Yes, it's true! You can get a coffee for 1€ in Paris.


Whew, I'm wired to the max! After an exciting morning at a "By Terry" make-up workshop organized by "Meeting the French", I decided to do some investigative reporting to verify the claim made on the official website of the Marie de Paris that local contributors have identified 70 Parisian cafés serving coffee for 1€ or less.


Being rather skeptical since I always pay more than double that price, I looked at the map to determine which cafés are located near the "By Terry" boutique and started with Le Ragueneau at 202 rue Saint-Honoré. As the price of drinks changes according to where you sit in an establishment, I went straight to the bar and ordered a coffee. Much to my surprise it arrived with a chocolate covered almond, a packet of sugar and a bill for 1€. So far, so good. Not only is the coffee less expensive if you stand at the bar, but I had the added pleasure of chatting with one of the friendly waiters while he converted boiling hot tea to ice tea for another customer. His secret recipe included a dash of lemon syrup.

If you're a fan of jazz, I also learned that Le Ragueneau hosts concerts by the Clement Blumen Trio on Friday and Saturday nights.


Next on the list was Café Pistache located at 9 rue des petits champs, where my request for a coffee once again worked like a charm. It arrived steaming hot with sugar on the side but no chocolate covered almond. Looking around at all of the tourists sitting at the tables, I felt like telling them that they should join me at the counter but understood that there are times when the need to take a load off one's feet far outweighs the savings made by standing at the bar.


Arriving at what I thought was my third and final destination, I felt a certain reluctance to go inside because there were a lot of single men standing at the bar drinking beer along with a lone Japanese woman and her dog. But in the end, Le Ventadour at 46 rue des petits champs turned out to be a novel experience because I ended up talking with the charming barrista and a Parisian man, who asked if I was married and if my husband was with me in Paris. If I was looking for confirmation that I came out of the "By Terry" make-up workshop looking better than when I went in, this was it. Or, perhaps it was the beer talking!

As it turns out, I get to submit Le Ventadour's name to the official list of places selling coffee for 1€ or less because I mistakenly visited the wrong café on the rue des petits champs. Click here to see the map with all of the addresses or to make a contribution to the list. The Marie de Paris is thinking about developing an app that includes all of the cafés and needs your input to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date.

The charming barrista at Le Ventadour

Comments

  1. Was he handsome?! Maybe I should try a café crawl but I'm not sure I'd have your impact on the male customers. The wellies might put them off...

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    1. I would say that it was more the beer goggles than me that had an impact on the man in the bar! But interestingly enough, Paris Cheapskate, one of the other bloggers who was at the make-up workshop tweeted, "... I feel so pretty & got hit on all afternoon... I think it's the confidence more than the lip gloss." so perhaps it was the make-up!

      "Was he handsome?" If he was, I didn't notice! ;)

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  2. That's funny that the mairie keeps track! And often when I'm a tourist I think of stopping off at a café more as renting a table for a bit than actually wanting something to drink, so no bar for me!

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    1. That's exactly how I usually feel but for the sake of research I had to stand at the bar rather than pay for a table. I don't know how it is in Tours, but the Marie de Paris website is a great source of info about just about anything that you could want to know about Paris.

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  3. Thats a very useful list and a useful tip about Le Ragueneau, one for my list in September.

    I sit at the but, but have only got hit on once, frightened me to death! LOL! Maybe I should try the make up thing first.

    Love Denise

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    1. Ha! I highly recommend the make-up workshop. Not only did we have a lot of fun but we learned a lot in the process. And in response to one of your earlier blog posts, French women do wear make-up!

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    2. Denise, Knowing that you like jazz, I particularly thought about you when I saw the info about the concerts. Let me know if you want some company when you're here in Sept.

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  4. Great investigative reporting! You suggest that La Ventadour may not have been your final destination--so, I'm wondering...was there a fourth coffee you didn't write about? And I don't know how you had so many coffees anyway--I'd be a bolt of lightning. Has decaf espresso made an impact there yet? I would think not.

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    1. After a restless night, I can confirm that I still feel like a bolt of lightening. Note to self - never drink that much coffee again! There was a fourth coffee that I didn't write about but it was my first coffee because I had it after lunch.

      What happened with La Ventadour is that I mistakenly thought that it was another place that I had noted from the website. Addresses are sometimes confusing in Paris and when I saw the sign out front saying the they sold coffee for 1 euro at the bar, I just assumed that it was the place that I was looking for. It wasn't because they weren't listed on the official map. After I got home, I submitted their name so now there should be 71 places where you can get a coffee for 1 euro in Paris!

      You can get decaf coffee (I'm not sure about espresso) but it's not very common.

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  5. 1€ for a coffee is nothing to scoffee! I'm long awaiting the "where to get a beer for 1€ in Paris" post! Great find and thanks for sharing!

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    1. Philippe, Is that actually you?! We've been trying to get in touch with you via Skype! As for the "where to get a beer for 1€ in Paris" post, I'm waiting for you to come help me with the research. I still remember your 16€ (I think) beer last summer.

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  6. Curious Did you use "Un cafe SVP" or is there another phrase. and did you leave a bourboire or was it included?

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    1. That's exactly the phrase that I used. And I have to admit, I was kind of hoping that they would hear my accent and charge me more so that I could disprove the 1 euro coffee claim. It didn't happen! No, I didn't leave a tip. One of places gave me a receipt and the tax was included. Two of the places didn't give me a receipt and just told me the price. SInce the waiters always give receipts when I'm sitting at a table, I wonder if the 1 euro coffees at the bar is also an unofficial way for bars to save on their taxes.

      I usually drink coffee with cream (or milk in France) and they always charge more for that.

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  7. I'm so glad you posted this. When I posted the photo of me drinking coffee at the bar, someone who I know IRL commented that it was deemed unladylike to drink coffee at the bar in Paris. I say pish to that! It's cheaper and you get to chat with the staff!

    I'm with Phillipe! I'm waiting for the 1€ beer, or in my case, 1€ wine post!! If anyone can find it, it's you MK! :)

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    1. I'm with you, Ella. Why should the men have all of the fun standing at the bar! One of my French friends told me that she has been drinking her coffee at the bar of the same cafe for more than 22 years. And she's definitely a lady! She also told me that the people in the cafe are like her family and have seen her through the good and bad times in her life.

      Your comment about 1€ beer and wine has me wondering how much cheaper those are if I order them at the bar than at a table. It looks as if I'll have to do some more "research"!

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  8. Dear Mary-Kay
    I am a bit surprised that Paris has to establish a list with €1.- coffees but of course it's a fantastic thing.... I am just back with from Switzerland with mind-blowing prices for simple espressos and I have sworn solemly when we had our 85th birthday party for my mum that I won't be having a single coffee in CH if it costs more than CHF3.80.... I know one thing; our own espresso machine which does excellent stuff - will be even more employed later than it is already now.
    In Paris however, we have at least 7 bars where we get a beautiful coffee AT THE BAR bien sure, for €1.-, not with a choc or almond, but served with a smile and a banter in most cases. On the other hand, we had lunch only a few days ago and while the prices for the food were corrct and we felt like a coffee afterwards, we paid €3.80 per minuscule shot.... which REALLY put us off the otherwise nice place.

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  9. I produced an iphone application to enabled an easy access to this information. It helps you locate those café who sell 1€ coffee. Please check it out: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/paris-1-cafe/id792636199?ls=1&mt=8

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