It can be hard to decided where to go on a first date in Paris, plus it can be better to play it safe with an afternoon rendez-vous especially if you’ve met on a dating app or site. The most comfortable option could be to get to know your potential new chéri/e over a cup of coffee. While the Paris coffee scene is on the up and up, not every café strikes the right tone for a first date, however, writer and serious coffee aficionado Lauren Sarazen has come to the rescue with her top picks for a coffee date in Paris. From teeny-tiny locations to entire coffee shops overrun by Macbook-toting freelancers, these cafés stand out as date-friendly spots with plenty of inspiration to spark conversation if you’re feeling a bit tongue-tied.
While the heights of the 18ème might feel like a bit of a trek depending on your usual haunts, Café Lomi is worth the trip. There’s almost always a spot to sit, thanks to the café’s large open plan and long work table dedicated to computers users—saving more tables for you and your date. If it’s a slow day, head to the back for a more intimate, vintage vibe. Snag the leather chaise lounge with the refurbished trunk serving as your coffee table. The walls serve as a rotating gallery for contemporary artists, while the elegant cups add atmosphere without feeling intrusive. If the space itself isn’t enough to tempt you, then the coffee will. For coffee enthusiasts, heading to Lomi makes for a great conversation starter. The café hosts barista training courses, roasts their own beans, and supplies several other coffeeshops in the city. Even better, its far-flung location attracts more locals than tourists, creating an authentic neighborhood vibe.
Address: Café Lomi – 3 ter Rue Marcadet, 75018
Cafe Kitsuné – Palais Royal
The perpetual darling of the fashion crowd, Café Kitsuné has the portions and prices to match. Nonetheless, nestled under the arcades of Palais Royal, this outpost of Maison Kitsuné’s coffeeshop chain is perfectly positioned for a dreamy first date. Meet at the counter to place your order to go (opt for their Dirty Chai, and a fox-shaped sugar cookie if you’re feeling whimsical). While you’re waiting for your coffee, let the vintage l’Olympia concert poster spark conversation—Do you prefer Serge Gainsbourg or Nina Simone?! Coffee’s up? Take a stroll into the manicured gardens and snag a spot for your tête-à-tête: from the benches underneath the square-trimmed trees to reclining iron chairs clustered around the central fountain to the pale green benches secluded amidst the rose bushes, you can’t go wrong.
Address: Café Kitsuné – 51 Galerie de Montpensier, 75001
While the original Marais location is known for its petite scale and cute vintage Cordonnerie signage emblazoned across its storefront, Boot Café’s second location is surprisingly roomy. Tucked away on a quiet street a stone’s throw from bustling St. Michel, Boot Café immediately provides atmosphere for your date with its leafy plants, well-curated wall of art books and magazines, and fresh blooms on each travertine tabletop. Unlike most of Paris’ coffee shops, Boot’s location in the 6ème feels almost expansive. Choose from tables clustered by the front window to pull arty conversation starters from the bookshelves or choose a more secluded spot in the back with a view of the building’s courtyard. Feel like transitioning your date from coffee to a long, lingering lunch? Order up a plate at Boot, or cosy up on a brasserie’s banquette along the chic Boulevard St. Germain.
Address: Boot Café – 26 rue des Grands Augustins, 75006
Located just off Canal St. Martin, Ten Belles knows how to set the mood. Before you even step inside, their cheeky signboard heralding “Drinking Good Coffee is Sexy” lets you know you’re already in good company. Part of the first wave of the city’s coffee revival, Ten Belles hasn’t changed much since it opened in 2012. Clean wooden tables and stools are accented with primary colors and funky neon signage in the shape of a coffee cup mounted on the wall. While this petite café is known for being packed, grab your flat white to go. Coffee in hand, head down to the cobbled banks of the Canal to sit along the water, or go for a stroll through the tangle of street art adorned rues. Looking for a bite to go along with your coffee? Show off your neighborhood knowledge by grabbing an escargot or chausson au pomme at beloved boulangerie Du Pain et des Idées—just make sure you stop by on a weekday!
Address: Ten Belles – 10 rue de la Grange aux Belles, 75010
“Hygge” might be Danish, but Café Suédois brings the cosy vibes. Nestled in one of the wings of Hotel de Marle, Café Suédois is part of Paris’ Institut Suédois. While the courtyard makes for a charming place to while away an afternoon in the summer, duck indoors to escape the autumn and winter chill. Characterized by Scandinavian clean lines, the interior space lets your conversation take center stage. Delightful cakes and cinnamon buns feature prominently on the menu, and the Institut often has an exhibition on show if you’re inspired to delve a bit further into Swedish culture. On a budget? Mugs of drip coffee and tea are set at the all-time low price of 2.50 euros—and your second cup is free.
Address: Café Suédois – 11 rue Payenne, 75003
About the Author:
Lauren Sarazen graduated from Chapman University with a BFA in Creative Writing, and is currently pursuing a Master’s at Université Sorbonne Nouvelle. Lauren has contributed articles for online publications such as Paste Magazine, LensCulture, and Teen Vogue. She currently lives in Paris. Catch up with her on her blog or Instagram.
Do you have any other favorite coffee shops that would be perfect for a first date? Share them in the comments! After your coffee date, check out these articles on best romantic bars for your second date!
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