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American Pastries and New York Style Coffee

American-born Merce Muse opens a New York style coffee house in the North Marais district. Now you have no excuse for not checking out this increasingly food-happy part of town.

Merce & the Muse
1bis rue Dupuis, 3rd
M° Temple

Open Tues-Fri 10:30am-7pm, Sat 11am-7pm, and Sun 11am-5:30pm.

Last week I went to visit my friend Merce Muse at her recently-opened New York style coffee house, Merce & the Muse. It’s in a fun little corner of the North Marais, right by the Carreau du Temple. Years ago I used to go to an internet café here. Now the neighborhood is full of all sorts of gourmet foodie shops and cafés (Mary the Italian gelato shop is next door, and the rare ingredient shop Goumanyat is a few doors down).

Elise and Merce, and the fabulous cakes.

Merce’s new coffee house has an adorable neo-retro feel, with huge windows and high ceilings so it’s light and airy. There’s a large selection of coffee-based drinks, teas, and, of course, pastries. I couldn’t decide on the Rose-Cardamom cake or the Lavender-Lemon cake, so my friend Elise (aka The Cowgirl Chef) got one and I got the other. Both are magnificently tasty, and not overly sweet like most American pastries.

There are also carrot cakes, rice krispie treats, and a selection of salads and sandwiches. The coffee comes from the Danish company Coffee Collective, and Merce actually prepares it correctly so that the taste isn’t bitter or weak. At the moment, no decaf available, so you’ll have to just suck it up and be jittery if you’re like me.If you stop by at lunch, be prepared for crowds, as it’s already quite the popular place to be. Late afternoon seems to be the best time if you want a place to sit and enjoy your coffee and cakes.

The thing I like most about Merce’s coffee house is that it isn’t “American” in that kitsch, cheap way that so many other venues in Paris have adopted. The quality of the products speak for themselves, without any need to sell some sort of warped image of America as nothing more than a junk-food capital of the world. Merci Merce!

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