Monday, February 26, 2018

The 10 Best Terraces in Paris


It's Terrace Season in Paris

A friend of mine recently moved to Paris. Seeing her fabulous pictures on Instagram and reading her insightful blog entries has brought back so many memories of the wonderful three years I spent living in the City of Light. Recently, she posted a photo of my favorite terrace, and I was overcome with nostalgia. How I long to relive those glorious days!

On other Instagram feeds, I see green returning to the city’s famous square trees, buds popping throughout the public gardens, and luscious ivy crawling the stone walls. I can’t help but remember all the sunny days I sat on the terraces of Paris – alone, or with friends, or with family – looking out at the world as it passed me by.

Wine and Chocolate Always Go Together on the Paris Terrace

I’m not embarrassed to say I was a bit of a terrace slut during my years in Paris. I made my way around every arrondissement, sipping champagne, rosé, beer, cocktails, and espressos. I acquired some favorite haunts, of course.

Here are my Top Ten Terraces in Paris. I hope you will find them and enjoy them as I once did. If you do, please tag me in your Instagram photos @shazzle99. For more useful information on traveling to Paris, click here.

Pour un Café:

2 Place de la Contrescarpe
75005 Paris, France
+33 1 43 26 51 26

Café Delmas is the perfect mix of old and new. Yesterday, Papa Ernest enjoyed his coffees here while he contemplated literature. Today, students from the nearby Sorbonne congregate for cocktails. Located in the Latin Quarter on an ancient cobblestone square, this charming terrace anchors the Rue Mouffetard, one of the oldest market streets in Paris. Come early and enjoy the terrace with an espresso, a croissant, and your favorite book. When you leave, look for the placards marking Hemingway’s apartments, one around the block to the left, and the other around the block to the right.

Espresso at Café Delmas in the Latin Quarter of Paris


40 rue Cler
75007 Paris, France
+33 1 47 05 00 53

Café Central is a lovely place to relax on the terrace with a café crème. If you visit during a sunny afternoon, enjoy people-watching over your bol de glace (Berthillon!). Here, the youthful waiters are dressed in classic black suspenders, but don’t be fooled. They are trés hip, sporting modern hairstyles and slinging their English like a weapon, they will entertain you while they hustle. Café Central lives up to its name as the central point on the famous Rue Cler. Bring your camera, because this charismatic street is lined with amazing shops and a bird’s eye view of the Eiffel Tower.

There's Never a Bad View of the Eiffel Tower

Pour un Verre de Rosé:

2 Rue de l’Abreuvoir
75018 Paris, France
+33 1 42 64 49 62

Can there be a more fitting place to drink rosé than a café painted entirely pink? It’s rumored Picasso hatched the idea for its colorful façade, and I don’t doubt it. Located on a quiet cobblestone street in Montmartre, La Maison Rose is almost entirely terrace, owning two sides of the tiny pavement with metal tables and chairs. Claim your spot on a sunny afternoon to enjoy a glass of rosé while jealous tourists meander past.



La Maison Rose in Montmartre

8 Place Victor Hugo
75116 Paris, France
+33 1 53 64 24 00

Snag a table for two on the partially-enclosed terrace during lunch on a Sunday, and I promise you won’t be disappointed. Located in the posh 16th Arrondissement, Le Scossa entertains local families for afternoon “supper” along with discreet visitors (like Bono!), who prefer to nibble a la carte. The Fois Gras is my favorite in the city – or at least the one I’ve ordered most frequently – and the Omelette Bio au Compté will melt in your mouth. You can’t go wrong with an American style cheeseburger, but be prepared to pay for it. While you’re at it, order the whole damn bottle of rosé, because trust me on this.

The Fois Gras on the Enclosed Terrace at Le Scossa is TO DIE FOR!

25 Place des Vosges
75003 Paris, France
+33 1 48 87 94 07

The Place des Vosges is certainly one of the most gorgeous squares in all of Paris. On sunny days, the entire population of the Marais seems to congregate here to enjoy the fresh air. While there are several cafés along the perimeter of the park, Carette is one of the classiest and most popular. Sit back, be pampered, and watch the world go by.

Rosé is perfect on the Terrace at Carette

Jardin des Tuileries
75001 Paris, France
+33 1 42 61 22 14

While the Tuileries Gardens are a bit of a tourist destination, the locals also can’t keep away from this entirely outdoor café on hot, sunny days. There is nothing better than perching here with a glass of rosé (on ice, s’il vous plait!) and eavesdropping on your neighbors, who are visiting Paris from every corner of the earth. Of course, it may take some time before you scope out an empty table, but it’s well worth it for the beautiful views of the famous fountains, colorful flowers, and square trees in this majestic park.

Pour un Verre de Vin Rouge:

Le Bonaparte
42 Rue Bonaparte
75006 Paris, France
+33 1 43 26 42 81

Tell me, is there a single Francophile who hasn’t fantasized about sipping wine on the famous terrace of Les Deux Magots? Unless you’re ready to empty your wallet and you love surrounding yourself with tourists, I’m here to say: Skip it. Do visit the ancient Place Saint-Germain des Prés, of course! Snap your photos of the storied café honoring two maggots, pop into the oldest church in Paris, and then take a cue from the locals. Secure your spot on the terrace at Le Bonaparte. From here, you can absorb the entire square, eavesdrop on French gossip, and feel like a boss when your check comes. Me? I’ll order a nice glass of red wine and bask in the sun for as long as possible before a local gives me the boot.

Wine and Cheese is perfect for the Terrace

Pour un Coup de Champagne:

4 Rue des Petits Champs
75002 Paris, France
+33 1 49 27 00 50

This stunning café is ideally located at the entrance of the Gallery Vivienne, one of the most historic and beautiful covered passageways in Paris. Many photographers have used its charming sidewalk terrace to capture the love between newly married and engaged couples, because it simply oozes romance. To linger here with a bottle of champagne epitomizes everything burning and passionate and lustful about Paris. Be sure to bring a lover.

Gallery Vivienne

1 Rue du Pont Louis-Philippe
75004 Paris, France
+33 1 42 78 31 64

Chez Julien was founded in 1780. It is registered as a historical monument in France. It flanks one of the most spectacular cobblestone streets in all of Paris. And yet, I had walked past it for years – assuming it was ripe with tourists – before one day after my husband and I had flâneured a dozen miles and needed to rest our feet. We landed here on the terrace of Chez Julien, where we ordered a bottle of champagne. Our waitress graced us with a magnificent presentation, all silent popping and label showing and towel wiping and ice bucket maneuvering, and before we knew it, we had bubblied our afternoon away. Thus became a weekend tradition on the loveliest of days. We’ve brought guests here as well, because we simply couldn’t keep it to ourselves. The experience is quintessentially French: slow, romantic, and beautiful.

Chez Julien

Pour une Bière:

72 Rue Lamarck
75018 Paris, France
+33 1 42 62 01 62

To me, a seat on the terrace of Le Refuge provides one of the most iconic views of Paris. Sit back and enjoy your beer while commuters stream in and out of the Lamarck-Cauaincourt Metro station across the street. Surround yourself with locals, knowing the tourists don’t often find this backside of Montmartre. Then (discreetly) point your camera lens at the splendid pedestrian staircases above and below you. You can easily waste away an afternoon at Le Refuge… and I have!

If you are thinking of visiting Paris this year, this link provides lots of good deals and information.

The View from the Terrace at Le Refuge

Have I missed your favorite terrace? There are over 12,000 food establishments in Paris. If you have a suggestion for an unforgettable terrace, may I ask you to indulge my FOMO and leave it in the comments below? Cheers, Mes Amies!


Coca Cola in a traditional glass bottle is also a popular drink on the terraces of Paris!