Paris, like many cities, is one that takes years to truly explore. Even though I’ve been to the City of Light several times, I haven’t even scratched the surface of wonderful places to eat and drink.
After my first few initial visits to Paris, I found myself visiting the city less to ‘see things’ and more to leisurely explore, often starting the day at a cafe. Most of the below recommendations are for cafes in Le Marais, a neighbourhood in the fourth arrondissement brimming with cozy cafes, hip boutiques, and cool restaurants. Plus, plenty of sidewalk cafes, because Paris.
Le Marais is my favourite area to stay in the city, it’s rare you won’t find me there on any jaunt to the City of Light.
One of my favourite things to do in Paris?
Find a lovely cafe, and enjoy delicious coffee and delicate pastries while watching the world go by.
Whether it’s your first visit, or seventh, I can’t recommend finding the time for this kind of ‘passive sightseeing’. It’s a wonderful reminder that, sometimes, the best parts of a trip aren’t seeing those famous monuments.
Sure, the Eiffel Tower is special, but observing locals drop by their favourite cafe, while you sit with a croissant, cafe creme and good book is a beautiful way to start to understand the rhythms of Paris.
10 Pretty Cafes in Paris, Perfect for Any Morning
Boot Cafe: My favourite cafe in Le Marais, perfect espresso makes for a perfect cafe creme. What Boot lacks in size (it’s tiny), it more than makes up for in a cozy, ‘feel at home’ vibe. Mornings started here, cafe creme in hand, are the absolute best.
If you’re asking, ‘what is a cafe creme?”, you’re not alone. The term and coffee output varies throughout Europe, but in the north of France, it will usually be an espresso coffee with double the amount of water and a little fresh cream or milk.
And, if you’re curious about the cafe’s name, spot the fading blue Cordonnerie sign above the coffee shop- Cordonnerie translates to ‘shoe repair shop’ in English.
Fragments: One of the best places for aeropress in the city (in my opinion, of course).
Telescope: Coffee purist’s heaven. The espresso is some of the best in Paris, and it doesn’t hurt the banana bread is killer, too.
Ob-La-Di: Much like Boot, a small, cozy cafe. The avo toast and cafe creme are the makings of an excellent start to the day.
Loustic: Loved this uber-cute cafe in Le Marais. Plenty of big, comfy cushions, great cafe cremes, and soft, relaxed vibes.
Cafe Suedois: Naturally, I found a Swedish cafe in Paris (Scandinavian at heart). No surprise you’ll find good espresso drinks here, but the real reason to visit? The huge, lovely garden- it’s the kind of place that makes it easy to get lost in a book on a sunny afternoon.
Liberte: The croissants and pain au chocolat are both great, but the citrus tart was the real standout for me. As with any Paris bakery, get an espresso to go with your savoury breakfast.
Dug the aesthetics of this bakery- it’s unlike any other patisserie I’ve been to in Paris.
If you prefer your espresso with a splash of milk, order a noisette, which translates to hazelnut to reflect the colour of the coffee.
Hollybelly: American breakfast done right in Paris. If you’re not here early, prepare for a wait. The wait will be worth it though- the seasonal fruit pancakes and hash browns are ace.
Hollybelly earned a place on this list because it’s the epitome of great coffee- don’t miss the drip.
Cafe Oberkampf & Cafe Mericourt: Another brunch meets coffee contender, Oberkampf and its sister cafe, Cafe Mericourt offer the best of both worlds for out of this world shakshuka, followed by wonderful coffee in a cafe teeming with succulents.
Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole: Situated on Île de la Cité, Au Vieux is located on one of the only surviving medieval streets in the city. This quintessential Parisian cafe is the perfect spot to stop for a coffee pick-me-up while sightseeing.
If you’re not a coffee drinker, Wild & The Moon may be up your alley. The smoothies and juices are a great way to start the day- I love The Tiger, which is packed with sweet potato, carrot, cinnamon, cardamom and black pepper- spicy, sweet perfection.
Have you ever been to Paris? Did you enjoy visiting any cafes while in the city?