My Favorite Places in Paris: Télescope Café

Making Paris feel like home means finding places that I like enough to make them part of my regular routine. I have my go-to neighborhood market, my boulangerie, my poste, my yoga studio, and my pharmacie (and my pharmacist is like the nicest lady on the planet). But for the most part, those places aren’t special; they’re routine. For a place to be a favorite, it has to meet a few criteria: 1) It has an environment that makes me feel like hanging out for a while and it’s close enough to where I live that I can actually do that with regularity 2) It has something good to eat or drink 3) It’s a place where people know my name (cue Cheers theme song), or at the very least, recognize my face.

To be the favorite, though, a place has to have all that plus something super special. Like Ryan Gosling, golden retriever puppies, burritos, Bradley Cooper, or good coffee. These, my friends, are tough things to find in Paris. But good coffee does exist here and, thank you gods of all things caffeinated, one of the places that’s changing the Paris coffee scene is right around the corner from me: Télescope Café.

I love the ambience at Télescope. It’s small and full of light thanks to the big front window that’s open most of the time, letting in the breeze. And the white walls, hardwood floors, and wood beams on the ceiling make it feel comfy yet stylish. Even more important than their good style is their playlist (you can’t be a legit coffee spot with shitty music) and they have great taste. It’s diverse (Lou Reed, Miles Davis, Witch, The Smiths, M83, Solomon Burke, and New Order, all in the same day if memory serves) but not so cool that it feels alienating. There’s no WiFi here, which I actually prefer because I get more done; when I take a break from working, it’s nice to just look out the window and enjoy the coffee and good music without the distraction of gmail, Instagram, Facebook, and yes, even you, WordPress.

The best part, aside from the really good coffee (which I promise I’ll get to in a second) is the two men who own Télescope: David and Nicolas, American and French. First of all, they know their shit when it comes to coffee. Second, they’re really nice guys. They seem to know everyone who comes in, and if not, they make a genuine effort to get to know them, but not invasively so, just whenever a natural moment comes up to shoot the breeze. You’ll often see them sitting and chatting with people on the bench out front. Télescope feels like a labor of love for them, a place they created because they want to drink good coffee with people who appreciate good coffee.

And the coffee is just that– really good, in fact. The filtered coffee is heaven, like drinking a cup of smooth, unbitter home. Everything is great, though: the cappuccino, the noisette, the café crème, even the pies, tartes, and breads.

There are better write-ups about their vast experience and knowledge of coffee, like this one, but for me, good coffee is only part of what makes Télescope one of my favorite places. I like the whole experience. One day when I’m not in Paris anymore (a day that I hope is far, far away), I know that I’ll dream about sitting at my little table by the window, feeling the nippy Paris breeze while I tap away at my computer, drink my cappuccino, try to ignore the Key Lime pie, and Shazam their playlist.

Give it a try — but please don’t take my seat.