top of page

10 Best Specialty Coffee Shops in Paris

Here’s a peek into my favorite specialty coffee shops in Paris.

Last summer, needed desperately to decompress from a failed PhD program in Austria. My academic future was in shambles for the moment, and I was terrified that my pivot toward a career as a yoga teacher and a freelance writer would be financially unviable. Yet instead of being paralyzed by fear, I threw myself into writing a book. I forked over the investment for a month-long stay in a Parisian apartment with a view of the Eiffel Tower. What was I going to write about? I had ideas, but I really wasn’t sure. I had faith that the beauty of the city would be sufficient to magically bring my pen to a fervent pace on paper. Okay, in retrospect, a summer in Paris probably wasn’t the most logical remedy for my financial woes.

Yet after much reflection, many runs around the Seine, many nights spent gazing at the blinking lights of the Eiffel Tower, many afternoons spent over a blank page at a coffee shop, I settled on writing a book that compares yoga in 6 cities of the world. Instead of strictly interviewing yoga teachers and studio owners, I found myself straying towards the specialty coffee scene, which was beginning to feel like my second home as a writer. Maybe I’ll just interview one coffee shop owner. Maybe I’ll just explore a few more cafés. One quickly morphed into 10 interviews in addition to tasting dozens of cappuccinos around the city. Before I knew it, I found myself signing up to write an article on the Paris specialty coffee scene for Fresh Cup Magazine.

This December, my article titled “Café de spécialité: How café culture continues to shape specialty coffee in Paris” was featured in Fresh Cup’s Coffee Almanac Issue. This article spotlights insight from my many hours of interviews, observations, and educational events in Paris specialty coffee shops from the summer. From this research, these 10 shops were my favorite finds:

Laptop friendly: Yes

Located in the 18eme arrondissement, this café is quite a hike from the inner-city tourist attractions, but for the coffee alone, it is well worth the walk. The shop was frequently filled with locals working on laptops and enjoying a drink with family and friends. The shop’s vibe is modern, trendy, and spacious compared to other cafés or public spaces in Paris. I found the shop perfect for freelancing along to the calming, monotone hum of the coffee roaster in the back of the shop.

Laptop friendly: Yes

KB Cafeshop has the feel of a cozy treehouse equipped with excellent coffee. Built on the giant sloping hill in South Pigalle, the shop is just a walk away from the best-known quirky film locations in Amélie: Sacré-Cœur, the famous carousel, Café des Deux Moulins… The shop is well-lit with wide windows and always humming with a crowd of regulars. KB is typically busy, making it a cozy workspace and meeting spot for many. The feel is creative and comforting, inspiring the writing of entire books from the window-seat spaces.

Laptop friendly: Yes

Coutume Café has two locations, each with their own unique feel. My favorite was their new freelancer-friendly location situated within the Institut culturel Finlandais within the 5eme arrondissement. This shop has wide windows that allow sunlight to stream into the simple, Scandinavian-designed shop. And as a home to France’s champion barista, Caroline Noirbusson, the coffee is obviously delicious.

Laptop friendly: No

La Fontaine de Belleville has all the feel of a traditional French café. It has an always-vibrant terrace of locals, a stand-up bar for socializing, walls full of wine, a textbook-French selection of food, accompanying live jazz on the weekends, and excellent coffee to wash it all down. Belleville Brûlerie is also one of the forefront roasters in Paris, sourcing to many of the best specialty coffee shops, and thus, there is detailed attention to the craft of their product. This is the perfect place to visit to embrace a specialty shop that could only possibly be found in the heart of France.

Address: 40 Rue Chapon

Laptop friendly: Yes

Café Loustic is a French espresso bar in in the front portion of the shop, an a red-upholstered cozy nook for working in the back (when the shop isn’t too busy). The café is often filled with a mixture of locals and tourists. As most are who work in specialty coffee in Paris, the shop’s owner is always at the ready to share his passion for coffee by answering any questions his customers may have about their drink. Rather than expand outward to a second location in Paris, Loustic has just spread to a second shop in Marseille – another must-see city in France for the sea views (and potentially an up-and-coming city for specialty coffee?).

Holybelly Café

Laptop friendly: No

Holybelly takes its inspiration from Australian breakfast diners, serving fluffy pancakes, smoked bacon, and scrambled eggs alongside its specialty drip coffee and espresso. The café feels spacious, with mirrors lining the walls of booths, yet it is frequently packed with hungry locals and tourists on the weekend. Despite the volume of service, there is always careful attention to the craft of creation down to the latte art on each coffee cup.

La Caféothèque

Laptop friendly: No

Founded in 2005, La Caféothèque was the original specialty-ish coffee shop in Paris. This place is a must on any specialty coffee lover’s bucket list because visiting is a lesson in Paris’s coffee history. The café was where many of the current specialty coffee leaders got their start in Paris through working in the shop and learning from the many specialty coffee courses that its workers offer. The dimly-lit back room where I took a “Voyage to Discovery” coffee-making course is lined with country origin coffee boxes and has the feel of an ancient artist’s lab.


Address: 5 Rue Villedo

Laptop friendly: No

Telescope is rumored to be the second specialty coffee shop to hit the scene after La Caféothèque and the first to do it flawlessly, according to a few of the experts. Entering Telescope feels like stepping into a realist painting. Its coffee and its aesthetic alike are simple, chic, tiny, and palatable.

Laptop friendly: Yes

Matamata is a coffeeshop in the trendy area of Montmartre, just around the corner from CAELO Yoga, where I practiced during my summer stay. The specialty shop was inspired by the best-friendship of its owners and their common connection to New Zealand, where they discovered the true meaning of coffee. The space is quaint and trendy on the ground level, and it also has a small basement area with spillover seating and laptop space. Additionally, Matamata coffee can be found down the street at the espresso bar of a local co-working space.

Laptop friendly: Yes

Ten Belles is located near Canal Saint-Martin, only steps down the street from La Fontaine de Belleville. The two shops were founded by the same owner, who gave up Ten Belles when he decided to focus on bringing a French traditional feel to specialty coffee. Like many other specialty coffee shops in Paris, Ten Belles draws inspiration from English and Australian coffee shops. Ten Belles is cozy and artistic with a row of tight-knit tables on the ground floor and a mezzanine that overlooks the bar. Although I didn’t have a chance to visit, there is a second location called Ten Belles Bread. In addition to serving specialty coffee, this boulangerie-style location is infamous for its beautifully-crafted French breads and scrumptious pastries.


Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page