Party Earth Review Bursting at the seams with history, Café de Flore was the old stomping ground of iconic French intellectuals Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, and this unique heritage has attracted a flood of well-heeled... ... read full review
172 Boulevard Saint-Germain
4: Saint-Germain-des-Prés; 10: Mabillon
01 45 48 55 26
Saint Germain - 6eme, Paris –
Bursting at the seams with history, Café de Flore was the old stomping ground of iconic French intellectuals Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, and this unique heritage has attracted a flood of well-heeled and knowledgeable tourists making a pilgrimage to one of THE quintessential Parisian cafés.
Facing the busy Boulevard Saint-Germain, the building is surrounded by a conservatory-like patio that offers an airy place to sip a dainty coffee and people-watch amid the plumes of smoke from petite Romeo cigarettes, which appear to be a permanent local accessory.
Opened in 1887 – and changed little since – the venue features scarlet-upholstered banquette benches, tiled floors, and dark wood tables that express a timeless elegance, with seats inhabited by a diverse crowd that ranges from affluent young couples and perfectly primped older ladies to savvy tourists seeking Sartre’s old table.
Given the café style, the focus is primarily on a civilized coffee or aperitifs rather than a full meal, but croque monsieur, omelets, and other classic French café fare is available for those who need a more substantial nosh.
And of course there’s always the ice cream menu, which is as big as the ice creams themselves, but – as with most everything here – premium prices are charged to reflect the premium location.
Yes, the waist-coated waiters will likely be brisk and the venue will always be busy, but Café de Flore’s long history and quintessentially French vibe promise a profound cultural experience.
Intellectual tourists, well-heeled locals, wealthy young couples, people-watchers, mid-20s to 50s+.
People-watching galore, as well as the likelihood of spotting lots of luxury cars parked along the street.
Traditional French dishes including onion soup, croque monsieur, confit de canard, omelets, sandwiches, salads, ice cream, and other desserts.
Café menu €8.50–€30+. Beer €8.50–€9, wine €7.50–€12.50/glass or €30–€65+/bottle, cocktails €13–€18, spirits €7–€17+. Coffee €4–€8, tea €5.50.
There’s no dress code, but trendy/elegant is still the norm: tailored coats, suits, vests, slacks, designer tops, fitted sweaters.
Such is the reputation that there is never a particularly quiet or crowd-free time at Café de Flore, but breakfast on a cool, clear morning is a beautiful way to start the day.
Les Deux Magots (6 Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés) is steps away and has a similar literary and historical reputation.