If by chance you’re heading towards Bastille and you need a coffee pitstop then search out Cafe Rey. It’s the refined gem set in the gritty hustling and bustling hub around Bastille. I’ve only ever passed-by there for a quick coffee. But I’ve found it to be one of the few places where the servers smile and put you at ease with a billowing warm welcome.
I go there just for the coffee these days. I don’t make a special trip there though, it’s just that it’s handily located. So, stop off at Cafe Rey if you need a pitstop before exploring the winding, popular backstreets of Bastille.
The cafe is situated at the busy intersection off Place de la Bastille which brings with it a wealth of historical baggage; usually cafes around where there’s a heavy flow of tourism tend to cash in on this and the quality of the service can suffer.
Thankfully though, Cafe Rey has survived this rapid ‘get the customers in, kick ’em out’ mentality. Instead, the servers here dish up welcoming smiles. And they seem genuinely happy when all you want to do is enjoy a € 1 cafe-espresso afoot the bar.
Afterword: cafe-espresso at the bar, wherever you are in Paris, should cost between €1 – 1.20. Anything above that and it’s a sure sign you’ve stumbled into a not-so-local-spotted-by-locals-spot.