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Have Coffee in Paris Without Going Broke

Published on November 10, 2014 by Ralph and Karen

cafe
Cafe in Montmartre. Photo credit: Daniel Lobo on Flickr.

It’s a mythical image: sitting at an attractive French café, people watching from a cozy, street-facing table for one while sipping an espresso.

Usually, the waiter slips the bill under your coffee cup when it’s delivered. Take a moment to enjoy that coffee before peeking at the bill!

Here’s the secret: when you sit at a table with service, the prices are much higher. A single coffee often costs 4 or 5 euros ($5 - $7 USD) or more.

Ever notice all the locals leaning against the bar? They look that relaxed because know they will pay less. (And also, to be fair, because they're French.)

Still, there are many places in Paris where an espresso is under one euro, no matter where you sit.

To everyone's delight, the Mairie de Paris (Paris’ municipal government) has been compiling a list of the cafés with budget-friendly coffee. Then, they mark them on this always-updated map. Keep it handy when you need a caffeine jolt in Paris!

Want a Pastry to Go with That Coffee?

This one isn’t exactly a secret: Paris is hands-down the best place in the world for artisan pastries. Don’t torture yourself by skipping these treats—you’ll make up for the indulgence by wandering around Paris on foot all day!

DSC06056
Photo of pastries in Paris from Bob Hall on Flickr.

The oldest pâtisserie in Paris is Strohrer, found at 51 rue Montorgueil, 2éme. This article in France Today gives a nice overview of the patisserie, which has been in its exact location since 1730.

The award for best baguette in Paris has gone to boulangeries in the 18th arrondissement (where our apartment is located!) for the last 5 out of 7 years. In 2012, Boulangerie Mauvieux, found at 159 rue Ordener, was the winner--and they're just a short walk from Le Trésor de Montmartre. In 2013, Au Paradis du Gourmand, at 156 rue Raymond Losserand, 14 éme arrondissement, took home the prize.

Other Past Winners:

2011: Au Levain D'Antan, 6 rue des Abbesses, 75018
2010: Le Grenier à Pain, 38 rue des Abbesses, 75018
2009: Le Grenier de Félix, 64 avenue Félix Faure, 75015
2008: Au Duc de la Chapelle, 32 rue Tristan Tzara, 75018
2007: Arnaud Delmontel Boulangerie, 57 rue Damrémont, 75018

Whether you visit our local bakeries in Montmartre or go further afield, check the bottom of the baguette for dimples.

Dimples usually mean the baguettes are mass-produced [i.e. supermarket bread]. While still pretty good, the real thing comes from the local bakeries and has irregular holes inside and uneven coloration on the crust—a sign it's been hand-made.

Enjoy!

Meet The Author
Hello! We are Ralph and Karen, an Anglo-American couple who fell in love with Paris and France over 20 years ago. Work-related trips brought us here, but we kept coming back for holidays, then extended visits, and then… In 2005, we decided nothing was stopping us from buying a place of our own in Paris. Lots of research, learning, and many kilometers of sneaker-rubber later, we put our house in the United States on the market. It sold in 10 days, and we found our apartment in Montmartre two months later. After a massive, year-long renovation project and its many challenges, we hit our biggest bump yet. As it turned out, we had to stay based in the US after all. Our lovingly remodeled apartment in Paris became a place where we returned only for short visits. In 2008, we started renting to guests—travelers like we once were (we always preferred apartments over expensive, cramped hotels). And the rest, as they say, is history. Le Trésor de Montmartre has proved quite popular, to the extent that we have trouble finding a break in the booking calendar to stay there ourselves! In the midst of this, we found Nice. After several holidays in and around Nice, we thought, why not buy a pied-à-terre in the area? Despite the challenges involved in renovating from afar—which we knew very well at that point—we jumped in again in late 2010. After another renovation, another year, and hundreds more gray hairs between us, we added Le Trésor de Nice to our rental portfolio. A year so so later we picked up 3 other apartment to manage. We hope you find the properties inviting, and hope even more that you will come see them for yourselves! Please get in touch with questions, or to book your stay at one of our apartments. We’d be happy to share our insider knowledge of these places we love so much.
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