You’re jetlagged, your feet are sore, and you need a pick-me-up in the form of your regular Starbucks order. Well folks, I hear you and I see you. Before I moved to Paris, I was of the judgemental opinion that buying Starbucks outside of an airport while traveling was one of the cardinal sins of being THAT American. Yet, these two words have softened my feelings on this one: RELIABLE WIFI. For a season, until I found some of these coffee shops, I ended up spending more time in Parisian Starbucks than I care to admit and let me tell you… the French go here too!
If stopping at Starbucks is a must while in Paris, you might as well make it a good one! Here are the Top 5 locations and suggestions for what to do before or after you get that venti latte:
90 Rue Saint-Dominique
75007 Paris France
This Starbucks is wedged walking distance between the Champs du Mars and Esplanade Habib-Bourguiba (park running along the left bank of the Seine). Yet, it remains relatively quiet- you are most likely to run into medical professionals and embassy secretaries on their way to and from work. For that reason, the furniture and booths lining the back corridor remain relatively open for those in need of a phone charge or paper editing session. And if you need to take a break from that editing session and want to see a sight or two, Invalides and the Eiffel Tower are both an easy walk away.
8-10 Rue de Rivoli
75004 Paris FR
This Starbucks is in a fantastic location- a one-minute walk from the Saint-Paul metro stop and caddy corner to the Saint-Paul Carousel. You can easily watch the world go by in one of the four small tables lining the large windows facing the Saint-Paul square. Plus, you are wedged between Le Marais and Place des Vosges (where Victor Hugo once lived), and therefore can justify a Starbucks stop simply with the intent of exploring your surroundings after. If you prefer more privacy or less distraction, take the stairs past the register down to the below-ground level with exposed brick, leather armchairs, complimentary newspapers, and a large community table lining the back wall. If you order a drink or snack and tell the barista you are going downstairs, they will deliver it to you on a tray. Oh, plus there are clean bathrooms on each level- doesn’t get better than that.
3 Boulevard des Capucines
75002 Paris, France
This is the most ornate Starbucks I’ve ever laid eyes upon! It is located just down the street from the Opéra metro stop and around the corner from the world famous Paris opera house, Palais Garnier (and furnished accordingly). The crystal chandeliers hanging from ornately painted ceilings, marble columns and mirrored walls will make you feel as if you are meeting Napoleon for tea instead of grabbing a venti soy latte with your travel buddy. There is a large, ornate room filled with leather couches, roundtables, and community tables with desk lamps- a fantastic spot to work on a paper or curl up with your favorite Sartre or Hemingway- you just might have to get there early to claim a spot. There is also a small outdoor seating area where, if you are lucky, you can grab a seat to conduct some excellent people watching along the famous Boulevard des Capucines, right before it turns into Boulevard des Italiens. If this spot proves to busy for you, you can always go in for a look, grab your coffee to go, turn left and take an easy stroll down Rue de la Paix until you hit Place Vendome, especially during Christmas time, as the lights and trees display is one of my favorite spots that time of year!
21 Rue Bréa
75006 Paris, France
Tucked around the corner from the bustling Boulevard du Montparnasse, behind the Balzac monument, this Starbucks on a side street remains charmingly quiet and peaceful. It is on the smaller side, but has a long table lining the wall upstairs where you can easily spend hours on your laptop unbothered. I used to live within walking distance of this location, and was pleasantly surprised by how consistently friendly the baristas at this particular Starbucks are- possibly due to it serving more locals than tourists. Yet, even the local streets are never that far from a famous landmark- go out the Starbucks and head up the beautiful Rue Vavin and you will hit the southwest entrance to the Luxembourg Gardens in less than 5 minutes! Even if that’s too far of a post-Stabucks commitment, you can always just walk yourself over to Shannon Pub across the street for a pint.
Starbucks Rue de Rivoli
46 Rue de Rivoli
75004 Paris, France
Rue de Rivoli is one of the most famous streets in Paris, stretching from the 1st to 4th arrondissement and serving as the commercial center along the right bank. So, unsurprisingly, there are a lot of Starbucks along this street, but let me tell you why I think this one is the best. Tucked just one block behind the Hotel de Ville and next to the famous department store, Le BHV Marais, this Starbucks is big and stays pretty busy… on the first floor. Go up the stairs that are behind the pickup counter and discover a whole additional level with long bars, couches, and work spaces. As you are on the second story, you can sit at a bar stool along the massive windows and either stare down at the bustling Rue de Rivoli (if it’s a Wednesday or Saturday you will see people wandering the market stalls at Place Baudoyer), or up at the stunning Renaissance Revival architecture of Hotel de Ville, Paris’s local administration building. When you’ve finished your latte and people watching, turn left out the side sliding doors and head north to quickly enter the trendy Marais neighborhood.