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Your Opinion - Best Outdoor Cafe in Paris?

Your Opinion - Best Outdoor Cafe in Paris?

Old May 24th, 2005, 08:20 AM
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Your Opinion - Best Outdoor Cafe in Paris?

Hello,
I'm going to Paris for the first time in just a couple of weeks with a few friends, and hoping for pleasant weather. On all of our "lists to do" is just whiling away time sipping coffee/wine/tea in a cafe and watching the world go by. What are your favorite places for this?
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Old May 24th, 2005, 08:26 AM
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Of course they're "touristy" and overpriced, but you must go at least once to Deux Magots and/or Cafe de Flore, on Blvd. St. Germain. And the world definitely goes by that corner!
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Old May 24th, 2005, 08:31 AM
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Agreed- wouldn't miss it anytime I'm in Paris.... exciting area!
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Old May 24th, 2005, 08:52 AM
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We preferred Cafe Bonaparte, just a few steps away.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 09:35 AM
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We love Cafe Bonaparte. It is not far from Deux Magots and Cafe Flore. The waiters are friendly and pleasant, it is more reasonably priced, the croissants are better and the people watching is better.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 09:47 AM
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Outside table at Chez Eugene in the very touristy Place du Tertre...lots of fun to watch the crowd mill around from a sitting position, glass of wine in hand. (Chez Eugene is off to the side, rather than on the main 'thoroughfare').

Cafe Esmeralda across from the little park behind Notre Dame - you can watch the busloads of tourists, look at Notre Dame, and see if there are any street entertainers on the little bridge.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 09:54 AM
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On our recent trip we did go to Deux Magots. As an ex-English teacher, I'm of course a Hemingway reader. As they say, it is a must. However, I was surprised at the level of street noise. We spent a few different times having wine in outdoor cafes since the weather was very good. Eventually, we yielded to the peace and quiet inside. We even returned twice to eat at a restaurant on Rue Buci. Maybe eventually I'll find the name--across the alley from the little shop selling olive oil and sea salt.
It's true, it is more peaceful outdoors at the cafes on the two isles.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 10:58 AM
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Chez Francis (opposite Alma Marceau metro station).
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Old May 24th, 2005, 11:02 AM
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Le Dôme at Place École Militaire, a very busy corner just down from the Champ de Mars.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 11:08 AM
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Scossa on the Place Victor Hugo in the 16th, esp. on a sunny day when you can watch the fountains and the Parisians and nary a Rick Steves guidebook in sight! (not that there's anything wrong with that)
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Old May 24th, 2005, 11:50 AM
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It's definitely Cafe Flore!!! I have had an arrival-night-in-Paris tradition for decades of dropping by the Flore on arrival night and having a kir royale...a glass of cassis and champagne...there's not much better in life...it's as smooth as silk and worth every expensive Euro! Happy Travels!
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Old May 24th, 2005, 01:38 PM
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>... a kir royale...a glass of cassis and champagne..<

I should hope that it is Chambord and champagne.

(Doesn't really matter what the bubbly is.)

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Old May 24th, 2005, 01:42 PM
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La Chope Café at 2-4 Place de la Contrescarpe.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 04:25 PM
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So many places. . .

Deux Magots and Cafe Bonaparte, bien sur. Also, at Carrefour Vavin, any of the "American" cafes--La Coupole, La Rotunde, Le Select, Le Dome.

On Place Contrescarpe, we like Cafe Delmas. There's a place in the 7th--Cafe Malar? maybe, on rue Malar--where we spent a lovely spring afternoon sipping Beaujolais at just the perfect temperature and watching the world go by.

Cafe Viaduct, at the Viaduct des Arts. Cafe Beauborg, right across from the Pompidou Center, is fun in a manic sort of way. We also like sitting on the terrasse at La Tartine, a wine bar on rue St. Antoine in the Marais. I'm sure I'll think of more. . .

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Old May 24th, 2005, 04:47 PM
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Tut Tut Ira! chambord and champagne is not a Kir Royale.. A Kir or Kir Royale is creme de cassis and white wine or champagne. chambord is a raspberry liquour
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Old May 24th, 2005, 05:23 PM
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Yes, the traditional Kir Royale is made with Creme de Cassis but Chambord lovers enjoy an absolutely marvelous variation on this storied classic. Many call it the Chambord Royale, of course, but Chambord simply calls it "Chambord and Champagne." For a wonderful website design experience, check out http://www.chambordonline.com/
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Old May 24th, 2005, 05:29 PM
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I'm noticing more and more specialty "kirs"--white wine with something other than the traditional cassis. Auberge Nicolas Flamel has a house "kir" that uses a fraise de bois eau de vie--it is soooo good. I bought a bottle and started making drinks that I called "kirs sorcieres" as an homage to Flamel (and Harry Potter).

Chez Janou's specialty kir last time we were there featured a chestnut-flavored liqueur. And in the south of France, if you ask for a kir, they may steer you toward a "myro"--white wine (probably NOT Bourgogne aligote) and creme de myrtilles (blueberries). Also tres yum.

But jody is correct--un kir veritable features cassis. Chambord sounds like a Loire variation.



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Old May 24th, 2005, 07:36 PM
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And then of course is the Communard which is red wine & creme de cassis!

To continue hopingtotravel's vein, Hemingway (and Miller) also mentioned the big 3 in Montparnasse: Le Select, Le Dome & La Rotonde at the crossroads of bd du Montparnasse, rue Delambre (where the Dingo used to be) and bd Raspail.

Fouquet's on the Champs Elysées was James Joyce's and Hemingway's favorite.

And there's great people watching on the Place des Vosges at Ma Bourgogne & my fave little place, Nectarine.

http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/tp/fc74a/


Also, another fave of mine is Café de la Mairie, one of Henry Miller's haunts, on Place St-Sulpice in the 6th.

http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/tp/ff86e/

Next trip, I'd like to check out Closerie des Lilas, Hemingway's favorite, which is on the bd du Montparnasse at the end of rue Nôtre-Dame-des-Champs (where he once lived with Hadley).
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Old May 25th, 2005, 06:17 AM
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And just to confuse things even further, a Communard can also be called a Cardinale. . . guess it depends whether you're Marxist or Catholic?

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Old May 25th, 2005, 06:57 AM
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Wow! There are so many options (not that I expected any less). Thanks so much for your suggestions. Looks like I'll be squeezing in time for things like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, instead of the other way around! And, as I'm not a coffee drinker, a Kir it will be...
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