Wi-Fi friendly cafés in Paris

Written by on April 4, 2019 in Paris

A woman sits in a cafe in Paris using the Wi-Fi

In Paris, café culture is alive, well, and so far, has quietly embraced laptops. Don’t let anyone try and tell you differently. Especially non-Parisians coming from places where laptop-toting customers get mercilessly expelled for staying too long – San Francisco, New York and London come to mind.

In France’s laissez-faire culture, for the price of an espresso you can, in many if not most cafés, settle in for as long as you wish.

Plugged-In in Paris

Recently a friend and I, discussing this, decided to do a cursory ask-around my neighborhood, Montmartre. Each and every place we stopped happened to have wi-fi; owners and managers alike told us the same thing when asked about bringing laptops and settling in:

“We are in France. If we don’t like it, we tell you!”

Some said that laptop habitués sometimes “close the place down,” and two of the café-restaurants we visited had plug outlets – prises électriques – running along their entire back walls behind booths. At one café I frequent, where about four of us work on/off during the day, they go out of their way to save ‘my’ table (in the coffee-drinkers’ not restaurant section) next to the sole power outlet.

These are not co-working spaces or “wi-fi cafés.” They are your average non-touristy neighborhood Paris café-restaurants that don’t advertise that wi-fi is available, yet will make you feel welcome if you ask.

But what about iconic tourist hubs such as Café de Flore and Café Deux Magots, two of my personal Left Bank favorites? Surely with such high demand for tables and high turnovers their rules would be different?

At Café de Flore they couldn’t have been more accommodating. I was told that while they don’t have plug outlets at tables, bringing one’s laptop and staying for hours is pas un problème.

Fine. And what about the Deux Magots, next door? Surely this Saint-Germain landmark with its long lines at lunchtime would have more stringent rules? Laptop users, I was told, are “more than welcome” at “all hours” – on weekends, even during meal times – and, there are outlet plugs under tables.

Quelle sur-prise….

Wi-Fi friendly in Paris

If there is one rule, it is this: before settling in find out the establishment’s policy. Weekends and meal times – in France, lunch is generally from 12:30 p.m. til 2:30 p.m.; dinner 7 p.m. (apéritif) until 10:30 or 11 p.m. – might be off limits. Be courteous and use your judgment. Become an habitué and you will get away with much. If it’s a meal time and you are not depriving anyone of a table, ask if it’s all right to stay.

Not bad for a culture renowned for its rudeness is it?

Best Cafés for Wi-Fi in Montmartre,Paris

A few café-restaurants in the Montmartre area where, for the price of a coffee or tea, anyone can plug in and stay connected:

All Good Things, 60 rue Custine 75018. Great vibe, music. Nice people. Stay from 8:30 – 11:30 then 2:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. Stay for meal too.

Le Refuge, 72 rue Lamarck 75018. Laid back, background music. Closes 12 a.m. Friday Saturday 2 a.m.

La Cave Café, 134 rue Marcadet 75018. Casual; live music on weekends. Plug outlets for laptops line a wall behind a long booth in the dining room. If it’s a mealtime and they need your table, grab your cup and laptop and skedaddle to a table in the front room. Closes 1:45 a.m.

L’Étoile de Montmartre (across street from La Cave), 26 rue Duhesme 75018. Best time for internauts: mealtime off hours. Set up for laptops with lots of outlets but you’d never know it. Closes 2 a.m.

Le Mont-Cenis – Laptops welcome “all day long” says the head barman. Sole requirement: one consommation “such as an expresso.” Closes 2 a.m.

Le Francoeur, 129 rue Caulaincourt 75018. Laptop use “discouraged” at lunch and dinner but at all other times of the day or night you can “stay until closing time,” 2 a.m.

Le Cépage Montmartrois, 65 rue Caulaincourt 75018. Patrons “more than welcome” to sit at its coffee (front) area tables and use their wi-fi “all day” says the owner – who I’d been pushing for some time to make wi-fi available. Closes 11:45 p.m.

L’Éscalier, 6 rue de la Fontaine du But 7501. Charming small restaurant at the foot of a stairway; owner welcomes laptop users “all day” and “with pleasure” – even during lunch hours, as long as no one needs your table. Best times: between lunch/dinner. Stays open “all afternoon and evening” in warm weather. Closes 12 a.m./Sunday 5 p.m.

Restaurant Suzanne, 64 rue Lamarck 75018. Great chai; friendly staff. The long table in a far corner has plug outlets. Closes 12 a.m./Sunday 5 p.m.

KB Caféshop, 53 Avenue Trudaine 75009. The good folks at Kookaburra coffee shop have made it official: order something, anything, and you can stay and stay. And stay. Closes 6:30 p.m.

With special thanks: Caféothèque de Paris; Paul’s (tea room – rue de Buci); Café de l’Industrie; Le Peloton Café; Café-Restaurant Le Brébant; Café Deux Magots; Café de Flore

Barbara Pasquet James is a U.S. lifestyle editor, speaker, and urban explorer who writes about food fashion and culture, from Paris. She is known for helping launch, write and edit USA Today’s City Guide To Paris and can be contacted via her photo blog FocusOnParis.com

Related Articles

Update to the fire at Notre Dame de Paris

The devastating fire that occurred at the 12th century built cathedral of Notre-Dame-de-Paris on 15 April 2019 caused immense damage. With more than 12 million visitors each year, the cathedral is the most visited monument in France and Europe, epitomising the soul of the French capital and symbolising the history and culture of France. Thanks […]

Continue Reading

The Pyramid at the Louvre

The Pyramid at the Louvre

Written by on March 28, 2019 in French Icons, Paris

When it comes to innovation in architecture, Paris has long been a leader and in the last 150 years, dozens of architectural gems have made it famous for originality and boldness. Just a few include the Eiffel Tower, Pompidou centre, the Louis Vuitton Foundation and La Grande Arche in the Défense business district. These new […]

Continue Reading

Five top tips for choosing a great restaurant in Paris

With thousands of restaurants to choose from in Paris, just how do you pick the authentic and delicious eatery you’ve been dreaming of? Paris may be full of eating choices but not all restaurants and cafés are created equal. And it isn’t just about picking a place without English menus (in fact, this rule has […]

Continue Reading

Picture Perfect Paris in the spring

Picture Perfect Paris in the spring

Written by on February 23, 2019 in Paris

Antoine Collas, a Paris photographer, shares his favourite photos of the city of light in the spring. Originally from Aix-en-Provence he now lives in Paris and never tires of taking photos of the ever changing scenery. His favourite location is along the Seine River which he says “never looks the same”… The carousel by the […]

Continue Reading

Butte Bergeyre | A secret village in the heart of Paris

When you visit Paris and want to see it at its hidden best, it’s worth seeking out the charming inner city village of Butte Bergeyre in the 19th Arrondissement. Not many people know of it, not even Parisians. It is a hidden enclave in the city, where you’ll discover beautiful houses in streets perched high up […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top