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Cafe near St. Germaine De Pres

Old Mar 2nd, 2004, 04:19 PM
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Cafe near St. Germaine De Pres

My husband and I are travelling to Paris at the end of April - thanks to this post and all of your wonderful advice we will be staying at Hotel Madison. Does anybody have a good recommendation for a cafe for our first night? I am sure we will be very jet-lagged and not up to fine dining but would like some typical French fare and vino, of course. Would love something close that we could just kind of stumble to (and definitely stumble back) - also, advice on reservations. All the comments have been so great!!! I have used it extensively to help plan our trip. I promise to report back after I return and pass along all my "finds".
westiedogs is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2004, 04:30 PM
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There are a LOT of great suggestions, but here are a couple that are close by and offer great food in an unpretentious atmosphere (interestingly, both are under the same ownership):

Bistrot Le Mazarin, 42 rue Mazarine (

La Grille St. Germain, 14 rue Mabillon

I'm not even certain that these places even take reservations, but you could stop in early for a glass of wine and check that out. Either would make a very nice "first night in Paris" experience without being over the top. They're cozy and intimate.

Flyboy is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2004, 04:40 PM
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I'm sure get a lot responses to this one! On of my favorites is Relais d'Entrecote on 20 bis rue St. Benoit. It is just a block from the intersection of Rue Bonaparte and St. Germain. Walk on St. Germain past Les Deux Maggot towards Cafe Flore and turn right on rue St. Benoit, and you'll see it about a block away. They have a set menu which I think is very good. Salad, beef with sauce, crispy frites, dessert and it was under 39E last summer. The only decision is what kind of wine to get. I have been there several times and always had a nice experience and good food. Have a fun trip! I'm sure you will not have trouble finding good food!
cls2paris is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2004, 04:43 PM
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Depends on how far you want to stumble!

You are across the street from deux Magots, or walk 2 or 3 blocks to Relais de l' won't even have to order , they only serve 1 thing ..a great salad with walnuts, steak- frites with a GREAT sauce and then you get seconds! Good house wine too!

A small cafe, on the corner of Rue Bonaparte and Rue jacob .. about 3 blocks from your hotel..Au Pres du Clerc..nice varied menu.

Or hit the Jacque Cagna restos on Rue Christine..Rotisserie d"un face or Le espadon bleu..or right across from them...Chez Fernand..maybe 3 blocks from the Madison.

You are actually surrounded by choices!
jody is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2004, 05:03 PM
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First trip to Paris? Sounds like the perfect night for a stop at either Cafe Deux Magots or Brasserie Lipp, both just a couple blocks (if that) from your hotel. Two of the most famous cafes on the Left Bank.
earl30 is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2004, 05:09 PM
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If you just want a quick but not fancy meal, head just a few doors down the block (on your left as you exit the hotel) to Vesuvius, an unpretentious, attractive Italian restaurant that also does good French dishes; the menu is fairly extensive, and there are daily specials. We always eat there at least once when staying at the Madison. You won't need a reservation, and it opens at 7:30. Otherwise there's a Léon de Bruxelles (great mussels) down the block on the right, and even closer is a place we haven't tried, but it's perhaps 2 doors from the hotel. Within the same one-block radius are a Thai and a Chinese restaurant, both good.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2004, 05:17 AM
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Thanks to all for the suggestions! Sounds wonderful--can't wait to go. I've been before only for short times and it is my husband's first trip.
westiedogs is offline  
Old Mar 3rd, 2004, 07:13 PM
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Not necessarily for your 1st night, but this is an area you might miss, though it's right around the corner from your hotel.

Rue des Canettes/Rue Guisarde. (Next to St. Sulpice behind Cafe Marie). Locate it on your can get there from Rue du Four or Rue Mabillon.

These little streets are full of cafes, restaurants, creperies, pizzarias, etc. One night we wanted a light meal and got great salads at one of the pizzarias. Another night we had a light meal at a little Italian deli. Some of the restaurants looked good, too, but we never had reservations in time.
JeanneB is offline  
Old Mar 4th, 2004, 12:56 AM
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We always stay in that area and love it.

1) Just across the street on Boulevard St. Germain is the bistrot Vegenende, where we had a wonderful meal in a beautiful traditional setting.

2) Just down the street and around the corner is Le Be Bop on r. Gregoire de Tours. Probably our favorite and you can read more by pulling up my recent trip report on Paris and La Rochelle, if you like.

3) Sometimes, though you just want something hot and simple (comfort food). If that's what you need then go to Pauls on the corner of r. Buci and r. de Seine. This is a great bakery which serves fantastic homemade soup, omelettes and other lighter fare (except Sundays). We always have breakfast here, but you won't need that staying at the Madison!

4) If you like mussels, just down from the Madison on the same side of the street is Leon de Bruxelles...a chain, but good and hassle free with a prix fixe menu.

Now you've gone and made me hungry!!
klondike is offline  
Old Mar 4th, 2004, 01:20 AM
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Now I'm not only hungry........I want to go , too!
jody is offline  
Old Mar 4th, 2004, 06:00 AM
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Hi Klondike,

I'd love to read your trip report - how do I get to it? Thanks to all for the info.
westiedogs is offline  
Old Mar 4th, 2004, 07:01 AM
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To see Klondike's posts, just click on his/her name in the post above, and a list will appear at the left. Just scroll down and you will see one titled "Trip Report London, Paris..."
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Old Mar 9th, 2004, 06:58 PM
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If you're looking for a café close to the Hotel Madison on boulevard Saint Germain, you couldn't do better than Les Deux Magots or Café de Flore. We have breakfast every morning at Café de Flore -- the best croissants we tried in Paris, and we tried them all We had snacks, salads, and sandwiches at Les Deux Magots, and they were all good... no reservations necessary, as it's a café, and an incomparable view!

sandypaws3 is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2004, 07:01 PM
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A couple of very nice restaurants are Le Petit Zinc at 11 r St Benoît and Allard at 41 r St André des Arts. Both are within walking distance.

sandypaws3 is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2004, 07:18 PM
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Someone above said you were across the street from Les Deux Magots. If that's true, you will be right beside Brasserie Lipp. For a first night, walk downstairs, go next door and settle in the back for a quiet, well served, pleasant meal. If you go a little early, around 6:30 PM, you won't need a reservation.

The food is fine and the wait staff wonderful. Then you can crawl back upstairs and sleep. You'll be ready by the end of dinner with an overnight flight!
SalB is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2004, 07:22 PM
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A few ladies on our flight home were complaining about Cafe de Flore's breakfast being way overpriced-more than 20 euros. Is this true?
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Old Mar 14th, 2004, 11:22 AM
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Café de Flore was about 20 Euros when we were there in April 2003, so it may well be over 20 Euros this year We may have to limit our breakfasts at Café de Flore and pick up a croissant at Gerard Mulot some of the time, but we'll definitely eat there at least a couple of times... we wouldn't want to miss it entirely.

sandypaws3 is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2004, 11:31 AM
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Thanks for confirming the price, Sandy. Going back to the women on my flight, they said the breakfast was just a continental breakfast. Honestly, that's more than overpriced in my opinion as we couldn't afford to do that as a family of 3-not even once (60+ euros for breakfast!).
francophile03 is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2004, 11:49 AM
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69, Rue du Seine

wine bar & cafe. wonderful, simple food & great wine selection.
Old Mar 14th, 2004, 01:52 PM
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I agree with the above post. Fish is a great restaurant. Small, but good food and wine.

grosenb is offline  

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