Paris' Iconic Cafe Culture!
The Parisian café is something of an icon, one that exists everywhere. It is almost as synonymous with Paris as the Eiffel Tower, complete with the row of round tables facing outward to the sidewalk. Even though the weather in Europe can be fickle, small tables outdoors grace many sidewalks around the capital city, and there will always be someone parked there with a newspaper, an espresso, or a café crème.
The very first Parisian café was opened in 1672, and the earliest successful one was the Procope, opened in 1686. The Procope still operates today, and is the oldest café in the world!
Some of the most famous cafés in Paris are Café de la Paix, Les Deux Magots, Café de Flore, La Coupole, and Café de la Rotonde. Back in the day at Les Deux Magots, you could find the likes of Ernest Hemingway, and philosophers Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre.
At a French café, along with coffee (if you ask for un café you will be served a demitasse of espresso) you can get tea, wine and beer, and a variety of mineral waters and fruit juices. A café alongé is diluted, so not as strong. A noisette is expresso with a small dollop of cream. If you prefer something without alcohol, there are options. Many cafés offer four to six kinds of fruit juices in small bottles. There is also limonade, which is a carbonated lemon-flavored beverage, and panaché, a blend of lemonade and beer.
While you’re visiting Paris, be sure to frequent several cafés and experience the French Rhythm, which is relaxed and watch the world go by!!