Coffee in Paris: What’s Open in August

22 July 2016
Boot Cafe Paris

We’ve reached that time of year again. Parisians have packed their bags to the brim and begun their annual exodus out of the city for summer holiday. That also includes restaurant and coffee shop owners who will be taking a breather. My friend Wendy has a solid list of restaurants staying open this summer so I thought I would tackle the specialty coffee shops I enjoy and that you may want to visit in July/August. And if you’re not coming to Paris and are wondering why on earth this would be relevant to you, look at it as a sign of positive change: more and more establishments are staggering their closures so that we aren’t stranded without good coffee and community! Other relevant spots to be added as information is available. — Amami – closed August 8-31st Boot Café – staying open Café Craft – closed August 12-26th Cafe Lomi – closed August 1-21st Café Oberkampf – closed August 15-31st Coutume Café  – closed August 22-31st on rue de Babylone; August 8-22nd at the Coutume Instituutti Cream – closed August 1-15th Fondation Café – staying open (reduced hours) Fragments– Staying open Fringe – closed until end of August Hardware Société – staying open (normal […]…

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The New Parisian Cafe: La Fontaine de Belleville

1 June 2016
La Fontaine de Belleville

Before the weather took a nosedive (The Local reported that it has been the rainiest month of May since 1873), I was celebrating the opening of the ultimate Parisian neighborhood café by engaging in the consummate Parisian pastime, apéro hour. La Fontaine de Belleville, the first café extension from the roasters behind Belleville Brûlerie, is the quintessential corner hangout, adapted to today’s tastes. By which I mean that it blends quality coffee, quality craft beer, wine and spirits and simply delicious snacks like pain perdu and yogurt for breakfast, croque monsieur for lunch, and top-shelf cheese and charcuterie for evening nibbles, in a space that successfully looks both to the past and to the future with glorious effect. It’s a warm environment with spacious terrace seating, enjoyable music, and a rollicking vibe that sends the message that Parisians will never, under any circumstance, relinquish their bon vivant tendencies. But most importantly, it sees the gap between the specialty coffee world and the Parisian café idiom close just enough so that devotees of both can feel satisfied. Operating as a café since 1915, the café had a firm identity and a loyal set of regulars. The Belleville trio David Flynn, Thomas Lehoux and Jeff Marois didn’t want to radically alter its visual […]…

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How to Find Good Coffee in Paris

6 March 2015

Last year I shared with you WHERE you can find specialty coffee in Paris (a post that is regularly updated). Now, I want to share HOW to find the best in a market that is rapidly maturing. The below is the unedited version of a coffee story I wrote for the NYT T Magazine this week, with loads of additional thoughts from the coffee movement’s experts.  *** The coffee tune in Paris has changed. In the last two years, coffee has evolved from much-maligned to much-adored by a burgeoning set of specialty coffee aficionados, celebrated as much for the newfound awareness the third wave movement inspired as for the talents pioneering it. With new openings every few months, the market is rapidly maturing. But with greater choice comes a greater challenge for the coffee lover. Given the growing democratization of artisanal coffee, particularly in Paris, almost anyone with business acumen and an ability to ape the coffee shop pre-requisites – colorful Inker ceramic mugs, La Marzocco machinery, minimalist, distressed wood interiors, artisanal cakes and tattooed baristas – can presumably open and run a shop. With those characteristics firmly in place, the assumption among many is that the product must be quality. Lest […]…

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Eating, Drinking & Seeing: 5 Favorites in November

10 December 2014

November always feels like a test of patience. Thanksgiving steals the spotlight every year and the days leading up to this big feast feel like filler, distraction from the turkey countdown. This time, however, the days were swift and sweet. Here are the highlights in the run up to the big, indulgent holiday: Hosting Fathom’s First Paris InstaMeet  Fathom is one of my favorite collaborative travel websites (I’ve previously contributed Paris content here and here) so naturally I was honored when they reached out to me with the proposal to co-host their first Paris Instameet with Rome-based writer Erica Firpo– essentially a get together among active Instagrammers in the city. Get the lowdown on the Paris Instameet HERE and see Fathom’s gallery of photo highlights HERE. Warming up with cortados at Cream  Two former Ten Belles baristas ventured out on their own to open CREAM this month, a new coffee bar in the Belleville neighborhood that serves excellent pour-overs, sandwiches and a short but sharp selection of cakes. Given their location and history working under the tutelage of Ten Belles lead Thomas Lehoux, it’s of little surprise that Joe and Maxime roast Belleville Brûlerie beans exclusively. CREAM 50 rue de Belleville […]…

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Eating, Drinking Seeing: 5 Paris Favorites in January

9 February 2014

Despite my sincerest efforts, curbing holiday indulgence and overeating was a lost cause from the very first bite of Galette des Rois (more about that below) in January. And since I had already done myself in within the first week of the new year, I decided to embrace it and allow myself to succumb to the many temptations luring me from every window and corner shop. Then I thought, perhaps looking back on each month’s activities and feasts could become a new series? A round-up of some of my favorites from each month that will include more than just food and drink (lest you think I spend all my time eating). So with that, the first Top 5: 1// Coffee and Lamingtons at Fondation Café Chris Nielson’s northern Marais espresso bar has become a second home, of sorts. I oscillate between his filtered coffee – soft with a punch (a very simplistic way of describing the experience) – and his café crème and always save room for a bowl of granola. Rarely do I walk out without one of the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies he stocks, baked by local food purveyors Emperor Norton, but this month I took home something far […]…

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