Montpellier, the seventh largest city in France, boasts a vibrant coffee scene, particularly catering to its student population. While English-speaking coffee shops are a rarity on the French mainland, Montpellier stands out with a selection of unique cafes. Here are five notable coffee shops in the city:
1. Extra Shot: Established in 2017, Extra Shot is the only coffee shop in Montpellier offering Wi-Fi. Owner and barista Guillaume (Geo) Le Coz, who gained experience in London’s coffee scene, combines his English knowledge with French heritage to create a minimalistic space. Extra Shot serves coffee from the local roastery BUN, offering both filter coffee brewed with a Chemex and two different espresso roasts.
2. Café BUN: Café BUN, founded by quantum physicist Luc Béaur in 2013, stands as Montpellier’s specialty coffee pioneer. It is the only coffee shop in the city that roasts its own coffee, offering six single-origin roasts for sale on-site. The menu is kept simple and local-oriented, and the baristas expertly prepare espresso-based drinks and AeroPress brews using various roasts.
3. Coldrip: Coldrip, opened in September 2016, is a hotspot for English-speaking individuals in Montpellier. It combines Europe’s top specialty coffee roasts with delightful Australian breakfast options. The cafe primarily serves espresso-based drinks, featuring Scandinavian roasts like April from Copenhagen, alongside tasty breakfast offerings. Coldrip’s charming location allows guests to enjoy their flat whites while surrounded by Montpellier’s old stone walls.
4. Coffee Club: Coffee Club, one of Montpellier’s early third wave coffee shops, was founded by Nicholas (Nick) Breedon. Originally from Manchester, Nick’s passion for coffee was ignited during a visit to his brother in London. Coffee Club offers a welcoming and cozy atmosphere, influenced by Kaffeine in London, with a small space that fosters a sense of community. The coffee menu varies every few months, sourcing roasted beans locally and using a single grinder for their medium-profile roasts.
5. Bonobo: Bonobo is Nick’s second coffee shop, opened in September 2017. With a dimly lit and welcoming ambiance, Bonobo provides comfortable seating and offers craft beers and local wines in the evening. While highly praised for their meals, Bonobo also focuses on specialty coffee sourced from the same roaster as Coffee Club. The emphasis is on espresso-based drinks, appealing to both the French coffee palate and selective coffee enthusiasts.
Montpellier’s coffee scene offers a distinct character, where English is readily understood, and students can be found studying with flat whites in hand. Exploring the local roasters’ beans and immersing oneself in the warm atmosphere within Montpellier’s stone walls is an experience worth savoring.
1. Café Riche: Located in the heart of Montpellier, this historic cafe offers a charming ambiance and a wide selection of coffee and pastries.
2. Café de la Mer: Situated near the beach, this cafe provides a beautiful view while enjoying your coffee. They also serve delicious seafood dishes.
3. Café Joseph: Known for its cozy atmosphere and friendly service, Café Joseph offers a variety of coffees, teas, and light meals. It’s a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
4. The Barber Shop Café: This unique cafe combines the atmosphere of a traditional barbershop with a coffeehouse. Enjoy freshly brewed coffee while getting a haircut or beard trim.
5. La Panacée: A contemporary art center that houses a trendy cafe. La Panacée offers a creative environment where you can enjoy a cup of coffee while appreciating art installations.
6. Bistrot d’Alco: A charming cafe with a relaxed atmosphere, Bistrot d’Alco serves delicious brunch options, pastries, and specialty coffees. It’s a great place to unwind and enjoy a leisurely meal.
7. Café des Arts: Located near the Musée Fabre, this cafe combines art and culinary delights. Admire the artwork displayed within the cafe while sipping on a coffee or enjoying a light snack.
8. Café du Midi: Situated in the historic center of Montpellier, Café du Midi is known for its traditional French cuisine and extensive wine list. It’s an ideal place to indulge in a coffee or a glass of wine.
9. Café Vins Fins: This cozy cafe is famous for its selection of fine wines and gourmet dishes. Whether you’re a wine enthusiast or just looking for a relaxing coffee, this is a recommended spot.
10. Le Petit Jardin: Tucked away in a picturesque courtyard, Le Petit Jardin offers a tranquil setting for coffee lovers. Enjoy their freshly brewed coffee and homemade pastries while surrounded by greenery.
Remember, this list is not exhaustive, and it’s always a good idea to explore and discover new cafes based on your preferences and interests.
1. Café de la Mer
2. Le Fleur Bleue
3. Café Joseph
4. La Panacée
5. Le Saint-Roch
6. Café de la Place
7. Le Petit Jardin
8. Café Riche
9. Café des Arts
10. Chez Boris
These cafes offer a range of atmospheres, from cozy and relaxed to vibrant and trendy, and are known for their quality coffee, delicious pastries, and welcoming ambiance. Be sure to explore Montpellier’s unique cafe culture and discover your own favorite spots while you’re there!