It’s the quintessential Paris scene: a gorgeous café with sidewalk seating, where you can stop by for a cup of coffee and a pastry and linger through the afternoon with a glass of wine or a good book. It’s the stuff vacation dreams are made of, but you don’t have to fly across the ocean to fulfill your French fantasy.
In New York City, you can find French-inspired cafés and bakeries that will transport you all the way to Paris with café creme, croissants, and quiche. Whether you’re visiting New York City for the first time or you’ve lived here your whole life, you won’t want to miss these perfectly Parisian cafés.
With three locations in Manhattan, Ladurée is bringing Parisian glamour–and their famous pastel-colored macarons–to New York City. Pick up a box of perfectly crafted macarons at the tiny Hudson Yards outpost or settle in for a cozy afternoon tea–complete with delicate pastries–at the Upper East Side location. For the ultimate Parisian experience, visit the SoHo restaurant and grab a seat in the stunning courtyard, where you can indulge in breakfast, lunch, and weekend brunch. Alongside viennoiseries like canneles and croissants, you’ll find hearty dishes like steak au poivre or lobster pasta. If you’re in the mood for something light, you’ll also find options for omelettes, avocado toast, quiche, and salads. And for those with a sweet tooth, you can’t go wrong with the chocolate hazelnut french toast. It’s a stunning location that feels like you’ve stepped into a Parisian patisserie.
Arguably one of the most famous (and infamous) restaurants in New York City, Balthazar is a legendary French bakery and brasserie that offers all-day dining in an authentically Parisian space. Make a reservation for lunch or dinner to dine on classics like croque monsieur and steak frites alongside oysters, clams, and other raw bar delicacies. All the pastries and breads are made in-house, so don’t miss dishes like the goat cheese tart (or the bread basket that’s delivered at the start of your meal). For dessert, you can sample tart tatin, mille feuille, or the bakery’s tarte du jour–and don’t forget to grab a loaf of bread or box of pastries from the bakery next door to take home with you at the end of your meal.
Get a taste of one of Paris’s most beloved cafés at the West Village location of Buvette. Taking inspiration from the all-day café culture of Paris, Buvette is the perfect place to grab an espresso with a friend, settle in for a gourmet lunch or dinner, or stop by for a cocktail. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Buvette’s menu is an elevated take on homey classics, using local New York ingredients to highlight the best of French gastronomy. Lunch has something for everyone, from healthy salads to waffles to croque monsieur. At dinner, warm up with cozy dishes like ratatouille and coq au vin, or enjoy a simple plate of charcuterie and cheese.
If you can’t make it to New York anytime soon, don’t worry: there are also locations in London, Tokyo, Mexico City, and (of course!) Paris.
La Mercerie Café
In an upscale industrial-chic location inside the Roman and Williams Guild, La Mercerie brings everyday French cooking to Soho. Perfect for business lunches, afternoon coffees, or dinner with friends, it’s a modern twist on the Parisian café, helmed by chef Marie-Aud Rose. Simple dishes like quiche or a jambon-beurre baguette will satisfy your craving for café classics, while heartier dinner items like boeuf bourguignon or duck confit will transport you to a Parisian brasserie. Remember to leave room for dessert–the gluten-free chocolate cake made with hazelnut flour and topped with creme fraiche is not to be missed.
A coffee shop, bakery, restaurant, and event space, Maman brings a rustic, minimalist vibe to its multiple locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Grab a cup of coffee and a pastry at the to-go counters or settle in for a more relaxed breakfast at one of the cozy, farmhouse-inspired tables. Dine on light fare like granola or avocado toast or fuel up with omelettes, breakfast bowls, or a decadent ham and cheese croissant. Lunch brings an assortment of salads and sandwiches, including a french carrot salad and a truffle croque madame. Weekend brunch offers heartier dishes, while the selection of pastries and viennoiserie can’t be beat: choose from nutella beignets, pistachio loaf cake, a pear almond chocolate tart, or more.