Montpellier certainly has no shortage of cafes. With French classes either just in the mornings, or finishing before 4pm, the afternoons are free to explore some of Montpellier’s best offerings, and put all the French you have learned to the test. Whether you’re catching up with your friends from the language school, working on homework for your French courses or just looking for somewhere to relax for a bit, this list covers all bases.
Coffee in the squares
Perhaps the most obvious option is going to one of the many, many café terraces dotted around Montpellier. These are very easy to find: any open square here is surrounded by cafes. You definitely pay a bit more for the aesthetic location, but once in a while it’s nice to treat yourself and feel fully immersed in the French café culture. Special mentions go to Napoleon Dynamite in Place de la Canourge, Ma Première Cantine in Place Jean Jaurès, and Toast And Tea for one of my favourite views here, that of the beautiful Eglise Saint Roch.
This café is my absolute favourite for a (very rare) rainy day. Not least because it is also a bookshop, it is the perfect place to read. They have tables outside on the Rue du Bras de Fer, one of the most aesthetic streets in Montpellier, as well as loads of space inside, which is always warm, cosy, and complete with a great playlist. Downstairs is the majority of the book collection, as well as many more tables, and also a slightly bizarre Harry Potter shrine. Their collection of different teas is frankly impressive, which means a lot coming from a British person, and what I love is that they are all named after different literary figures. I would also really recommend going there just to check out the books, as the owners definitely have great taste and the box of second-hand books just outside the entrance often holds some hidden gems…
Also on the Rue du Bras de Fer, Citron has the best cakes and desserts (sadly not the most cost effective ones). There are seats out the front, but I would recommend asking if the garden is open. Sitting here makes it feel like you’re having coffee with a friend in your very own private garden in central Montpellier, a luxury afforded to few!
Les Demoiselles is in a very studenty area of town, so it’s a great base for exploring the vintage shops and cool boutiques around here, and there are always other students there working or chatting. It is well known for its vegan and gluten free food, but regardless of whether you are vegan or not, the cakes are incredible.
Then, just next door is ADN, a café with a similar cool student vibe. ADN’s main attraction for me is the comfortable seating; their sofas are the perfect place to curl up, and if you’re lucky enough to grab the window seat, you have the ideal spot to people watch. Both these cafes next door to each other serve great coffee and have free wifi, so are great places for working on homework for your French courses in Montpellier.
This is quite a small café, so has quite a cute cosy vibe if you sit indoors, and a few little tables outside in the sun. The coffee is great here and the staff are so lovely. I need to go back to try their breakfast as it looks incredible…
This is the best brunch spot in Montpellier, complete with good vibes and great pancakes. It’s probably the most popular brunch spot too, so I would recommend getting there early to avoid a long wait time. My friends and I have tried to go here at the weekend after going out multiple times, but this definitely requires careful planning, good time management, and the faith that everyone will wake up in time to beat the queue. Sadly we are yet to be successful. However, if you go in the week or you manage to wake up earlier, this is a great spot.
Koffee et Kitchen
Koffee et Kitchen is my ultimate productivity café. The café is downstairs, but upstairs is a workspace with lots of seating and good wifi, perfect for finishing French homework. Whereas you have to pay for other workspaces in Montpellier, Koffee et Kitchen is free – you just need to grab a coffee or a snack from downstairs.