10 Incredible Specialty Coffee Shops in Paris (for Coffee Nerds!)
Café culture is thriving in Paris, and has been for centuries. From intellectuals and authors packing the cafes in St. Germain in the 1800’s, to seemingly every Parisian in the city flocking to cafes in the afternoon in present day, café culture is still alive and well in Paris. But that café culture has not necessarily always translated to great coffee.
If you’re looking for the best coffee in Paris, you’re in the right place – we’re going to go through 10 Paris coffee shops we love, and think you will too.
Until recently, I would argue that the coffee scene in Paris was far more about the “vibes” than the coffee itself (kind of like Italy’s coffee culture, which is still stuck on the “vibes” end of the spectrum in present day).
In 2012 and 2014, on my first and second trips to Paris, I was underwhelmed by the coffee scene. It was all dark and bitter, which is tolerable, but not necessarily super enjoyable. I was also not particularly knowledgeable or interested in specialty coffee beyond the fact that it got me caffeinated, so I wasn’t really scouring Paris for the best pour over coffee from microroasters, or a balanced shot of espresso with floral notes.
However, since then, my own coffee preferences have evolved – I’ve recently moved into the world of espresso at home, which is a DEEP rabbit hole to get into – and the specialty coffee scene in Paris has blossomed into one that is consistently serving up some of the best coffee in the world, with coffee beans from nearly every continent, and featuring roasters from places all across Europe.
In this guide, I’ll go through my 10 favorite coffee shops in Paris. I’m going to take you through the coffee shops that stood out to me for one reason or another – usually because of an experience that you won’t find elsewhere or a unique approach to coffee – and explain why I think they deserve a place on my list.
You should know going in that this guide is written by and for coffee nerds, and there will be a fair bit of coffee “snobbery” going on, talking about tasting notes and extractions. You should also know that each of these coffee shops can also make a nearly perfect latte, cappuccino, or whatever else you’re looking for.
By the end, I’m hoping you’ll have discovered at least one or two new spots to add to your list, and that you’ll visit those places and have a mind-blowing cup of coffee and a pleasant experience chatting with the barista.
Sound good to you? Time to get caffeinated!
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10 Amazing Specialty Coffee Shops in Paris (Perfect for Coffee Nerds)
One odd thing I noticed in Paris is that, compared to other cities I’ve been to recently, there aren’t that many coffee roasters in Paris. Though, I will say that the ones that do exist are doing a phenomenal job.
In my other coffee guides, I have talked about my take on the three different types of coffee shops you’ll find in cities around the world. They are:
- Coffee Roasters: Pretty self explanatory – these are the places that roast their own beans in house, usually with a variety of origins and roasting styles (e.g. Colombia vs. Ethiopia, filter vs. espresso roast).
- Coffee Monogamists: These are the coffee shops that are in an exclusive relationship with a single roaster. They don’t roast the beans in-house, but get them from an outside roaster. Usually a local roaster, but not always.
- Coffee Curators: These are my personal favorite type of coffee shop because they offer a wider, more diverse range of coffees to try in one place. They curate the best coffees that they can find from roasters around the city, region, and world, and brew them in their own shop. In general – and this is a big generalization – I’ve found that my best coffee experiences are at this type of shop.
In Seattle or Portland, for example, most specialty coffee shops are also roasters (with a few exceptions). Not so in Paris!
In Paris, I found more coffee curators, rotating through different coffees and roasters than usual. Which I’m on board for because it’s my favorite way to experience coffee and try new things, but thought it was unusual.
And, of course, it’s worth noting that I couldn’t possibly make it to every single coffee shop in Paris without overdosing on caffeine (which I certainly almost did at one point, when I turned to Alysha and said two words – “too much.”).
At the bottom of my list below, there’s a list of the places I wanted to make it to, but am saving for a future trip with a few words on what I think is interesting about them.
You should know that I’m mostly a filter coffee guy, and I feel most comfortable weighing in on tasting notes and brewing styles of filter coffee over espresso. That’s why most of the blurbs below focus on their filter coffee offerings rather than cappuccino or espresso.
Now, let’s get into it. Here are the best coffee shops in Paris (according to, well, me, an amateur coffee nerd and home barista) in order of my personal taste.
Listen, if you love coffee and for some reason you only have time to visit one coffee shop in Paris, this should be the one. In a city full of “vite, vite, vite,” Substance is a welcome breath of fresh air that will leave any coffee lover walking away with an ear-to-ear grin. I know I did.
I’ve now been to Substance three times to work my way through the different offerings on their menu, and it is – by far – the best coffee experience I have ever had. All three times.
I would argue that this is more of a coffee experience, more similar to taking a class than it is to getting a cup of coffee at a normal café. When you’re planning to come here, make sure you have at least 30 minutes to dedicate to it.
Before I talk about the coffee, I want to talk about coffee culture in Paris more broadly. Coffee culture and café culture in Paris are inextricably linked.
When I think about coffee in Paris from my previous experiences, it’s much more about the vibe and the pastries / food than it is about the coffee itself. There’s no denying that there is something pretty special about sitting at a café in the Marais enjoying a pastry and sipping on a latte, watching the world (and the interesting people inhabiting it) go by.
But I would argue that the thing that’s pretty special is definitely not the coffee.
In fact, my first coffee experiences in Paris were actually not great by my standards today.
Though I will say that at the time, I was not super into coffee, and thought that “the darker, the more bitter, the better” because real men drink dark roasted coffee that is burnt to the point where you only taste the roasty-toasty notes (which, I later learned, is 100% false).
Substance, on the other hand, is very much all about the coffee. So much so that they have a sign on the door (and their website) that says “no takeaway cups, no sugar, nor pastries, because we believe a good coffee deserves to be tasted while taking its time.”
The café is tucked away on an alley in the 2nd Arrondissement just off of Rue Montorgueil, and the small space is filled with a U-shaped coffee bar that wraps around a coffee bar with a couple of grinders and a Slayer Espresso machine.
Behind the bar is the man with the magic touch, Joachim, who is the owner, roaster, barista, and I’m sure many other things based on my brief conversation with him as I sat at the bar basking in the glory that is his coffee.
Every time I’m here, I’m flabbergasted at how effortlessly Joachim moves from station to station, pulling perfect shots of espresso and pouring excellent filter coffees.
But the most impressive part to me is his ability to do that WHILE holding complex conversations, flowing between French and English depending on the customer. I know that I have to focus 100% on making coffee, and his skill constantly impresses me.
Joachim has competed in a bunch of different coffee competitions, both within France and internationally, and when I asked him about his medals that are displayed in the café, he told me a great story about his experiences in coffee competitions, and his realization that he doesn’t want to make coffee for three judges once or twice a year.
He wants to share those amazing coffee experiences with customers instead, whether or not they are newbies, experts, or somewhere in between.
Here’s how it works. They essentially have two menus: the main menu, and the “special” menu. The main menu consists of a coffee of the day, which rotates based on what’s available, made either as a filter coffee, an espresso, a macchiato, or a flat white.
The last time I was there, they were serving a natural Ethiopian coffee. As a flat white, Joachim described it as “blueberry cheesecake.” YUM.
Then there’s the “special” menu, which is the fun part for coffee nerds. The special menu consists of a collection of small batch, rare coffees from around the world. This goes back to the idea of making amazing coffee for consumers rather than judges.
These beans are the kinds of coffees that are made in competitions, and that you won’t usually find offered to consumers. They’re often rare varietals, processes, etc.
They cost a pretty penny (8 – 20 Euros, give or take a couple), but are one of the only places I’ve ever found where you can try a single cup of some of the best and rarest coffees in the world (and believe me, I’ve been to a lot of coffee shops around the world).
The best part about the whole experience was Joachim walking me through every step of the process, from the origin of the beans, which were a natural process Ethiopian coffee from a single farm. That’s notable, because many coffees from Ethiopia are from co-ops, which are a collection of farms in close proximity.
This one, however, is from a single, specific farm, and Joachim knows the name of the farmer. He then ground the beans, brought over a kettle, a scale, and a V60, and walked me through making the cup of coffee from start to finish, including nerdy things like water temperature, what kind of water he uses, and exact infusion times and weights.
Anyway, enough with the love letter. If you want what I think is the best coffee in Paris (and if you don’t, I’m not quite sure why you’ve read this far) go to Substance and you won’t be disappointed.
You truly can taste Joachim’s passion for coffee in each cup that he serves, and he’s more than willing to get nerdy with you to talk about “static cherry” processing.
Location: 30 Rue Dussoubs, 75002 Paris, France
When this guide was originally written in late 2021 (it has since been updated after a few more forays into Paris’ coffee culture), Kawa did not have a brick-and-mortar cafe yet.
The only reason I knew about them is because the people at Substance recommended them. I have ordered their beans a couple of times for delivery here in the US (which is too expensive to do for things other than special occasions), and their coffees are lightly roasted and, generally, excellent.
Fast forward a year to researching for my trip to Paris in the fall of 2022, and would you look at that! Kawa Coffee opened up a cafe and storefront!
I’m not joking when I say that it was my first stop in Paris. A friend and I were traveling together and we got off the train from the airport, jetlagged and haggard, strapped our backpacks on, and headed straight for Kawa.
The barista, who I got to know a little bit because I returned multiple times over the course of my trip, looked at us like we were crazy.
The menu has two parts. There’s the big menu, with the different drinks you can order, then there’s the menu that has their different coffee offerings for both espresso and filter, if you’re looking to try something a little different. There are usually 3-4 options for both, and they can range from €4-€15, depending on the coffee.
I was in Paris with a friend who also loves coffee, and he was in awe of the shot of espresso we had. It was floral and bright, and unlike any shot of espresso I have ever been able to pull myself at home. We also tried a couple of other coffees – one from Yemen, which was fun because it’s an origin you don’t see terribly often, and one from Colombia.
They serve their filter coffee in a carafe with two different tasting glasses that are different shapes, and are meant to bring out different flavors and aromas. Fun!
A couple of weeks later, we returned from an excursion to Alsace and Burgundy (where there were basically zero specialty coffee shops) and showed up at Kawa again to get one last dose of bean juice before my friend flew home, and I moved on to Berlin.
Again, the coffee was excellent, and we grabbed some beans for the road.
Location: 96 Rue des Archives, 75003 Paris, France
Another place I heard about at Substance, Clove Coffee is tucked away on a quiet street in Montmartre, a few blocks away from Sacré Cœur. They’re a coffee curator (or a multi-roaster, depending on your vernacular) and they bring in coffees from roasters all over Europe.
I showed up right at opening – which is far later in Paris and the rest of Europe than I’m used to here at home – and was greeted by the two owners, Ella and Florent, who were in the middle of calibrating the speakers in the shop (which was a funny thing to watch, if I’m being honest).
They’re a friendly, warm duo, and that vibe very much carries through to all four walls of their shop.
At the time (fall 2022), they were relatively new to the Paris coffee scene, but the two of them have put together a nice operation.
I ordered a filter coffee and an espresso made with the same coffee – a natural Ethiopian coffee roasted by DAK out of the Netherlands – and I ended up walking out of the shop with a bag, which can only be described as a blueberry bomb.
As I was sitting at the window, admiring the high ceilings, exposed brick, and the plethora of natural light that the cafe gets, Florent brought over my coffee and, because I was the only one in the shop at the time, we got to chat a little bit about coffee, Paris, Seattle and Portland, and more.
I tried to stay speaking French as much as possible, and he was patient and willing to switch to English when I didn’t understand or couldn’t communicate my thoughts, which I appreciated!
They also had coffees from the Picky Chemist, a micro roaster in Belgium, that looked very interesting.
When Ella brought over the shot of espresso a little bit later, I remarked on how beautiful the ceramics were, and she thanked me and said that she makes them all herself, which I thought was a lovely touch!
At some point during your Paris itinerary, you’re likely going to find yourself in Montmartre (or, at least, you SHOULD because it’s a lovely place to explore). When you do, stop into Clove for friendly service and an excellent cup of coffee.
Location: 14 Rue Chappe, 75018 Paris, France
i/o Cafe is in Paris’ 3rd Arrondissement near the Place de la République, and it was just a few blocks away from the apartment we used as a home base for Paris.
I almost walked by it without noticing it because it’s such a small space, with barely enough room for the coffee equipment, baristas, and the small pastry selection to fit inside.
The reason it appears so highly on this list is because my favorite filter coffee of the trip came from them. It was a natural process (anaerobic, for the coffee nerds out there) Colombian Coffee roasted by Danish roaster La Cabra, and it was beautiful.
Side note, all of these amazing coffees from northern Europe are making me think I need to make a trip up there at some point.
I was telling him about our plans to visit Italy – specifically Sicily – and he remarked that I probably wasn’t going to get good coffee there in Italy. I pointed out that different doesn’t necessarily mean bad, and that I would have said the same about the coffee scene in Paris seven years ago, and look where we are now!
Anyway, great coffee here at i/o. You should go.
Location: 16 Rue Dupetit-Thouars, 75003 Paris, France
Little did I know I was talking to the owner of Télescope, Nicolas, when I was asking in broken French which of the beans he currently had on hand were his favorite. Not until I later saw a picture of him and said to myself “oh, that’s the guy that made my coffee.”
He put up with my broken French (I took seven years of French in school, but hadn’t spoken it in almost eight years at that point), and while he spoke back to me in English (which I view as a failure on my part), his passion for coffee was clear as soon as I started asking questions about the coffees he had available.
Télescope is a coffee curator, bringing in different roasters and coffees that Nicolas is excited about as he tries them.
Though it sounds like there are a couple of roasters that have been staples in his shop for a bit now. It’s in an alleyway a few blocks north of the Louvre in the 1st Arrondissement, and they’re open early enough that you’ll be able to swing by before the first entry of the day into the museum.
He was clearly very fond of the Norwegian coffee roaster – Supreme Roastworks – and I found a natural process Honduran coffee that I was excited about, so he made it for me as an Aeropress.
Now, I normally don’t view the Aeropress as a way to bring out the more delicate notes in a coffee, and I say that MOSTLY because I use one when I’m traveling, and have basically no idea how to use it. So the coffees that come out of it when I’m using it are strictly average, I would say.
However, this coffee was like drinking a pineapple. Or maybe a mango? Something fruity and acidic, but not the classic “berry” fruity that I usually associate with a natural process coffee.
There was something both sweet and acidic about the coffee that Nicolas handed me, and I was giddy with excitement (I tried to go back to buy the beans the next day, but found out halfway there that they were closed for the weekend. Next time!).
In addition to the filter coffee options, you can find the usual espresso drinks (espresso, macchiato, flat white, etc.) though I thought it was interesting that they are all named with their French names, versus the Italian names I’m used to seeing.
Location: 5 Rue Villédo, 75001 Paris, France
I almost didn’t include Ten Belles (or even bother to stop by) because after doing some research, it seemed that it was more about the food and brunch aspect rather than the coffee. I’m all for food and brunch, and their sourdough bread does look delicious, but as someone with Celiac Disease, it’s not going to be my cup of tea.
But as we were walking through Saint Germain towards the Jardin du Luxembourg, I realized we were a few short blocks away from their newer outpost in Paris’ 6th, so I decided to stop by. And I’m glad I did.
I got a batch brew filter coffee from Burundi, which the barista spoke about (quickly, so I really only understood every other word – welcome to Paris!). I was somewhat excited about the coffee itself, but batch brew coffee is usually capped in terms of taste, at least in my experience. So I lowered my expectations, took my to-go cup, and started walking down the street away from the cafe.
Then I took my first sip after letting the coffee cool off a bit and WHAM fruits hit my taste buds like a ton of bricks. Well, not really bricks. More like berries? Or peaches?
I was so impressed with Ten Belles that I made a return visit, this time to their cafe in the 10th along Canal St. Martin, to buy some beans to take with me on our journey to Italy, where I wasn’t sure how the coffee was going to be.
One thing I like about them is that they give you your whole bean coffee in a little tin, rather than a bag. You pay a Euro for the tin, then can bring it back to use next time.
Unfortunately, I was heading to the train station to go to the airport, so I likely won’t be returning it any time soon. I got a gesha coffee from Malawi, which is bright and juicy when I make it in my Aeropress on the road without a scale, which can be touch and go.
- 53 rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006 Paris, France
- 10 rue de la Grange aux Belles, 75010 Paris, France
- 17-19 bis rue Bréguet, 75011 Paris, France
I really, really wish I had given Fringe Coffee more time than I did. We were pressed for time, needing to check out of our apartment in less than 30 minutes, so I ended up getting a filter coffee to go.
It was only when we were three or four blocks away that I took the first sip, which was delightful – delicate and fruity and all the things I like in a coffee – that I realized that I had neither asked what coffee I had gotten, nor had I asked how it was prepared.
I sent them a DM on Instagram (in broken French) asking them if they had any idea, but got no response, so here we are. I know the coffee was great, but that’s about all I know about it (Update: I’m 95% certain it was a natural process Colombian coffee from Dutch roaster Friedhats, but I could be mistaken).
They’re a coffee curator, which means they bring in beans from roasters around Europe that they love.
Fringe is located in the Marais, a few blocks away from the bustling area around the Marché des Enfants Rouges. The area is full of higher end shops, hip restaurants, and, as of a few years ago, excellent specialty coffee thanks to the arrival of Fringe.
The space is part coffee shop, part concept store, which is thanks to the owner’s passion for photography. The walls are adorned with all sorts of different artist’s photographs, and they rotate through different artists based on the owner’s personal tastes.
One thing about Fringe that I wanted to mention is the pastries. I have Celiac Disease, which means gluten free only for me, but the smell of the pastries coming out of the small, open kitchen was wild. Both Alysha and I commented on it, watching longingly as the table in front of us dove into their selection of pastries while we waited.
Location: 106 Rue de Turenne, 75003 Paris, France
KB Coffee Roasters
This was our first stop in Paris after arriving the previous night, and I think it’s my favorite spot in Paris in terms of their space. Inside, it’s high ceilings and wood accents, with plenty of seating.
The windows were wide open on the warm fall day we found ourselves there. The seating spills out into the square, which features a carousel. For some reason, random carousels are distinctly a Parisian thing in my mind.
KB is one of the O.G. shops in terms of specialty coffee in Paris, opening up a decade ago, bringing a slice of Australian coffee culture – which is fantastic – to Paris’ 9th Arrondissement.
One thing I noticed throughout my tour de Paris coffee is the number of places with “no laptops” signs on the tables. KB clearly allows laptops, as the three or four people around us were tip-tapping away, sending emails following up after meetings about emails, or something like that.
They’re coffee roasters, so you won’t find beans from across Europe here. Instead, you’ll find beans roasted to perfection from a variety of origins. Plus, the fact that they’re roasted in house means they’re generally cheaper than the places that are importing beans.
If you’re looking to buy some beans to take home with you and you don’t want to pay 20 Euros or more for a bag, head to KB. They have a nice selection, too, including a delicious natural process coffee from Honduras (which, again, is not something I’ve ever seen before, oddly enough). Gorgeous mugs, too.
They also have a second location now near Bastille called Back in Black. I’d say that particular location is more focused on the food, though they still have a similar coffee menu as the original location.
Location: 53 Av. Trudaine, 75009 Paris, France
Lomi Coffee Roasters
I heard about Lomi from my older brother, who likes to be referred to as “the elder coffee snob” and who is the one who introduced me to specialty coffee years ago in San Francisco. It’s one of his favorite spots in Paris, so I knew it had to be on my list.
It’s in a neighborhood that is a little off the beaten path in terms of tourists, with Gare du Nord to the east and Monrmartre to the west. It’s a little neighborhood called Goutte d’Or, and the easiest way to get there is to take the ever efficient Paris Metro to either Marcadet – Poissonniers (Line 4 or Line 12), or Marx Dormoy (Line 12) from central Paris.
They’re a coffee roaster, and have an impressive array of different origins, roast types, processing, and more. Their catalog was so broad I had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to try, so I decided to leave my fate in the hands of the barista, who probably knows better than I do.
In addition to being a roaster, they also have an adjacent coffee school (“the Lomi School”) that is more for education purposes, where they offer various certifications for coffee professionals, and consumer-level coffee making classes.
They opened their location in 2012, and were at the forefront of introducing specialty coffee to Paris. Not surprisingly, an Australian named Paul Arnephy (from Melbourne, the best coffee city in the world no less) is behind Lomi, and he’s still heavily involved in everything related to coffee at Lomi.
Lomi was fairly busy when we stopped in, and there was only a single barista holding down the fort (is there a French expression that means the same thing?).
Still, the barista was friendly and welcoming, and when I asked about my coffee choices for a filter, he first asked me if I prefer light or dark, then asked what flavors I was looking for. I said fruity, so he pulled out a natural Ethiopian coffee and went to work. A few minutes later, the coffee was served!
I’ll be honest, the coffee wasn’t the best I had in Paris. Which is probably at least partially due to me ordering a filter coffee during a rush with one barista (I’m sorry, friend!). I would certainly go back, though, if that tells you anything, to try more.
Location: 3 ter Rue Marcadet, 75018 Paris, France
First of all, they had me at New Zealand (it’s both a core part of their origin story, and one of our favorite places on earth). Second of all, I had a lovely chat with the friendly barista making my coffee – a natural process Colombian coffee – who was originally from Florida, but married a French woman et voilà! He now lives in Paris.
Matamata is another coffee shop that was nearby our apartment while we were in Paris, so one sunny afternoon I left Alysha in the midst of her siesta and went on a little excursion to seek out the coffee shop that I had heard over and over again as one of the “must visit” spots in Paris.
And what do you know? Australia comes up again! One of the three co-founders, Gérald, was inspired by Australia’s coffee scene. The name comes from another of the co-founders, Leigh who is married to the third co-founder Gaël, who was born in Matamata, New Zealand. The cafe in the heart of Paris’ Montorgueil District is a slice of home in Paris.
You can get a filter coffee made in three different ways – with a Kalita Wave (my personal favorite brewing device), an Aeropress, or a Chemex (my personal least favorite brewing device), along with all the usual espresso-based suspects.
When I was there, the coffee being offered was from Fève, a small coffee roaster out of Paris. I got a natural Colombian coffee on the recommendation of the barista, and I wasn’t disappointed.
It wasn’t the best coffee I had on my trip to Paris, but it was sweet, balanced, and I was happy to sit on the street outside the cafe and sip on it, watching the world go by.
Location: 58 Rue d’Argout, 75002 Paris, France
Other Paris Coffee Shops That Are on My List
Like I mentioned above, I couldn’t possibly have made it to every single cafe in Paris, so naturally there are a few that I had to save for next time. Here they are, along with a couple of words on why I’m excited about them.
- Hexagone: Somehow, I managed to set out to write a coffee guide for Paris without trying one of the premier roasters in the city. Whoops. It’s in the 14th, so it was a little out of the way for me, but it’ll be my first stop next time!
- Café du Clown: A recommendation from the folks at Clove! Another curator, this one in the 6th Arrondissement, with coffees roasted by roasters like Friedhats and Manhattan, both from the Netherlands.
- Beans on Fire: I was too caffeinated by the time we made it to Montmartre one morning, so I ended up skipping this place. I also really like that they share their equipment with other roasters to make roasting coffee more accessible to more people.
A Map of the Best Coffee in Paris
More Paris Travel Guides
Planning a trip to Paris? Matt, who speaks French “really well for an American” (as multiple French people have told him – it’s his proudest achievement in life), loves Paris.
As you get into planning your trip, you might find some of these other detailed guides we’ve written about Paris helpful.