The best cafes in Paris

photo by advencap on Flickr

Paris’s cafe culture is one of the most interesting parts of the city’s identity, and one that you can hardly escape. Small cafes dot the Parisian landscapes like flowers in a field, providing refuge from rainy weather and snow in the colder months, and a spot of shade and a cool drink in the heat of summer. Paris is famous for its pavement cafes, its literary cafes, and dark, smoky cafes where all the customers know each other by name. Most Parisians have their favorite corners for an afternoon espresso (or cafe noir, as a local would say), and there are cafes in the French capital that cater for the young crowds, as well as the older generations. Here are some of the best cafes in Paris where you can while away your afternoons.

Café des 2 Moulins, Rue Lepic

In 2001, Café des 2 Moulins was probably the most popular cafe in Montmartre – after all, it was the setting for Jean Pierre Jeunet’s hugely succesful film, Amelie. After the movie was released, the cafe lost much of its vintage, intimate feel due to the hordes of Amelie fans and tourists, but now, more than a decade after the movie premiere, Café des 2 Moulins is back to its old cozy self. Sit next to a window and watch the people of Montmartre scurry by.

La Caféothèque, rue de l’Hôtel de Ville

Cafe de 2 moulins, photo by Aleksandr Zykov on Flickr

If you are very particular about your coffee and you only drink the quality stuff, you won’t be disappointed in the Caféothèque, which is a coffee fan’s dream come true. The Guatemalan owner of the cafe buys only the best beans from small plantations, and the coffee is roasted freshly every day, right in front of the guests. Even the espresso machine is made by a famous Italian manufacturer, so you can be sure that you get some of the best coffee in town at the Caféothèque.

Coutume Café, rue de Babylon

Coutume Café was created by two coffee fans, for coffee fans. The minute you step inside, you’ll know that you’re in a place where coffee is downright revered. You’ll hardly find any cheap robusta coffee in this stylish cafe, but only the best of artisan coffees. The milk is from a small dairy farm near Paris, and the little pastries served along with the drinks are delicious.

Cafés Verlet, rue Saint-Honoré

photo by Mike_fleming on Flickr

Cafés Verlet is over a century old, and a cafe this ancient surely knows how to do its best to please customers. There are over twenty varieties of coffee at Cafés Verlet, some of which are unique house brews. The cafe is just round the corner from the Louvre and the Comédie Française, so it’s a great place for a coffee break and a slice of delicious cake.

Le Select, Boulevard du Montparnasse

Le Select has had a select clientele over the years, that’s for sure. This small traditional style cafe has been the haunt of Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Fitzgerald, Picasso or Henry Miller. The cafe looks much like it did in the 20’s and 30’s, except for the clouds of smoke due to the smoking bans, but even so it is one of the most glamorous and best cafes in Paris.

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