When the temperature climbs, I want a leafy, outdoor café where I can linger without melting into my chair. And for that, these shady spots are where I recommend.
On the eastern side of Paris, not far from the Pere Lachaise cemetery and Mama Shelter, you'll find my favorite summer café. La Bellevilloise is a neighborhood association, concert hall and restaurant. It also happens to have one of the prettiest rooftop terrasses in town. Filled with flowers and Ménilmontant hipsters, it's a fun place to meet before a concert on site or at the neighboring club La Maroquinerie. 19 rue Boyer, 20th arrondissement.
A few steps from the Canal Saint-Martin, this lovely terrasse is tucked inside the walls of a former convent. Few who pass by this building (La Maison de l'architecture) even know about the leafy interior courtyard with its green lawn and shaded tables. Still largely undiscovered, the café is better for sharing a private drink than for people watching. 148 rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin, 10th arrondissement.
The Café of the Luxembourg Garden
Sitting under the shade trees approximately 320 feet northeast of the central pond, the café inside the Luxembourg Garden is one of my regular summer haunts. Service can be brusque, but it's a great place to sip pastis and watch the families, lovers, and tourists stroll by. Be sure to check out the beautiful fontaine de Médicis just a few steps north of the café. Boulevard Saint-Michel (inside the Jardin du Luxembourg) 6th arrondissement.
One of the newer terrasses on the scene, Rosa Bonheur opened last summer inside the jaw-dropping Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. Its reputation has soared in recent months as local bobos have begun to make it their summer home à l'extérieur. As local blogger The Paris Notebook explains, you can even linger after the park gates have closed by entering through a special gate after 10 p.m. 2 allée de la Cascade (inside the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont), 19th arrondissement.