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Jul 16, 2014 12:03 AM

Favorite Paris Cafes?

Since there is no central repository or even an easily-searched thread(s) about cafes in Paris, it would be lovely if those reading this thread who have visited Paris could name one or a few of their favorites, if so inclined.

Cafe in this context: A good, solid cafe - breakfast expresso, lunch plats, simple dinner and drinks - in the neighborhood a visitor is staying in or visiting. So any place you've visited is fair game, since that's probably someone's temporary neighborhood.

Phil D named Le Nemrod in the other thread where I mentioned this (thank you). Any others? I'm sure they would be appreciated by many people.

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  1. For the record, I like Saint Cirgues Cafe in the 7th (for the fresh food, opens early and closes in the mid-evening), and Le Zinc in the 15th (food and people watching, opens early, stays open late.)

    I also like Café Suédois at the Swedish Institute in the 3rd. Open 12-6, I believe. Great place for a light lunch, but was very crowded on my last visit, probably due to the increased popularity of the area; before it was very peaceful. I'll try it again at an off-hour.

    2 Replies
    1. re: GetLucky

      "Café Suédois"
      It has been crowded but not too much so when I've gone.
      The art inside is also sometimes quiite good.

      1. re: John Talbott

        I have not taken the time to look at the art before; thanks for the tip. It's a very pretty place, indoors and out.

    2. Any particular quartier ?

      But let me get my shotgun out and blast some untargetted suggestions:
      Café de l'Epoque near the Palais Royal
      Le Select on the bd Montparnasse
      La Rotonde in the bd Montparnasse
      Au Petit Suisse on the rue Vaugirard near the Luxembourg
      Le Rostand near the Luxembourg
      Le Petit Café on the rue Descartes in the 5th
      Café de l'Alma in the 7th
      Le Petit Bar in the 1st
      Le Bougainville in the 2nd
      L for Liza (boulangerie for takeaway falafel and superior Lebanese nibbles) on the rue de la Banque in the 2nd
      Cave Beauvau (wine bar/ cantine) on the rue Saussaies near the Elysée Palace in the 8th
      Courtyard café at the Petit Palais in the 8th
      La Maison on the place St Ferdinand in the 17th
      Colorova on the rue l'Abbé Grégoire in the 6th
      Le Flore in the 6th
      La Palette in the 6th
      La Rotonde in the 14th
      Les Trois Garçons in the 15th
      Carette (continuous-hours salon de thé, not café) in the 16th and 4th
      Huré on the av Victor Hugo in the 16th
      Le Français on the place Bastille in the 4th
      Le Charlot in the 3rd
      Le Progrès in the 3rd
      Le Pure in the 11th
      etc etc x 100

      7 Replies
      1. re: Parnassien

        To Parn's list:
        I add
        - La Bascule in Abbesses
        - Le Progrès in Abbesses (18) also
        - Marcel, on the corner of avenue Junot and Villa Léandre, which I consider the most beautiful intersection, even for Paris
        - Tribal Café on the Cour des Petites Ecuries
        - Bô Man in the 9th
        - the café at the musée Jacquemart-André.

        These cafés are nice places for meeting friends over a cup of coffee. The food is not the focus. It has what I call "do" food, as in this'll do.
        One does not go to a café to eat unless one is stuck (1) working nearby, or (2) staying in a hotel with no access to a kitchen.

        1. re: Parigi

          Parigi, I purposely left the 9th and 18th open for you. And I do agree with your suggestions and with the Junot/ Villa Léandre thing (my #2 sis lives there).

        2. re: Parnassien

          Merci. I'm sure your list will be appreciated by many. Hopefully this topic will be easily searched and give some people some places to consider or to do further research.

          1. re: Parnassien

            A couple more : le Fumoir behind the Louvre, la Tartine on rue Rivoli, le Petit Vendôme in the 2nd.

            The last may not be continuous hours but in the right mood, the cuisine and boisterous ambience can be just right. Otherwise I'm with Parigi on cafés and what to expect food-wise (and have no idea why this statement from an internet stranger is shaming or otherwise).

            But good for you GetLucky for putting up this thread. Light a candle instead of raging against the dark. Or both if you prefer.

            1. re: shakti2

              Thank you and thanks for your recs. I've always been curious about Le Fumoir.

            2. re: Parnassien

              Correction to my post: La Rotonde is in the 6th, not 14th.

              1. re: Parnassien

                I forgot.
                And one of my fave cafés is a teahouse: in the Grand Mosquée by the Jardin des Plantes. It's the same "application" as a café.

            3. We particularly like the Cafe des Beaux Arts on the quai, corner of Rue Bonaparte. Fabulous view of the Seine, great for seeing people (not sure what qualifies as people watching), good coffee and drinks, excellent service. Food ordinary.

              What needs to be said in this thread is that a favorite cafe is something that is personal. It is a place that you visit a few times and make your own. Another person may or may not find the same ambiance that you do, nor might you find much special from his favorite. There is a different set of parameters involved in attraction to a cafe and a bistro or restaurant. This is why, perhaps, not much wordage has been addressed on Chow France recommending specific cafes.

              3 Replies
              1. re: mangeur

                "What needs to be said in this thread is that a favorite cafe is something that is personal. It is a place that you visit a few times and make your own. Another person may or may not find the same ambiance that you do, nor might you find much special from his favorite."

                True, which is why it is nice for visitors to have a varied list to investigate. People may also establish a rotation of favorites for different reasons. The food may be quite good at one; the food may be fine but not as good at another - but the more bustling atmosphere and people-watching potential may be worth the slight dropoff in food quality, if one is in a certain mood. Or some may have one favorite each in several districts, all different. For me, Saint Cirgues is about eating or coffee; Le Zinc is more about fun, though overall the food is pretty good IMO.

                I like L'Autre Cafe in the 11th. The food, other than the plat du jour (usually good), will set off no fireworks. But the drinks are good, and the atmosphere is appealing. It's big and airy (though no terrace) with lots of people using the Wifi or reading for hours during the day, and it's rather energetic at night.

                1. re: mangeur

                  There's a cafe that we've often used for breakfast, as we've rented the same apartment a few times. A juice, cafe, baguette/butter - the perfect start to a day.

                  Of course, I have no idea of the name, but from it, you're looking at Place Leon Blum, and it's fairly quintessential. Wait, it looks like Le Rey on Rue de la Roquette, according to google maps. Not the one directly across from the Voltaire Metro exit.

                  1. re: mitchleeny

                    Thank you. I see it on Google, in the 11th.

                2. A tearoom that serves breakfast/tea/lunch/brunch is Aux Cerises on Suffren in the 15th. A few blocks from the Eiffel Tower- kind of closer to Motte-Picquet, though. I believe the owner used to work in fashion, so the decor is very cute and charming. Prices slightly on the higher side, but good, fresh, food (love the cakes) and coffee/tea. I liked it much better than the more well-known and older Les Deux Abeilles in the 7th.

                  1. To say you've been there and done that while not breaking the bank, order oeuf mayonnaise at Cafe Voltaire, the quai at rue du Bac.