Clustered around the Left Bank of the River Seine in the 5th and 6th arrondissements of Paris, the Latin Quarter boasts historic charm and culture in abundance, as well as some of the finest places to eat in the city.
People-watch from the street-side tables at Café de Flore
Café de Flore is not only popular for its food offering; it’s entwined with Paris’s literary history, too. The venue has been associated with The Prix de Flore since 1994, a prestigious French literary prize that entitles its winners to enjoy a glass of Pouilly-Fumé at the café every day for a year. So, it’s quite possible that you’ll be dining at a table near the next big thing. The café offers a delectable range of salads for starters, followed by sandwiches and onion soup, while options like quiche and duck specials can be chosen as part of the hot buffet.
All Day, Dinner, Lunch, Dessert, Breakfast, Brunch, Late Night
Enjoy some of the best fish in the Latin Quarter at La Nouvelle Seine Restaurant
For those hoping to tuck into some excellent seafood in Paris, La Nouvelle Seine is a fantastic choice – and the surroundings are beautiful, too, as the barge-restaurant sits beneath the dramatic architecture of Notre-Dame. It’s a long-held favourite among locals looking for an evening treat. The restaurant serves a delightful selection of dishes, such as roasted king prawns and fresh salmon topped with mango and chives. If that wasn’t enough to tempt you, there’s a hugely varied programme of entertainment that ranges from comedy to cabaret to keep guests amused throughout the meal.
Having opened in 2001, Ze Kitchen Galerie was first awarded its Michelin star in 2008 and has maintained it ever since. Every aspect of the restaurant’s service is of the highest quality, from the aesthetic presentation of the dishes to its ambience. The food offering is in the trusted hands of world-renowned chef William Ledeuil, whose menu unites a passion for Asia and a respect for French culinary tradition. Those lucky enough to bag a table here will be in for a real treat.
One of the oldest restaurants in Paris, La Tour d’Argent is steeped in history and dates back to 1582. As it happens, the fork made its very first appearance in France at La Tour d’Argent – King Henry IV introduced the piece of cutlery at a much talked about dinner at the restaurant. Today, it’s most famous for its caneton (duckling) speciality, as well as the breathtaking views of the Notre-Dame from its rooftop garden. Interestingly, this is also the restaurant that inspired the popular animated film Ratatouille (2007).
La Rôtisserie, which serves top-quality food in a quaint, mosaic-decorated setting, is a high-end Parisian bistro with a relaxed atmosphere. From the lampshades to the checkered tablecloths, there’s everything you’d expect to find in a typical French bistro, but the top quality range of dishes makes this locale a standout option. The restaurant offers a delicious selection of oysters and lobsters, and their poached eggs are particularly popular.
At Les Deux Magots, not only will you be hanging out in a spot where famous thinkers like Hemingway, Sartre, Fitzgerald and Picasso used to sip their coffees, but you might also brush shoulders with history-changing artists of the future. This restaurant on Boulevard Saint-Germain has long attracted Paris’s intellectuals and it’s still a major hangout for the cultural elite, so don’t worry if you’re in Paris alone – you won’t be the only one dining in the company of a book.
For a relaxed restaurant in the Latin Quarter, try Nuance Café, a cosy eatery located just a stone’s throw away from two of the area’s biggest attractions, Jardin des Plantes and Les Arènes de Lutèce, a Roman arena in Paris. The chefs serve homemade dishes using only the freshest seasonal products and their weekly brunch is particularly popular.
Le Polidor is a historic Parisian restaurant adorned with red checkered tablecloths, dainty net curtains and antique mirrors. The authenticity of the interior design extends to the menu, which is filled with traditional French meals, such as blanquette de veau (veal stew) and beef bourguignon. As well as the food, this restaurant is well-known for the famous people that have passed through its doors. Victor Hugo and Ernest Hemingway used to be regulars – Hugo actually wrote part of Les Misérables at one of Le Polidor’s tables – and Woody Allen shot Midnight in Paris here.
For something a little different than the usual Paris restaurants, consider dining at Prosper et Fortunée. More like an exclusive supper club than your standard Parisian bistro, there are only 15 seats up for grabs in this venue. Guests are invited to sit in front of the open kitchen and watch the chef prepare a menu of mostly organic, premium produce that changes on a daily basis. From raw mackerel with yuzu to prime fillet with black radish, Prosper et Fortunée promises a truly unique dining experience in Paris. Be sure to reserve in advance and arrive on time – dinner starts promptly at a fixed time.
The Latin Quarter in Paris might be the city’s oldest neighbourhood – famously deriving its name from the Latin that was commonly spoken around the Sorbonne University during the Middle Ages – but that doesn’t mean its food offering is outdated. La Bête Noire restaurant has a particularly dynamic atmosphere thanks to the passionate welcome of Russian-Maltese chef-owner Maria and the upbeat music that animates its small, intimate interiors. Maria insists on Italian wine rather than French and offers guests the choice of either one meat or one vegetarian dish each day, created from seasonal, locally sourced products.