One of the restaurants that my husband and I tried while on our vacation was Le Procope Paris. It is the oldest restaurant in Paris and is located in the St. Germain/Latin Quarter which is the 6th arrondissement, near the Sorbonne.
We have often passed this restaurant on previous trips but had never dined there. But since one of our goals for this latest trip was to try new places instead of always going to our tried and true favorites, we planned this outing.
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There are two entrances to this historical restaurant. The main entrance on the rue de l'Ancienne–Comedie and a “back” entrance that is part of a lovely passage called Le Passage de Cour de Commerce Saint-Andre. There are many passages still remaining in Paris.
They have covered shopping areas that allowed the wealthy to shop unencumbered by the elements. Architecturally they are fantastic to visit and photograph, some have endured better than others.
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This passage was opened in 1735 and was built on part of the old wall of Paris, around the time of the King of France, Philippe Auguste. This wall made up the limit of Paris during the Middle Ages! The entrance to this passage is at 128 Blvd St. Germain.
No matter what door you enter, Le Procope is a great restaurant to experience a traditional (and yes, heavy) French meal. The menu has all the classics: coq au vin (chicken in wine sauce), entrecote (steak), magret de canard (duck breast); beouf tartare, as well as several fish selections. The starters are equally traditional with terrines, salads, and escargot (snail), among others.
The food is good. My escargot was a bit overdone, but the rest of the meal was very good. My husband had rognon (sheep kidney) and I had the duck. Dessert was divine, as I am a chocolate lover I chose a wonderful chocolate sorbet which was actually ignored because it was served with a dark chocolate macaroon with pistachio filling that was heavenly!
The entire restaurant has been kept to its original furnishings when it opened in 1686. The restaurant served as a favorite spot of many famous philosophers, historians, and professors such as Voltaire, Robespierre, even Benjamin Franklin, gentlemen who studied or lectured at the universities nearby.
In fact, there were once tunnels to allow these famous fellows to go between the university and the restaurant unperturbed. It is fun to imagine the conversations that took place within these walls!
By the way, if you are spending the day in this area, start off with a light breakfast at Les Deux Magots which has a lovely terrace. It is a little over-priced because you are paying for the fact that you are sitting where writers such as Ernest Hemingway and Jean-Paul Sartre (with his muse, Simone de Beauvoir) as well as many others spent many hours writing within the walls, tables, and terraces of this wonderful cafe.
Les Deux Magots
6 place Saint-Germain-des–Prés – 75006 Paris
Reservation by phone only: + 33 (0)1 45 48 55 25
Info in English
How about you? Have you eaten at Le Procope? Do tell!
I am married to a French man, lived in France for 3 years, and have been to Paris more than 50 times. I am always a tourist so the information, tip, and tricks I share are created to help you!
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- Look for fares using sites like Skyscanner or Expedia.com.
- For France (Paris) coming from the West Coast, I typically fly Air France or United. From the East Coast, I typically fly Air France or Delta.
- If you travel frequently, consider investing in a Priority Pass for airport lounge access. Not only will you have a spot to relax before your flight and charge your devices, but you can eat and drink for free (without paying crazy airport prices!)
- I use Expedia.com, Booking.com, and Hotels.com to find lodging. Always check the reviews on TripAdvisor before booking!
- For rental car agencies, try Rentalcars.com. When traveling in Europe, I use AutoEurope to make reservations. They find the best rates and allow you to compare different car rental agencies. I typically book with Sixt.
- For transportation from the CDG airport to anywhere within Paris, consider pre-booking with Get Transfer. It is one way to be stress-free and you can request an English-speaking driver.
- Tours + Atractions
- I book tours with companies like Viator and GetYourGuide. Both have a wide variety of activities for every travel style. Other companies to look at include Tours by Locals and Withlocals.
- If you’re visiting a city with multiple attractions, be sure to check out a discount pass, such as CityPASS or Go City.
- Context Travel is another option and they offer more educational-based activities.
- If you are looking to buy tickets to attractions, check out Tiquet.
- Don't Forget Travel Photos
- One of my favorite things to do is to get photos taken of me while on vacation. Flytographer is a great option with photographers all over the world.
- Peace of Mind
- It’s important to have some type of travel insurance to cover any unforeseen accidents, illnesses, threats, or cancellations. I always travel with insurance and would recommend SafetyWing, SquareMouth or Travelex Insurance are good options.
- Should you have any trouble with flight delays to the extent you feel you deserve compensation, I encourage you to check out and use AirHelp. I used them and for 1 claim I got compensated (transparency: a 2nd claim did not, but I was still glad I tried!).