Café Charlot on the corner of Rue Charlot and Rue Bretagne is a favorite. It basically is the archetype Parisian café and the waiters are as you’d expect (rude or charming, depending on your ability to speak French). They have good bistro food, a nice salmon plate and is a wonderful place to people watch, sit in the sun (it comes here, not on the other side of the street) or for any occasion you’d like, any time of the day. It’s also a lively place for late night drinks/wine. Go go go!
Café du Marché
Right diagonally across from Charlot, Café du Marché seems less popular or as a second choice compared to Charlot. But, they have far better café au lait (you get it as separate espresso and warm milk) and they do a really good omelette (one of the better I’ve tasted around the cafés). So definitely worth a visit, maybe especially when the sun is not out and/or if Charlot is way too busy.
It looks a bit dull from the outside, but Cantine California is quite a nice surprise. You get organic burgers, salads and small dishes California style (ie lots of avocado and Mexi flavors) – as well as cocktails and wine. I had a very tasty and healthy quinoa salad and a surprisingly good ‘bio-wine’ (typically they are cloudy and taste funny). Open for both lunch and dinner.
This classic café is a favorite to at least one Parisienne, I know, and I understand why. It’s a great place to sit and people watch, have a coffee or a drink, have a meal and all that at any hour of the day. And in that sense it ticks all the boxes of a lovely, lively Parisian café. Personally, I really like their omelete and their tuna salad (for odd reasons they don’t call it nicoise but tuna salad, but it is that).
Cafe de la Poste
My favorite café in Marais, I think.