Parisian Zinc Cafés

Now that Parisian cafés are smoke-free, it’s time to turn our attention to discovering the very best ones in which patrons can enjoy a warm cup of coffee and a quick meal without the sting of cigarettes burning the air.

In anticipation of the January 1 French law prohibiting smoking in cafés, Travel & Leisure has thoughtfully put together a handy write-up of the most outstanding “zinc cafés” in Paris.

According to journalist Christopher Petkanas, Zinc cafés are “workingman” cafés typified by a galvanized steel bar around which “scary” looking patrons tend to sit, sip, and partake of “affordable, delicious meals.”

Petkanas delivers eight such gems to our attention, the most famous of which is Café Des Deux Moulins. This particular café, located in the 18th Arrondissement, stared in the French film, Amélie. Naturally, the management now serves crème brûlée d’Amélie Poulain, as fans of the film flock to the café, all but pushing out the original clientele.

Not to fear, however. Petkanas offers up seven other authentic zincs in which to soak up the true atmosphere of a workingman’s café. Enjoy!