Kooka Boora Café
62, rue des Martyrs, in the 9th Arrondissement.
01 56 92 12 41. Mon–Fri, 8:45 a.m.–7:30 p.m.
Sat–Sun, 9 a.m.–7:30 p.m.
Kooka Boora is not your typical Paris café. It’s much, much better. That might sound like heresy, but any serious bean hound is bound to be baffled by the cloudy brown stuff that’s passed off as coffee in this town.
I spend perhaps a little too much time here. I go for a caffeine jolt (and the free, reliable Wi-Fi) but often end up having lunch. That’s because this place gets everything, not just coffee, right. The refrigerated case is filled with colorful composed salads and sandwiches—salmon and avocado, roast beef, ham and cheddar—all loaded with vegetables and served on good baguettes. I’ve seen squash soup many times, too. Cookies and quick breads beckon, and prepare to be tortured by the smell of carrot cake baking. Sometimes I skip coffee and have a made-to-order juice. Carrot, apple and ginger, s’il vous plaît.
The crowd is cool. Laptops and knitting needles abound. Little girls with more style than I will ever possess sip milk steamers while their mothers read or chat. Inside are comfortable easy chairs and a communal table that usually serves as a four-person desk. There’s actually more seating outside, looking onto the carousel on place Lino Ventura.
As for the coffee, there are five filter methods available: siphon, Chemex, Aeropress, V60 and something called the Clever Coffee Dripper. I’m not such a purist, though, so I go for a milky espresso drink, either a latte or a flat white, which is similar but poured a little shorter and with the smooth milk from the bottom of the steamer pitcher. The beans come from the roaster Café Lomi, which supplies another favorite of mine, Le Bal Café.
There are a few drawbacks: seating can be scarce on weekends. Sometimes the music is too loud. Once in a while an order is forgotten. But there’s always a smile and an apology, so I can’t really bring myself to mind. And anyway, I’m not usually in a hurry here. If you are, you might have some trouble.
But that’s true anywhere in Paris.
In a nutshell: Kooka Boora has great coffee, a cosmopolitan crowd and excellent edibles, too.
Price check: Hot and cold drinks: 3–5.50 euros. Sandwiches, salads, snacks and sweets: 3.50–6 euros.
If you like the sound of Kooka Boora, you’ll also enjoy Coutume. Read the review.
47, rue de Babylone, in the 7th.
Mon–Fri, 8 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sat–Sun, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Kooka Boora Café
Editor’s note: Heading to Paris? Don’t forget to browse our handpicked hotels, classes and trips. You can book right on our site.