and want to find a new café, here’s a quick list of picks to take your coffee break without battling the crowds:
11 Quai de Montebello, 75005 Paris
Enjoy a delicious French pastry and coffee while looking at Notre Dame! The natural light and view of Notre Dame make this café a wonderful space for light coworking or lunch with friends. This is where the Paris chapter of Rising Tide Society hosts meetups!
61 Quai de la Tournelle, 75005 Paris
The space for this film location tour company doubles as a dog-friendly café. I came here for a Bloggers in Paris meetup over drinks. The terrace offers a view of Notre Dame that’s only steps away from the tourist crowds.
Set in Paris offers a wide variety of tours such as the Paris Movie Tour, Coco Chanel’s Paris, Hemingway Cocktail Tour… Check out their full offering of tours on their website or ask about them in person when in you stop in for coffee!
37 rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris
In Fall 2015, the famous bookstore opened their café next door. The hot tourist destination does get crowded, but it’s a great place to grab a quick coffee break during the week, early in the morning.
18 Rue de Fleurus, 75006 Paris
Self-branded as a “qualitarian café,” Judy focuses on using high-quality ingredients that are seasonal, locally sourced, bio-dynamic and organic. The light and airy space has two floors and a large outdoor terrace on the corner of rue d’Assas and rue de Fleurus.
24 rue Monge, 75005 Paris
Located in the heart of the university district, you’ll find a lot of people hard at work on their laptops with espressos and an afternoon goûter. I met up with Cheryl of Non-Stop Paris here and would love to come back to this café for more coworking in the future!
*16 rue des Saints-Pères, 75007 Paris
What a hidden treasure! As you approach the courtyard, you’re warmly welcomed by the sweet smell of homemade pancakes, biscuits, and fresh coffee.
Tour guide Corey Frye kicked off one of his Facebook Live Tours of Paris here with photographer and Francophile blogger Rebecca Plotnick.
*Important note: Treize will close this location on March 31, 2018, while moving into their new space. They will reopen at the end of May 2018 at 5 rue Medicis, right off of Jardin du Luxembourg.