After a teambuilding treasure hunt in the Notre-Dame district, our team was able to experience a magical moment at the oldest café in Paris: Le Procope.
Settled in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, in the rue de l’Ancienne Comédie, this mythical café-restaurant in the 6th arrondissement (est. 1686) is steeped in history.
Let’s discover together the oldest café in Paris which will seduce you with its decoration and its traditional and bourgeois cuisine.
The story goes back to the 17th century
In 1657, an Armenian had the idea of selling coffee in a small shop in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. After moving his business, it was bought by a young Italian, Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli. He opened Le Procope in 1686, establishing the very first café in Paris. He created a very refined decor with antique bookcases, crystal chandeliers, mirrors and noble materials such as velvet and mahogany.
Le Procope was the favourite place of Diderot, Voltaire, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Victor Hugo, Alfred de Musset, George Sand and many others. Be sure yo set foot in their personal recommendation at least once in your life!
A setting that takes you back in time
Indeed, Le Procope is one of the most appreciated places by Parisians attached to the history of Paris. Discover the charm of the landmark restaurant with its especially its sumptuous decoration.
The decor takes us back in time. On the first floor, there is a beautiful room with carpets on the floor, woodwork on the walls… and mouldings on the ceiling. You can’t miss Napoleon’s hat shown in the entrance hall, as well as Voltaire’s favourite table which can be admired there. Even the roof and balconies of the establishment have been listed as historical monuments.
You can also note the toilets doors with “Citoyens” and “Citoyennes” (citizens) marked on it and several documents mentioning the Revolution which decorate the walls.
A cuisine that pays homage to French gastronomy
Le Procope highlights a cuisine that celebrates the great classics of French gastronomy. There are classics such as the mushroom puff pastry, the Scottish salmon steak and the calf’s head in a casserole “as in 1686”, the mille-feuille, the coq-au-vin, the seafood platter… or the veal kidneys flambéed with cognac. Everyone will find the dish they like the most!
Moreover, the oldest café in Paris tries to keep the traditions of French cuisine by offering the “Prix Procope de la Cuisine Bourgeoise” which rewards the best traditional French dishes.
It’s time to visit the oldest café in Paris!
Le Procope will leave you charmed and satisfied. The beautiful restaurant has inspired many artists and politicians. So why not see it for yourself? You will certainly no be disappointed! Call first and reserve your table or discover our selection of the best restaurants in the Notre-Dame district.
Cover Photo credit: Le Procope
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