For the quintessential Parisian experience, one must sit at a sidewalk café, sip a delicious decadent beverage, and ogle the parade of passers-by. Luckily, the cafés near classic central Paris attractions, like the (Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame), attract the most colorful crowds. Peruse Travel and Leisure’s list of 17 Secret Hotels in Paris Under $200 (click here).
As you slowly meander some of the twenty Parisian Arrondissements, you just might be inclined to enjoy our list below of special “café’s” or restaurants in Paris.
Urban Backpacker loves definitions, and appreciates the meanings, madness and the magnificent history behind a simple word. What are these special restaurants in Paris called? What exactly is a café?
Restaurants in Paris – Definition of Café:
1. Restaurants in Paris selling light meals and drinks.
2. A bar or nightclub in Paris.
3. A serving of coffee prepared European-style – In Paris.
Best Morning Crowd
Perhaps the most eclectic crowd in town passes by the Le Boulanger des Invalides (click here), a charming corner bakery right by the Dome des Invalides (click here), a huge complex that houses museums and monuments of the Military in Paris. Even though it’s dripping in Parisian charm, the prices are surprisingly reasonable — you’ll pay less than 5 Euro total for a fresh-pulled espresso and fresh-baked pastry! Watch the busy street parade go by from a cute table on the sidewalk, or try the window seat on chillier days. The delightful staff often takes a break to chat with visitors and garner some well-earned praise for their lovingly handcrafted pastry creations.
Best View of the Eiffel Tower
Although it is across the river from this prominent monument, fondly called la dame de fer (the iron lady), the best full view of crowds frolicking around Eiffel Tower (click here), is undoubtedly from the Café du Trocadero (click here). Abundant tables on the patio, means you rarely have to wait, but be aware that not all the seats have good views, some are blocked by some serious signage. Frequent café aficionado soon discover, that the secret to scoring a primo table with an unobstructed view, is to let the host know you plan to have a long leisurely-slow-food-meal. Although the food is rather overpriced, it is decent enough fare to nosh and nibble as you experience some of the best people watching on the planet!
Best Fashion Parade
Treat yourself to a cocktail break and some up-scale people watching in the Right Bank Marais district of Paris at Les Etages St. Germain (click here). A rather discrete bar, it’s cleverly disguised as a three-story house…but the shabby-chic terrace bar gives it away. Watch the fashionistas strut by as you sip gender-friendly cocktails like the Skyfall for gentlemen (jasmine tea, cognac, green chartreuse, dark chocolate liqueur and Aztec Chocolate Bitters), and the Dahlia Rose for the ladies (dark rum, rose syrup, raspberry, lemon, soda and crushed mint). To whet your whistle for a pittance, schedule your visit between 3 PM to 8 PM when the happy hour kicks in and drink prices plummet. The reviews of this cafe aren’t so hot, but the prices will vet it out for a hidden budget gem happy hour!
Contemplate the crowds admiring the famous Norte-Dame de Paris cathedral’s majestic French gothic architecture from the charming Café Panis (click here). Panis, literally sits right across the street from Notre-Dame. Besides offering reasonably priced café-style meals, they make a proper “un chocolat” (hot chocolate) where the melted chocolate is served on the side to be gently poured into a cup of frothed milk. A favorite game of the patrons is to notice how people’s expressions change as they leave the sacrosanct atmosphere of the cathedral and face the “real world” again.
Situated on a corner where five roads intersect, the Les Champs de Mars (click here), is a perfectly positioned corner café with sidewalk tables under the trees offering a steady stream of locals and tourists passing by for your consideration. Admittedly, the food is a bit “touristy” around the edges, but they’ve got a fair wine list and full bar to help wash it down. Actually, this is an ideal place to wind up an evening and afterwards you can stroll to the Champs de Mars and watch the nightly Eiffel Tower light show (click here).
To view more Restaurants in Paris, museums, and things to do, (click here).
To see the Paris Locks Bridge post, a poem about the Paris locks, and a romantic article about a couple in London (click here).
Definition of Urban Backpacker:
1. Of, relating to, or located in a city.
2. Backpacker redefined: Artful reviews that lead you from hidden budget gems to five-star destinations helping you find palate pleasing adventure, enjoyment, and story collection.
3. Pack bag. Travel there. See city. Eat food. Respect culture. Take picture. Share story. Be thankful. Repeat.