So the confirmation email has landed in your inbox. You have booked a flight, train, or teleportation device – destination Paris! It’s really happening. You have mentally penned your out-of-office alert, thrown caution to the wind and fully embraced the exchange rate and, most importantly warned your instagram followers to prepare for a euro onslaught. Perhaps you’re a Paris first-timer day-dreaming of warm, flakey croissants and chic Parisians or a repeat offender determined to return to that same crepe stand to eat your body weight in golden, folded, jambon et fromage. Whatever your reason (Paris tinder), whether you’re riding solo, or as park of a six-man volleyball team and however long your stay there should be no reason to drink bad coffee or eat terrible food whilst experiencing the most attractive city in the entire world universe.
As an Australian or Kiwi you may have started experiencing the heart palpitations and clammy, coffee-clasping-hands as you start to ween yourself off your locally-brewed, morning flat white. But in Paris, I want you to have your café, and enjoying drinking it too. If you are the sort of cat who really needs his specific morning cream before any semi respectable sentence comes out of your mouth make a beeline to one of these establishments.
COUTUME CAFÉ – 47 Rue de Babylone, 75007.
Cue glitter, trumpets, a disco ball lowering and some jazz hands. Coutume is home to my absolute favourite latte in Paris! Don’t let the full-page coffee menu in french scare – you the staff are incredibly friendly to foreigners. Wade into the French language pool confidently, albeit with your floaties quite visible and practice your francais on these guys. “Un cafe latte si vous plait” with a broad smile will do the trick. Two of the staff members can also speak ‘Australian’ so if you want to hear a Frenchman call “HAVE A GOOD ONE MATE?” go there. Extra for experts – The chocolate mud-cake and baked cheesecake deserve a big fat TRES BIEN. Oh and you’ll probably see me there so please say hello, and be an angel and let me have your stamp for my coffee card, merci beaucoup.
LOCKWOOD CAFE – 73 Rue d’Aboukir, 75002
I really should’ve given a first equal award because Lockwood is HEAVENLY. I am biased toward coutume as my tall friend and I visit at least twice a week and have become ‘regulars’ a title I am pretty proud of – I should add it to my linkedin. ANYWAY Lockwood serve caramel pancakes and smashed avo and eggs benny and coffee – the kind that makes your heart happy. They’re also licensed and have a really cool interior complete with suspended bottles of liquor. They’re open from 8am – 2am and I could quite happily sit and eat and drink there all day. The brownie with salted caramel drizzle which I inhaled is deserving of both the thumbs up emoji and the love heart eye emoji. I also really love the location in the 2nd and 300metres away from Matamata cafe if you’re on a coffee crawl. So yeah – go there… kapeesh?
FONDATION CAFE – 16 Rue Dupetit-Thouars, 75003
Fondation reminds me of a Richmond cafe in Melbourne. It’s small but sufficient for a delicious coffee served in a ceramic green cup. I’ve also sampled their soft chocolate chunk cookies, and I believe it’s probably for the best if you do too.
OBERKAMPF – 3 Rue Neuve Popincourt, 75011
If you’ve been missing gourmet porridge, baked eggs or smashed avo with feta and chilli flakes from your morning meal rotation head to Oberkampf! They serve excellent coffee and I’m calling it – the most delightful banana bread this side of the globe.
OB-LA-DI – Presenting ‘that Paris cafe’ from your instagram feed. All the Paris based bloggers, and those visiting come to Ob-La-Di for it’s aesthetically pleasing floor. No seriously, the tile work is outstanding. In fact the entire fit out of Ob-la-di is tres chic and perfect for any social media shots. Ob-la-di serve up their own take on an avocat tartine (avocado on toast) with the inclusion of pomegranate – heavenly! I highly recommend the California kale salad if you can look beyond the avo option.
BLACKBURN – 52 Fbg St-Martin, 75010
I love the food at Blackburn as much as I love the coffee! This gem of a cafe serves delicious salads, tartines and an array of moist (sorry) cakes and sweet treats. You will not leave Blackburn wanting for anything more, trust me.
HONOR – 54 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008.
A stand-alone café constructed in a courtyard of Faubourg Saint-Honore. Honor is nestled in between the big dogs (Saint Laurent and Givenchy) and close to the contemporary dogs (& other stories, Sandro etc). Honor is a great place to grab a takeaway coffee and a sandwich, it is new to the Pari café scene but a welcome respite for the weary shopper.
TEN BELLES – 10 Rue de la Grange aux Belles.
Located by the Canal Saint Martin, Ten Belles serve I’m-definitely-awake-now flat whites and offer a small yet tasty breakfast menu of bircher muesli, breakfast buns, incredible muffins and cookies! The website is here
Traveler bonus: A laundromat is located across the road. Sip on a few brews while you wash your clothes and plan your next adventure.
KITSUNE CAFÉ – 51 Galerie de Montpensier, 75001.
Fast becoming one of my favourite haunts Kitsune café is one of the small aesthetically pleasing shops that run along the domain de Palais Gallerie. If you feel like sitting in the sun somewhere pretty special ask for your café takeaway and perch on a park bench near the fountain. Note: Keep a safe distance away from the keen French Yo-Pros perfecting their pétanque skills on their lunch-break.
Psssst Karen Walker sunglasses are sold at a shop down the way – just in case you’ve lost yours on your travels.
MATAMATA – 58 Rue d’Argout, 75002
The flat white served here is like a warm velvety hug. Look out for the cute kiwiana artwork in the bathroom. Matamata is a lovely place to relax for a cafe and lunch. The area surrounding is full of streets so French that you’ll want to exclaim “OMG THIS. IS. SO. FRENCH”. Make sure you check out the shops nearby, there are lots of small clothing and jewellery boutiques.
STRADA CAFE – 24 Rue Monge, 75005
Exceptional coffee and heathy food. I stumbled across Strada cafe while walking around the 5th searching for Place de la Contrescarpe – a cute square hosting Christmas trees in decoration. The coffee cup warmed my freezing fingers and the ‘dessert table’ warmed my soul.
Check out the other Strada cafe if you’re waltsing around Le Marais -94 Rue du Temple, 75003
OTHER BEAN THERE, LOVED IT PIT STOPS.
TELESCOPE – 5 Rue Villedo, 75001
BROKEN ARM – 12 rue Perrée 75003
KB CAFESHOP (Formally Kookaburra cafe) – 53 avenue Trudaine, 75009
AS MENTIONED EARLIER – if you scrolled past it and thought “naaaah” I urge you to reconsider!
MIZNON -22 rue des Ecouffes, 75004
My favourite lunch spot! Incredible Israeli pita cuisine – think kebab/souvlakis and whole fried cauliflower. Heaven! I would suggest the cabbage and sausage offering or the chicken salad pita.
PAPERBOY – 137 Rue Amelot, 75011.
Feel like a pickle and pastrami sandwich washed down with a Brooklyn Lager? How about a mixed plate featuring granola, cheeses, eggs and bread? The fit out at Paperboy is one of the best I have seen. The coffee isn’t the best here, but it doesn’t matter. The food, beers and wine make Paperboy a must visit. My visit to Paperboy was documented in this post, it includes a shot of the v.cool staff uniforms.
FRENCHIE TO GO – 9 Rue du Nil, 75002
Ruben Sandwiches, fish and chips with mushy peas and soft squishy cookies. Frenchie to go is the informal day time arm of the popular Frenchie restaurant and if you’re a man, know a man, are traveling with a man, or like to eat like a man this is where you’ll chow down on a satisfying lunch.
HOLYBELY – 19 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010
An excellent ever-changing breakfast/lunch menu with seasonal legumes and coffee made how you like it! The only issue I have found is that the cafe closes around key holiday periods, so check it’s open before you go. Holybely is in our Bermuda breakfast triangle (of toast) area. If you find it’s closed you can head to Bob’s juice bar for a freshly squeezed green juice and then veer back up the road to Liberte for one of the best croissants you’ll ever eat. After you’ve sobbed tears of pastry joy stroll across the canal to Ten Belles for coffee.
Restaurant MARCEL – 15 Rue de Babylone , 75007
Three locations mean three times more handy! Delicious for lunch and open for brunch! Check out the menu here we’re talking eggs benny, porridge, bircher muesli and the full english breakfast. The coffee isn’t anything to whatsapp home about however if you happen to frequent the 75007 café you are a hop skip and a jump down the road from coutume café (as mentioned prior as my favourite location). I rarely visit Marcel without stopping by coutume (or vise verca). Marcel offer huge salads if you’re feeling a bit of scurvy coming on.
ROBERT AND LOUISE – 64 Rue du Vielle du Temple.
For the meat lovers out there! This is a great spot for an injection of iron. The meat is cooked over an indoor open flame BBQ and is tender and juicy and très très bon! For something a little different and unpretentious this is a great restaurant option.
DISTRITO FRANCÉS – 10 rue du faubourg Saint Martin 75010.
Ok so it is a Mexican restaurant but Paris has a eatery to suit every craving. For delicious authentic fare, wooden taco plates with grooves to ensure the tacos stay upright and a house guac that rocks you can’t miss this place.
LE PERCHOIR – 4 Rue Crespin du Gast 75011.
A surprise menu and a rooftop bar. You would assume I’m talking about a Melbourne hotspot. Let the Le Perchoir team take all the hassle out of ordering. Prior to sitting down to eat make sure you head up to the rooftop bar to sip a house cocktail while taking in views of the Sacré-Cœur and beyond. P.s. read my post about Le Perchoir here if you’re feeling unsure… but you shouldn’t be unsure, it’s fabulous – trust me.
BISTROTTERS – 9 Rue Decrès, 75014 Paris
This is a destination restaurant to visit perhaps for your last meal as it’s slightly out of the way for most tourists. Bistrotters serve French food that has been laboured over, but not in a pretentious way and paired with the perfect vin. The staff here were really friendly and helpful. Book online to ensure a table.
LA PHARMACIE – 22 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011
A restaurant in a converted old Pharmacy near the Bastille and Oberkampf metro stops. Pharmacie is a great place to start your night before heading to other spots in the 10eme for drinks – Candelaria, Le Mary Celeste etc.
LE TOURNEBIEVRE – 65 Quai de la Tournelle, 75005
A delicious cosy French restaurant in the Latin Quarter. A great place to try authentic French fare. C’est bon!
HOTEL COSTES – 239 Rue Saint Honoré 75001
The name Costes and the address should require no further explanation. For an opulent night out dining at a heritage listed building make sure to visit the restaurant at Hôtel Costes. Oh and p.s. you can book online. P.P.S. Prepare to witness the most aesthetically pleasing wait-staff on the face of the earth.
For contemporary fare:
SAAM – 59B Rue de Lancry, 75010
Bao is back! Korean Street food at its best – the team at SAaM are all about those buns hun! This is the perfect lunch place if you’re checking out the Canal Saint Martin area.
MISS KO – 51 Avenue George V, 75008
Now su-shi me…
BLUEBERRY MAKI BAR – 6 Rue Sabot 75006
Sushi is my favourite food which is why I’ve listed Miss Ko and Blueberry. Each serve strange and tantalising sushi combinations and a cocktail list to last you all night.
TOKYO EAT – 13 Avenue du Président Wilson
VIN-ING AT LIFE
One of my favourite French words is Santé (cheers) It implies I’m with friends/a friend, wine in hand, enjoying Parisian life. If you’re in the mood for a drink or two these are my picks. Oh and remember, wine and beer may be consumed in most public areas, you can take a bottle of wine along to a picnic. Just keep it respectable, the French drink to enjoy the drop – so follow their lead and keep it classy… San Diago.
GEORGE’S – 6th floor, The Pompidou Centre Beaubourg Palace, Place Georges Pompidou, 75004
Another member of the Costes’ group George’s on top of the Pompidou offers a fantastic panoramic view, along with delectable cocktails.
BESPOKE COCKTAIL BAR – 3 Rue Oberkampf, 75011
Cocktails, and delicious sliders, I’ve said enough.
LE MARY CELESTE – 1 Rue Commines, 75003
A pub style setting, Le Mary Celeste is anything but. An intriguing tapas/small bites menu for a girls night out not to mention a tantalising cocktail menu.
CANDELARIA – 52 Rue de Saintonge, 75003
Stroke the furry wall. Caldenlaria bar is accessed through their taqueria. Speaking of which, this could be a dinner option as well because who doesn’t like tacos? Stroll with confidence through the taqueria and open the unassuming door on the back wall. Walk through the door and you will enter a cave like bar with, you guessed it, a sheepskin covered wall.
CASTOR CLUB – 14 Rue Hautefeuille, 75006
HARRY’S BAR – 5 Rue Daunou, 75002
Harry’s Bar was shipped from America to Paris and opened for business in 1911. Full of charm, hey if it was good enough for Hemingway?
EXPERIMENTAL COCKTAIL CLUB – 37 Rue Saint-Sauveur, 75002
Another noteworthy watering hole.
“RUE DE LA SOIF”
A French expression for ‘the street of thirst’ and most French cities have their own designated street with bars lined up and patrons spilling out onto the street. Head to Rue Cans and Guisarde in Saint Germain-des-Pres where you can stay out all night and make many French friends.
Sometimes in life you just need a kebab. That is nothing to be ashamed of! Grilled chicken, roasted eggplant, tomato, onions, tzatziki encased in a warm delicious bread, what’s not to love? Most of the city goes to sleep on a Sunday, because most Parisians escape the city to visit family and breathe in fresh unpolluted country air. For tourists on a Sunday I would recommend visiting Le Marais/the Jewish quarter the area is alive and kicking on a Sunday.
For hungry, hungover, sunday souls go here:
L’As DU FALLAFEL – 34, rue des Rosiers, 75004
One of the best Kebab spots in Paris, embrace the line as it moves quickly! Don’t think “oh I’ll just go to the one opposite”, just don’t ok?
THE SUNKEN CHIP – 39 Rue des Vinaigriers 75010
One of the only fish and chip shops in Paris is the Sunken Chip and it is TASTY! Take your treats to the bank of the canal, perhaps with a cheeky bottle of red?
SUMMER TIME! Food trucks that alternate each day so that you can eat yourself around the world in one week. Check website for exact location. If you’re taking the metro jump on line 9 and get off at Exelmans.
Really looking for that true French feeling? Perhaps you’re wearing your best beret and have a warm baguette under your arm and now you need somewhere to rest your feel after a busy day of scootering around the city. My lovely friend Lydia introduced me to this little gem…
LA PALETTE – 43 Rue de Seine, 75006
Sit outside with a glass of red wine and refrain from pinching yourself repeatedly.
Get your head around the arrondissements. They work like an escargot (snail) or spiral, starting with the first arrondissement housing the Louvre and spiralling in a clockwise direction. If you can get your head around the layout of the twenty different arrondissements before you arrive you’ll find navigating this gorge little city an absolute breeze! Just remember that although you are staying in the 11eme you could be in walking distance/to the 3eme and across the river from the 13eme and quite far away from the 14eme. Confused? Don’t worry it will all make sense once your shoes are pounding those rues! Amidst the jet-lag if you do find yourself temporarily lost – hey it happens to the best of us (me every day) – all the road signs indicate which arrondissement you are in underneath the name of the street.
“Thou shalt not-eth taste-th burnt-eth”
The French do not, as a general rule, produce the sort of coffee that Australians and Kiwis like to drink. It is a matter of taste. If you’re at a French bistro do be warned that the French drink their café noir (black). To ask for milk use the following phrase, “du lait, s’il vous plaît”, although I would suggest asking for one of the options below.
For an espresso with hot milk – “Un café au lait”, “un café crème” or “un crème”.
For an espresso with foamed milk – “Un cappuccino”.
For an espresso with a dash of milk or a spoonful of foam, smaller sized like a macchiato -“Un café noisette” or “une noisette”.
CO WORKSHOPS – CAFÉ CRAFT and CO WORKSHOP are both great options if you need to get some travel planning done, update your blog or write your mum and extended family an email to let them know you’re alive. Handy too if you need something photocopied or printed.
CAFÉ CRAFT – 24 rue des Vinaigriers
Co workshop 29 Rue des Vinaigriers
I stumbled across this patisserie with my friend Sally and have been back many times since! A new contemporary patisserie with incredible cakes and pastry! An almond and chocolat croissant and an espresso is a legitimate breakfast in Paris.
PLEASE PLEASE FOR THE LIFE OF YOUR MOTHER/FATHER/CAT DOWNLOAD THE CITYMAPPER APP. It is a GAME CHANGER/your new best friend.
I shall keep editing and updating this list. If you are left with a burning question please be my guest and send an email to