The 7 iconic cafes in Paris that you cannot miss

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Few other cities can match the coffee culture of Paris. Synonymous with ornate interiors and expansive terraces, the city’s rich history of cafés flourished in the late 19th century, when writers, philosophers and creatives spent hours discussing any and all topics in the largest café in Paris. coffee shops Years later, the city is still fueled by its strong coffee identity. Although new coffee shops continue to appear on the scene, the classics are still the classics for a reason, and are certainly worth a visit during your trip to Paris. Fair warning, you may not get the best coffee of your life, and you’ll certainly pay dearly for it, but for the sake of connecting with the city’s rich creative past, it’s well worth it. Take a look at these iconic Parisian cafes to visit on your next trip to the City of Lights.

The pallet

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For classic Parisian cafe vibes with great food and great people watching, look no further than La Palette. Located in the Saint-Germain area of ​​Paris, this historic café was a favorite of Picasso himself, as well as several current celebrities. Despite its fame, La Palette hasn’t lost any of its old-school charm. Expect solid bistro food and ample outdoor seating with lots of character to boot. Even Anthony Bourdain was known to love taking excursions to this former left bank gem. 43 Rue de Seine, 75006

the two wizards

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When looking for iconic Parisian cafes, Les Deux Magots may be the most famous of all. Located in the Saint-Germain area of ​​the city, this historic café first opened its doors in 1885 and hosted philosophers such as Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, as well as James Joyce, Albert Camus and other talented creatives, so much so, that the café even created its own literary prize, which has been awarded to new French writers for almost 100 years. Expect massive coffees (at an equally massive price) and an unforgettable atmosphere. We recommend sticking to classic espresso or allongé to keep the bill at bay. 6 Pl. Saint-Germain des Pres, 75006

the procope

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Considered the oldest café in Paris, Le Precope’s impressive roots date back to 1686, when Sicilian chef Procopio Cutò first founded the establishment. While other classic cafes are better known for hosting the likes of Fitzgerald and Hemingway, the seats at this epic institution have been taken by Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin, and even Thomas Jefferson. The cafe’s lunch menu is still around 20 euros, which for a tourist establishment is a bargain in the City of Lights. Grab a banquet seat next to one of the venue’s bright red-hued walls and enjoy a blast from the past. 13 Rue de l’Ancienne Comédie, 75006


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Of all the classic cafés in Paris, Le Consulat may be the most charming. Unlike the sprawling, neon-lit terraces of those on Boulevard Montparnasse, Le Consulat’s cozy, pocket-sized interior can fit a handful of tables at a time, and its small but charming terrace doesn’t have many more. Beloved by Van Gogh, Monet and other artists alike, this Instagram-worthy spot is perfect for a cup of coffee and fulfilling all your cobbled street people-watching dreams, though we recommend going early on weekdays for the more comfortable experience. . (Bonus: Le Consulat has also been said to be home to some of the best steak and chips in the city; we’ll let you be the judge of that.) 18 Rue Norvins, 75018

I selected you

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Along with neighboring Le Dôme, La Rotonde and La Coupole, Le Select is one of several iconic cafés located on Boulevard Montparnasse. Known for its neon-lit sign and massive outdoor terrace, this former institution (along with its neighbors) was once a haven of intellectual conversation for F. Scott Fitzgerland, Picasso, Simone de Beauvoir, and Ernest Hemingway, the late of which he lived just around the corner and called the café the “soul of Montparnasse”. Expect mediocre bites and overpriced coffees, but for the history and people-watching, it’s well worth the expense. 99 Bd du Montparnasse, 75006

Flora Cafe

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Located right across from Les Deux Magots, Café de Flore has equally deep roots in the Saint-Germain neighborhood. Established in 1887, this famous meeting place was equally adored by Sartre and de Beauvoir, as well as other philosophers, existentialists, and surrealists alike. However, the story goes that it was actually the cafeteria’s interior heater, not the tasty coffee, that kept de Beauvoir coming back for more; even Sartre considered the Café de Flore to be the place where the couple felt most at home away from home. This legendary place is still considered a rival to Les Deux Magots. 172 Bd Saint-Germain, 75006

belleville fountain

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While La Fontaine de Belleville may not have the history of the cafes mentioned above, its 1920s-inspired atmosphere and impressive beers promise to capture the heart of any coffee lover. Located in the 10th arrondissement of Paris, this locally beloved cafe features large mirrors, gorgeous artwork, and wide rattan chairs, both indoors and out, as well as live jazz on the weekends and great food. All of La Fontaine de Belleville’s products are locally sourced, and the on-site excellent coffee comes from nearby Belleville Brûlerie. While it may not be a classic yet, this cafe definitely has a long future ahead of it. 31-33 Rue Juliette Dodu, 75010

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