Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > France >
Sep 25, 2007 01:01 AM

Cafes to study in?

I'm an American student living in Paris, and I'm looking for some good cafes to study in. I know most places, especially in the 5th, won't give you a hard time about plopping down for a while and doing some work, but I'm looking for places that are maybe known for that, or places where I wouldn't be the only one studying. I live in the latin quarter, so maybe this post is totally unnecessary? Thanks. Oh, and since my mom reads this board regularly, hi mom!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Hi, Mme Smithie!

    The place where you will find most fellow students working is the bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève. They say it is not a café, but a library.

    There is no dedicated coffee for students working, but you should pick yours in the quarter of universities and high schools. Coffees on the place de la Sorbonne and in the rue Victor Cousin are full of students. Same with the ones on top of the rue Mouffetard (esp. place de la Contrescarpe where I did a lot of my teenage flirting -- sorry, I meant doing my homework) and the rue de la Montagne Saint Genevieve. See also across the street from Jussieu, in the rue Linné. In the rue Laplace is a legendary place called Le Piano Vache, very destroy and underground, but where everyone is actually very nice, the place is dirt cheap, and during the day it is calm and mostly visited by Henri IV students rereading their notes or finishing an essay.

    I am not sure all those places have a very studious ambience, but they sure have students hanging out with books and pens on the tables.

    8 Replies
    1. re: souphie

      All those places are actually walking distance from my apartment. I have a library card at Sainte Geneviève, but I get more work done in a noisier atmosphere, believe it or not. I'll try place de la Contrescarpe - I met with a tutor there once and remember liking it. Thanks!

      1. re: hbsmithie

        noisier than BSG?

        seriously, though, i always liked Le Duc, which is on rue victor cousin. odd lighting, but a good spot. i like piano vache, too, but more for drinking than studying. and it can get very smoky, even by paris standards!

        there's another place that's good, but it's name is currently escaping me. it's in the 6th, close to luxembourg, kind of btwn luxembourg and the odeon metro or maybe st. sulpice. it's kind of 2-level, with an upstairs balcony/mezzanine.

        if anyone knows the name, say so, as this is kind of bugging me now.

        1. re: Bob Loblaw

          something suisse, no?. Le petit suisse, or sth like that.

          1. re: souphie

            that sounds right, actually.
            it's not le petit prince, which is what i was first thinking - but that's a different place, which is over on rue monsieur le prince.
            if it's not le petit suisse, it's something a lot like that.

          2. re: Bob Loblaw


            Please tell Jean-Pierre and Malita (the owners) that I miss them very much and hope to make it back. Thank you in advance. Jerry Nokes

          3. re: hbsmithie

            'Believe it or not' — I totally believe it. Some people (and I am one of them) work better in the noisy envronment of a café. If you want to be proud about it, know that Jacques Offenbach could not compose his music when people were not partying around him, which explains why he had lots of parties at his home.

            Very chic and even (more than) a little snobby but perfect for working, Le Café de la Mairie (place Saint-Sulpice, upstairs only), Le Café de Flore (upstairs only), Le Rostand (only one level, the back of the café is where people work. A bit expensive but very nice setting.

            1. re: Ptipois

              An Austrian author - forgot whom - said, maybe specifically re Café Central of Vienna - that cafés are for peopld who want to be alone - but in company." Something like that.

        2. It is called Au Petit Suisse. I really like it for omelets, sandwiches, etc..