Like the Edgar Degas painting also known as “L’absinthe”, dans un café is most likely where you’ll find me in my free time. Many Parisians take their morning espresso in the tabac closest to their flat or place of work. It’s a simple and cheap way to throw back the liquid energy necessary to start & finish the long day. It truly seems like days are longer in Paris. You wake up early, run around town, work, go about your business, eat a late dinner (8-9 PM) and by the time you’re in bed you realize you don’t have much time to sleep. And so the record spins on.
None of the posts you’ll find in my growing blog will be a conclusive list unless stated otherwise (I plan to do some short, go-to eateries etc. lists for travelers with only a few days to spare, in the future). That being said, these are not necessarily my favorite places, but I do frequent them quite often and highly recommend you do the same when coming to Paris.
Above you have the cortado, equal parts espresso and warmed milk, it’s not as foamy as an American latte but baristas often finish it with steamed milk for latte art like shown above at Coutume, in the 7th arrondissement. The café is a coffee roaster as well as a storefront, so many coffee shops in the city use their beans. They’ve recently banned the use of laptops in the store which means you’ll have to write using real writing utensils or have a conversation while sipping some good brew. If you really need the internet though, you can still use the complimentary wi-fi on your phone.
Fragments, is tucked away off of the main roads, not far from Bastille and Place des Vosges. It’s not a place you bring your entire friend group, as the seating is limited and cozy. What makes Fragments so great is what they offer on a plate. Their brunch, pastries & dessert items, like handmade fruit tarts and pies, are beautiful. My favorite aspect is that while all the dishes are done rustically, everything has perfect detailing and made with skill unlike many country-style places that just haphazardly put plates together. Follow their Instagram account so you know what specials they’re serving up each day. Straight up though, they don’t have wi-fi.
Like the good Italian woman that I am, I stand by the rule that you don’t order a cappuccino after noon. Therefore, when it’s early in the morning on a nice sunny day and you’ve got a book to read, take up a spot at Café Kitsuné in the Jardin du Palais Royal. While it serves up great coffee, ice cream and has a whole concept that includes clothing and music, my favorite part of the café is their matcha latte (iced preferably).
As far as coffee customs, you can still put sugar in your coffee and maybe a little milk if you feel so inclined. If you want milk in your coffee at a coffee shop, however, you have to order it that way. They don’t just leave it out like many American coffee shops. You also won’t see half & half. It’s not going to happen.
It’s also perfectly normal to have coffee right after the dessert course at dinner. Not every night; just when the conversation is flowing and no one wants to go to sleep yet. While Americans in Paris might find it odd to drink coffee at 9 PM, don’t worry, you’re not in America.
xo Mademoiselle Goe