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20 Adorable French Cafe Theme Party Ideas

French Cafe Theme Party

Updated on: Feb 13, 2024

Bienvenue! For an intimate and charming party, use these ideas to create a delightful French cafe theme party. If there happens to be inclement weather, or you’d prefer to hold the party indoors, this party will be magical no matter the setting. Wherever the party is held, here are some ideas to fill your party with good food, drinks, and French Cafe flair! We can not only help you with your french cafe party needs but we also offer resources to help you with things like staying on budget, great gift ideas, and so much more.

French Cafe Theme Party: Foods

1. Bread Basket

Place a basket of bread on each table for guests to munch on while waiting for their main course. Remember to include classic meats, olive oils, and french cheese as well.

2. Fresh Fruits

Set out platters/bowls of various fruits (e.g. grapes, bananas, apples, berries, etc.) or vegetables (e.g. baby carrots, celery sticks, etc.). Include cubes of cheese, which will make an excellent pairing with the grapes.

3. Soup du Jour

Provide a few soup options for your guest. Serve classic soups, such as French Onion, Cream of Tomato & Basil, or Tourne of Mushroom. Here’s a great chance to test out one of the soup recipes you’ve been longing to try!

4. Salad

Serve a simple house bistro salad with a variety of dressing on the side at your parties.

5. Pasta Dishes

As the main course, serve some pasta dishes, perhaps a regular dish as well as a vegetarian one. Some great ideas are roasted garlic linguini, sun-dried tomato pasta, chicken alfredo, and penne à la vodka.

6. Colorful Vegetable Kebabs

Prepare some kebabs by threading sliced vegetables on wooden skewers. Some vegetables that work well include zucchini, squash, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, eggplant, and asparagus. Top the skewer off with some mushrooms. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper, set some vinaigrette on the side, and you’re all set!

7. Conversations in French

Encourage your guests to call each other either “Mademoiselle” (Mrs.) or “Monsieur” (Mr.), and to throw in some commonly used French words. This is a fun way to immerse your guests in the atmosphere of a French café.

For example:

  • Bonjour → Hello
  • Je m’appelle → My name is…
  • Merci → Thank you

French Cafe Theme Party: Music

To set the cozy ambiance of a French café, make sure your party playlist includes soft Jazz and Blues songs. Some popular artists of the genre are:

  • Ella Fitzgerald
  • Louis Armstrong
  • Billie Holiday
  • Edith Pia
  • Josephine Baker

Also, if you're acquainted to talented friends you could recruit some of them to play or sing a number for your party.

French Cafe Theme Party: Desserts

8. Petite Pastries

French pastries are a must! Set out a selection of bite-sized desserts, such as fruit tarts, cream puffs, éclairs, madeleines, sugar cookies, or macarons. If you plan on baking the majority of the sweets yourself, I must leave you with a macaron warning. These delicious and tiny treats require a lot of time, patience, and attention to do right. I’m by no means a baker and perhaps I just haven’t found the right recipe, but all of my previous attempts have been flops. For an easier planning experience, consider purchasing macarons from a local store or leaving the treat out entirely.

9. Crème Brûlée with Fruit

Serve this popular dessert that consists of a custard base and layer of hard caramel on top. Top it off with some fruit like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

French Cafe Theme Party: Beverages

10. Side-Bar

Set up a mini-bar where guests can simply enjoy some wine, champagne, or beer brewed from a nearby microbrewery.

11. Coffee

Offer different types of coffee drinks to your guests (café au lait, café americaine, café crème, café noisette, café léger, etc.) Remember to have some sugar and cream available at each table.

12. Hot Chocolate

For your non-coffee drinking guests, le chocolat chaud is a yummy alternative. Your can also go the extra step and buy non-dairy varieties for those with other dietary restrictions.

French Cafe Theme Party: Decorations

13. Red, white and blue

The food goes a long way in conveying the theme of your party, but it doesn’t have to stop there! Choose some decorations with the colors of the French flag. You could hang some banners and flags, or use the three colors of the French flag in floral displays or centerpieces.

14. “Street”

If you’d like to go all out, consider decorating the front of your “café” with potted plants or a decorative lamppost. Additionally, to make the café a bit more self-serve, rent a food cart or dress up a table to elegantly display the delicious goods.

15. Signage

Add to the fun and educational value by placing signs in French around the venue. You could have tags in French for each food item, a sign for the bathroom, etc.

16. Lights

Paris has been famously dubbed the “City of Lights”. Introduce some of that beauty to your party with plenty of candles and string lights overhead. You might even dim the room’s lights a bit and hang flickering lights for that twinkling sky aesthetic.

17. Pink and Black

If you’d like to go a bit more subtle with your color scheme, pink and black is an in-theme combo that’s very fashionable. Decorate your venue with pink and black balloons, tie black and pink ribbons around flower vases and food baskets, etc.

18. Chairs

Don’t leave those chair backs bare! If you’ve got the time and supplies to spare, decorating the chairs can add the extra wow factor. Try to implement your color theme into the design. For example, you could tie pretty ribbons with your chosen colors. Or for a fun place card, you could hang tiny signs onto the chairs with the guests’ names written in a loopy font. These will also serve as great party favors.

French Cafe Theme Party: Party Favors

19. Keychain

Party favors certainly don’t have to be extravagant! A French flag keychain is a cute, in-theme, and inexpensive party favor that’ll satisfy all your guests. You could place the keychain at each table setting or have the whole bundle in a basket near the exit.

20. Picture Frame

Who doesn’t love picture frames? A small picture frame makes for the perfect party favor, especially if you have relatively few guests. If you’d like to add to the mementos, you could place Polaroid cameras around the venue for guests to snap pictures with their yummy sweets and fellow French enthusiasts.

French Cafe Theme Party: Invitations

For your invitations, be sure to include the time, date, and location of your French-themed party. Don’t forget to add the directions to your “café” and a phone number where your guests can RSVP (répondez s’il vous plaît).

If you would like to get creative, print your invitations on mini cut-outs of French flags, the Eiffel Tower, a beret, or even items related to French food!

French Cafe Theme Party: Conclusion

This is such a cute theme party that is not really common but it can be a small French cafe theme party for brunch with the girls or for a birthday party. We hope you enjoyed and get inspired by the ideas. Visit our site for more really helpful blogs, tools, and other resources. We have other blogs that help you with adult birthday party ideas, other party themes, general birthday party ideas, and more!

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Contributors: Stephanie Castillo, Rachel Tu, Emma Airey, Morgan McHose and Stacie Lowe

Emma Airey

Point Loma Nazarene University

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Morgan McHose

Loyola University of Chicago

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Stacie Raeven S. Lowe

Northern Arizona University

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