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-   -   La Procope in Paris (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/la-procope-in-paris-410849/)

elle Mar 14th, 2004 02:29 PM

La Procope in Paris
 
My husband has always wanted to eat at La Procope, more for the history than anything else (he's a coffee freak). I had always discouraged him, because I had heard the food was dull and overpriced.

But I've been searching through some threads where some of you have said that you liked this place and had a great experience there.

Anyone care to elaborate? What did you have, what made it special?

Merci.

cigalechanta Mar 14th, 2004 02:44 PM

I was there years ago and sat out on the wrought iron balcony upstairs but the food I can't remember. I went for the same reasons. It's the oldest restaurant in paris

Underhill Mar 14th, 2004 02:56 PM

With a toilette of the same age...

cigalechanta Mar 14th, 2004 03:00 PM

LOL, underhill!

easytraveler Mar 14th, 2004 03:09 PM

Can't tell you about the food, as it was a long time ago.

Anyhow, the street is interesting: on the rue de l'Ancienne Commedie in the Cour du Commerce St Andre; this is where the guillotine was perfected.

Cafe Procope was the world's first coffeehouse, so it is billed. Has gigantic pictures of Ben Franklin, Voltaire and one other person in front.

I love walking the streets of big cities in Europe! Every step brings some interesting fact from history! Going to Le Procope is to walk in the footsteps of the literary giants of France: Rousseau, Diderot, Voltaire, Anatole France...it's such a rush for me, as I grew up reading a lot of French literature.

Hope you enjoy your visit too! :)

RonZ Mar 14th, 2004 07:08 PM

We had a nice lunch there last August and I would recommend it.

historytraveler Mar 14th, 2004 07:13 PM

Ate there years ago but too many dogs and the food not memorable. I was not impressed.

china_cat Mar 14th, 2004 07:19 PM

My mom and I ate there last spring. Although I think we had better food in other restaurants, it was my mom's favorite meal of the trip. We both really liked the atmosphere, and the service was nice. I ate escargot, and was having trouble getting the snails out using the utensils, which led to an amusing exchange with an Englishman sitting at the next table. Mom had a polenta and asparagus dish which she really liked.

I was surprised. A similarly historic restaurant in Boston would have had bad food and rude waitstaff. I really wasn't expecting much. But we liked it very much.

marcy_ Mar 14th, 2004 07:27 PM

We had a wonderful experience there a few years ago. The food was excellent, and we did enjoy reading about the history.

But what I remember the most is having very interesting conversations with the people seated next to us. The tables are very close to each other, and we had a lovely couple from the Netherlands on one side of us, and a Spanish man and woman on the other side. Everyone ended up talking to each other, and it was a very convivial atmosphere. We had a great time!

cigalechanta Mar 14th, 2004 07:33 PM

Not true china_cat. The old Union Oyster House is VERY Friendly. But Durgin Park builds their reputation for beng rude for fun. Years ago the older women who waitressed would insult you and that was passed on as a gimmick.
The German restaurant on Stuart is another friendly ancient place, the name escapes me. But the Union is the oldest in Boston

indytravel Mar 16th, 2004 08:27 AM

It's been a while since I was there, May/June of 2001. I'm like some of the others I thought the food was very good but nothing really sticks out. It's been too long. I really enjoyed the ambiance. It was very cool to think how long the restaurant has been there and wonder just how many famous and not-so-famous people have walked in there.

I think cigale mentioned the second floor, wrought iron balcony. I think that would be a fun location. The street is small enough you don't get big diesel trucks running down it and belching out clouds of black smoke. Fortunately I didn't have to use Paris' oldest bathroom while I was there. :-)

Le Procope is part of the Frères Blanc group: www.freresblanc.com

I ate at another of their properties Le Grand Café in December and enjoyed it too. My friend really wanted to go there because it's in the building where the world's first motion picture was screened for a paying audience (or something like that.) I copied this from another thread:

"Our last meal was dinner at the Grand Café on Boulevard des Cappucines. A kir, a pastis, a foie gras, a French onion soup, a bottle of red, steak on sautéed apple slices, a grilled fish, a grand marnier crêpe and a grand marnier soufflé for 145euro. By far it was the most expensive meal of the trip."

KH Mar 16th, 2004 09:26 AM

I ate there last June- it was really nice (except for us sweating while we ate b/c it was so warm and no A/C). I thought the food and atmosphere (which was neat and had a lot of character) was really good- not as touristy as I had read. Had a great steak, escargot, and langoustins- would definitely go back.

Hope this helps!
Kelly

daph Mar 16th, 2004 01:55 PM

We had lunch there a few years ago and found most of what you all have said to be true. But I can't remember the world's oldest bathroom [which I'm sure I visited]. What made it seem so old? I can tolerate any bathroom so long as it's reasonably clean and not Turkish!


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