Go for the scene, not the food, and enjoy the Art Deco décor and great people-watching at this buzzy Left Bank landmark. Despite a limited menu and steep prices, the place is packed day and night. Order a chocolat chaud and sit on the terrace, watching the world go by.
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Tea time at Café de Flore
In the six years I've lived in Paris, I've only once taken afternoon tea/coffee at the Café de Flore, Boulevard Saint-Germain's stalwart hangout where intellectuals and philosophers like Sartre, Hemingway and de Beauvoir traded literary barbs and held forth about existentialism. I tend to opt for more discreet places on the right bank to relax with a drink but this spot has that ineffable something to beguile new visitors. You're unlikely to see any famous faces these days but you can cozy up on the terrace (heated in the winter) after a long day of sight-seeing and shopping. Most of the menu is pricey but if you've never been to Paris, it's worth stopping by for tea, an omelet to start the day or a glass of wine before dinner and to watch the well-heeled Parisians stroll past.
And of course I am referring to having a coffee in Paris. The Cafe de Flore is located on Blvd Saint Germain, in the area where the likes of Hemingway, Fitzgerald and so on used to hang out and write American classical literature. If you're on a budget, by all means walk down the boulevard and check out these cafes, but you'll find cheaper prices off the main drag. Still, it is an experience so spoil yourself at least once!
No matter where you are in Paris you are never far from a corner cafe or bistro where you can order an espresso, a pastry, read a book or simply people watch. You can never guess what you might see. While enjoying my espresso I was lucky enough to catch a fashion show right on the corner. Red carpet for the runway, beautiful skinny French models, photographers and music.