Cafés Night Paris

10 Famous Literary Cafés in Paris

Paris cafés are nostalgic, charming, and dreamy, just like in this photo of a Paris café by night.

Paris cafés are beautiful too and they’re so easy to come across that they become part of your sight-seeing. Whenever you want to have a rest or are hungry, there will be one there right in front of your eyes, inviting and surprising.

Many of the cafés in Paris became famous for their intellectual clienteles. Let’s follow their footprints and experience the atmosphere these talented individuals left behind.

1st arrondissement

Angelina Rivoli

Angelina is known primarily for its almost pudding-like hot chocolate (chocolat l’africain) and for its Mont Blanc dessert (or Mont-Blanc aux marrons) of puréed, sweetened chestnuts topped with whipped cream. The name comes from Mont Blanc, as it resembles a snow-capped mountain.

•Mont Blanc• Tried the famous Mont Blanc pastry from Angelina Paris! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ amazing stars for this yummy treat!

Chocolate and croissant

Angelina’s entrance appears modern with delicate, bright, airy, unassuming touches that beautifully display its signature pastries and chocolates.


Angelina, rue de Rivoli 1 Paris, France 2011

Its interior was designed by French architect Édouard-Jean Niermans in the Belle Époque style: gilded ironwork, art gallery-esque wall murals, ornate mirrors, soft lighting, marble tabletops, and mosaic floors. It became an institution frequented by Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn.

Angelina, interior

Chez Angelina pour le thé

Angelina cafe Paris 4373

6th arrondissement

La Closerie des Lilas

La Closerie des Lilas is located in the quartier Port-Royal. It was one of the places frequented by 19th Century intellectuals such as Ernest Hemingway, Émile Zola, Pablo Picasso and Oscar Wilde.

The outside of La Closerie des Lilas looks like a leafy fortress. The inscription on its sign is in lily pink.

La Closerie des Lilas

Its interior décor is polished but still keeps the rich retro feel. You’ll find mosaic floors, mirrors and wood.

P1330723 Paris VI closerie des Lilas bar rwk

La Palette

La Palette is located in the quartier Saint-Germain-des-Prés – Odéon. It is decorated with ceramics from the 1930s and numerous paintings, including a famous painting of the young owners. La Palette was frequented by Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway and Julia Roberts.

Cafe La Palette, Paris 001

Les Deux Magots

Les Deux Magots is a famous café in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area of Paris. Its historical reputation is derived from the patronage of Surrealist artists, intellectuals such as Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, and young writers, such as Ernest Hemingway. Other patrons included Albert Camus, Pablo Picasso, James Joyce, Bertolt Brecht and the American writer Charles Sutherland.

Paris / 巴黎 - Les Deux Magots

Side view:
Les Deux Magots

Inside the Deux Magots, two statues gaze serenely over the room. They represent Chinese “mandarins,” or “magicians” (and “alchemists,” depending upon one’s philosophical point of view). These two oriental gentlemen are the source of the name. “Magot” literally means, “stocky figurine from the Far East.”

Statues, Les Deux Magots, Paris

The benches still have their original red moleskin and the mahogany tables have passed the test of time. The waiters, dressed in black and white, are an important part of the décor of this historic place.

Café de Flore

The Café de Flore is one of the oldest and the most prestigious coffeehouses in Paris. It is located in Saint-Germain-des-Prés in the 6th arrondissement.

Paris / 巴黎 - Café de Flore

Café de Flore became a popular hub of famous writers and philosophers. Georges Bataille, Robert Desnos, Léon-Paul Fargue, Raymond Queneau were all regulars, and so was Pablo Picasso. Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai was known to be a frequent patron of Café de Flore during his years in France in the 1920s.

The classic Art Deco interior of all red seating, mahogany and mirrors has changed little since World War II.

'Le Flore', an historically significant painting about le café le Flore

The nearest underground station is Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

Café Procope

The Café Procope is the oldest restaurant of Paris in continuous operation.

le procope

Cafe Procope plaque

Cafe Procope plaque describing it is the oldest cafe in the world. It reads: “Café Procope. Here founded Procopio dei Coltelli in 1686 the oldest coffeehouse in the world and the most famous center of the literary and philosophic life of the 18th and 19th centuries. It was frequented by La Fontaine, Voltaire and the Encyclopedistes: Benjamin Franklin, Danton, Marat, Robespierre, Napoleon Bonaparte, Balzac, Victor Hugo, Gambetta, Verlaine and Anatole France.”

Café Procope

Voltaire mixed his coffee with chocolate and drank forty cups of coffee a day at Procope.

Voltaires Desk at Le Procope

Café Procope

9th arrondissement

Café de la Paix

The Café de la Paix is a famous café located next to the Place de l’Opéra in the 9th arrondissement of Paris.

Café de la Paix Paris France

It is said that if one sits at the café, one is bound to run into a friend or acquaintance due to the café’s popularity and reputation. Its proximity to the Opéra attracted many famous clients, including Jules Massenet, Émile Zola, and Guy de Maupassant. During the Belle Époque, visitors to the Café included Sergei Diaghilev, and the Prince of Wales and future King Edward VII of the United Kingdom.

Paris - The Opera and the Café de la Paix - 3651

14th arrondissement

Le Dôme Café

Le Dôme Café or Café du Dôme is a restaurant in Montparnasse, Paris. From the beginning of the 1900s, it was renowned as an intellectuals’ gathering place. It was frequented by the famous painters, sculptors, writers, poets, models, art connoisseurs and dealers. Le Dôme later became the gathering place of the American literary colony and became a focal point for artists residing in Paris’s Left Bank.

Le Dome, Paris

Boulevard du Montparnasse, Restaurant Le Dome, Paris

La Coupole

La Coupole is a brasserie in Paris located in the Montparnasse district, in the 14th arrondissement. The painter Alexandre Auffray painted pillars that were later classified as historical monuments, as well as a plaster sculpture overlooking the bar.

Interior of La Coupole, Paris - 2011

La Coupole brasserie was frequented by many tourists in search of the spirit described by Hemingway in Paris is a feast. Aficionados included Picasso and Edith Piaf among others.

18th arrondissement

La Maison Rose

You won’t miss La Maison Rose with this attractive distinct pink color on your way to Sacré-Cœur. Pablo Picasso used to hang out here too.

La Maison Rose

Paris cafés are beautiful in design and were frequented by well-known writers, artists, actors and political leaders. Earnest Hemingway, Émile Zola, Pablo Picasso and Oscar Wilde were the best-known ones.

This is one of the many reasons that make Paris cafés so special. While appreciating their artistic design, that goes back to centuries ago, you’re instilling a rich literary spirit in yourself. Paris cafés are not just “old”; they preserve the literacy and culture of their nation.

Photo Credits:
Zdenko Zivkovic – Night in Paris – 2 young american women enjoying a glass of wine at rue du Luxembourg.
Debbie Tingzon – •Mont Blanc• Tried the famous Mont Blanc pastry from Angelina Paris! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ amazing stars for this yummy treat!
Evan Bench – Chocolate and croissant – another award-winning breakfast at Chez Bench… This time, we’ve got some chocolate made from the mix at Angelina’s on Rivoli.

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Min Min

There are different kinds of artists. Some are more focused and others are more all-encompassing. I would count myself as the art-everywhere type of artist. To me, art is a way of looking at things, of applying creativity in my life. I am a frequent traveler who truly appreciates every tiny beauty of life and have traveled extensively around the world. Different cities inspire me in different ways. My passion is Paris which I have visited more than once, living as a Parisian. I have walked big streets and small alleys in Paris, and every inch of the city has given me inspiration. When I first arrived in Paris it was as though all my senses were heightened, then as I became familiar with the city I learned to see subtleties that I missed at first.

5 thoughts on “10 Famous Literary Cafés in Paris”

  1. “La Maison Rose” is just aside the vineyard of “Montmartre”.
    If you arrive in Paris during the harvest you can actually celebrate the “new wine” and have a free taste next to it. Prepare yourslef though as the streets and the slopes are pretty steep.
    If you go down a little, you will find the famous statue of Dalida. One of the most famous French female singers.

  2. Thank you for this post!
    Some of those places are definitively on my must see list next time I’m in Paris (La Pallete tout d’abord)!

    It amazes me how all those places kept the spirit of old times so vividly, without giving the impression that those times are long gone.

    I recommend a cup of coffee somewhere on place Monge with a ”Movable feast” second hand-yellow pages edition – Midnight in Paris is so much more then a fictional movie script 🙂

  3. For me being even in the vicinity of these Parisian cafés would be quite an honor. It is really a feast for the eyes and food for the soul. A few years back I visited the gorgeous City of Light but I didn’t have the chance to actually indulge in the Mont Blanc dessert or try any of their coffees.
    Thank you so much for this informative and visually appealing post which succeeded in igniting my desire to go there and enjoy the spirit of all of these cafés and their majestic cultural artistry that has definitely surpassed even the remotest of expectations.

  4. It would be an amazing experience to be at places frequented by famous figures such as: Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Albert Camus, Bertolt Brecht, Robespierre, Balzac, Victor Hugo, Émile Zola, Alexandre Auffray, etc. These restaurants are so important because they are linkers between you and these artists; between your reality and theirs; between their artistic work and your appraisal. And they have not only served different people from different epochs, but have faced war and time and still are here to serve you. And the best part of it is that you can simultaneously be pleased by three of your five senses: smell, taste and sight. So, history, culture, art and the pleasure of your senses, what else could you ask for?

  5. Reading such an article makes me think that one can only be amazed by the amount of desk research the author had to provide, to write it.

    Seriously, I thought that reading and digesting were unsympathetic activities?

    Ok, I must admit that on a nice winter evening, one could get the urge to snuggle in a café like this to eat food and enjoy a good coffee!

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