So called because Honoré de Balzac averaged 50 cups of the black stuff in a night of writing, this character-filled café offers baguette sandwiches and desserts, too. Located in an 1895 pump house of the preserved Gooderham and Worts Distillery (now a pedestrian district), Balzac’s benefits from splendid Victorian architecture.
It has lofty ceilings and brick walls that are delicately adorned with 1920s paraphernalia, from the old-fashioned painted posters for coffee to the enormous salvaged chandelier.
Order at the stunning curved bar made of pressed tin with all its silvery coffee accoutrements. Relax in a whicker chair at the marble topped tables, or on the sofa of the mezzanine gallery and while away an afternoon contemplating Sartre.