There are a number of clichés about Parisians and their cafés, whether it be the parisienne sitting on the terrace with her espresso and a cigarette or the monsieur taking his coffee at the bar, morning newspaper in hand. The café scene is, however, changing and you can find many new types of cafés in the capital. Though the days of the local Parisian café are far from over, there are a growing number of alternatives. After all, the atmosphere of a café is almost as important as the quality of their coffee (otherwise why not have a coffee at home?). And while there are many charming “classic” cafés to visit in Paris, here we propose 5 concept cafés in the city.
What’s so “anti” about this café you might ask? Well, instead of paying for your coffee, you pay for time. You pay by the hour (4 euros/hour up to 16 euros/day) and are provided with unlimited snacks and hot and cold beverages. A great locale for working or studying, the AntiCafé now has 3 locations in Paris, so take your pick.
Just as its name suggests, the Café des Chats is where cat lovers can go to enjoy a cup of coffee in the presence of feline company. Part cat sanctuary part café-resto, the Café des Chats is a unique concept in Paris but part of a global phenomenon (see cat cafes in London, Japan, Canada and elsewhere). All cats, including kittens, are adopted from local animal protection societies and get lots of love from staff and clients alike. Visit them in the Marais or at their new Bastille location.
Concept café-resto-boutique… Come for a café, a salad and maybe a hip new pair of sneakers? The Broken Arm, located in the Haut Marais district, offers a daily menu of homemade creations in addition to coffees, juices and other sweets.
A hybrid between café and community centre, Le Petit Café du Monde Entier regularly offers workshops (some in English), yoga classes and other family-centric activities. The café serves organic coffee and brunch on the weekends, in a completely kid-friendly atmosphere. Everyone is welcome; the space is designed to welcome children and adults alike.
More than just a café, La Recyclerie hosts many events and workshops based around the principles of the 3 Rs (Reduce – Reuse – Recycle) and DIY. The building is a former train station on the defunct Petite Ceinture railway which closed in the mid 1930s. The café-cantine prepares homemade vegetarian and vegan options daily and weekend brunch. Filtered coffee is a steal at 1€ plus gluten-free and vegan baked goods that are made onsite.
Jaimie is an adopted Parisienne hailing from Vancouver, Canada. After completing a study abroad program in Bordeaux she returned to France, this time making Paris her base, to launch her career. She currently works for Context Travel as activity coordinator for their France team. A network of scholars and specialists, Context Travel organises small, group walking tours in the world’s cultural capitals for intellectually curious travelers.
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