clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Official site

Filed under:

Where to Get Drinkable Coffee and Tea in Paris

Finding good coffee in the City of Light isn't totally hopeless

For travelers, the most convenient cup of caffeine is often not the best—the hotel Nespresso machine, the weak Lipton from the overpriced café, the nearest Starbucks. Fortunately for visitors to Paris, long a wasteland for anyone with a taste for coffee that isn't redolent of ashtray, the last few years have seen the emergence of both well-stocked third-wave coffee shops and exquisite Japanese tea shops—even near the landmarks (and the tourist traps that feed off them) in the city's center. But be warned: Picturesque as these spots are, there's no Wi-Fi unless otherwise noted, so be prepared to upload your Instagrams elsewhere.

Cafe Cuillier: If you end up near the Opéra, chances are you'll stop by the iconic shopping center Galeries Lafayette. But first, head across the street to Galeries Lafayette Le Gourmet, a two-story food hall. Among the many attractions vying for your attention there will be an outpost of Café Cuillier, the Parisian roaster founded in 1844 and recently revived by talented baristas like Thomas Clément, the 2015 French Aeropress champion. The café offers espresso drinks alongside drip coffee courtesy of the usual fancy-coffee suspects: Kalita Wave, Hario V60, Aeropress. Tour the food hall first and pick up some pastries or chocolates from Alain Ducasse, Sadaharu Aoki, Pierre Hermé, or Jean-Paul Hévin to enjoy with your brew. 35 Boulevard Haussmann | Wi-Fi

Official site

Toraya: The storied Kyoto confectionery Toraya, founded in the 16th century, opened a Parisian tea shop in 1980, making it the oldest of its kind in the city. It serves several varieties of green tea, along with wagashi, or Japanese confections, in a quiet respite next to the Place Vendôme. Seasonal specials include a matcha hot chocolate during fall and winter, and a red bean and matcha kakigori—a shaved ice hard to find outside of Japan—in the spring and summer. If you need something a little more substantial, try a lunch set: a main dish like sansai-okowa (a sweet rice bowl with vegetables) or soba salad served with miso soup, vegetables, pickles, and bancha. Round things off with a seasonal cake and a cup of sencha or matcha, which comes with the meal. 10 Rue Saint-Florentin | +33 1 42 60 13 00

Jugetsudo: Renowned architect Kengo Kuma designed Jugetsudo's locations in both Tokyo and Paris with thousands of bamboo poles that hang from the ceiling, evoking the feeling of walking into a bamboo forest. Take your cue accordingly—if you want a quick tea to go, this isn't the place. Instead, ring the bell to gain entry, then grab one of the four seats at the counter for some gyokuro (shaded green tea) and wagashi. Afterward, finish off the tea leaves with a little soy sauce and vinegar. If your timing is right, you can then head to the cavernous basement for the bi-weekly tea ceremony, an elaborate preparation and presentation of various teas meant to be enjoyed with seasonal wagashi like dorayaki (red bean cake) or tea cookies. Jugetsudo's teas are also served at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Colette, the Ritz, and the George V. 95 Rue de Seine | +33 1 46 33 94 90

Coutume Café: As one of the pioneers of specialty coffee in Paris, Coutume takes an outreach-minded approach, hosting tasting seminars and encouraging guests to try its single-origin roasts brewed a variety of ways. Monthly specials like raspberry-and-basil iced coffee and espresso with parmesan and honey often come served in a glass or beaker. It's just a few blocks away from Musée Rodin, and makes for a good pit stop between the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. If you want to linger a bit, the food is solid, as is the Wi-Fi. Coutume's other location, in the Finnish Institute, is a bit smaller, but serves Nordic-French treats like korvapuusti (cinnamon rolls), carrot cake, and vispipuuro (sweet semolina porridge) from pastry duo Leivonen. With recent expansions to Tokyo, Osaka, and Geneva (opening soon), expect to hear a lot more about Coutume. Coutume Café | 47 Rue de Babylone| +33 1 45 51 50 47 | Wi-Fi

Coutume Instituutti | 60 Rue des Écoles | +33 1 40 51 89 09


Honor: Hidden in a courtyard among the boutique shops on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré is a deconstructed ode to Paris's corner cafés. Run by a couple with years of experience in the coffee industry in the United Kingdom and Australia, the sturdy, modular, outdoor kiosk is meant to withstand inclement weather and remain open year round. With coffee from Coutume and pastries from Broken Biscuits, it's the best place to enjoy a good espresso drink near the Arc de Triomphe or Champs-Elysées. Warning: There are just a few stools and tables, so you will likely have to take that coffee break standing up. In the courtyard of 54 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré | +33 7 82 52 93 63

Terre de Chine: You'll find some of the finest teas in Paris inside this plant-and-teaware-filled oasis not far from the Centre Pompidou. Each seat comes with its own timer and tea tray, to ensure proper steeping times and avoid spillage. For €25, a group of four can sign up for a 90-minute tea tasting, sampling five or six teas from the extensive list of pu-erhs and oolongs. 49 Rue Quincampoix | +33 1 42 71 25 71

More Great Coffee in Paris

29 Rue Pastourelle, 75003

16 Rue Dupetit-Thouars, 75003

The Broken Arm
12 Rue Perrée, 75003

KB Cafeshop
53 Avenue Trudaine, 75009 | Wi-Fi

Hardware Société
10 Rue Lamarck, 75018

Le Bal
6 Impasse de la Défense, 75018 | Wi-Fi

Cafe Lomi
3 ter Rue Marcadet, 75018 | Wi-Fi

50 Rue de Belleville, 75020

La Fontaine de Belleville
31-33 Rue Juliette Dodu, 75010

Royal 5 Rue Villedo, 75001

19 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010 | Wi-Fi

Cafe Loustic
40 Rue Chapon, 75003 | Wi-Fi

Ten Belles: This small, charming shop right off Canal St.-Martin serves homemade pastries alongside its local roasts from Belleville Brûlerie. Opened as a collaboration between Le Bal Café and Belleville's Thomas Lehoux, one of the biggest advocates for specialty coffee in Paris, Ten Belles offers a laid-back environment and one of the best glimpses of a distinctly Parisian coffee culture (less working on a laptop, more lingering with friends). When it's nice out, take your drink and food to go; when it's not, grab a colorful seat by the window. After tinkering with recipes inspired by San Francisco's Tartine and London's St. John, they also recently opened Ten Belles Bread, which offers bread, pastries, and savory foods as well as coffee.10 Rue de la Grange-aux-Belles | +33 1 42 40 90 78

17-€”19 Rue Bréguet | +33 9 67 86 08 19

Caffè Stern: Located in Passages des Panoramas, one of the oldest arcades in Paris, Caffè Stern is tucked into the former home and printing shop of a famous French engraver. The space was redesigned a few years ago by Philippe Starck, who added stuffed coyotes, rosaries, and voodoo dolls to give the 18th-century décor a sense of heft. While lunch and dinner are quite expensive, breakfast is more affordable: a few drinks and pastries will run you just €10-€”15. The coffee comes from Giamaica Caffè in Verona, while the menu was developed by the Alajmo brothers of three-Michelin-star restaurant Le Calandre. 47 Passage des Panoramas | +33 1 75 43 63 10

Shakespeare and Company Café: For years, George Whitman, the owner of the iconic Shakespeare and Company bookshop, asked his neighbor if he could take over the abandoned garage next door and transform it into his dream café. Whitman passed away in 2011, but his daughter, Sylvia, persevered, and last year her father's vision was finally realized. The café serves a healthy dose of literary puns (Shakespeare Shake, a Flapjack Kerouac, The Bun Also Rises) alongside lemon pie and healthy fare from Bob's Bake Shop. The tea is sourced from London-based Postcard Teas, but the coffee is hyper-local, courtesy of Café Lomi, one of the earliest third-wave coffee roasters in Paris. You'll need some after fighting the crowds at nearby Notre Dame. 37 Rue de la Bûcherie | +33 1 43 25 40 93

Pâtisserie - Salon de Thé des Tuileries Sébastien Gaudard: Following his success with Pâtisserie des Martyrs, the renowned pastry chef has opened a bakery and tea salon flanking the Tuileries Garden. The drinks are on the pricey side (€7 -€”10), but if you order brunch, your drink of choice (coffee, tea, hot chocolate) will come with mini-pastries, a baguette with butter and jam, eggs, smoked salmon salad, and French toast. The tea salon doesn't open until noon, allowing you plenty of time to sleep in and still get there early enough to snag some prime real estate in the form of a sofa by the windows or an outside table facing the plaza.1 Rue des Pyramides | +33 1 71 18 24 70

The Eater Guide to Paris

Where to Eat in the Marais

The Eater Guide to Paris

The Definitive Parisian Macaron Taste Test

The Eater Guide to Paris

Mastering the Art of French Dining

View all stories in The Eater Guide to Paris