Last Updated on April 6, 2020
Editor’s Note: Sadly, this business has permanently closed. See our guide to the best coffee in Paris for more ideas on where to head.
Nestled on Rue des Vinaigriers just off of the Canal St-Martin, Café Craft is one of my favorite new places in Paris for decent coffee, tea and baked goods.
Inside the brightly lit, modern café, creative and freelance types cluster around a large central table designed as a workspace, typing frantically on laptops. But while Craft is partly a working cafe (and you’ll have to pay by the hour if you elect to treat is as an office for a half or full day), it’s also a lovely spot for a quick coffee and slice of cake.
Read Related: Honor, a Charming Courtyard Café in the Upscale 8th
For me, it offered an ideal break between long hours of wandering the surrounding neighborhood, and an opportunity to both charge my rapidly draining phone and rest tired feet.
The ambience here is what I’d call calm minimalism inflected with a dose of warmth. Checkered floors, simple wooden tables and chairs with legs painted black, modern lamps and walls plastered with contemporary art make the café feel decidedly modern and cool. Yet unlike so many of the city’s newer coffee bars, Craft is spacious and calm, eschewing crowded seating for ample, comfortable spaces where you can really perch for an hour or two.
There’s also a small seating area outside, which would probably be very pleasant during the warmer months. This is also likely an ideal place for people-watching on the increasingly hip Rue des Vinaigriers, where members of the historic Garibaldi Association (a far-left political club) rub shoulders with vegans dining at the Sol Semilla superfoods cantine across the street.
Eating & Drinking
Whether you’re a coffee or tea person, you’ll “find your happiness” here, to borrow an expression from the French. Coffee is sourced from the much-lauded Parisian roasting company Cafe Lomi, and Craft is fitted with a Marzocco coffee machine– considered a gold standard by discerning types. Although I didn’t try “le café” on this particular visit, reviews are generally quite positive. The flat white, a rare finding in Paris, is notably reputed to be excellent.
On the tea side, there’s a large selection of black, green and redbush teas, mostly from luxury French tea manufacturer Dammam Frères. And if you’re in the mood for an ice-blended coffee or soft drink, there are plenty of choices.
Read related: The Best Places for Afternoon Tea in Paris
If you’re hankering for a snack or quick lunch, don’t hesitate. The café’s selection of cakes, cookies, bars and light bites such as sandwiches, quiches and soups seem to all be of excellent quality.
It was here that I enjoyed one of the best peanut butter cookies I’ve ever tasted, accompanied by a steaming cup of perfectly brewed, loose-leaf rooibus (redbush) tea. Imagine my surprise at the crumbly yet moist and rich cookie, equally salty and sweet.
Generally, my experience has been that French bakers really don’t “get” the cookie. Either they bake them exclusively with white sugar, leaving out the brown and thus yielding a too-hard crust, or they add excessive baking powder and a puffy, cake-like creation comes out of the oven.
This peanut butter cookie was a thing of beauty, by contrast.
My bottom line? If you’re exploring the Canal St-Martin and environs, don’t hesitate to take a break or stop in to catch up with work for a few hours.
Getting There & Practical Information
- Address: 24 rue des Vinaigriers, 75010 (10th arrondissement)
- Tel: +33 (0)1 40 35 90 77
- Metro: Gare de l’est or Jacques-Bonsergent
- Visit the official website
Courtney Traub is the Founder and Editor of Paris Unlocked. She’s a longtime Paris resident who now divides her time (as well as she can manage) between the French capital and Norwich, UK. Co-author of the 2012 Michelin Green Guide to Northern France & the Paris Region, she has written and reported stories for media outlets including Radio France Internationale, Reed Business Information, WWD, and The Associated Press. She has also been interviewed as an expert on Paris and France by the BBC, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Le Figaro, Matador Network and other publications. In addition to pursuing an insatiable interest in French culture, history, food and art, Courtney is a scholar of literature and cultural history whose essays and reviews have appeared in various forums.