A laptop and coffee – by Stanley Dai tiggerstan – Wikimedia Commons

Top 5 Cafés in Paris to Visit with a Laptop

You might have noticed that the café culture in Paris doesn’t always embrace sitting down for hours in front of your laptop. In fact, some places go as far as to put up signs banning laptop use on the weekends. You’re left asking yourself  if you can whip out your laptop without being rude.

Well, there are some pretty nice spots where you don’t have to worry about any potential faux pas. Here’s a list of the top 5 cafés you can visit with your laptop.

1. Le Bichat

If you’re vegan or vegetarian, I’d recommend checking out this spot, right by Canal Saint Martin in the the 10th Arrondissement. A “cantine populaire,” Le Bichat offers a relaxed environment for working and organic meals for any time of the day. Walk in  and you’ll find the long wooden tables filled with people on their laptops, typing away. I’ve dropped in a couple of times and found the workers are kind and friendly.

If you have any doubt  it’s laptop-friendly, just look online. On their Facebook, they have a picture up with two regulars on their laptops, adding in the hashtag “coworking space.”

It’s such a chill study space, you could even get away with going straight to a table to work, but I’d recommend buying a coffee or snack to be polite.

Passerelle Bichat – by Tom Page – Wikimedia Commons

If you ever stop by, try their self-proclaimed famous succulent au chocolat. For 3 euros, you can get your chocolate fix with the sweet,  creamy treat. I gave it a try, and it’s very similar to chocolate fudge.

I haven’t had any meals there, but they do look good. The restaurant describes itself as fast food with a slow food culture. That’s because all of the products are house made. They pickle their own products from lemons to kiwis. There’s always vegetarian soup available, and they have bowls with rice, vegetables, and options to add meat or keep it vegan. The focus, of course, is on eating smart and working smart.

The address is 11 Rue Bichat. You can easily get there via metro Goncourt on line 11 or the République stop on lines 3, 5, 8, 9 and 11.

2. WHSmith

Next up on the list is for the book lovers. WHSmith is the largest English bookstore in France, and right above the bookstore is their tea room — a perfect spot for studying. When you walk in, try not to get distracted by the selection of books and follow the signs to pointing toward the tea room upstairs.

You’ll find a spacious place where you have an option to sit on a couch or arm chair, or the more traditional café table. It’s a quiet, peaceful spot above the hustle and bustle of the bookshop below, where you can have a nice tea and dessert while you study. I stopped by once to get a bit of work done and had a Café Gourmand to snack on, and it was great. Though I saw a nearby table snacking on traditional English tea snacks that looked just as good.

On your way out, you can check out all the books they have to offer, along with a collection of cards,  souvenirs, international newspapers and magazines.

The best way to get there is to take metro lines 1, 8, or 12 to  Concorde, then take the Rue Cambon exit. The address is 248 Rue de Rivoli.

Café Gourmand – by Marianne Casamance – Wikimedia Commons

3. Nuage Café

If money is no option for you, try an anti-café! I checked out Nuage Café in the Fifth Arondissement and it’s a pretty sweet spot. If you’re not familiar with the concept, anti-cafés are places where you pay by hour for a study space, receiving unlimited drinks and snacks. The base rate at Nuage is 5 euros an hour for visitors, but they have a variety of packages for people coming in groups, people who have signed up for memberships with the café and a special 20 euros a day rate for students.

When you walk in you get a type of card that is scanned later to log how long you stayed. After that, you can help yourself to an area with cereal, cookies, and crackers or go by a stand where a barista can make you a variety of warm drinks. Upstairs, there’s plenty of desk space to place your laptop and get started on your work. If you’re looking for a more relaxed environment, there’s even a separate space where you can take off your shoes to study and sit in squishy, bean bag-like chairs.

But make sure if you’re in a quiet section not to make any noise. My friends and I got shushed our first time there because we didn’t realize.

I’m constantly on a budget, so when I visited I timed it so my friends and I stayed just under an hour. At the same time, I stocked up on madeleines and a warm, tasty, chocolate latte.

You can find Nuage Café right by Maubert Mutualité on line 10. The address is 14 Rue de Carmes.

Maubert – Mutualité – by Janericloebe – Wikimedia Commons

4. Café Lomi

This café in the 18th Arrondissement is both hipster and international. So if that’s your niche, you might want to check it out. It’s an interesting concept, where the coffee roasting process is done by workers on site. That being said, you might hear a bit more noise than at your usual spot.

The actual seating area isn’t too big. I made the mistake of walking all the way down the hallway the first time I went looking for more seats, and accidentally walked into the employees only section. Still, if you can find a seat it’s not a bad environment for getting some work done on your laptop.

Some rave over the coffee, but I thought it was just all right and a bit expensive. I got a flat white café au lait for nearly 4.90 euros, but it wasn’t anything to write home about.

All that being said, some folks swear by this spot, so check it out and see for yourself. It’s at 3 rue Macardet right by the  Marx Dormoy metro stop on line 12.

Coffee – by Airair – Wikimedia Commons

5. Columbus Café & Co.

This is the exact opposite of Lomi, a mainstream option in a touristy part of town. But at the risk of sounding lame, I have to say this one is my favourite on the list. Colombus Café and Co. is a coffee chain with a few locations in Paris, and my favorite one, at 21 Rue Soufflot, is right by the Luxembourg station .

I love to order a drink or snack then head downstairs to the “homework” area. You can find a long wooden table for working on your laptop, and tiny round tables that seat about two people. Maybe it’s the bright yellow walls, the easily accessible outlets, or the cheerful lighting but something about working downstairs at the spot  helps me stay calm and focused on the task at hand.

The first time I went there, I tried their speciality drink called the “Latte de l’ours,” a combination of coffee, milk, honey, spéculoos and whipped cream. Needless to say it was 100 percent concentrated sugar. But if that’s your thing, give it a taste.

So that’s a quick round up of where you can bring your laptop in Paris. See for yourself which one fits your working style the best. Like I said, my favorite is Colombus Café. In fact, I wrote most of this post from there!

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