UPDATE: We regularly add new places to this article, so check back to see the latest spots!
Historically, France hasn’t had the best reputation for coffee. While their produce and wine have been celebrated throughout the world, when it comes to making a good cup of joe they’ve been lagging behind the likes of Italy and Australia for years. Fortunately for caffeine fans in Paris, the last few years have seen home-grown talents such as the Belleville Brulerie spring up as well as a wave of coffee shops serving all sorts of cold-brew-drip-slow-fast-espresso-filter or whatever it is people are into these days. For laptop-wielding freelancers in the city who were previously languishing in libraries, at home or on bistro terraces, these modern cafés have been a godsend.
Here we take a look at our favourite, freelance-friendly cafés, where you’ll find a sea of MacBooks, like-minded sorts and the odd prick pretending to be Hemingway while tapping out GuyInYourMFA-style tweets. Think we’ve missed somewhere? Let us know in the comments!
We’re slightly biased when it comes to our love for KB, as this Franco-Australian coffeeshop is so close to the office it’s pretty much become a second home. Situated at the top of the endlessly tasty Rue de Martyrs, this cosy café serves coffee, fresh juices and teas as well as delicious homemade cakes and a popular brunch on the weekend. It’s usually packed with freelancers, so getting a seat can sometimes be a little tricky, although they switch off the WIFI on the weekends to make space for the actually-there-to-eat crowd. The large terrace is also unbeatable for people watching on a sunny day.
One of the many coffeeshops in the Canal St Martin area, Blackburn has a Brooklyn-cool vibe with white tiled walls and stacks of trendy magazines for your perusal. The staff are friendly, the WIFi is fast and we’ve never had trouble finding a table. Food-wise they serve a range of savoury dishes and some delicious homemade cakes, as well as coffee from Lomi.
Little Loustic will always occupy a special place in our hearts as the coffeeshop we discovered on our first official day in Paris, and also where we made our first Parisian friends after being pushed onto their table by a rather assertive waitress. While we can’t guarantee that you’ll always serendipitously make pals here, the cosy corner at the back of the cafe with squishy seats and big tables is the perfect place to while away a few hours with a laptop or a book.
Update: Sadly now closed!
From the same people as Coutume Café (who do NOT welcome laptops, FYI) , this coffeeshop is located inside the Finnish Institute not far from Saint-Michel. As you’d expect the decor is pure Scandi cool, and while they don’t serve Finnish specialities (we’re considering starting a petition supporting the addition of Karelian pies to the menu), they do have salads, sandwiches, cakes, fresh juices and lots of Coutume Café coffee. The big, light room is filled with long tables, but as a popular spot with students from the Sorbonne it can sometimes be hard to get a seat. They do have strong WIFI though.
Address: 60 Rue des Écoles, 75005 Paris
Up at the edge of the 18th arrondissement, not far from the peripherique, Cafe Lomi seems slightly out of place among the budget supermarkets and run-down restaurants. This doesn’t stop the freelancers though, who come to this industrial-style cafe in droves for their own-brand Cafe Lomi beans coffee, JING tea and tasty snacks such as cakes, scones and tartines. The WIFI can be a little dodgy (as we write this it’s currently on the blink for no apparent reason) but the atmosphere is great. Plus, while you’re in the neighbourhood, the epic Asian supermarkets near Marx Doromy are just a short walk away so you can pick up frozen gyoza on the way home.
Address: 3 ter Rue Marcadet, 75018 Paris
A wave of pay-per-hour cafes are springing up across Paris, and this two-story space on Rue Cléry is our favourite so far. If you like the idea of unlimited snacks while you work, Le 10H10 charges an hourly fee of 4.5€ or a daily fee of 20€ which allows you free reign in the apartment-style kitchen. This usually means tea, coffee, brioche, spreads (including nutella), and sweets, as well as yogurts and more on occasion. The sixties-style interior is comfortable and welcoming, while the variety of table sizes make it ideal for co-working or holding an informal meeting.
Address: 19 Rue de Cléry, 75002 Paris
The best of the rest…
Possibly the best known pay-per-hour cafe, Anticafe has four branches in Paris and offers fast WIFI, snacks and drinks for 5€ per hour, or 24€ for a whole day.
Address: 10 Rue de Richelieu, 75001 Paris
There’s no WIFI at this super trendy spot near the canal, but on the other hand they do have painfully attractive staff. Whether this is too much of a distraction is up to you.
Address: 10 Rue de la Grange aux Belles, 75010 Paris
It’s a cat cafe with good WIFI, so if you like to spend your working hours with a sleeping feline on your lap then this is the place for you. Only smells mildly of cats.
Address: 16 Rue Michel le Comte, 75003 Paris
Another dedicated no-WIFI zone, this cafe makes up for it with excellent coffee, comfortable armchairs and plenty of space. The thick hot chocolate is also worth a try when it’s cold outside.
Address: 52 Rue de l’Hôtel de Ville, 75004 Paris
The big table downstairs is great if you want to get some work done in a desk-like setting. Good WIFI, top-quality coffee and an Australian cafe-culture vibe.
Address: 58 Rue d’Argout, 75002 Paris
A tiny spot in Belleville serving speciality coffee and tasty sandwiches. Theres limited space (no cat swinging here), but it’s a relaxed and friendly cafe to while away a few hours.
Address: 50 Rue de Belleville, 75020 Paris
Dose competes with Coutume to be the best freelance-friendly spot on the Left Bank, both rare finds in area where you’re usually more likely to find Sorbonne students or fur-clad pensioners than trendy espresso vendors.
Address: 73 Rue Mouffetard, 75005 Paris
It’s a co-working cafe, but not as you know it – there’s a 4e per hour fee, but rather than give you free reign on a paltry snack bar, Craft let you put it towards food and drink. Grab a latte and a slice of homemade quiche, and you’ve bought yourself an afternoon.
Address: 24 Rue des Vinaigriers, 75010 Paris
Like what you see? Find all these spots and more on our Paris Map!