The best way to start your day is a yummy breakfast with good coffee in a nice place. This meal is sacred for Parisians and they treat it seriously. A typical one would be – coffee or tea, fresh juice, pastry or baguette with butter or jam or yogurt with granola. Breakfast ends noon sharp when it's time for lunch. We give you the list for a perfect start of your day.
Right by Le Bon Marché two gurus of the Paris coffee revolution have opened Coutume. This spacious well-lit place reminds of Tel Aviv and Brooklyn at the same time – ragged walls, wooden floors and white tiles – everything calling for coffee. And their coffee is great. Local hipsters flood the place for breakfast, some even cross the town to begin their day with coffee, granola or banana pancakes. By lunch all tables are taken by fashionistas, local girls instagramming their salads and cappuccinos and stylish business-women talking serious stuff. The best visiting time is a week-end brunch (from 11 to 3 for 25-30€) – it will give you the energy for the rest of the day – to walk around and to go crazy at night.
Finding good coffee in Paris is a challenge but KB CaféShop is the place that has it. A small cafe with huge windows between Martys and Trudaine is almost always crowded with students with laptops, local bobo and English-speaking tourists. However, they will always find you a spot on a wooden bench outside or something indoors. Baristas are friendly and trendy and give tips which coffee to take. Music is lovely, prices low and sizes big. In hip SoPi (South Pigalle) it is an ideal breakfast spot though they have something for lunch – sandwiches, salads and soup of the day made at the site.
This small restaurant on the bank of Canal Saint Martin is never empty. Get a seat on a high bar stool by the window or outside, order a bagel and smoothie of the day and watch people passing by the canal. Works by young artists on the walls, nice music and staff keen on all modern art galleries in the neighborhood. The best option is their weekend brunch – a bagel, eggs, baguette with butter, home-made organic jams, smoothies, dessert and great coffee – everything you need on Sunday morning.
Paris has a problem with vegetarian places but Pinson is vegan's dream coming true. Frisco-inspired place has huge armchairs by the window, so grab a detox smoothie or a home-made lemonade and have a seat waiting for an original organic food (quite yummy, by the way). Most things on the menu are gluten and dairy free. Try them even if you don't care much about eating healthy just to see that vegan food can be delicious. And picky locals seem to really love it – recently the second cafe Pinson opened in the 10th arrondisment (58 rue du Faubourg Poissonière). And there are not that many 24/7 places in Paris.
Télescope is another minimalistic venue with great coffee – white walls, a couple of tables, friendly barista ready for a coffee chat and a cozy bench outside. This is a perfect breakfast or snack place: coffee, yogurt and granola sound just right. Here you can meet typical coffee shop crowd – guys from next door, girls instagraming latte art and English and Japanese expats. The place is small but magically you can always find a place. If it gets too crowded, they offer a table in the basement but nothing compares to a window seat or a bench outside. And no laptops – it is the venue's policy so for coffee and work, choose a different place.
Lomi is located in not quite pleasant part of 18 arrondissement but lots of people risk their wallets every day to get to this place, so it is worth it. Inside it looks very industrial – bare walls, metal beams, high ceilings, old leathers coaches – so cozy. It is a place for everyone – managers from nearby officers, moms with prams and students who come to work on their laptops. Apart from great coffee (you can buy the one you like) they serve their trademark scones, salads, sandwiches and quiches. For dessert order a cheesecake or chocolate cake – they are marvelous. An absolute must visit if you are in the neighborhood!
Hollybelly is an ideal place not far from Canal Saint-Martin to have a bite and good coffee in beautiful interiors. Sounds like nothing special but Paris still lacks such venues. This one was opened by one of the contributors to Kinfolk magazine together with his girlfriend so the place often hosts their parties and sells magazines, of course. The atmosphere is great – welcoming inked baristas in beanie hats and the gem is their awesome coffee. If you don't want to spend thirty minutes in a line come to have breakfast on a week day. Music can be too loud but breakfasts and brunches are made of organic local produce and are perfect as well as coffee.
If you walk across Marais' most vibrant street – Rue Vieille-du-Temple – you will see L'étoile Manquante, Le Petit Fer à Cheval, Les Philosophes, La Belle Hortense and La Chaise Au Plafond. These restaurants are all close and don't differ in menus much. However, Les Philosophes has the most pleasant atmosphere and nice outdoor tables for people spotting. The food is simple but nicely served and made of super fresh produce. Chefs have no break (a rare case in France where eating in irregular hours is a problem) and waiters are quick and friendly. Don’t be afraid to order fish, meats or salads - they are all delicious. The best deal is plat du jour with a glass of wine (ask a waiter with a long grey beard for advice) and tarte tatin as a dessert – theirs is the best in town.
Loulou Friendly Diner
Loulou is located in the most touristy part of Quartier Latin, where every house is home to a cafe or two, however, they are all tourist traps. Loulou is an exception and escape. While its exterior of a friendly diner is nothing special, it is just a disguise – otherwise it would be packed. Firstly, their waiters seem to be the best in town, very friendly and always ready for a chat, unless the place is full. Then, they have the most delicious burgers and bagels being cooked all day long – the thing appreciated by locals and tourists. Come in the morning when the place is half-empty to get a great coffee and breakfast, by noon there will be a crowd. Once you eat here, you will have an urge to come back again and again. They have vegetarian options – salads, vegetable bagels as well as yummy smoothies. Pancakes, meat and fish – everything is perfect. If it is warm, pick a veranda seat (a small tip for busy folks – the plug for your laptop is under the sofa at the left-most table near the façade). An ideal working space: the sun lit veranda, great food and coffee, free wi-fi and no hints that you should leave. As for dinners – at night, there are many tables so no need to book one. Loulou is great for any occasion, but avoid lunch time during the weekends, otherwise you will spend thirty minutes in a line.
Les Pères Populaires
Locals shorten this Berlin oasis in Paris to Les Pères Pop’. During the day this spacious and well-lit place, which offers only a couple of meals (order anything – the chef is a genius), mainly attracts locals and students craving free wi-fi. The scene changes at night – the venue is crowded especially on Fridays when they have jazz concerts. Early comers get coaches and others – the tables. This is one of the cheapest bars in Paris with floods of booze and relaxed atmosphere. A must-visit in the eastern part.
Paris is seeing a new generation of boutique owners whose motto is – fashion is life. Broken Arm is one the pioneers of this new wave, website De Jeunes Gens Modernes in flesh – this multibrand temple of fashion is abundant with creations by young designers. Its trendy café (good coffee, breakfasts and lunches) as well as collaborations with the hottest Paris artists make this store the brightest spot on the shopping map of the world's fashion capital.
Merci is one of the loveliest concept stores in Paris. An enormous well-lit space hidden on Boulevard Beaumarchais seems to be perfect. It regularly showcases installations by the best stylists and designers and has everything – from clothes and accessories to house utilities, furniture, bedding, cosmetics and stationary. All profits go to charity, by the way. The place also has plenty dining options – a cozy Used Book Cafe to the right of the entrance is perfect for breakfast and brunch with a book – they have a library of thousands here. For a light lunch go to Cinema Cafe – they serve several salads and soup of the day. La Cantine on the ground floor has a patio view and healthy options – fresh fruits, smoothies, seasonal products only and fantastic desserts. So, if you have little time and need a party dress, a gift for your friend, something for your home and are hungry – Merci has it all.