All posts by savethepariscafeteam

Café Photo of the Week

Café Photo of the Week is published every Wednesday, and showcases photography from our staff, contributors, and readers.

Café Chairs, by Erica Simone

Photographer Erica Simone stopped to snap this shot of these gorgeous Maison Gatti café chairs stacked and waiting to be put out on the terrace of the charming Le Tambour in Les Halles.

Le Tambour, 41 Rue Montmartre, 2ème

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WE’D LOVE TO POST YOUR PHOTO OF YOUR FAVORITE REOPENED CAFE! Submit one to us for possible publication here in Café Photo of the Week. Must be a recent photo post-déconfinement. Click here for full submission rules.

Submission does not guarantee publication. Accepted photos will run in the order they are received. When you submit a photo, you give Save the Paris Café non-exclusive rights to publish it, free of charge, on our website and in social media, in perpetuity.

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Café Photo of the Week

Café Photo of the Week is published every Wednesday, and showcases photography from our staff, contributors, and readers.

A Place to Lounge, by Lisa Anselmo

©Lisa Anselmo

We’re really captivated by the terraces of Paris this summer. Cafés are using their imagination to make the most of their extended outdoor space, and that helps us make the most of the lazy days of summer.

Le 20ème Art, 46 Rue des Vignoles, 20ème

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WE’D LOVE TO POST YOUR PHOTO OF YOUR FAVORITE REOPENED CAFE! Submit one to us for possible publication here in Café Photo of the Week. Must be a recent photo post-déconfinement. Click here for full submission rules.

Submission does not guarantee publication. Accepted photos will run in the order they are received. When you submit a photo, you give Save the Paris Café non-exclusive rights to publish it, free of charge, on our website and in social media, in perpetuity.

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Café Photo of the Week

Café Photo of the Week is published every Wednesday, and showcases photography from our staff, contributors, and readers.

Terrace Oasis, by Patty Sadauskas

©Patty Sadauskas

During Covid-19, cafés have been allowed to enlarge their terraces to create social distancing. Some have really gone all out, like this café in the Haut Marais, which has created a festive oasis. The effect of all the enlarged terraces have turned the city into one big street party, and it’s wonderful to behold. We want the city to make these permanent as part of the greening of Paris. What say you Mayor Hidalgo?

Café de la Mairie, 51 Rue de Bretagne, 3ème

Shop Patty’s page on Redbubble
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Follow her on Instagram @parisonadime and @geniunefrance

WE’D LOVE TO POST YOUR PHOTO OF YOUR FAVORITE REOPENED CAFE! Submit one to us for possible publication here in Café Photo of the Week. Must be a recent photo post-déconfinement. Click here for full submission rules.

Submission does not guarantee publication. Accepted photos will run in the order they are received. When you submit a photo, you give Save the Paris Café non-exclusive rights to publish it, free of charge, on our website and in social media, in perpetuity.

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My Favorite Café Is…L’Escale

by Cori Coppola

[Trouvez ci-dessous la version française]

The summer of 1982 was the beginning of a lifelong love affair with the city that would eventually become my home. Truth be told, it was love at first sight. On one of my many long walks through Paris, at the tender age of nine, I made a wish in my heart that one day I would be reunited with my true love. Sometimes wishes do come true, and as a young adult I did return for a couple of years, but it wasn’t until my late twenties that desire and fate bonded together to open the way for my dream to come true.

No matter how long I live here, I still find childhood ghosts around almost every corner. Originally, I had been brought over to be a summer companion and playmate for a little French girl who was about my age. But I loved my time in France so much, that by the end of the summer I couldn’t bear to leave. I begged my mother and big sister to let me stay. I was allowed to stay and enroll in the international class of a public school in the 6th arrondissement.

©Cori Coppola

At that time, schools had Wednesday off and a half day of school on Saturday morning. While I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of getting up early on the weekend to go to school, I did love the freedom that came along with it. Because everyone was busy on the weekend, I was allowed to roam free after school. And I almost always did the same thing. I would wander the city streets, together with my friend from school, Dédé. We almost always ended up on the Île Saint-Louis, where we would stop and buy a Coke with a little something to nibble on at one of the cafés. Afterwards, we would take our time strolling over to the Centre Pompidou—to this day, still my favorite museum in the city.

The Île Saint-Louis has always been one of the most romantic and charming spots to capture the quaint feel of old Paris, with used-book sellers, and lovers rapt in one another’s gaze sitting along the embankment. From nearly all the cafés on the île, one always has spectacular views, but perhaps my favorite place was l’Escale, a timeless little brasserie sitting on the corner of Rue des Deux Ponts, with a view directly over the Pont de la Tournelle facing the Tour d’Argent, a famously expensive restaurant that specializes in serving duck.

©Cori Coppila

L’Escale has been around for more than sixty years or so, and is currently owned by the Tardieu family, who bought it in 1989. Portraits cover the walls of the little café and take one back to a Paris gone by. And although this cafe may not be the most picturesque, or the one most likely to conjure the literary memories of Hemingway like Café de Flore and La Palette, l’Escale still evokes a feeling of home for me. A few red booths run along the back, while small tables for two sit before floor-length windows, and against a wall lined with mirrors, giving the illusion of a larger space. In the center of the small space is the gold-rimmed bar, where from my childhood I recall men smoking and taking an espresso or a glass of wine, while chattering away to one another. Dédé and I would sit at one of the smaller tables drinking Cokes while gossiping and discussing our plans for the remaining weekend. Just two American girls growing up in Paris, mini-flâneures—both from California, where one would be always packed up in the back of a car or station wagon, only to look out a window for endless hours at freeways—who both loved the adventure and freedom of being on foot and on our own.

There is a sign to let you know that there is no WiFi and to suggest that you actually talk with the person in front of you.

©Cori Coppola

The current owners were unable to tell me much about the restaurant, other than it had previously been owned by another family who had bought it from someone else in 1970. The interior certainly looks to have been given a facelift during that time. There are few architectural elements to properly date it, hanging lights that hover over the bar and a traditional black chalkboard that lists each day’s offerings. There is also a sign in French to let you know that there is no WiFi and to suggest that you instead enjoy your meal while actually talking with the person in front of you. I have found this same type of sign in several Parisian cafés, who rightly believe that one should appreciate both one’s meal and one’s companions rather than spending time FaceTiming and surfing the web on the phone, ignoring any and all live company and entertainment.

I wish I had more of a history about the restaurant itself, but the friendly staff, who only speak French, did not have much to say. There is no website with glorious tales of who had eaten there or sat at the bar, and no glory by association except perhaps from those of us who have had the pleasure of sitting for an hour or two and just lazily watching the boats pass under the bridge and up at the sky above, a place to dream over your café au lait.

L’Escale serves a traditional brasserie menu, omelettes, salads, and other traditional French cuisine, and they have an excellent selection of wines.

L’Escale, 1 Rue de Deux Ponts, 4ème
Tel: +33 1 43 54 94 23
Métro: Pont Marie or Sully-Morland (line 7)

CORI COPPOLA is the producer of the documentary The House of Cardin, directed by P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes. She has worked as a coordinator and VFX producer for films and commercials both in the U.S. and in France, and is the official English-language biographer of the Japanese fashion designer Yumi Katsura. Ms. Coppola, who originally hails from Hollywood has lived in Paris for over 19 years. She is the granddaughter of famed opera conductor Anton Coppola, and part of the celebrated Coppola family. Her passion for art, fashion, and film continues to inspire and drive her work.

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VERSION FRANÇAISE

©Cori Coppola

L’été 1982 a été le début d’une histoire d’amour avec la ville qui allait devenir ma maison. À vrai dire, c’était le coup de foudre. Lors d’une de mes nombreuses longues promenades à travers Paris, à l’âge tendre de neuf ans, j’ai fait un vœu dans mon cœur qu’un jour je serais réuni avec mon véritable amour. Parfois, les souhaits se réalisent, et en tant que jeune adulte, je suis revenu pendant quelques années, mais ce n’est que vers la fin de la vingtaine que le désir et le destin se sont liés pour ouvrir la voie à la réalisation de mon rêve.

Peu importe combien de temps je vis ici, je trouve toujours des fantômes d’enfance dans presque tous les coins. À l’origine, j’avais été amené à être un compagnon d’été et un compagnon de jeu pour une petite fille française qui avait à peu près mon âge. Mais j’aimais tellement mon séjour en France qu’à la fin de l’été, je ne pouvais plus supporter de partir. J’ai supplié ma mère et ma grande sœur de me laisser rester. J’ai été autorisée à rester et à m’inscrire dans la classe internationale d’une école publique du 6e arrondissement.

À cette époque, les écoles avaient un mercredi de congé et une demi-journée d’école le samedi matin. Bien que je n’étais pas ravie à l’idée de me lever tôt le week-end pour aller à l’école, j’aimais la liberté qui l’accompagnait. Parce que tout le monde était occupé le week-end, j’ai été autorisé à me promener librement après l’école. Et j’ai presque toujours fait la même chose. Je déambulais dans les rues de la ville avec mon ami de l’école, Dédé. Nous nous retrouvions presque toujours sur Île Saint-Louis, où nous nous arrêtions et achetions un coca avec un petit quelque chose à grignoter dans l’un des petits cafés. Ensuite, nous prenions notre temps pour nous promener au Centre Pompidou—à ce jour, toujours mon musée préféré de la ville.

©Cori Coppola

L’Île Saint-Louis a toujours été l’un des endroits les plus romantiques et les plus charmants pour capturer l’atmosphère pittoresque du vieux Paris, avec des vendeurs de livres d’occasion et des amoureux ravis dans le regard de l’autre assis le long des quais inférieurs. De presque tous les cafés de l’île, on a toujours eu des vues spectaculaires, mais mon endroit préféré était peut-être l’Escale, une petite brasserie intemporelle située au coin de la rue des Deux Ponts, avec une vue directement sur le Pont de la Tournelle qui est en face la Tour d’Argent, un restaurant réputé cher spécialisé dans le service du canard.

L’Escale existe depuis plus de soixante ans environ et appartient actuellement à la famille Tardieu, qui l’a achetée en 1989. Des portraits recouvrent les murs du petit café et en ramènent un dans un Paris révolu. Et bien que ce café ne soit pas le plus pittoresque ou le plus susceptible d’évoquer les souvenirs littéraires d’Hemingway comme le font Café de Flore et La Palette, l’Escale évoque toujours un sentiment de chez moi. Quelques petites cabines rouges courent le long du dos, tandis que de petites tables pour deux sont assises devant des fenêtres au sol et contre un mur garni de miroirs, donnant l’illusion d’un espace plus grand. Au centre du petit espace se trouve le bar bordé d’or, où depuis mon enfance je me souviens d’hommes qui fumaient et prenaient un expresso ou un verre de vin, tout en bavardant. Dédé et moi nous asseyions à l’une des plus petites tables pour boire du coca tout en bavardant et en discutant de nos plans pour le week-end restant. Juste deux filles américaines qui grandissaient à Paris, des mini-flâneures —toutes deux de Californie, où l’une était toujours emballée à l’arrière d’une voiture ou d’un break, seulement pour regarder par la fenêtre pendant des heures sans fin sur les autoroutes—qui aimaient toutes les deux l’aventure et la liberté d’être à pied et seul.

De presque tous les cafés de l’île, on a toujours eu des vues spectaculaires, mais mon endroit préféré était peut-être l’Escale

©Cori Coppola

Les propriétaires actuels n’ont pas pu m’en dire plus sur le restaurant, à part qu’il appartenait auparavant à une autre famille qui l’avait acheté à quelqu’un d’autre en 1970. L’intérieur semble certainement avoir subi un lifting pendant cette période. Il y a peu d’éléments architecturaux pour la dater correctement, des lampes suspendues qui planent au-dessus du bar et un tableau noir traditionnel qui répertorie les offres de chaque jour. Il y a aussi un panneau en français pour vous informer qu’il n’y a pas de WiFi et pour vous suggérer de profiter plutôt de votre repas tout en discutant avec la personne devant vous. J’ai trouvé ce même type de signe dans plusieurs cafés parisiens, qui croient à juste titre que l’on devrait apprécier à la fois son repas et ses compagnons plutôt que de passer du temps sur FaceTiming et de surfer sur le Web par téléphone et d’ignorer toute compagnie et divertissement en direct.

©Cori Coppola

J’aimerais avoir plus d’histoire sur le restaurant lui-même, mais le personnel amical, qui ne parle que français, n’avait pas grand-chose à dire. Il n’y a pas de site Web avec des histoires glorieuses sur ceux qui y ont mangé ou qui se sont assis au bar, et aucune gloire par association, sauf peut-être de ceux d’entre nous qui ont eu le plaisir de s’asseoir pendant une heure ou deux et de regarder paresseusement les bateaux passer sous le pont et au-dessus du ciel, un endroit pour rêver au-dessus de votre café au lait.

L’Escale propose un menu traditionnel de brasserie d’omelettes, de salades et d’autres plats traditionnels français, et ils ont également une excellente sélection de vins.

L’Escale, 1 Rue de Deux Ponts, 4ème
Tel: +33 1 43 54 94 23
Métro: Pont Marie ou Sully-Morland (ligne 7)

CORI COPPOLA is the producer of the documentary The House of Cardin, directed by P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes. She has worked as a coordinator and VFX producer for films and commercials both in the U.S. and in France, and is the official English-language biographer of the Japanese fashion designer Yumi Katsura. Ms. Coppola, who originally hails from Hollywood has lived in Paris for over 19 years. She is the granddaughter of famed opera conductor Anton Coppola, and part of the celebrated Coppola family. Her passion for art, fashion, and film continues to inspire and drive her work.

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Café Photo of the Week

Café Photo of the Week is published every Wednesday, and showcases photography from our staff, contributors, and readers.

Spreading Out, by Richard Nahem

©Richard Nahem

Since, Tuesday, June 2, cafés in Paris were allowed to open again, but only terrace service. So what to do? Take up as much terrace as the law allows: sidewalks, parking spots, down the street, and even in the street. We’re okay with that.

Café Français, 1-3 Place de la Bastille, 4ème

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WE’D LOVE TO POST YOUR PHOTO OF YOUR FAVORITE REOPENED CAFE TERRACE! Submit one to us for possible publication here in Café Photo of the Week. Must be a recent photo post-déconfinement. Click here for full submission rules.
**************
Submission does not guarantee publication. Accepted photos will run in the order they are received. When you submit a photo, you give Save the Paris Café non-exclusive rights to publish it, free of charge, on our website and in social media, in perpetuity.

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Café Photo of the Week

Café Photo of the Week is published every Wednesday, and showcases photography from our staff, contributors, and readers.

Café Memories, by Joann Dufau Slater

©Joann Dufau Slater

This photo was taken a few years ago, while the photographer was staying in the Marais. It’s had a makeover since, but still a local favorite, situated on the beautiful Parc Royal.

Le SévignéMorgenmadsstedet, 15 Rue du Parc Royal, 3ème

Visit Joann’s site here.

Want to submit a photo for our weekly column,
Café Photo of the Week? Click here for submission rules.
If we like it, we’ll publish it with a photo credit!
Submission does not guarantee publication. Accepted photos will run in the order they are received. When you submit a photo, you give Save the Paris Café non-exclusive rights to publish it, free of charge, on our website and in social media, in perpetuity.

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Café Photo of the Week

Café Photo of the Week is published every Wednesday, and showcases photography from our staff, contributors, and readers.

Du Marché, by Joan Mikkelsen

©Joan Mikkelsen

This café on the corner of Rue de Seine and Rue de Buci is always packed with locals and tourists alike, and it’s favorite of the photographer as well. (Our editor-in-chief also has some fond memories of this charming, popular place.) It can be pricey given its location in the chic Saint-Germain-des-Près neighborhood, but the staff is friendly and welcoming. We hope we can sit on its sunny terrace soon again.

Bar du Marché, 75 Rue de Seine, 6ème.

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Visit her photography site here.

Want to submit a photo for our weekly column,
Café Photo of the Week? Click here for submission rules.
If we like it, we’ll publish it with a photo credit!
Submission does not guarantee publication. Accepted photos will run in the order they are received. When you submit a photo, you give Save the Paris Café non-exclusive rights to publish it, free of charge, on our website and in social media, in perpetuity.

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Café Photo of the Week

Café Photo of the Week is published every Wednesday, and showcases photography from our staff, contributors, and readers.

La Poule au Pot, by Nicola Clark

©Nicola Clark

This hauntingly beautiful image was shot through the window of La Poule au Pot, closed like all cafés since mid-March due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This café has all the classic details right down to the zinc-top bar. We love it.

La Poule au Pot, 121 Rue de l’Université, 7ème.

Discover Nicola’s collaborative music project, The Covid Sessions, here. (Have tissues ready.)

Want to submit a photo for our weekly column,
Café Photo of the Week? Click here for submission rules.
If we like it, we’ll publish it with a photo credit!
Submission does not guarantee publication. Accepted photos will run in the order they are received. When you submit a photo, you give Save the Paris Café non-exclusive rights to publish it, free of charge, on our website and in social media, in perpetuity.

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Café Photo of the Week

Café Photo of the Week is published every Wednesday, and showcases photography from our staff, contributors, and readers.

Longing for a Terrace Table, by Claude Corbin

©Claude Corbin

The view from an inside table at Les Deux Magots. This classic café moment was captured in happier times, before cafés were forced to close due to the Coronavirus pandemic. It makes you ache to sit on the terrace of your favorite café once more. We hope we can soon again.

You can find Claude, here.

Les Deux Magots, 6 Place Saint-Germain des Prés, 6ème.

Want to submit a photo for our weekly column,
Café Photo of the Week? Click here for submission rules.
If we like it, we’ll publish it with a photo credit!
Submission does not guarantee publication. Accepted photos will run in the order they are received. When you submit a photo, you give Save the Paris Café non-exclusive rights to publish it, free of charge, on our website and in social media, in perpetuity.

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Café Photo of the Week

Café Photo of the Week is published every Wednesday, and showcases photography from our staff, contributors, and readers.

Improvising, by Andrew Gentry

©Andrew Gentry

Parisians are getting desperate without their cafés, which have been shut in an effort to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. This Parisian is lucky enough to have a terrace, and recreated his café experience in an effort to normalize the situation. This was sent to us as a gag, but we felt it worth sharing, as proof of how important café culture is to Paris and France. Send us your home café photos!

One of Andrew’s favorite cafés:
La Fronde, 33 Rue des Archives, 4ème.

Want to submit a photo for our weekly column,
Café Photo of the Week? Click here for submission rules.
If we like it, we’ll publish it with a photo credit!
Submission does not guarantee publication. Accepted photos will run in the order they are received. When you submit a photo, you give Save the Paris Café non-exclusive rights to publish it, free of charge, on our website and in social media, in perpetuity.

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Café Photo of the Week

Café Photo of the Week is published every Wednesday, and showcases photography from our staff, contributors, and readers.

Before the Train, by Patty Sadauskas

©Patty Sadauskas

A quick coffee before catching the 8:12 to Nîmes from Gare de Lyon—enjoying a quiet moment before the chaos of the busy station.

Le Terminus, 19 Boulevard Diderot, 12ème

Shop Patty’s page on Redbubble
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Follow her on Instagram @parisonadime and @geniunefrance

Want to submit a photo for our weekly column,
Café Photo of the Week? Click here for submission rules.
If we like it, we’ll publish it with a photo credit!
Submission does not guarantee publication. Accepted photos will run in the order they are received. When you submit a photo, you give Save the Paris Café non-exclusive rights to publish it, free of charge, on our website and in social media, in perpetuity.

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Café Photo of the Week

Café Photo of the Week is published every Wednesday, and showcases photography from our staff, contributors, and readers.

A Place in the Sun, by Andrew Gentry

©Andrew Gentry

That perfect day when you find the perfect terrace table in the sun—and your socks match the decor. Meant to be.

La Boca, whose nondescript awning is marked simply with “LB,” has one of the sunniest terraces on Rue Montorgueil, which makes it a favorite of our editor.

Café La Boca, 41 Rue Montorgueil, 2ème

Want to submit a photo for our weekly column,
Café Photo of the Week? Click here for submission rules.
If we like it, we’ll publish it with a photo credit!
Submission does not guarantee publication. Accepted photos will run in the order they are received. When you submit a photo, you give Save the Paris Café non-exclusive rights to publish it, free of charge, on our website and in social media, in perpetuity.

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Lily Heise’s Romantic Café Picks

Author Lily Heise (Je T’Aime, Me Neither; Je T’Aime…Maybe?) shares her favorite romantic spots to cozy up with your amour this Valentine’s Day—or any day.

Parisian cafés serve a variety of purposes. Regulars pop in for their morning petit café on the way to work. Some come mid morning to linger over un café crème. Le plat du jour satisfies busy office workers lunchtime hunger pains and there’s nothing quite as perfect as celebrating the end of the work day over a glass of le vin du mois. Cafés also serve as the ideal spot for dates in Paris. That said, your café du coin might not be the right place for some wooing. From historic to hidden, these cafés all offer the perfect setting for a romantic meet-up in the City of Love:

 Le Jardin du Petit Palais
Avenue Winston Churchill, 8ème; 01.40.07.11.41

Courtesy of Jardin du Petit Palais

For a touch of elegant grandeur, rendezvous with your romantic interest in front of Le Petit Palais, the City of Paris Art Museum, where its glitzy facade will already set the tone for your chic date. Located overlooking an opulent, leafy courtyard is one of Paris’s most attractive museum cafés. If things are going well, you can suggest extending your date by perusing the museum’s collections ranging from Roman statues to Impressionist greats (and it’s free!).

Musée de la Vie Romantique
Hotel Scheffer-Renan, 16 Rue Chaptal, 9ème; 01.55.31.95.67

©Lily Heise

You can’t find a more suitable setting for a romantic meet-up then at the City of Paris Museum of the Romantic Era (Musée de la Vie Romantique). Built in 1830 for Dutch painter Ary Scheffer, the house became the hub of intellectual Paris of the Romantic Era of the first half of the 19th century. On a given soirée held at the house, you might have crossed paths with Georges Sand, Chopin, Eugène Delacroix, or Franz Liszt. The small museum houses art and artifacts linked to the period (also free), however, its equally romantic courtyard café, nestled within the greenery and flowers of the garden, is open to anyone, and is sublimely romantique.

Café Louis-Philippe
66 Quai de l’Hotel de Ville, 4ème; 01.42.72.29.42

©Lily Heise

This charming joint is a great choice for a classic café experience without having to take out a mortgage to pay for two coffees like at most historic cafés. With a simple old-school decor of wooden bistro tables and chairs, a beautiful iron spiral staircase, a wonderful sunroom and terrace looking towards one of the most alluring streets of Paris (Rue des Barres), your petit café or petit Chablis will be delivered by an aproned waiter who will leave you be, Parisian style, so you can take your time gazing into your chéri/e’s eyes from across the table. Afterwards, keep the romancing going by strolling up Rue des Barres and through the quiet streets of the lower Marais.

Le Zimmer
1 Place du Chatelet, 1ère; 01.42.36.74.03

Courtesy of Le Zimmer

If you’re looking to combine history with glamour, the centuries-old café of the Chatelet Theatre fits the bill perfectly. Opened in 1896 during the great brasserie craze of Paris, this café has had a makeover—relooking—by star interior designer Jacques Garcia who, thankfully, kept many of its historic features and seductive feel of La Belle Epoque—including gilded mirrors, painted wood ceilings, and velour drapery. It’s Paris romantic chic at its best—without too much of a fuss.

Hôtel des Marronniers
21 Rue Jacob, 6ème; 01.43.25.30.60

©Lily Heise

There are a few hidden cafés in Paris and the one located in this discreet hotel in the 6th arrondissement is one of the most romantic. Meet your date nearby, perhaps in front of Saint-Germain-dès-Pres church, and then lead around to this address, where she or he will be instantly enchanted by the peaceful courtyard of the hotel. Going inside, make your way to the back, and you’ll find a glassed-in sunroom behind which is a terrace with intimate seating amidst flowers and statues. It’s not so well known, so you might even have the café all the yourselves.

Le Lieu Secret
7 Rue Francis de Pressensé, 14ème; 01.45.40.07.50

©Lily Heise

Another hidden café, the “secret place” was formerly known as L’Entrepot, a historic cultural center that has recently been saved from closure. The building has already seen a few lives. Originally a textile warehouse (“entrepot” in French), in 1975 it became an important venue for the promotion of avant garde cinema. This “new” space hasn’t abandoned its roots, so after having a drink in its “secret” café—with soaring warehouse ceilings, a large glass atrium, and a quiet back courtyard—you could further your date with a play, film, or concert.

Pavillon des Canaux
39 Quai de la Loire, 19ème; 01.73.71.82.90

©Lily Heise

Perfect for dreamy romantics, this whimsical café is found at the end of the Basin de la Villette, where it becomes the Canal de l’Ourcq. This former lock-keeper’s home has been converted into an eclectic space where you can choose to sit in a plush sofa in the living room, around the retro table in the kitchen, in the bathtub in the bathroom…or on the bed in the bedroom. After your drink, you can extend your date with a stroll along the canal.

Peonies
81 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 10ème

©Lily Heise

As you might guess from its name, this modern café doesn’t only offer up a good cup of coffee, it doubles as a flower shop. So before or after you’ve sipped your way through an excellent latte and nibbled on a piece of moist cake, you can surprise your date with one of their original flower bouquets. The café is small, so avoid taking a date here on weekend afternoons. If it’s full, you could always get your coffee and bouquet to go!

LILY HEISE is a Canadian travel writer, author, and romantic expert who has lived in Paris since 2000. Her writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, Conde Nast Traveler, Frommer’s, Playboy.com (Travel), among others. She is also the author of two lively books on searching for love in Paris, Je T’Aime, Me Neitherand Je T’Aime…Maybe?. Lily shares tips on Paris date ideas and romantic travel on her website and leads romantic tours of Paris.
Discover her world at  www.jetaimemeneither.com.
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Cover photo courtesy of Pavillon des Canaux

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Café Photo of the Week

Café Photo of the Week is published every Wednesday, and showcases photography from our staff, contributors, and readers.

Sailing Past La Frégate, by Edith de Belleville

©Edith de Belleville

A classic car whizzes past this classic Left Bank café named for a ship (frigate) also built for speed. Captured on Quai Voltaire.

La Frégate, 1 Rue du Bac, 7ème

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Submission does not guarantee publication. Accepted photos will run in the order they are received. When you submit a photo, you give Save the Paris Café non-exclusive rights to publish it, free of charge, on our website and in social media, in perpetuity.

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Café Photo of the Week

Café Photo of the Week is published every Wednesday, and showcases photography from our staff, contributors, and readers.

At the Terminus, by Patty Sadauskas

©Patty Sadauskas

Terminus Nord sits in the shadow of Gare du Nord, Paris’s North Train Station. But it’s a destination in its own right. This moment captured by staff photographer, Patty Sadauskas.

Discover Patty’s world at genuinefrance.com
Follow her on Instagram: @geniunefrance and @parisonadime

Terminus Nord, 23 Rue de Dunkerque, 10ème

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Le Rostand: A Writer’s Haunt

by Janice MacLeod, excerpted from her book, A Paris Year, page 111, “June 1: Le Rostand”

There are times when you know your coffee break is going to turn into a lunch break. That’s when I show up at Rostand. It’s the perfect writer’s haunt. The city is full of such magical places. I have a few for different purposes. I have a café for my letter writing, a café for my journal writing, a café for when I’m miserable and want to indulge in my morose thoughts, and I have a café for book writing. (Sometimes those last two cafés are the same depending on how the book writing is going.)

One such lovely writer’s haunt is Le Rostand. Le Rostand a terribly well behaved place mostly because of people like me. Solo patrons looking for quiet in the midst of a midday hustle bustle of clinking glasses and chatter of waiters. The sea of patrons keeps to themselves and sneak photos of each other. If we were to ever converse and share, we’d have an album of lovely café shots of each other, but the first rule of Café Club is to never talk to each other.

©Janice MacLeod. Reprinted by permission.

Le Rostand, 6 Place Edmond Rostand, 6ème

Reprinted by permission from A Paris Year, My Day-to-Day Adventures in the Most Romantic City in the World, St. Martin’s Griffin. ©2017 Janice MacLeod, all rights reserved.

JANICE MacLEOD is the illustrator and author of the New York Times best-selling book Paris Letters, and her latest book, A Paris Year, part memoir / part visual journey through the streets of Paris.
Discover her world at janicemacleod.com
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All photos this page: ©Janice MacLeod.

Café Photo of the Week

Café Photo of the Week is published every Wednesday, and showcases photography from our staff, contributors, and readers.

Café Chair, by Richard Nahem

©Richard Nahem

Like Paris cafés themselves, their chairs are each different in their own way. Most rattan bistro chairs have been handcrafted by the same company since 1920, Maison Gatti. Next time you’re seated at a terrace table, look for the telltale gold name plate on the back of your chair.

Maison Gatti Paris, (+33) 1.64.29.11.84; USA: 212.219.0447

Read Richard’s blog, Eye Prefer Paris. Discover his Paris tours.
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Edith’s Café Spotlight: Le Vrai Paris

[Trouvez ci-dessous la version française]

There are cafés in Paris that draw your attention just because of their names. Each time I take the Métro to Montmartre, I pass Café Au Vrai Paris. And each time, I ask the same question: Why it called ‘At the True Paris’?Is there an At the Fake Paris? Maybe there was a fight between this café’s owner and a rival, who stole his café’s name?

One morning, I decided it was time for me to solve this mystery. So I went to have a true coffee at this “true” Paris café. The terrasse is agreable with its flowers and stylish chairs, but since it was raining, I went inside. But the moment I entered, I saw something that made me want to leave immediately: a big-screen TV showing rugby.

The bar at Le Vrai Paris. ©Edith de Belleville

Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against rubgy. But I’m not keen on cafés with TVs.  If I want to watch TV, I stay home. So I decided to sit at the back of the café, far away from the TV, on one of their comfortable couches. If you go to the back of this café, you will find a relaxing lounge-style space, but unlike most lounges, the music is not too loud. And everything is yellow: the chairs, the walls, the quotations from famous writers on the walls. Even the soft light is yellow.

A friendly waiter came to me to asked what I wanted. “A coffee, please,” I answered. “But first, I would like to know why this café is called Au Vrai Paris. With a big smile, he explained that this “true” Paris name was just a marketing strategy.

Writing in my cozy spot at the back of the café. ©Edith de Belleville

A bit disappointed by this prosaic answer, I started to observe my neighbors, a young Japanese couple who were drinking Champagne. I suppose for them this is what the true Parisian lifestyle is about: savoring a glass of Champagne with your lover in a charming and romantic café in Montmartre.

While I was drinking my coffee, I pondered another mystery: what is a true Parisian? Do you have to be born and raised in Paris? Can’t you feel Parisian just because you live here? Was this idea of being “a true Parisian” merely a marketing scheme? As I was  standing to leave my cozy couch, my eyes fell on a quotation written on the wall. It was from Sasha Guitry, the celebrated French playwright, who was born in St. Petersburg. I waved au revoir to my friendly Parisian waiter and left.

As I walked to the Métro, I thought about Guitry’s quote, how it perfecting answered my mystery: “Being a Parisian is not about being born in Paris, it is about being reborn there.”

©Edith de Belleville
  • Where? 33, rue des Abbesses, 18ème arr.
  • When? 7am – 2am, 7 days
  • How to get there? Métro Abbesse, line 12
  • What to drink? Expresso Ville de Paris: 2.40 euros; hot chocolate 4.90 euros; hot mulled wine: 7 euros; organic cider: 7 euros
  • What to eat? Croque-monsieur and salad: 13 euros; traditional onion soup: 9.50 euros; Roasted Camembert with honey, rosemary, and walnuts: 9.50 euros; French toast with salted butter and hazelnut ice cream: 9 euros

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EDITH DE BELLEVILLE is a licensed tour guide in Paris, and the author of Belles et Rebelles, à l’ombre des Grandes Parisiennes (Éditions Erick Bonnier) available in French at Fnac.fr Amazon.fr and Amazon.ca


VERSION FRANÇAISE

Il y a des cafés à Paris qui attirent votre attention juste par leurs noms. A chaque fois que je prends mon métro à Montmartre je passe toujours près du café Au vrai Paris. Et  à chaque fois je me pose la même question  Pourquoi ce café s’appelle t’-il  Au Vrai Paris?  Est-ce qu’il y a un café Au faux Paris? Peut-être y a-t-il un litige entre le propriétaire de ce café et un rival qui lui a volé le nom de son café?

Un matin je décidai qu’il était temps pour moi de résoudre ce mystère. Alors je décidai de prendre un vrai café au vrai Paris. La terrasse de ce café est agréable avec ses chaises stylées et ses fleurs mais comme il pleuvait je pris la décision d’aller plutôt à l’intérieur. Mais quand j’ai vu ce que j’ai vu, j’ai  immédiatement songé à quitter cet endroit:  Un énorme écran de télé montrant des joueurs de rugby était placé à l’entrée du café.

Ne vous méprenez pas, je n’ai rien contre le rugby. Mais je n’aime pas les cafés avec la télé. SI je veux regarder la télé je la regarde chez moi. Alors je me suis installée au fond du café le plus loin possible de la télévision et je me suis assise sur l’une des confortables banquettes. Si vous allez au fond du café vous constaterez que c’est un endroit relaxant avec une musique d’ambiance pas trop forte. Et tout est jaune: Les chaises, les murs et les citations inscrites sur les murs. Même la lumière tamisée est jaune.

Un sympathique serveur est venu me demander ce que je souhaitais. Un café s’il vous-plaît  lui ai-je répondu mais d’abord je voudrais savoir pourquoi ce café s’appelle Au vrai Paris?. Avec un sourire il m’expliqué que ce nom d’ Au vrai Paris était juste une idée marketing.

©Edith de Belleville

Un peu déçue par cette réponse prosaïque, je me suis mise à observer mes voisins, un  jeune couple de Japonais buvant du Champagne. Je suppose que pour eux voilà ce qu’est le vrai style de vie parisien: Savourer une coupe de Champagne avec son amoureux dans un charmant et romantique café à Montmartre.

©Edith de Belleville

Pendant que j’étais en train de boire mon café j’essayai de résoudre un autre mystère: Qu’est-ce que cela veut dire être un vrai Parisien?  Est-ce qu’il faut être né et avoir été élevé à Paris pour être un vrai Parisien? Est-ce que vous ne pouvez pas vous sentir un vrai Parisien juste parce que vous vivez à Paris? Et si toute cette idée d’être «un vrai Parisien»  n’était qu’un pur produit de consommation? Comme je me levais pour quitter ma confortable banquette et partir, je vis sur le mur une citation de Sasha Guitry, l’auteur bien connu des pièces de théâtre.

En partant je pris soin de faire un signe de la main vers mon gentil serveur pour lui dire au-revoir et je quittai le café. Et alors que je me dirigeais vers mon métro je me dis que Sasha Guitry, l’écrivain français né à Saint-Petersbourg avait raison. Etre Parisien ce n’est pas être né à Paris…..c’est y renaître

  • Où ? 33, rue des Abbesses, 18ème arr.
  • Quand ? 7h à 2h, tous les jours
  • Comment y aller ? Métro Abbesses, ligne 12
  • Que boire ? Expresso Ville de Paris : 2,40 euros ; chocolat chaud  4,90 euros ; vin chaud  : 7 euros ; cidre biologique : 7 euros
  • Que manger ? Croque-monsieur et sa salade : 13 euros ; soupe à l’oignon traditionnelle : 9,5 euros ; Camembert rôti au miel et aux noix  : 9,5 euros ; brioche façon pain perdu au caramel au beurre salé et glace : 9 euros; café ou thé gourmand : 9, 5 euros

Guide-conférencière à Paris, EDITH DE BELLEVILLE est également l’auteure de Belles et Rebelles, à l’ombre des Grandes Parisiennes ( Éditions Erick Bonnier ) un livre disponible à la Fnac.fr Amazon.fr et Amazon.ca.

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Café Photo of the Week

Café Photo of the Week is published every Wednesday, and showcases photography from our staff, contributors, and readers.

Rise and Shine, by April Pett

©April Pett

The life of a tour guide finds you up ahead of the sun, especially during the strikes in France when you need to walk to your destination. This image captures Le Nemours on Place Colette, in the quiet dawn hours, preparing to receive its morning customers.

Café Le Nemours, 2 Place Colette, 1ère

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Café Photo of the Week

Café Photo of the Week is published every Wednesday, and showcases photography from our staff, contributors, and readers.

Le Dôme, by Edith de Belleville

©Edith de Belleville

The classic Le Dôme Café in Montparnasse, on this New Year’s Day.

Café Le Dôme, 108 Boulevard du Montparnasse

Discover Edith’s Paris tours
Buy her book, Belles et Rebelles (in French).
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Want to submit a photo for our weekly column,
Café Photo of the Week? Click here for submission rules.
If we like it, we’ll publish it with a photo credit!
Submission does not guarantee publication. Accepted photos will run in the order they are received. When you submit a photo, you give Save the Paris Café non-exclusive rights to publish it, free of charge, on our website and in social media, in perpetuity.

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