Le Bal

WHERE: 6 Impasse de la Défense 75018 (18ème arrondissement)
WHEN: Wed, Fri 12pm-8pm; Thur 12pm-10pm; Sat 11am-8pm; Sun 11am-7pm
HOW MUCH: 3.90€ for a café crème
METRO: Place de Clichy (lines 2 and 13)
BEANS: Café Lomi
FOOD: Wide range
CONTACT: Web; Facebook; Tel: +33 1 44 70 75 51

Sneakily tucked away in the Impasse de la Défense and just up the road from Place de Clichy, Le Bal Café offers a trendy setting in which to enjoy a decent coffee. As the café component of Le Bal art gallery, this is a great way to add a dose of caffeine to your dose of culture. 

If you're just after a coffee then it's best to pop by during the week: the weekend is brunch time, so the crowds get pretty overwhelming and the relatively small number of waitstaff can make it a slow affair. If you're after a bite, allow the talented chefs to spoil you with a wide range of excellent food, including full English breakfasts. 

Le Bal is not a coffee shop so much as a restaurant/café, but this doesn't affect the quality of the coffee they serve. The hip baristas never fail to craft the Café Lomi beans into a potent brew. 

When the weather is nice you can get a takeaway and sit in the park just across the alleyway. Otherwise it's quite close to the Montmartre Cemetery and rue Caulaincourt, not bad areas for a jaunt on a sunny afternoon. Head straight up rue Caulaincourt and approach the Sacré Coeur from behind - it'll save you from all the tourist chaos of the other routes and it's a really nice walk besides. You can also turn right at Place de Clichy and head down Boulevard des Batignolles towards Parc Monceau, which is a great little place for a Parisian picnic. There are some nice shops in rue des Batignolles (as well as Restaurant Istanbul - the best kebab in Paris) and a good pedestrian zone in rue de Lévis.

If you're coming by line 13, beware: it is crowded, stinking hot and often breaks down. 

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  1. I used to read your blog when I was studying abroad here, and now that I'm back in Paris, I'm so glad to see you've continued it ! I went to Le Bal for the first time on Friday and really enjoyed the place. The espresso had a slightly sweet taste which I found a little strange, but the cappuccino was just right. They also had Wi-Fi - and speaking of which, do most of the cafés reviewed here have Wi-Fi ? Because I tried Télescope and while the coffee was great, I couldn't even use my computer there to write. I understand not every place needs to have it, and it can be annoying when customers sit there for hours. On the other hand, it's nice to have a space to work instead of being couped up at home.