Through the train station and under the woods to Little Havana we go. The festively lit gravel side entrance to Café A lends itself to a gritty summer atmosphere reminiscent of a Cuban holiday. Drink a mojito under its beautiful rainbow bulbs, awnings, and trees, and pretend you are in the tropics no matter the time of year. The beautifully maintained minimalist space is made cozier by grand wood tables, flowers and good light. With an accompanying art gallery upstairs and periodic exhibitions in the courtyard, Café A can be celebrated for its cappuccinos, brunch, and weekend parties.
148 Rue Faubourg Saint Martin, 75010 Paris, France, +33 09 81 29 83 38
FAB (French American Bakery)
FAB is the answer to how to end any meal on Strasbourg Saint Denis. Locals head here for lime cheesecake, carrot cake, or milk chocolate pistachio cookies. Neighborhood die hards (the business lunch crowd) drift in from The Dailey Syrien, 52, or PNYB right next door. FAB also offers its own beautiful set menu of quiche, salad, coffee and dessert for a a very reasonable price. Everything here is prepared from responsibly sourced ingredients and done simply and beautifully. FAB’s owner, Vincent, is often working the bar, combining friendly with New York cool, a feat to pull off even for the most cosmopolitan.
48 Rue Strasbourg Saint Denis, 75010 Paris, France + 33 09 86 28 91 60
Ten Belles (Beans from Belleville Brulerie)
Ten Belles know how to make the perfect cup of coffee. Take the noisette, for example: strong espresso paired with a bit of cream in a shot glass you wish would never empty. On the weekends they have sausage rolls: pastry dough stuffed with pork and served with chili jam. During the week however you will have to settle for breakfast scones and berry jam, muffins, sesame bread, cookies, yogurt and the best granola of your life. If you invest in a Ten Belles thermos you can indulge in half price filtered coffee for life. All baked goods are faits maison (made in-house). Don’t go if you are in a hurry, Ten Belles’ one barista is always busy, although there is seating both upstairs and downstairs.
10 Rue de la Grange aux Belles, 75010 Paris, France +33 01 42 40 90 78
Craft has the best flat white on this side of the canal. It definitely has a working vibe: the coffee is high brow, the crowd is concentrated and quiet. The counter, leather couch, and long table offer you the space to scatter your publications, or theirs. Or step outside and sit between street art and sky on the Rue des Vinaigriers just before it meets the canal. This coffee shop is a cozy co-working space, just like having a bureau in your kitchen.
24 Rue des Vinaigriers, 75010 Paris, France +33 01 40 35 90 77
The stunning esplanade spread before La Rotonde is enough to keep the quiet coffee drinker occupied through lunch, where steak tartar and frites will satisfy until tea. Dinner will blend so seamlessly into apero, you’ll have no choice but to stay on for drinks, until it is 2 am and you’re taking a cab home with four new best friends. The vast setting can be used to stage any number of play days. You can start with coffee in the restaurant, inside or outside on the terrasse, at 9am, or on the weekend with a buxom brunch of cheese, charcuterie, eggs, and sweet somethings starting at noon.
6-8 Place de la Bataille Stalingrad, 75010 Paris, France +33 01 80 48 33 40
With a custom coffee blend from Coutume, the espresso is a kaleidoscope of fruit loops in the mouth. The menu is rockstar, post rehab, and healthy; think sallé muffins, very green salads, grain salads covered in mâche, fresh juice, beautiful little cakes, and yogurt parfait loaded with cinnamon and vanilla. It must be said, the iced latte is where it’s at.
13 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010 Paris, France +33 09 53 70 90 83
A cozy, modern coffeehouse with a sense of humor, Blackburn‘s youthful staff, colorful counter, and freshly prepared breakfast (guten morgan avocado toast), light lunches, and afternoon chai tea cakes perpetuates la joie de vivre growing just passed the arched Porte of Faubourg Saint Martin. Blackburn is nearly the last stop of cool before crossing over the canal via Rue Lucien Sampaix. The specials change weekly but the quality stays steady. Their eggs, either poached, scrambled or coddled, are always immaculate and served with crème fraiche. Their lattes pair perfectly with their desserts. It is easy to feel at home here; the staff is adorable and accommodating, and there is always a laugh track playing.
52 Rue du Faubourg Saint Martin, 75010 Paris, France +33 01 42 41 73 31
Since 1947, Brûlerie Lanni has been offering the best blends and 100 per cent arabica beans in town. Two of the kindest shop keepers in the 10th will guide you through the roastery, explain who the sweetest and meanest beans on the block are, all while serving you a hot and ready brew for barely more than a euro, and helping you decide between gingerbread cake or nougat. This is not squat and squawk sidewalk café so much as an established brass tack business where you will learn and sample the product before taking it home to impress your friends.
54 Rue Faubourg Saint Denis, 75010 Paris, France +33 01 48 24 65 59