To the tourist eye, Montmartre is the artsy, hilly part of town, signified by the iconic white Sacre Coeur church sitting atop the hill. It’s where Amélie Poulain charmed us with her parisienne ways and it’s where we like to think of artists going to reside, holing up in studios, inspired by the city around them. To the local, Montmartre is also many things: the hill and streets at the base of Sacre Coeur are to be avoided by all costs, while the grittier streets south of Pigalle are much more alluring, with the diverse neighborhood of Barbes to the northeast. While the epicenter that attracts tourists is more cliche than reality–no one wears those berets all the souvenir shops are selling–the surrounding 18th and 9th arrondissements are bustling local hubs, places to get a dose of real Parisian life.
The area south of Pigalle–SoPi as it’s sometimes referred to–has seen an upswing in new boutiques, restaurants and cocktails bars. On the backside of Montmartre you’ll find the lazy streets of the 18th, the kind that feature neighborhood joints on every corner and streets that you can wander aimlessly for hours. And right in the middle of all of this, you are sure to want some coffee. Luckily, these days Montmartre has many great options for drinking coffee–we’ve rounded up six below for you to start your exploring.
53 Avenue Trudaine
If you have ever spent anytime trying to track down a cafe serving craft roasts in Paris, then you have probably come across KB. The cafe has Aussie roots–yes KB stands for Kooka Boora–which means you can enjoy a flat white. The cafe gets its beans from Paris roaster Belleville and they also offer filter and housemade cold brew.
If you need to pair your coffee with a dose of work, this is one of the few cafes that won’t mind you squatting for a few hours with your laptop. But you’re in Paris; sit on one of the blue metal chairs outside instead and take in the view over the square and down Rue des Martyrs.
3 ter Rue Marcadet
Say “coffee” and “Montmartre” and Cafe Lomi immediately comes to mind. Granted, it’s not technically in Montmartre, but it’s the only roaster located in the vicinity. Besides making good blends that are used by cafes all over town, they also know a thing or two about a cosy cafe space, which is worth the trek.
You have access to all the Lomi blends as well as the ever-changing list of single origin beans. You can sit down for a cup of coffee–or how about an espresso with a spoon of bleu d’auvergne?–pair with a bottle of coffee beer, brewed by local Brasserie de la Goutte d’Or or buy beans to take home with you. The staff is knowledgeable and passionate about coffee, and barista Magdalena Brodzinska recently won the 2014 French Latte Art Championship.
33 Rue Lamarck
Run by sisters, the focus of Soul Kitchen is a cozy space with freshly made food. In the morning that means homemade organic granola paired with a strong cup of filter coffee, and at lunch that means a hearty vegetarian dish finished off with espresso. They source many of their products locally, and the same goes for their coffee, which comes from Parisian roaster Coutume. Really craving a soy latte? They’ll do that too. The cafe opens at 8:30, making it the perfect stop for morning coffee and a freshly baked pastry.
51 Rue des Martyrs
Café Marlette started as a brand of organic cake and cookie mixes and is also run by a sister duo. The logical next step after a line of baking mixes and a cookbook? A beautiful cafe.
Located on Rue des Martyrs, it’s the new weekend brunch hotspot for in-the-know locals, and they’ll serve you your ample dose of baked goods with a cup of Coutume coffee. As coffee isn’t the main draw for people–the baked goods are–they do espresso only, so don’t come expecting filter.
Le Rocket Ship
13 bis rue Henri Monnier
Le Rocket Ship isn’t your average cafe. In fact it’s not actually a cafe, it’s a design shop with a coffee counter. But good design and good coffee seem to pair well–start by perusing an assortment of curated wares–many of them by French and European designers.
Then sit down and owner Benoît Touche will make you a pour over or espresso with beans from Coutume. He rotates through his favorite offerings, and you can also buy Coutume beans from him.
Le Bal Café
6 Impasse de la Défense
While not technically in Montmartre, Le Bal Café is only a short walk to the west, and well worth it. The cafe and art exhibition space (there’s a killer bookstore focused on photography and architecture) has been ahead of the game on the “where in god’s name do I find a good coffee in Paris?” scene for a while.
The spin is British cuisine, and the filter coffee (from Parisian roaster Belleville), which you can order in a larger mug or go all out and get a full Chemex of, pairs well with the Sunday brunch, a popular local affair. Of course because the space is small and popular with locals, you may be hard pressed to get a spot. But the coffee and plate of freshly baked scones served with it will be well worth it.