You just can't stay in our 2-star hotel in the 6th arrondissement of Paris without visiting the legendary establishments of Saint-Germain-des-Prés that have been artistic and cultural hotspots over the years: Les Deux Magots and Le Café de Flore, once frequented by, among others, Apollinaire, Picasso, Aragon, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Boris Vian. Le Procope, the oldest café-restaurant in Paris, established in 1686, a favourite haunt of the likes of La Fontaine, Racine, Diderot, d’Alembert, Beaumarchais, Danton, Robespierre, Hugo and Verlaine… and renowned contemporary authors today.
At the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Brasserie Lipp on boulevard Saint-Germain is very much a Parisian institution famous for traditional cuisine: Bismark herring, Brandade de morue (salt cod gratin), dressed sauerkraut, roast chicken, blanquette de veau (veal stew) and calf's head. A little further away, but still on boulevard Saint-Germain, La Rhumerie offers a whiff of the exotic in a welcoming setting decorated with light wood and rattan.
If you have your heart set on a typically Parisian bistro, head for Au Vieux Colombier, on rue de Rennes, or Aux Charpentiers on rue Mabillon.
If you fancy something trendier, try L’Emporio Armani Caffe & Ristorante (boulevard Saint Germain), Aux Prés Cyril Lignac on rue du Dragon, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon on rue Montalembert or one of the various restaurants and bars in Hotel Lutetia, which has just opened on boulevard Raspail.