Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Favorite Cafe or Cafe Experience in Paris?

Favorite Cafe or Cafe Experience in Paris?

Old Oct 5th, 2009, 05:31 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 4,009
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Favorite Cafe or Cafe Experience in Paris?

Tell me about your favorite cafe or cafe experience in Paris!

I'm yearning for an afternoon of wine and canapés in a perfectly appointed Bohemian cafe .... It must have it all.... Location, History, Wine, Food, Waiters and Ambiance!

Also... I'm hoping you remember the name and locale, even your waiter's name, wine and what you ordered.

--Mom bound for Paris
Continental_Drifter is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2009, 06:52 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,683
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I like to go to Deux Magots and sit at the last outside table that is right next to the windows of Louis Vuitton. From my perch I can look at everyone walking up the Rue Bonaparte towards Blvd. St. Germain. This is a great spot to see what shoes people are wearing.

Thin
Cries_Van_Notebook is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2009, 06:53 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 5,927
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Mid-afternoon foot resting time. A cafe on a corner. I order a citron presse and spend an hour sipping, sugaring, diluting, watching the passing world and the cafe sitters. Further details unecessary.
AJPeabody is online now  
Old Oct 6th, 2009, 09:37 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,028
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It varies depending on where I'm staying, it's always some rather unpretentious place I scope out near my hotel. The last place it would be would be near bd St Germain.

I usually order a glass of Brouilly or Cotes du Rhone, it varies depending on my mood. I don't eat between meals and don't eat canapes, especially. Sometimes I have ice cream in the afternoon at a cafe, especially some of the various sundae concoctions (eg, Liegeois or Dame Blanche), but then I'd have a coffee after, or just water with it, not wine.

My favorite waiter is Jean-Luc.
Christina is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2009, 09:49 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,683
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>The last place it would be would be near bd St Germain.<

Thank Gucci for that. If I ever saw you walking towards me I would probably faint from horror.

Thin
Cries_Van_Notebook is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2009, 10:02 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,421
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I totally agree that the best cafe is one you've found not too far from where you're staying to start and end the day. After a couple of days, you're a regular!

A good cafe has excellent light bites (Croque Monsieur, composed salads, tartines, desserts/ice cream, plat du jour even...) and any beverage you desire.

What you're looking for can be found all over Paris.

If you want to hang out with other tourists, watch a passing parade of jeans and sneakers and fanny/backpacks, and pay top prices, head for Blvd St-Germain.
djkbooks is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2009, 10:21 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,525
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My last time in Paris I decided (and price helped) to stay out in the 16th arrondissement. Right Bank, beyond the Eiffel tower, but a 5 minute walk to Seine to see sparkling icon.

Every morning, I would walk the two blocks to "my" cafe, the Mirabeau. There was a nespaper vendor at the corner, so I would pick up the day's paper. Usually I would see the street cleaners in their bright green outfits sweeping down the streets. It being november, there were leaves all over, so they had much to do. Inside, there would nto be too many people, it was 8:30-9AM. Madame would greet me and I would grab a table near the window, to get some of that fall sun. Around me, there might be a business man going over papers, another having a meeting with a colleague. I would order my croissant, OJ and cafe creme, then settle back to read the paper, watch the occasional person come in for a quick cafe, or just to say hello, but it was fairly quiet. There were no tourists, no language other than french there. Paper done, a look at Metro map and destination (I did a lot of morning walking tours). Just before 10, it was time to go..ask for the bill, pay, and usually leave the few cents for Madame. An Au Revoir from both of us and I walked the 20' to the Metro and my day starts.

I liked this compared to some of the busier morning places because of its pace, and the little bit of belonging I felt by the end of the week. Not exciting, but comfortable.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2009, 10:43 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 554
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The best meal that I had in Paris was at Le Cigale Recamier (Metro stop: Sevres-Babylone). Their almond suffle is killer!
PamEwing is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2009, 11:38 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,766
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree with Christina, Michael and djkbooks. A nice cafe near your hotel, away from the tourists on the Blvd. St.Germain. And I certainly would find no interest in watching people's feet- how utterly boring.
Sue4 is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2009, 11:51 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 469
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My two favorite cafes in Paris are Le Castiglione and Cafe Constant; neither are "destination" restaurants, that is because a proper cafe is a local place, where you are known and can be yourself. You just want a salad, fine; want a full meal, that is fine too. I feel the same way about the classic wine bars, like Le Rubis. You must find your own, that is the essence of Paris.
oakglen is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2009, 12:27 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 4,009
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi, Thin, Michel, oakglen, et al.,

Thank you for sharing your ideas! I'm really looking for your "personal experience" somewhere, not simply travel advice. I can get that from any number of guides or by just happening upon a cafe and walking in. I've done that in Paris many times, but I'm looking for that unique spot with some quirky historical anecdote.

Thin and Michel, from your responses, you "get" my question and I thank you!!

Thin, your comment - ^Thank Gucci for that. If I ever saw you walking towards me I would probably faint from horror.^ was hilarious.
Continental_Drifter is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2009, 01:00 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 469
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Le Rubis will take you back to the 50's, with it's zinc bar and menu that hasn't changed in decades ( I have enjoyed this place for over 30 years, a favorite for those of us associated with the old Paribas). This is a bar, not a cafe or restaurant, and even many of the patrons may remind you of central casting for a period movie. The wines are superb (for the price); many of the bottles lack labels... not to worry. They buy from superb vineyards, names you would not recognize. It would be good if you are open minded to andouillette etc.
oakglen is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2009, 01:27 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,525
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oakglen, I think I need to know more of your favorite food and drink spots in Paris, keep them coming

I sense I like what you like
Michel_Paris is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2009, 03:27 PM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 4,009
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Me, too, Michel! Sounding better and better, Oakglen! I look forward to searching out your recommendations!

Mom
Continental_Drifter is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2009, 06:54 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,683
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>I agree with Christina. A nice cafe near your hotel, away from the tourists on the Blvd. St.Germain. And I certainly would find no interest in watching people's feet- how utterly boring.<

Well what the bloody hell are you two--The Sisters Grim--but tourists?

And you probably don't have any interest in looking at shoes because a Louboutin pump would never go with your Steinmart wardrobe.

I can see the two of you walking the streets of Paris--two miseries in Keds with Safeway grocery totes.

Thin
Cries_Van_Notebook is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2009, 07:24 PM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 4,009
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My favorite holiday memory as a child was playing peek a boo from under the kitchen table while our cousins, housekeeper, my mom, aunts, grandmother and great-aunts made limitless paths across the kitchen, through the swinging door, and into the dining room. The parade of fabulous shoes kept me there for ages! My chic Aunt Margaret had the most beautiful ivory heels with bridle-colored trim and bows. She and Uncle Harry always went dancing on Saturday nights and as she passed through the swinging door with her arms laden with goodies to the dining room, her feet seemed to twirl in mid-air in those fantastic shoes. My grandmother always wore spectator pumps if they were in style. When they weren't, she always looked forward to them coming back.

Uh- all of this to say that, yes, I can watch people's well-shod feet in Paris.
Continental_Drifter is offline  
Old Oct 7th, 2009, 04:46 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 44
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We were there in May and loved Les Nemours (sp?) across from the Louvre so much that we went twice. They have the most delicious olives! We drank kir au vin blanc the entire trip, and absolutely recommend it! Also, we loved La Palette in the 6eme, which was near our apartment.

Have fun!
shoegal1032 is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2009, 07:07 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 469
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
La Palette isn't the same since they upgraded the old Turkish toilet that was surrounded by opaque glass; still, on a nice day it's a good place to have a drink, or two, while visiting the art galleries (Gallerie Documents is my favorite poster/print shop).
When staying in the 1st, besides Le Rubis, we tend to hang out at Le Castiglione; locals who work in this pricey area eat in the bar section or at the bar. It's not cheap, but the food quality is high and they serve all day.
Another place that is popular with locals is the bar area at Chez Flottes; if you just want a Croque Imperial or Croque Provencal(veggies only) with a pichet of wine, this is it.

If you stay near the Tour Eiffel, you will probably find your way to Cafe Constant; it benefits from the purchasing power and quality standards of the other Constant restaurants. Some of the dishes may even be prepared in the kitchen of the main one-star restaurant just down the street. FYI, dogs are welcome; I was once seated next to a beautiful French Terrier. He/she had excellent table manners.
oakglen is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2009, 07:14 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,313
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This may not fit your criteria, but we enjoy Chez Francis on Pont de l'Alma. It may be too touristy, but we've had very good meals there. We were traveling with kids and were able to sit outside and enjoy the twinkling of the Eiffel Tower while we had our meal. I was impressed how kind they were to kids... one of my dd is a picky eater and was on a fries 'thing'. They had run out of ketchup and was gave them a very sad face. One of the waiters went next door and found some ... she gave him the sweetest smile. We loved traveling with kids - it actually opened doors and everyone was very kind to us and them.
surfmom is online now  
Old Oct 8th, 2009, 07:57 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,233
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
When staying in the Marais, La Tartine on the rue de Rivoli, was my favorite place. I stopped in once a day, mostly for night cap. The waiter took me under his wing as I was one of a few Americans who stopped by. He'd treat me to the newest infusion drink they were serving.
In March, staying by the Odeon, arond the corner from our apartment, I liked Les Editeurs, a great spot to enjoy the passing parade of tourists and locals. I stopped for lunch at Deux Margots with a friend and was pleasantly surprised how
friendly everyone was. We had a wonderful waiter, this after hearing reports how snotty they were here.
Another time I lunched outside at the brassere isle St Louis. that was a treat with an entertaining waiter and a jazz group playing on the bridge just across the street.
cigalechanta is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information