The Best Traditional Cafés in Paris

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Sipping a coffee while sitting in one of the street side Parisian cafés would be in the bucket list of many travelers. There are several cafés in Paris where some of the most legendary names of history got their best ideas. In fact, as these places let you enjoy the essence of being a true French native, you have to include some of them in your Paris walking tours. Below are some of the best traditional cafés you can try out.

Café De La Paix

One of the iconic cafés in Paris, this place is a declared historic site of the French Government. It has all the ideal ingredients of an artistic ambiance. This is clear from the fact that the place was frequently visited by artists including Emile Zola and Guy de Maupassant. It is said that you will surely run into one of your friends at this café.

Le Procope

Established in 1686, this is the oldest café in Paris. The place was once a casual hangout place for famous names like Benjamin Franklin and Voltaire. The café is ideal for those who love a taste of history alongside their coffee. Its interiors are filled with chandeliers as well as antique paintings that adorn its medieval walls. Do not forget to taste their special attraction, Coq au Vin.

Le Select

Yet another top café in Paris, this place has a long list of legends who were regular customers of this very place. This includes the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald, Picasso, and Henry Miller. Pull up a wicker chair and sit in the mosaic tile-lined interiors or enjoy the sun from the terrace. Note that smoking is banned inside the café.

The Hemingway Bar

The bar, named after the iconic writer, is a great hangout spot for those who love to drink in a special ambiance. It houses 25 pictures from his work, ‘The Moveable Feast’. You can enjoy varieties of beers from all over the world. Note that this was also a favorite spot of Sartre as well as James Joyce. The furniture of the place is also very attractive with all the leather stools and wooden paneling.

La Closerie Des Lilas

Its frequent visitors made this café famous, the reputed names in that being Oscar Wilde, Emile Zola, Paul Verlaine, and Paul Cézanne. Interestingly, the tables here are named after these legendary people. You can savor a drink at the piano bar, or sip on a cappuccino at the afternoon café at this peaceful spot.

Les Deux Magots

This café was also a frequent hang out spot for famous people like Hemingway, Picasso, and Albert Camus. The place is a cozy retreat where you can sit back and do people watching besides your café crème. In addition, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre used to share the space for discussions too, so this café should be a must-go on your Paris walking tours.

Le Café Tournon

Located next to the Luxembourg gardens, this place is usually bustling with celebrities, politicians, and journalists. Duke Ellington, the renowned jazz musician and composer, used to perform at this very place. In fact, the jazz fraternity of the Saint Germain neighborhood originated here. The best recommendations range from an evening meal to a cappuccino in the afternoon. The place also has a range of market fresh bites as well as regional wines.

Café De Flore

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Largely unchanged from the arrangement during World War II, this place has an attractive vintage ambiance. With wide mirrors, red booths, and a great clientele, it is definitely a great attraction in Paris. You can relive the times of the past here when Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone De Beauvoir used to enthrall the audience with their oratory masterpieces.


Established back in 1899, this is one of the most celebrated cafés in Paris. The place is located overlooking the famous Champs Elysees. The café is frequently visited by celebrities, particularly on special occasions like the after-party of Cesar Film Awards. It is a custom to get one of your pictures taken on top of its golden stars or the sidewalk entrance.

Le Baron Rouge

This is a wine bar located in the 12th arrondissement. The place offers plenty of alcohol and the tables here are creatively made out of stacked up wine crates as well as redwood slabs. Most of the visitors would be young Parisians stopping over for a late night drink after work.

Café De La Rotonde

Thriving with energy from 1911, the place used to host artists like Amedeo Modigliani and Picasso. These artists used to paint masterpieces in exchange of drinks back then. The Art Deco décor inside the café, and the vintage Parisian feel that the place invokes, make it definitely worth visiting.

Le Coupole

Le Coupole became the largest brasserie in 1927, and since then, has excited Parisians with its delicious varieties like platters of oysters and shrimp scampi. The place also serves great iced coffees as well as champagne. This café was also a regular meeting spot for several creative minds including Hemingway, Joseph Kessel, Sartre, and de Beauvoir.