Have Coffee in Paris Without Going Broke
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!
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.