The French are picky about food but this has nothing to do with coffee. It's really bad, almost everywhere. Luckily, recently, guys who know everything about beans have been opening new coffee places. Sometimes you need to commute to get a good espresso or cappuccino but it's always worth it.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.