By: Yasmine El Tabib
The thought of Parisian cafes conjure images of quaint little spots that line the streets, with chalkboard menus and abundant baked goods. With images may come more sensory experiences—a feeling of nostalgia (even if it’s for a place you’ve never been), the smell of fresh bread and flaky, buttery crust, the breeze of air that passes by as the hot afternoon gives way to a cool evening. Whatever idea your imagination has invoked has pieces set in reality to be found at actual cafes in Paris. Below, we’ve listed four of the best cafes in Paris, for every occasion.
For an enchanting evening
A chic little jazz lounge inside the Hotel d’Aubusson, this cafe has been attracting Parisians and foreigners alike since the late 17th century. Inside subdued colors encapsulate an open fire place, comfy upholstered chairs and a grand piano to create an inviting atmosphere to relax, sip a drink, and take in the melody. The enclosed outdoor patio is equally dashing, if not enchanting. Lights twinkle among a fountain, trailing vines, and arrangements of orchids. A place where Rousseau, Voltaire and Fontenelle frequented, this Parisian establishment is a staple to the city.
For a pre fixe lunch and dessert
Exactly what you’d imagine a posh little French bistro to look like: hidden away in a cobblestone alley accessible only by pedestrians. In the stylish St. Germain neighborhood, this is a prime spot to enjoy an afternoon accompanied by on-point French cuisine (think succulent meats, tender vegetables, fresh salads and strong cheese). You will want to stay a little while with a bottle of wine and their popular chocolate desserts, watching people pass by as the the day melts away.
The quintessential French bakery
You’re likely in search of the perfect baguette and croissant while you’re in Paris, so Du Pain et des Idées should be among your list of bakeries to visit. The dedicated owner and baker, Christophe Vasseur, has worked to retain the charm of its location and create a world that harps back to the turn of the 20th century; every detail from the beveled mirrors to the furniture is attended to. Without compromise, Christophe continues the tradition of bread making—hand selecting only the best, environmentally friendly raw materials from the market. Come to enjoy a simple loaf of bread, but stay to explore the flavorful croissants, their buttery crust complemented with ingredients like pistachio, praline, nougat and raisins.
For the perfect coffee
Tasty treats and tantalizing drinks await at this tucked away cafe. Buzzing with lively conversation from people of all walks of life, this is a great location to take a wonderful cup of coffee and drink in your surroundings. Peruse the bookstore nearby and head to the park in the Square des Deux Nethes across the way to continue a dreamy Paris afternoon.