How to Order Coffee in Paris: A Guide

How to order coffee in Paris by coffee and a view

Nothing makes you feel more like a local in Paris than sitting on an outdoor table at a cafe watching people go by. The cafe culture in Paris is amongst the best in the world, you can’t throw your beret without hitting a fresh croissant and an amazing cup of coffee.

Staring at all the French coffee orders can be overwhelming and busy cafe’s only add to the pressure, so you end up blurting out the first thing you see and it’s not quite what you were hoping for. Don’t worry!  A little preparation goes a long way.

Here’s how to order coffee in Paris:

What to Order

Cafe Creme

An absolute classic when in Paris and one of my favourites.  Similar to a latte, but with thicker milk.

Cafe Noisette

My favourite when in Paris.  A shot of espresso with just a dollop of milk.

Un Cafe

a strong coffee, typically an espresso

Un Americano/ filtre

The most similar to your morning Starbucks Jolt.


an espresso with hot water to thin it out.

How to Order

Like any big city, Parisians order very quickly. A simple Une (coffee order here) S’il Vous Plait ( see-voo-play) will do the trick.  This means  a ( coffee order) please.

If you’re feeling like you are in a more formal setting add Je Voudrais ( voo-dray) to the front. This means I would like a ( coffee order) please, but locals rarely add this extra step in their morning rush.

Extra Tips

  • The price for ordering at the counter is different than sitting at a table. Keep that in mind when ordering. If you have time to spare, it’s worth the extra cost for a nice outdoor seat!
  • Sugar isn’t as common, but is readily available. Ask for Sucre or look for a container with this label.
  • Coffee will be strong and maybe a little bitter, if you’re not a big coffee drinker consider starting with a milk based coffee.
  • Pair with a pastery for the ultimate Parisian treat!
Looking for more posts about Paris? Give these a try 
How to beat the crowds at Versailles 

How to have a stress-free layover in Paris 

5 books you need to read before visiting Paris 

8 movies that will inspire you to visit Paris 


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