A good neighborhood coffee shop is small and comfy, a local place where you can pluck down and get lost in your work, or hang out with friends. It should be warm and inviting, and always have a gentle hum in the background. A perfect home away from home, just around the corner.

Which is precisely what Merce and the Muse would be for me, if I were to live in Paris. Small and quiet, the place has a decidedly East Village vibe that’s hard to find outside of New York. Located in a quieter part of the city, you’re not too far from a park and a fruit market, making this a nice stop on a leisurely afternoon. There’s a small selection of delectable looking, rave-worthy food.

While many rave about the coffee in Paris, I found it to be generally hit or miss. Here it’s definitely a hit. I went for an espresso, and it was perfectly roasted, bold and Italian in style, with a crisp yet rich flavor that lingered just long enough without leaving an aftertaste. And, I’ll be honest – I forgot to grab the receipt, but I believe it was somewhere around 2€.

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