Café Hopping in Paris
So there is this concept that people tend to do in their 20’s, called bar hopping. It happens at night, silliness and debauchery is involved and beverages are drunk.
I am in my 30’s so my bar hopping days are long gone, but I do enjoy a good bout of café hopping! Coffee was in the late 18th century considered a drug (it was consumed at EXTREMELY high concentrations so people would get practically high off it and start (French) revolutions. So if I were an 18th century Parisian I could be considered to wild and crazy, but now coffee is one of the most civilized drinks, caffeine a blasé drug and it is taken as an afternoon treat when one is trying to relax. Robespierre may well have fallen over in his seat if he had been aware of such an outcome of this substance. But there you have it.
Café Coutume has been blogged about by many an expat. It has that fun retro industrial loft type of feel, and they look serious about their coffee. Service is relaxed and bilingual. I was told they have wifi but it doesn’t work very well. I enjoyed the light that came in through the large from window which allowed for most of the place to be lit during the day by natural light. The rest of the lighting was done by naked bulbs to add to that industrial atelier look. For a coffee and a tea it was about 8 euros. (Gotta pay for the zip code! Or is that the going price for coffee these days). Verdict : Great for afternoons that are rainy, you’re bored and you want to spend time lounging reading a book with a hot beverage, that can spill over into a late lunch if you get hungry. Or grab it to go on a sunny day and head to the park to read. Oh, and they have chocolate.
47 rue de Babylonne 75007
M° : Saint François-Xavier (line 13)
After that we navigated the bus system to Téléscope, and at first didn’t notice it on the street, almost opened the door of the nearby restaurant, and then realized it was the non-descript commerce to the left. No frills. Just good things to eat and drink. Home made style. There is a beautiful mason stone basement that has not yet been exploited but could make for a nice second room of tables as their 4 or 5 tables lining the wall are not enough to accommodate the constant flow of people who frequent this place. The guys behind the counter (the owers I assume) are friendly and très BoBo, but the seemingly unpretentious kind. Tea (amazing tea) and a slice of banana bread was around 8 euros. So it seems that this is the going price for a snack in a trendy café these days. Thank goodness at least the coffee culture is now catching up with café culture in Paris, so that along with vibrant cafés we also now can enjoy excellent barista style coffee drinks. Verdict : Great for a quick snack and chat with a friend. It’s central so easy to get to from most points in the city. Not a place to lounge at for hours though.
5 rue Villedo 75001
M° : Pyramides (line 14)
Sadly neither of these cafés offered non-dairy options for my coffee beverage desires so I stuck to tea. One of the reasons why I am so often grabbing a Starbucks coffee is because, even with all this coffee culture reaching out to the café culture in Paris, there is still a void when it comes to all things dairy-free or vegan. Only select few places venture down that road. I could always get an espresso machine at home and froth my own almond milk, but that eliminates the charming café part of it all. If anyone has a tip on where I could hop to on my next café hopping adventure, to find a dairy free cappuccino, I would be very grateful!