Paris is known as the City of Lights, but it could just as easily be called the City of Cafes. From traditional bistros to trendy coffee shops, there's no shortage of places to grab a cup of coffee or a croissant in the French capital. But with so many choices, it can be hard to know where to start. That's why we've put together a list of the best cafes in Paris to help you plan your next coffee break or lunch outing.
Best Cafe in Paris
Paris is known for its cafe culture, and there are few cities in the world that rival the French capital for quaint cafes, coffee culture and the art of spending time. These are the 10 best cafes to visit in Paris in 2023, starting with my favourite, Cafe de Flore.
1. Café de Flores
Located in the heart of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood, this historic cafe has been a gathering place for artists, scholars and locals for over a century. Café de Flore first opened in 1887 as a low-key café serving coffee and pastries. Over the years, it has become a beloved institution, attracting many writers, artists and thinkers, including Ernest Hemingway, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Pablo Picasso.
Today, the café remains a popular haunt for tourists and locals alike, offering a fusion of classic French dishes and modern cafe fare. The menu includes traditional French dishes such as escargots and steak frites, as well as salads, sandwiches and pastries.
Read more: 50 Things You Must Do in Paris
2. Two Magots
Another cafe with a tale of the past, Les Deux Magots has been frequented by the likes of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Les Deux Magots is also the birthplace of a literary and philosophical movement called Existentialism, which emerged in the 1940s and 1950s, which many consider the pinnacle of Parisian culture. Today, it's just as popular with tourists visiting the city hoping to see a celebrity or mingle with who's at Paris fashion week.
3. Angelina Paris
For as long as I can remember, I have been in love with Angelina Paris. While there are several locations across Paris nowadays, my favorite remains the original teahouse across from the Tuilleries gardens. Be sure to try the famous hot chocolate, which is made with rich, melted chocolate and served with whipped cream on the side. This hot chocolate is so popular that it has become a signature item at this cafe and has even been served to famous figures such as Coco Chanel and Marcel Proust.
Read more: Guide to Visiting Angelina Paris
4. Pink House
Known most famously as the “pink cafe” on instagram, La Maison Rose has now become a staple choice for travelers visiting Paris in search of that old world Parisian charm. And while rose-colored glasses might cloud your judgment a bit, we think it's the best way to see and experience Paris – in all its glory! While here be sure to spend some time meandering through Montmartre, a celebrated artist's arrondissement that still retains much of its charm, even today.
This historic cafe located in Saint-Germain-des-Prés is fit for the books – literally. Over the years, it has been frequented by famous figures such as Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso and Jean-Paul Sartre. And today, it's still one of the most frequented cafes in the neighborhood. The charming outdoor seating is a great opportunity to people watch, no matter what day of the week you visit.
6. Kitsune Cafe
This trendy cafe in the Palais Royal combines Japanese and French influences to create a uniquely French but also minimally Japanese atmosphere. With great coffee and aesthetically memorable cups of coffee acclaimed worldwide, you can't go wrong by stopping by one of the many locations in Paris to brew your morning.
7. Marly's Cafe
Beautifully located in the Louvre museum, Café Marly offers stunning views of the iconic Pyramids and a menu of French classics. Think French onion soup, classic croissants and typical French service. It's an essential Parisian experience to have breakfast here at least once, though note that you'll be paying for the view and location.
This cafe is known for its wide selection of coffee beans from around the world and its comfortable atmosphere. Located in Le Marais, the best day of the week to visit is on the weekends, especially on Sundays when Le Marais really comes to life. Be sure to check out the nearby Place des Vosges if you're visiting in the warmer months for the perfect excuse to relax and people watch as Paris rolls past you.
9. Cafe des Deux Moulins
Even though we are nearing the end of our shared list of the best cafes in Paris, that doesn't mean these cafes have gotten any less grand! In fact, this cafe is one of the most famous in all of Paris – thanks to its feature in the popular film “Amélie”. This is a charming and cozy place with vintage decor and outdoor seating, located in the popular Montmartre.
There is no denying my love for Carette. Since discovering this cafe a decade ago on one of my visits to Paris, I have definitely returned every visit since. With two locations in Paris, you can't go wrong. My favorite location is in Le Marais, when passing by on my way to the local museum or simply strolling the neighborhood. They make great takeaway coffee and have some of my favorite pain au chocolat in all of Paris.