Fondation Café

Fondation Café

Hipsters may have ‘ruined Paris’, but this new kale-loving, steel-cut-oat-eating brand of young things have certainly done wonders for the city’s once woeful – if not altogether non-existent – coffee culture. And for that, I shall be eternally grateful.

Chris Nielsen, formerly of Ten Belles, is the latest bright young hipster spark to be making waves on the Paris cafe scene with Fondation Café; the espresso bar he opened in October this year. The charming antipodean expat has been creating a veritable storm in a lovely green coffee cup of late – serving up smooth brews, and fruity filters from behind the counter of his cosy, light-filled, Haut-Marais haunt.

The stripped-back interior, with its light wooden stools and tables, and sparse concrete bench top leaves the limelight to what is undoubtedly the main event in this intimate little coffee shop is the enormous spaceship-esque Kees van der Westen Spirit coffee machine, which Nielsen proudly informs me, is the first of its kind in Paris.

Fondation Café Fondation Café

The coffee, from Parisian coffee roasters Belleville Brulerie, recently launched by Thomas Lehoux (Ten Belles), David Flynn (Le Bal and Telescope) and Anselme Blayney (Le Bal and Ten Belles) is, as one would expect, the perfect blend of smooth, complex and rich, and the banana cake by sweet-treat extraordinaire Emperor Norton was totally moreish.  Also on the menu: granola, toast with avocado (yay!) or ricotta and honey, as well as a selection of cakes, cookies and tarts.

It’s fair to say that with brews and banana bread as good as these, this hipster certainly ain’t getting a roasting from me.

Emerald Bond (author of

Fondation Café
16 rue Dupetit Thouars 75003
8.30am – 6.00pm
Metro: Temple or Republique