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Le Rouquet

Dispatch from Paris | Published : 14/Mar/2008 23:45

Le Rouquet Café & Brasserie
When you feel like having a coffee in a classic Left Bank café setting but shudder at the thought of neighboring a group of starry-eyed tourists (which is almost inevitable if you go to either the Café de Flore or Les Deux Magots), we have an alternative suggestion.

A few blocks away from the two oh-so-atmospheric stalwarts of Parisian café life sits a slightly less frequented establishment: Le Rouquet.

People-watching here is as good as at the other two and you'll feel better knowing that you're not falling into one of the two biggest tourist traps in Paris.

Food is just okay, but that's beside the point (well, unless you're hungry). You can simply order a coffee (around €4 at the table; €2.50 at the bar; check Hillary's advice on how to order coffee) and consider it your license to stay indefinitely. Watch the shoppers, read the paper, write a novel – whatever you wish. It might take you more than a few €4 drinks to finish the novel, but basically, that's the formula.

Founded in 1922, the café has barely changed since its inception. Frommers informs us that the latest renovation happened in 1954. Tant mieux, as far as we're concerned.

Le Rouquet
188 Boulevard Saint-Germain
7th Arrondissement
75007 Paris