The Best French Cafés Outside of Paris

7 Comments
Little Next Door in Los Angeles.

Little Next Door in Los Angeles.

Comments  (7)

Jul 10, 2012 —  What is it about French cafés? Is it the brimming sidewalk patios, packed day and night with Audrey Tautou and Vincent Cassel lookalikes? Is it the boisterous conversation flowing through flung open doors, mixing with the warm smell of buttery baguettes and fresh espresso? Or maybe it’s the vibe; that oasis of slow-sipping culture in a fast-paced world, where you can savor a glass of wine to the soft sounds of gypsy jazz, only to find that glass becomes a half-carafe, and that carafe becomes a whole bottle…

…and suddenly you’ve proposed to the old French waiter/waitress just so you can hear more stories about the weekend they spent getting drunk with Hemingway.

Whatever the reason – we’re betting it’s all of them – the next best thing to enjoying French café culture in the shadow of Notre Dame or the Eiffel Tower is relishing a similar atmosphere that’s been seamlessly plopped along the bustling La Rambla in Barcelona, hidden a stone’s throw from the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, or nestled below an otherwise unassuming high rise in Manhattan’s never-ending sea of skyscrapers.

So lose the smart phones. Forget the deadlines, the exams, the car payments and pretentious airs, grab your notes for that novel you started crafting years ago, and drop on down to some of these cool French-style cafés.

They may be well-removed from the motherland, but they recreate everything we love about café culture. 

  • 1

    Little Next Door

    Café

    Little Next Door - Café in Los Angeles.
    Los Angeles

    8142 West 3rd Street
    Los Angeles, CA 90048

    323‑951‑1010

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  • 2

    Cafè de l’Òpera

    Coffee Shop / Historic Bar / Historic Restaurant

    Cafè de l’Òpera - Coffee Shop | Historic Bar | Historic Restaurant in Barcelona.
    Barcelona

    La Rambla, 74
    08002 Barcelona

    93 317 75 85

    Liked By:
  • 3

    Troquet

    Bar / Bistro / French Restaurant

    Troquet - Bar | Bistro | French Restaurant in Chicago.
    Chicago

    1834 West Montrose Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60613

    773‑334‑5664

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  • 4

    Absinthe Brasserie & Bar

    Bar / Brasserie

    Absinthe Brasserie & Bar - Bar | Brasserie in San Francisco.
    San Francisco

    398 Hayes Street
    San Francisco, CA 94102

    415‑551‑1590

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  • 5

    El Viajero

    Bar / Café / Restaurant

    El Viajero - Bar | Café | Restaurant in Madrid.
    Madrid

    Plaza de la Cebada, 11
    28005 Madrid

    91 366 90 64

    Liked By:
  • 6

    Le Barricou

    Bar / French Restaurant

    Le Barricou - Bar | French Restaurant in New York.
    New York

    533 Grand Street
    Brooklyn, NY 11211

    718‑782‑7372

    Liked By:

User Comments

Alex K. Jul 31, 2012
Also, The French Crepe Company makes awesome crepes! But don't be fooled, they serve waffles, sandwiches, and salads too.
Sam A. Jul 30, 2012
Is El Viajero really a French cafe? Either way, it's a great place to grab a drink and relax. Definitely check out the rooftop terrace.
Matt Y. Jul 28, 2012
I'm not sure if it counts as a French cafe or even French food, but the French Dip at Philippes in Pasadena is simply the best.
Paula P. Jul 27, 2012
There is a little French Cafe in the Farmer's Market at the Grove' it's called Monsieur Marcel and has really yummy foie gras... or at least they did before it was banned in California.
Sara G. Jul 26, 2012
I love Little Next Door - and if Le Vie en Rose is cranked up high enough on my iPhone, I can sip my latte and actually pretend I'm in Paris. I also really enjoy Bouchon Bistro in Beverly Hills, which is a bit more relaxed and overlooks an awesome park. Either are the perfect way to spend a Sunday.
Alex K. Jul 26, 2012
I've been eyeing Little Next Door for a while and after seeing this list, I have to go!
Anonymous Jul 26, 2012
The Little Next door has some of the best smoked salmon in the city. And it's a nice (cheaper) alternative to the Little Door. Portions are slightly better too.
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