The Best French Cafés in Paris

Where to Experience True Parisian Café Life
What better way to immerse yourself in Parisian culture than by frequenting the city’s innumerable cafés? So you know which French café in Paris to try first, we’re sharing our local favorites, including the best café terraces for people watching in Saint Germain, where to indulge in a café gourmand in Le Marais, and the top spots for a laid-back afterwork drink with friends. We recommend sitting down and settling in on the terrace of one of these wonderful Parisian cafés.
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What to Know Before You Go to a French Café in Paris

To help you have the best possible Parisian experience, here’s everything you need to know about Paris café culture to live your best café life.

How many cafés are there in Paris?

There are more than 1400 cafés in Paris, according to the Paris Chamber of Commerce. Pas mal, n’est-ce pas?

How much does a coffee cost in Paris?

The average price of a cup of coffee in Paris is 3.20€, or approximately $3.70. Prices vary drastically though, with many cafés offering an espresso for under 2€ while a coffee at a more famous café in Paris can cost upwards of 6€.

How do you order coffee in Paris?

For an espresso, ask for un café, s’il vous plaît and for an English or American-style coffee, order un américain, un americano, or un filtré.  For more options, see our full guide on how to order coffee in Paris.

Do you have to wait to be seated at a Parisian café?

Generally you can seat yourself if there’s an empty table on the terrace, but do try to make eye contact with the server before sitting down if possible. Choose a table with the appropriate number of seats—if you’re alone or a couple, stick to a two-top—and know that you probably won’t be allowed to only order a drink during the lunchtime rush.

Do you have to leave a tip at a Paris café?

No, tips are not expected at cafés or restaurants in France. If your server was extra friendly, feel free to leave a little something (0.50–2€) — it won’t be considered rude, on the contrary, it will be appreciated.

Which Parisian café did the famous writers go to?

Les Deux Magots is probably the Paris café most closely associated with writers, the usuals including Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Albert Camus, James Joyce, James Baldwin, and Julia Child. Authors also frequented La Closerie des Lilas, Le Café de Flore, and Le Café de la Paix.

Want to know where else we locals go?
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Thirsty for something else?

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Cocktail Bars

The Best Cocktail Bars in Paris

If you’re searching for the most delicious mixed drinks in Paris, be warned; the competition is steep. We know, we’ve done the taste testing! Whether you want a loud and lively spot, an elegant hotel bar, a secretive speakeasy, or if it’s the mixology that matters most to you, we think these are the best cocktail bars in Paris.
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Wine Bars

The Best Wine Bars in Paris

Visiting France without having a glass of wine is almost like visiting Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower, don’t you think? Make sure you get a full-bodied French experience by enjoying a glass (or two) of vin blanc, rosé, or rouge at one of the best wine bars in Paris. Here are our top picks. Santé!
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Coffee Shops

The Best Coffee Shops in Paris

Need a quick pick-me-up during a long day of sightseeing in the City of Light? Or maybe you just want to enjoy some lovely and delicious latte art while you get some work done? Here are the best coffee shops in Paris according to locals, whether it’s to grab a cup of joe to go or to sit and stay a while.
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