Paris Insider: Two Chic Tea Salons in the Marais District

Paris is mostly known for its iconic cafés on almost every street corner, but it also has a bounty of tea salons serving high-quality French tea and pastries. We have two tea salons in the Marais district that are among our favorites. 

Café Carette

Café Carette, with two tea salons in central Paris and a third one with just takeout in Montmartre, has been a crowd-pleaser since 1927. 

The Marais address of Café Carette overlooks the historic Place des Vosges, the first public square of Paris, inaugurated in 1612. The outdoor portion spills over into the covered arcade with brick-lined archways and the inside has an elegant tearoom with gilded mirrors, marble floors and regal portraits. The menu offers a significant selection of green, herbal and black teas from Dammann Freres, the oldest tea brand in France (since 1692) and are served in a China teapots decorated with delicate flowers and a cup and saucer to match. Tip: There’s a fabulous, free-standing Dammann Freres boutique on the other side of Place des Vosges, stocking over 200 varieties of loose tea and tea bags.

Cafe Carette

Café Carette is also known for their rich, dark hot chocolate served with a huge dollop of fresh whipped cream on top. From 4 to 6 p.m., it offers a prix-fixe for €18.50 for coffee, tea or hot chocolate and a pastry. A full menu of drinks, coffee, sandwiches, quiches, breakfast items, salads and soup is also available.

Note: Café Carette doesn’t take reservations and there’s usually a wait to get in on the weekend. 

Marie Antoinette Tea Salon

Au Petite Versailles du Marais Boulangerie and Pâtisserie, just off the Rue de Rivoli, is an award-winning bakery and pastry shop. In 2014, it won the highly coveted and competitive award for the second-best baguette in Paris, and it proudly displays its gold emblem, embossed on its front window. The pastry chef and owner Christian Vabret has won numerous awards for his creative confections, including Meilleur Ouvrier de France, a prestigious prize given out every four years and personally presented by the president. Vabret also has a school in central France where he teaches pastry and breadmaking. 

Marie Antoinette Tea Salon

Next door to Au Petit Versailles du Marais is their offshoot tea salon and café, Marie Antoinette, aptly continuing the royal theme. The outside has classic, rattan café chairs and small, round tables, and the inside salon has hand-painted, mirrored ceilings, period-style furniture and crystal chandeliers. 

An extensive tea menu has nine superb varieties of green, white and black teas, which are named after well-known Paris monuments and neighborhoods. In addition to tea and coffee, Marie Antoinette Tea Salon serves delectable pastries from the bakery next door, which are freshly prepared daily, quiches, burgers, salads and, of course, the award-winning baguette with butter and jam.

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