When your Paris notes become a four page, 2000+ word saga, you realise you need to split it across two posts. And we're starting with coffee, eats + treats. Because, PRIORITIES, ok?
We ate very very well in Paris. Nourishing ourselves with home-cooked goodness for most meals (exhibit A, exhibit B) and doing plenty (read: a shit tonne) of walking, leaves plenty of room in our bellies and our budgets.
A word here, on our preferences, and how they shape the list you see below. We ate out twice the entire time we were in Paris. Once for breakfast at Season (see below) to celebrate six years of being rad human beings together, and the second at the cafe in the Musee d'Orsay when I needed a glass of wine, and Adam needed a bowl of ice-cream. This might shock/confuse/amaze some people, but MEH, we know what we like. What we like is good coffee (often more than once a day), meals we make ourselves, and tasty treats that are high-quality and memorable. So in the list below you'll find plenty of coffee spots, treats and sweet spots, but not a lot of restaurants or 'dining' spots, because it's not how we roll. In Part 2 of the guide (coming very soon) I give some of the websites that were most useful to us during out stay, and I can assure that they have many, MANY delicious dining recommendations.
Part 2 covers things to see + do in Paris, if you can tear your eyes away from a delicious eclair long enough to gaze at some art. For now, onto the caffeine and sugar! X
Generally, in Paris coffee that isn’t burnt or over-extracted is going to set you back at least €3,50. Which in our opinion, is definitely worth it, so don’t waste your money or be tempted by brew that is less than excellent.
KB CafeShop: The first place we had coffee in Paris, and it lived up to our expectations (the owner spent a lot of time in Australia, and based the cafe from his experience there). Order inside and sit outside to soak up the street, which has a peek of Sacre-Coeur up the hill.
Fragments: Tucked away in Le Marais, this cafe has some serious vibes. The exposed beams in the ceiling are gorgeous and the coffee is fantastic.
Télescope Cafe: Great atmosphere and our kind of decor (minimal, good colours and clean lines). Order a crème (which is somewhere between a flat white and a latte) or an espresso. Makes for a great spot if you’re on your way to or from the Louvre.
Coutume: Recommended to us before we arrived, Coutume is superb. Delicious coffee, great energy and atmosphere, very friendly staff. We didn’t eat there, but the food coming out of the kitchen looked incredible. We tried two of their locations, rue de babylone and rue des écoles, both were fantastic.
Le Rocketship: Super cute shop/cafe that sells light fittings, homewares and makes a mean espresso using Coutume beans. If you’re looking for a Paris-themed present that isn’t tacky/horrible/not actually from Paris, Le Rocketship had a lovely selection of goodies.
Holy Belly: Phenomenal coffee, friendly and warm staff. Generally busy, so you might have to wait a few minutes for a table, but the staff are incredibly efficient. The menu is full of simple classics, carefully and deliciously made.
10 Belles: Super cute cafe with and upstairs seating area. Grab a cortado or a big mug of their delicious filter coffee. Their selection of cakes and pastries looked tasty, as did their light lunch menu.
Baguett’s Cafe: So so cute. In the first arrondissement, not too far from the Louvre. The guy here was super sweet: when he couldn’t break our 50€ note (something quite common for smaller shops and cafes, beware and try to carry smaller currency with you), Adam had to go for a walk to find somewhere that could first, and he remade Adam’s coffee and treated us a pain au chocolat. The coffee was delicious (and slightly cheaper than some of Paris’s more well-known cafes).
EATS & SWEETS
You can’t walk one block in Paris without coming across a café, bistro or restaurant. The options are many. Our favourite way to eat when travelling is to make most of our meals at home, and save eating out to well-researched coffees and treats that we know aren’t going to disappoint. It might sound pedantic or lacking in spontaneity, but we save a butt-load of money and are guaranteed that when we do eat out, it’s gonna be good.
Maison Landemaine: 100 metres from our door, this was a fantastic boulangerie. Adam got a baguette de tradition nearly every morning, and said it’s the best bread he’s ever tasted. Their macarons are also half the price of Pierre Hermé, and if I’m being honest the texture was much more to my taste. The flavours are traditional and delicious: especially the raspberry macaron that tastes like the perfect raspberry jam.
Berthillon: Holy shitballs this ice cream was out of this world. Seriously. Lots and lots of dairy free options, and nearly all of their flavours are gluten free. Many cafés in Paris sell Berthillon, but I’d recommend heading to their shopfront on Île St Louis, which is perfectly adorable in it’s own right. Don’t miss the framboise et rose (raspberries and rose), cacao extrabitter (dark chocolate sorbet), or pistache (pistachio).
Noglu: Everything (EVERYTHING) is gluten free, and a good portion are also lactose free. At the bakery (take-away only) that includes the also dairy-free carrot cake, the beautiful tarts, and the brioche. Go, eat, be happy. The restaurant just across the passage has a menu that changes daily.
Helmut Newcake: another gluten free patisserie (patissierie sans gluten) that blew our minds. You wouldn’t know that the cakes, tarts, and pastries are made without gluten, and their baguette made me very very happy. They also have a smaller selection that is also lactose-free. They have an take-away only branch in the 9éme and a sit-in restaurant in the 10éme.
Pierre Hermé: Macarons in a variety of wonderful flavours. Our favourite was jasmine, but the salted butter caramel was also delish, as was their best-selling Mogador, which is passionfruit and dark chocolate.
Marché biologique des Batignolles: We were spoilt every Saturday with this organic market 10 mins walk from our front door. Amazing fresh produce, cheeses, bread, dried fruits and nuts.
Chambelland: A gluten free bakery and patissier that also mills its own flours. My brownie was phenomenal and Adam’s Tarte des Sous Bois (which looked like it had all of the raspberries in Paris) was flaky and superb. Their breads looked grainy, wholesome and tasty, and their dining area was (by Parisian standards) spacious. We didn’t try the coffee, so I can’t recommend it, but the vibes here were A+.
Season Paris: The interior here is divine, and it has a menu that will satisfy both the health-conscious (acai bowls and almond butter toast) and the indulgers (bagels, pancakes) alike. We had breakfast there around 9.30 on a weekday morning and had the place to ourselves.