WHERE: 94 rue du Temple, 75003 (3ème arrondissement)
WHEN: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm; Sat 10:30am-6pm; Sun 11am-6pm
HOW MUCH: Around 4€ for a café crème
METRO: Arts et Métiers (lines 3, 11); Rambuteau (line 11)
BEANS: L’Arbre à Café
FOOD: Quite a selection for breakfast and lunch
CONTACT: Facebook, Tel: +33 1 44 61 09 28
As unlikely as it may sound, it was actually a born and bred Parisian friend who told me about this lesser-known, sweet little café in Le Marais. Naturally sceptical to begin with – as it wouldn't have been the first time a French friend had failed to understand the fundamental difference between what we consider to be good coffee – I was pleasantly surprised upon arrival to find out that I hadn't been led into a Café Richard trap. What's more, no one in any of the other cafés had told me about it, and it doesn't seem like a lot of people have heard of it, so it felt like much more of a genuine discovery. Merci, Elodie.
It's in la rue du Temple, close to both Rambuteau and Arts et Métiers. According to Peter, the Swedish-Australian barista/environmental science PhD student who was working, a Swedish lady opened the place in 2012. I don't know anything more about this, but she has done a very good job with the café. The interior will keep your eyes busy while you wait for your order, with a collection of strange/cool artworks hanging from the wall, a set of shelves with all sorts of coffee related products on display, and of course the obligatory Marzocco machine proudly perched behind the counter.
The flat white Peter made me was spot on, so I quickly ordered another round of caffeine delight for my Franco/Swiss flatmate and myself. My friend Elodie says the espresso coffee she drinks there is infinitely tastier than what most of her fellow countrymen/women drink. Peter told me that the coffee beans were from a local roasting business called L'Arbre à Café, who are opening up a little shop at 10, rue du Nil in the 2nd. They have wifi, and a good range of food on offer, plus they do a brunch deal.
I'm not an expert on Le Marais, but there are a lot of cool things to see and do in the area. Le Marché des Enfants Rouges is just up the road, so it could be good to start there and then mosey on down to Strada afterwards. A day in the Marais would not be complete without eating a falafel from L'As du Fallafel–apparently recommended by Lenny Kravitz, who is clearly a renowned falafel authority. There is also a cool bar in la rue au Maire called L'Attirail (3E pints and free sautéed potatoes for an apéro). Lastly, my flatmate and I found a fantastic patisserie called Pain de Sucre, down the road in rue Rambuteau. Delicious times.
If you can't be bothered venturing out, then just stay in the café, where the atmosphere is relaxed, the staff is friendly, the coffee is great, and the seating is comfortable.
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