9 Best Parisian Cafes For Creative Types

best cafes in paris
Contributing Writer
| 3 min read

What could possibly be more Parisian than wistfully gazing from the window of a charming little cafe? The best cafes in Paris are ripe with the possibility for creative release, but you’ve probably already worked out for yourself the important role that they play in understanding the spirit and essence of this beloved French capital. Read on to discover how legend, history, and serendipity have molded the following Parisian cafes into prime venues for everyday inspiration.

1. Les Philosophes

Restaurant les Philosophes - rue vieille du Temple - Paris
Source: Photo by user Guy Courtois used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Located in the swanky bohemian quarter known as Le Marais, Les Philosophes is an iconic Parisian cafe which served as an after-hours meeting place for Jewish workers during the early half of the 20th century. It has come to be known as a beacon of resistance, after its owners took in a young Jewish girl whose family was forced to flee the city during the German occupation. Nowadays, it is a great place to order a relaxing cafe noisette while people-watching.

Les Philosophes

Address: 28 rue Vieille du Temple, Paris IV

Opening Hours: 9 am to 2 am

Access: Metro Saint-Paul

Contact: +33 01 48 87 49 64

Website: More Info

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2. Les Deux Magots

Les Deux Magots
Source: Photo by user Roger Salz used under CC BY 2.0

While it has humble beginnings as the site of a former silk shop on Rue de Buci, the expanded cafe that everyone knows and loves is situated on the Place St-Germain-des-Pres in a trendy, upbeat neighborhood in Paris’ 6th district. For years, Les Deux Magots served as a popular hangout for French poets and philosophers like Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud, Simone de Beauvoir, and Jean-Paul Sartre. It is refreshing to see that the tradition holds true to this day, with contemporary heavyweights from all over the nation competing in the cafe’s annual literary award, Le Prix des Deux Magots.

Les Deux Magots

Address: 6 Place Saint-Germain-des-Pres, 75006 Paris, France

Opening Hours: 7:30 am to 1:30 am, daily

Access: Saint-Germain-des-Pres metro station

Contact: +33 01 45 48 55 25; contact@lesdeuxmagots.fr

Website: More info

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3. Cafe des Deux Moulins

When it comes to witnessing the nightlife and artistry of Paris’ Montmartre neighborhood, the Cafe des Deux Moulins seems to be a favorite for both tourists and locals. The cafe gets its name from the area’s two nearby windmills: Le Moulin Rouge and Le Moulin de la Galette. However, its main claim to fame seems to be a colorful cameo in the 2001 Jean-Pierre Jeunet film Amelie. Happy Hour specials are served daily from 6 to 9 pm, while the brasserie also features live musical performances every Monday and Thursday night.

Cafe des Deux Moulins

Address: 15 Rue Lepic, 75018, Paris

Opening Hours: 7:30 am to 2 am, Mon to Fri; 8 am to 2 am, Sat and Sun

Access: metro station Blanche

Contact: +33 01 42 54 90 50

Website: More Info

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4. La Palette

Frequented by accomplished painters like Paul Cezanne and Pablo Picasso, La Palette is a symbol of the brilliant, centuries-long homage that Paris has paid to the international art community. La Palette’s picturesque terrace view of rue Jacques Callot is a favorite among contemporary gallery owners and local art students in search of the perfect muse that will bring them long-time critical acclaim.

La Palette

Address: 43 rue de Seine, 75006 Paris

Opening Hours: 7 am to 2 am

Access: Saint-Germain-des-Pres metro station

Contact: +33 1 43 26 68 15

Website: More Info

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Paris Tour Guide

Patricia Aveline

Patricia Aveline

My name is Patricia Bollinger and my family is French. I have always had a passion for art and history and I chose to study them when I went to university. I have been a licensed tour guide for the last 30 years and I work in French, English and Italian. My passion and also as part of my work I travel a lot. For this reason, I have a good idea of visitors expectations. Naturally I want to share... Read more

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5. Cafe de la Paix

Source: Photo by user Delphine Jankowski used under CC BY-SA 2.0

A high-end cafe near the historic Garnier Opera, Cafe de la Paix boasts some of the finest cuisine in the 9th district. Warm weather offers the possibility for a delightful view of the majestic opera house, a wondrous sight to behold at every time of day. Adding to its allure is the charming tale of the Irish author, Oscar Wilde, a regular customer who believed to have witnessed a golden angel floating up from the pavement from where he was seated at the Cafe de la Paix.

Cafe de la Paix

Address: 5 place de l'Opera

Opening Hours: 24/7

Access: Metro station Opera

Contact: +33 01 40 07 36 36

Website: Learn More

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6. Cafe de Flore

Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Jane Fonda, and Brigitte Bardot are just a few of the iconic writers, actors, artists, and filmmakers who have been known to frequent this historic Parisian cafe over the years. A notable landmark since the early 1800s it is a mandatory stop for countless tourists venturing through the left bank and is still a lively place to see and be seen.

Cafe de Flore

Address: 172, Boulevard Saint-Germain

Opening Hours: 7:30 am to 1:30 am, daily

Access: Saint-Germain-des-Pres metro station

Contact: +33 01 45 48 55 26

Website: More Info

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7. La Rotonde

Known for its delicious selection of traditional French fare, the cafe of La Rotonde has been an important local eatery since the early 1900’s. Not only did the historic Montparnasse landmark provide warmth and shelter to starving artists during the Great War, but it was also a place of good-natured drunken joviality. Today, it still welcomes an ever-growing clientele of local artists and movie directors.

La Rotonde Montparnasse

Address: 105 Boulevard Montparnasse 75006, Paris, France

Opening Hours: 6 am to 2 am, daily

Access: Montparnasse metro station

Contact: +33 01 43 26 48 26

Website: Learn More

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8. La Fee Verte

Hemingway regularly credited absinthe as one of the primary sources for his vibrantly-creative musings. Luckily for you, this magical green elixir is in abundance over at La Fee Verte Cafe and Absinthe House. Although it serves a lovely cup of coffee during the daytime, it’s the laid-back, sophisticated ambiance that will make you want to stick around all evening long. The famed absinthe fountain is a must-see for obvious reasons, but be ready to go on an adventure like never before!

La Fee Verte

Address: 108, Rue de la Roquette, 75011 Paris

Opening Hours: 7 am to 2 pm, daily

Access: Bastille metro station

Contact: +33 01 43 72 31 24

Website: Learn More

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9. Cafe le Jardin du Petit Palais

Even on the dreariest of days nothing sparks inspiration quite like having something wonderful to marvel at. A contemporary cafe situated within a fine arts museum, Cafe le Jardin du Petit Palais opens onto a stunning interior garden, gracefully adorned with gold mosaic decor. Meanwhile the lovely marble palace of a terrace is nothing short of breath-taking, an ideal resting place for an afternoon of fanciful daydreaming.

Cafe le Jardin du Petit Palais

Address: Avenue Winston Churchill, 75008, Paris, France

Opening Hours: 10 am to 6 pm, Tues to Sun

Access: Champs-Elysees - Clemenceau metro station

Contact: +33 1 53 43 40 00

Website: More Info

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The Soul of an Artiste

Chock full of history and wonder, Parisian cafes will go down in infamy as some of the most spectacular coffee shops to have ever been frequented by artists and literary legends from all across the globe. If you yourself are looking for a hint of inspiration or a creative spark of genius, these are considered some of the best cafes in Paris to help fuel your artistic soul.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Brittany, a travel enthusiast passionate about foreign languages, explores the world fueled by insatiable curiosity. She is also a freelance writer, an avid language learner, an occasional TV...Read more

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