I don’t know about you, but any pastime that involved me drinking copious amounts of coffee and eating my weight in light, buttery, and oh-so-delicious, French croissants is right up my glutinous alley. And that’s probably why one of my favorite things to do, whenever I’m in the French capital, is to visit some of the most famous cafes in Paris.
I mean, not only is the food and ambiance totally alluring in 99.9% of these divine famous cafes in Paris (perhaps not the price but whateves, nothing is perfect), but many of these fantastic, famous French cafes are also steeped in a wealth of history that has transformed them into living, breathing time capsules.
Because let’s be real for just a moment here. Paris is an OLD city.
Therefore, some of these iconic, famous French cafes in Paris have been around so long, that they have enjoyed the patronage of some uber-famous clientele, like Picasso and Albert Camus.
You know, super snazzy celebs who probably debated nothing less than the finer points of life, love, and the pursuit of happiness; all while sipping on a coffee or getting wasty pants beyond belief.
So, embrace your inner starving artist and grab yourself a seat at a quaint little table that is nestled along a picturesque, Parisian thoroughfare; a charming bistro where you can quietly sit, watch the city slowly saunter by, and sip on a rich, delicious latte as you while away the hours.
And while I can’t promise that spending some quali-tea (get it?) time in one of these famous cafes in Paris will transform you into either a literary or artistic genius, I can promise that you’ll enjoy some delicious beverages, devour some delectable pastries, and even make your friends SUPER jealous of the fact that you got to dine where Picasso once did.
So if you’re ready to see Paris like local – since, cough, I’ve visited this beyond fabulous city upwards of five-plus times and want to share all my secret insider information with you – then let’s do a tour de force of some of the most famous cafes in Paris!
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1. Les Deux Magots
Opened in ye olde 1885, this swank AF, ultra-chic café in Saint-Germain-des-Prés is probably THE most famous Paris cafe of them all. So yeah, it’s basically the famous Paris cafe that all the other Paris cafes on this list want to be like.
Once a favorite haunt of literary giants like Albert Camus, Ernest Hemmingway, and James Joyce,this famous French cafe eventually became so popular amongst Paris’ burgeoning crowd of writers and intellectuals, that Les Deux Magots actually started its very own literary prize, and has continually awarded this honor to new, up and coming French novelists since 1933.
However, you too can get in on this thin slice of immortality since Les Deux Magots doesn’t just cater to the ultra-famous but welcomes slightly more “normal” diners too!
So, if you’re looking for the perfect place to kick start your day, then grab a seat at this eatery’s exquisite terrace and order one of their amazing espressos, for an epic dose of caffeine that you won’t soon forget!
Added bonus? They also serve some wicked awesome breakfast dishes that are named for the very authors who frequented this foodie hot spot back in the day.
And while the food is definitely top-notch, the ambiance is pretty epic too.
I mean, the interiors here practically ooze class with simple dark wood decor, fresh white table cloths, and an impeccable standard of service that seriously makes you wonder if you ever really have to leave.
And btw, the answer is yes, sadly. I mean, you don’t have to go home…but you can’t stay here.
Oh, and if you’re lucky enough to stop by during the winter, then be sure to order their hot chocolate. I promise you will NOT regret it.
Pro Tip: My fave dish here is Le Petit Dejeuner JP Sartre, which includes 2 danish pastries, bread, butter, jam, fresh orange juice, and fresh yogurt or a fruit salad.
Address: 6 Place Saint-Germain des Prés
Nearest Metro Station: Saint-Germain-Des-Prés
Price: Dishes here start at €13.00 and above.
Hours: Open daily from 7:30 am to 1:00 am.
2. La Rotonde
Because honestly, if you’re looking for a glimpse into the lifestyle of the rich and famous of the jazz age, then you’ve just found it at this classic, Montparnasse eatery.
Founded by Victor Libion in 1911, the smart but cozy decor of this famous Paris cafe is enhanced by cushy leather chairs, wood paneling aplenty, and chic, modern lamps that create a discreet but welcoming atmosphere.
This sophisticated, Parisian brasserie also serves an assortment of decadent delights for breakfast (served between 7:00 am and 11:00 am).that include freshly baked croissants, hot chocolate, coffee, eggs, etc.
However, if you’re feeling particularly HUNGRY after an epic night out on the town with some rogue flappers from the wrong century, then skip the single pastry altogether and order their set breakfast entree.
For €18 guests can enjoy a hot drink, a fresh-squeezed juice, fresh slices of bread or a viennoiserie (croissant or pain au chocolat), and either organic eggs (served scrambled, in omelet or fried) or 0% fat Fromage blanc, that is served with red berries coulis or honey.
Truth be told though, you really can’t go wrong when dining at one of the many famous cafes in Paris for either lunch or dinner since you’re in for a treat regardless of when you stop by.
However,I should definitely mention that of all La Rotonde’s menu items, they’re most well-known for their delicious desserts, including devastatingly delicious molten chocolate lava cake, rich lemon basil macarons, and creamy, creme brûlée.
So, feel free to skip the savory items altogether and live by the age-old adage, “Life’s Uncertain, Eat Dessert First” instead.
Added bonus? La Rotonde is practically right next door to Le Bon Marché, a fantastic Parisian shopping spot that is absolutely adored by all the aspiring fashionistas out there.
Therefore, making a pit stop at one of the most famous cafes in Paris is a great way to fuel up before you max out your credit cards and shop until no one will give you any more credit (kidding, definitely don’t be THAT person. We promote only the MOST responsible of tourism here at Girl with the Passport. LOL.).
Address: 105 boulevards du Montparnasse
Nearest Metro Station: Vavin
Price: Dishes here start at €12.00 and above.
Hours: Open daily from 7:30 am to 2:00 am.
3. Cafe Tournon
Just steps away from the ethereal beauty of Luxembourg Gardens is the ever swanky, Cafe Tournon.
Routinely filled with the city’s most elite journalists, politicians, and celebrities, this historic, Saint-Germain eatery/famous cafe in Paris was first made famous by Duke Ellington, who used to play jazz music here with his band.
Today though, Cafe Tourney is one of those famous cafes in Paris that is more commonly known amongst locals for its wide selection of regional wines and market-fresh, earthy, home-cooked, French cuisine.
Perfect for either a mid-afternoon cappuccino or an evening meal, try to get here as early in the day as possible since this cafe tends to run out of some of their more popular dishes, like the immortal, Beef Bourguignon
So, while Café Tournon may be one of the more discreet, lesser-known cafés on this list, what truly sets this place apart is the fact that it sits in a rather touristy location but is routinely frequented by locals.
And if you travel even a little bit then you know that Locals in a cafe = win! Because trust me, being one amongst the locals definitely means that you’re onto something good.
Especially in a city like Paris where every other food establishment is an overpriced tourist trap of epic proportions.
What, need more convincing? Well, in addition to being a top, local hot spot and one of the most famous cafes in Paris, the service here is impeccable. So, you’re sure to be well taken care of.
Address: 18 Rue de Tournon
Nearest Metro Station: Odeon
Price: Entrees here start at €16.00 and above.
Hours: Open Monday through Saturday from 7:00 am to 12:00 am and on Sunday from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm.
4. Cafe de Flore
Located right across the street from rival Les Deux Magots, Cafe de Flore is another immortal eatery that is celebrated across the city for both its long history and its wealth of famous clientele, including philosophers like Sartre and de Beauvoir.
Known for being one of Paris’ oldest coffeehouses and one of the most famous French cafes in Paris, Le Cafe de Flore was first opened in the 1880s and has changed little since World War II with its bold, red booths, wide mirrors, and small, street-side tables.
Now, because a little friendly rivalry never hurt anyone, Café de Flore actually started their own annual literary award just one year after Les Deux Magots.
See,I guess imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery, huh? Anyway, if I’m 100% honest, the food here is a bit simple and a little pricey when compared to some of the other famous cafés in Paris on this list.
Therefore,I’d recommend stopping here for a quick coffee just so that you can bask in the history of it all, before moving on to other restaurants with better prices and infinitely more intriguing menu items (trust me, this place won’t be on anyone’s budget guide to Paris).
Address: 172 Boulevard Saint-Germain
Nearest Metro Station: Saint-Germain-Des-Prés
Price: Entrees are priced at €10.00 and above.
Hours: Open daily from 7:30 am to 1:30 am.
5. Ladurée (Champs Elysées)
The one and only Ladurée Cafe, which sits along Paris’ immortal, Champs Elysées. And unless you’ve been living under a rock of cultural isolation, then chances are that you’ve heard of the immortal macaron purveyor, Ladurée.
After all, this one of those famous cafes in Paris that has stores all across the globe, including locations in New York City, Los Angeles, and London.
So, there’s a solid chance that you’ve at least heard of this divine creator of all things macaron. Heck, you’ve probably even been inside a Laduree store yourself.
But, trust me. There’s really no location like the Champs Elysées location, which, in addition to creating decadent macarons of every variety, serves up exquisite, seafoam green, classic beyond belief, pastel-hued interiors.
We’re talking an Instagrammer’s playground people since you’ll be swimming in a sea of picture-perfect, pastel decor that is over the top wonderful, but still totally classy
So, if you want to live like Marie Antoinette for a day (sans the whole off with her head thing), then Ladurée is the place for you.
Just grab a seat, order all the pastries you can possibly eat, wash it down with one of their wickedly wonderful, floral teas, and indulge as you’ve never indulged before.
Now, because this place is so stinking chic and impossibly difficult to leave, this ethereal wonderland of an eatery also has an amazing gift shop where you can purchase some of the best souvenirs from Paris – anything from perfume to cosmetics to macaron keychains.
So, even though your macarons definitely won’t last a lifetime, you’re piece of Ladurée memorabilia just might!
Address: 75 Avenue des Champs-Élysées
Nearest Metro Station: George V
Price: Individual pastries start at €5.00 each while a box of 6 macarons costs €17.10.
Hours: Open daily from 8:30 am to 7:30 pm.
6. Café de la Paix
Located right across the street from Palais Garnier, Cafe de la Paix is instantly recognizable from the animated version of the restaurant in the classic Disney film, The Aristocats.
What, missed that cinematic masterpiece? Yeah, me too since I don’t think it’s some of Disney’s best work.
However, Cafe de la Paix did snag some much-warranted street cred after the French government declared it an official, historic site in 1975 (feel free to be duly amazed at the official historic status of one of the most famous cafes in Paris).
Now A LEGIT Parisian icon, Café de la Paix is not only one of the oldest cafés in Paris, but it has also entertained famous patrons like Charles De Gaulle and Victor Hugo.
And in case that’s not impressive enough for you, just grab a seat on the cafe’s terrace and savor the mesmerizing views of Paris’ charming Palais Garnier (opera house) from here.
Yeah, you can thank me later because this really is one of the best views in the entire city.
However, Paris is quite a pricey city, to begin with. Therefore, add in a bit of historical grandeur and prices take off into the stratosphere.
So, while Café de la Paix is one of those famous cafes in Paris that is most assuredly a splurge, it’s still worth a visit for the views and historical grandeur alone.
That’s why I’d opt for the preset course meal if you want to get the most bang for your buck (You can get a set menu with an entree and a starter or an entree and a dessert. And the burrata and tomato soup here are both EPIC).
And if you choose to order a cocktail, expect to spend upwards of $20 USD for a single drink. Yeah, that’s sadly not a typo.
Pro Tip: The burrata and tomato soup here are both EPIC. So yeah, you should definitely order both while at this famous Paris cafe.
Address: 5 Place de l’Opéra
Nearest Metro Station: Opera
Price: Entrees here start at €25.00 each.
Hours: Open daily from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm.
7. La Palette
For all you art aficionados out there, this famous Paris café was actually frequented by none other than Picasso (Insert your amazed ohs and ahs here).
And if you’re a fan of Hollywood celebrities, then you’ll be happy to hear that both Harrison Ford and Julia Roberts have also been known to spend time here too.
But, enough about the celebrities! Let’s get to the food because that’s what really counts, at least in my humble opinion.
And trust me, the food here definitely brings a whole new meaning to the word delicious.
I mean, not only has La Palette been repeatedly voted the best outdoor café in Paris, but it also comes highly recommended by both Anthony Bourdain AND Andrew Zimmerman.
Added bonus? The atmosphere here isn’t stuffy at all. It’s actually super chill, unassuming, and kind of feels like the cafe hasn’t been updated in decades.
But in a cool vintage way that gives La Palette tons of character and charm. Not in a gross, heinously retro, rancid mothball-smelling kind of way.
And while the prices here aren’t all that budget-friendly, I managed to procure a delicious cheese omelet for €10.50, which I didn’t think was too bad (The hot goat cheese on toast is also really good too).
So, if you’re on a tight budget, then try getting a small bite to eat and a cup of coffee instead of an enormous meal that will cost you about as much as the gross domestic product of a small nation.
Pro Tip: If you’re a hardcore, partying cool kid then you’ll be delighted to know that La Palette serves absinthe, which will be perfect if you really wanna let that freak flag fly free.
Address: 43 Rue de Seine
Nearest Metro Station: Odeon or Saint-Germain-des-Prés
Price: Entrees here start at about €16.00 each.
Hours: Open daily from 8:00 am to 2:00 am, except on Sundays when they open at 10:00 am.
8. La Closerie des Lilas
Another famous cafe in Paris with yet another slew of notable clientele. Therefore, if a leisurely stroll through yesteryear is something that you’d enjoy during your trip to Paris, then a visit to La Closerie des Lilas is a must since it really doesn’t get any more historical than this place.
But, dining here does come with a hefty price tag since their most affordable dish will set you back no less than 20 Euros.
So, be prepared! However, once you can get past that not-so-tiny detail you’ll be able to truly savor the fact that La Closerie des Lilas is the creme de la creme of famous cafés in Paris since literally every famous author, artist, or musician mentioned above has dined here at one point or another.
So, why not add yourself to the list, you devilishly awesome person you? I mean, the food here is delicious, the ambiance is fantastic, and the staff is professional.
And while their menu definitely isn’t the largest one I’ve ever seen, it’s all good since everything they serve here is done extremely well.
Therefore, you definitely won’t walk away disappointed. However, because of La Closerie des Lilas’ historic significance, this café has turned into a bit of a spectacle.
That’s why you should expect this place to be overflowing with hordes of tourists not too unlike yourself.
Pro Tip: Lest you forget this famous cafe in Paris’ long rap sheet of notable past patrons, each table comes with a snazzy little brass marker that details exactly who sat at that table in the restaurant.
Address: 171 Boulevard du Montparnasse
Nearest Metro Station: Port Royal
Price: Try dining in the brasserie where entrees start at €15.00 and above.
Hours: Open daily from 12:00 pm to 2:30 pm and again from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
9. Le Procope
The historic beauty of Paris’ oldest cafe, Le Procope. Because believe it or not Le Procope is actually THE oldest café in Paris since it first opened by Sicilian chef Procopio Cutò WAY back in 1686.
That’s why Le Procope’s client list includes none other than Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Voltaire, and Rousseau.
So, while you can refer to each one of these cafés as a “literary hub” of some sort, Le Procope takes it one step further and proudly proclaims itself the first literary café in the entire world!
Although, that is up for debate, depending on who you talk to.
Be forewarned though, Le Procope is one of the most famous cafes in Paris that no longer serve JUST coffee.
Therefore, if you choose to dine here, you’ll need to order a meal along with your beverage of choice. To save some of your hard-earned cash try ordering from their set menu, which includes a starter and entree, or an entree and a dessert for € 21.90.
Pro Tip: I ordered the pesto pasta with fresh vegetables and loved it).
Address: 13 Rue de l’Ancienne Comédie
Nearest Metro Station: Odeon
Price: You can get a starter, main, and dessert here for just €19.50.
Hours: Currently not open just yet.
10. Angelina (Rivoli)
Hi, my name is Girl with the Passport and I have an unhealthy obsession with this famous cafe in Paris.
Why you may rightly wonder? No, it’s not because of the famous clientele, although both Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn were both frequent customers here.
No, I’m a huge fan of their wickedly wonderful chocolate i’africain. Or as my American brethren fondly refer to it, hot chocolate.
Trust me, Angelina’s hot chocolate is unlike any other. It’s thick, rich, gooey, almost pudding-like, and the stuff that my foodie flights of fancy are made of.
I honestly would probably book a trip to Paris JUST for this hot chocolate since it really is THAT good.
Okay, truth be told, their croissants are pretty epic too.
So, while you may have to fight the perpetual urge to order everything on the menu, the best, and cheapest, way to indulge in as many pastries as humanly possible is to order one of their preset breakfast samplers.
For €29.50 you can order the Angelina Breakfast, which comes with a delightful assortment of bread, pastries (including a croissant, pain au chocolate, raisin bread, and baguette), and eggs.
This preset breakfast option also includes your choice of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.
So yeah, be super indulgent at one of the most famous cafes in Paris and go with the hot chocolate, ALL the way.
And the decor here? Yeah, it ain’t too shabby either. Think chic, ornate, and richly beautiful interiors that will make you feel like you’re having the boujiest breakfast of your life.
Address: 226 Rue de Rivoli
Nearest Metro Station: Tuileries
Price: Breakfast starts at €20.00 per person.
Hours: Open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm and on Saturday/Sunday from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.
11. Le Consulat
Located just a few minutes from Montmartre’s immortal Sacré-Coeur is this charming little cafe, Le Consulat.
You’ve probably seen this Insta-chic eatery plastered all over your Paris-related Instagram feed. And while this place is definitely picturesque AF, Le Consulat is truly known for serving Parisian artistic royalty like Vincent Van Gogh, Picasso, and, Monet, just to name a few.
But here’s the best part. Le Consulat has maintained a lot of its vintage charm and decor over the years, making it a truly enjoyable place to relax and sip on some espresso as you watch the people wander by.
So, if you’re planning to take some insta-worthy pics of Le Consulat for yourself, definitely try to avoid the crowds by arriving as early as humanly possible on a weekday.
Yeah, weekends at one of the most famous cafes in Paris tend to be insanely crowded, making your photo-op, not as #aesthetic as it could be (am I part of the Instagram cult yet?).
But, if you’re here for the foodie awesomeness, then I’ve heard some great things about the Steak au Poivre avec pomme frites, AKA steak and french fries.
It’s rumored to be one of the best steak and fries dishes in all of Paris.
And although I’m a vegetarian and haven’t tried the meaty goodness for myself, dipping into some pomme frites while sitting along their terrace does sound like the perfect way to spend a glorious day in good ol’ Paris.
Address: 18 Rue Norvins
Nearest Metro Station: Abbesses stop.
Price: Most entrees are priced between €10.00 and €20.00.
Hours: Open daily from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm.
12. La Maison Rose
If you don’t know this café by name, then chances are that you can probably identify it from its iconic, pink, and green exterior.
Yes, this famous cafe in Paris is none other than the immortal pink café, La Maison Rose, which has been the subject of many a famous Parisian photo throughout the decades.
By now, you can probably tell from the building’s vintage, fairytale-like charm and surrounding, cobblestone streets that this eatery is located in Montmartre, THE most photogenic neighborhood in all of Paris.
And aside from being famous in its own right, La Maison Rose actually served infamous café hoppers and not-so-starving artists like Picasso, Matisse, and Van Gogh.
But wait, it gets better! Because this place is definitely not your typical “tourist trap” cafe.
You know, a place where you can expect mediocre food, high prices, and poor service.
However, not so at La Maison Rose. Because I’ve heard through the grapevine that the Poulet Basquaise here is out of this world (I had their veggie salad plate which was pretty darn lovely)
Apparently, you can even smell it cooking even before they place it down in front of you.
But let’s be real.It’s Paris. So, everything on the menu here is pretty damn amazing. Therefore, order to your heart’s content or grab un petit café if you’re not that hungry!
Although, snagging a table at one of the most famous cafes in Paris can be a bit tricky since they have limited outdoor seating. And let’s face it, grabbing a seat out on the terrace here is kind of sort of mandatory.
But no worries, because I’ve got you covered! The first thing you need to know about La Maison Rose is that it’s closed on Tuesdays.
So, If you’re coming just for the photo op, then Tuesday is the best day to do so.
However, If you’re hoping to actually dine at this pastel pink cafe of wonder, then you should know that they have slightly odd hours that are listed below.
Because you know, I’m just over here, helping you live the dream, one random hours of operation list at a time (insert thumbs up emoji here).
Address: 2 Rue de l’Abreuvoir,
Nearest Metro Station: Lamarck
Price: Daily specials are between €13.00 and €20.00
Hours: Open Wednesday from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm and Thursday through Sunday from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm. They also require reservations for lunch and dinner.
13, Le Chat Noir
Another one of the many famous cafes in Paris that is located in Montmartre is none other than Le Chat Noir.
Opened in 1881, this famous restaurant started as a humble, cabaret nightclub, where patrons would order drinks while enjoying a live show.
Today though, this former epicenter of Parisian nightlife has turned into an attraction in and of itself, offering patrons live performances throughout the evening.
Although, something tells me that these shows probably don’t quite measure up to the acts that performed here during the 19th century.
But, I digress. And while the food here is nothing to rave about, dining at le Chat Noir is fun if you want to immerse yourself in the long-standing history of this immortal cabaret.
FYI, they do have a great happy hour if you want to chase your escargot and foie gras down with a bit of boozy fun.
So, do yourself a favor and order something light, like a cup of coffee, as you take in the cafe’s vibrant atmosphere.
Because the next time you see that infamous Chat Noir poster, you can be all nonchalant about it and say, “Oh yeah, I’ve dined there”
Pro Tip: This is one of the many famous cafes in Paris that has now become a chic, 4-star hotel in Montmartre where rooms start at around $170 per night. So, if you want to stay somewhere super sleek and historic, then be sure to book your room at Hotel Le Chat Noir now!
Address: 68 boulevard de Clichy
Nearest Metro Station: Blanche or Pigalle.
Price: Rooms here start at $170 per night.
Hours: The front desk is open twenty-four hours per day.
14. La Fontaine de Belleville
Tucked away in Paris’ 10th arrondissement, the owners of this famous cafe in Paris have expertly restored this charming Parisian eatery to its former ’20s, bistro-style glory.
Therefore, step inside one of the most famous cafes in Paris and expect to find large mirrors, stunning ceilings, exquisite paintings, and hand-painted tables with chic, rattan chairs.
And the menu? Well, it’s gone through a bit of an overhaul too since you’ll find nothing but ethical, locally sourced, artisinal products that include nothing but the finest of craft beers and fair trade coffees.
Whatever you do though, don’t leave without making use of their fabulous terrace, which is bathed in light and overlooks the intersection of e rue la Grange aux Belles and Juliette Dodu.
The atmosphere of this place is also wonderfully quiet and the service is beyond exceptional – easily making this one of the best cafes in Paris.
Pro Tip: Sit outside on their terrace and order delicious french toast from one of the most famous cafes in Paris. The boiled egg with toast and filtered coffee is also good if you’re trying to be a wee bit sensible.
Address: 31-33 Rue Juliette Dodu, 75010 Paris, France
Nearest Metro Station: Colonel Fabien, Belleville, or Goncourt.
Price: Entrees are between €12.00 and €15.00 each.
Hours: Open Sunday through Wednesday from 8:00 am to 1:00 am and then Thursday through Saturday from 8:00 am to 2:00 am.
Map of the Most Famous Cafes in Paris
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Let’s face it guys, food in Paris is always a great idea. I mean, even the tourist trap cafés here tend to serve food that far surpasses anything you’ll find in decent cafés elsewhere.
Plus, throughout many of these famous cafes in Paris, there’s an air of sophistication and culture that seductively lures in the city’s best of the best for a drink, a bite, and a lively discussion about the important things in life.
You know, things like whether you should leave the toilet paper roll face up or face down when you replace it.
So, while I can’t promise that you’ll become a famous patron of one of these cafés, I can tell you where to find them so that you can bask in some of Paris’ historic glory, at least for a few minutes.