How to Order Coffee in France

five ways to order coffee in paris, france via everyday parisian

How to Order Coffee in France

The first thing I do when arriving in Paris after an overnight flight is head straight to a café for a crème. It is my choice of way to order coffee in France. Many options seem overwhelming, so here is a simple way to break them down by size and with or without milk.

how to order coffee in France

Prices vary from the bar to the terrace. They can almost double. I love standing at the bar first thing in the morning to people-watch the hustle.

five ways to order coffee in paris france


Typically a shot of espresso. It can be very bitter. The French serve this with a sugar packet if you want to sweeten it.


A café with a drop of milk. The color turns hazelnut because of the milk, hence where it gets the name.


Allongé is an espresso with extra hot water to dilute it. This is also a café Americano in some places.

Filtré or Café Américain

Filtered coffee, and if you are looking for the American equivalent of a cup of coffee, this would be it.

Café Crème

A café crème is my go-to coffee order in Paris. It’s an expresso with warm milk. Some people would think is a café au lait. Don’t be confused they do not use creme in the coffee it is milk and it’s typically whole. You won’t find skim or low fat at the bar like in the United States.

More Tips for Ordering Coffee in France

  • The price of coffee at the bar vs the table will vary. Parisians will stand at the bar for a quick café before work or in the middle of the day.

  • Sugar will be offered on the bar labeled sucre. Feel free to take one and add it to your coffee of choice.

  • Croissants are also available for purchase with your coffee and are typically placed on the bar. Just ask the gentleman behind the bar for “un croissant si vous plait” Please do not help yourself.

  • After noon Parisians typically do not order milk in their coffee. They keep to a café (expresso) for the rest of the day. Ordering a crème afternoon will have you looking like a tourist.

  • You can visit this post for my favorite spots to drink coffee in Paris. 

    Ps. Don’t miss How to Order a Pastry in French

five ways to order coffee in france by everyday parisian

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  1. It‘s the same thing in Italy, never Eber order a Cappuccino in the afternoon. Makes you look like a noob. After all the Italians take their coffee culture very serious.

    • Hi Tara!

      Thank you so much for that catch. Not sure how I missed it 🙂

      Have a great day and enjoy your coffee xo