Paris and cafés go together like hand-in-glove, like salt-n-pepper, like mother and child. This city is as much about its cafés and café culture as it is about the Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower. When you’ve only just arrived, often the first thing you want to do is go for a walk and stop in at a café, preferably one that has sidewalk seating, or cozy indoor alcoves, and order an espresso. Sitting in a café, leisurely, is one of the best ways to acclimate yourself to Paris.
The cafes you'll find on this list have been chosen mostly for their idyllic peace and quiet. While many Paris cafes are boisterous affairs, there are a number of them that offer a peaceful haven of relaxation, just what your inner, wiser traveler prescribed after a hectic morning or afternoon of sightseeing and/or shopping.
But it is also worth following in the footsteps of Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, too, and indulging in one of the pricey café crèmes at St. Germain des Prés’ Les Deux Magots or Café de Flore. It’s one of those things you have to do at least once and the people watching there in the heart of this once-bohemian neighborhood is like live street theater where your coffee is included with the price of admission.
Once you’ve done that, though, then try out any of these cafés here on this list, curated for their idyllic locations and peaceful ambiance. Also, ones you pass on your strolls through Paris are sure to give you a glimpse into local life. One of the newer cafés in town that didn't make this list is the Shakespeare & Co. café, serving Lomi coffee and snacks, too. If it strikes your fancy, why not stop, rest your weary feet, and order an Orangina or a "petit noir", an espresso and something tasty to go with that?