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What to Do on a Day in the Latin Quarter, Paris

What to see and where to eat in Paris's most charming neighborhood.

a street in the Latin Quarter, Paris

The Latin Quarter is my favorite neighborhood in Paris. When I eventually return to the city, this is where I’ll book my hotel. This neighborhood is the perfect balance between classic and modern, and it's full of both classic sites and hidden gems. Here’s how I spent my beautiful day in the Latin quarter.



#1 - Breakfast at Maison Sauvage


Maison Sauvage is an iconic Latin quarter cafe. Tucked into one of the side streets and absolutely drenched in flowers, it’s everything you want in a Parisian sidewalk cafe.

Maison Sauvage in the Latin Quarter, Paris

Is eating at Maison Sauvage a little touristy? Yeah. Was it worth it? Absolutely. I ordered the “Petit Dej Sauvage,” their variation on the standard parisian breakfast. It contained a hot drink of choice, a cold drink of choice, a pastry, and an egg dish. I ordered an espresso, orange juice, a chocolate croissant, and an omelet, and all were exquisite. The orange juice was clearly fresh squeezed, the chocolate croissant was flaky and decadent (seriously, I’m absolutely ruined for American croissants), and the omelet was perfectly cooked and came with a little side salad with a delicious dressing. I ended up ordering a second espresso, and with Paris-appropriate tip (1-2 euros on average), I paid a little over 20 euro.


This was the most expensive breakfast from my trip, but it was the perfect way to start my Latin quarter morning. I had a full belly, a nice caffeine boost to help me fight the lingering jet lag, and was in a refreshed state of mind for exploring.


One word of warning, Maison Sauvage does not have continuous service, meaning the kitchen closes for a few hours between meals. They’ll still serve drinks during this period, but if you want to go for breakfast, make sure you stop in before 10am


#2 - Notre Dame

a traveler in front of Notre Dame in Paris

When I visited in 2022, Notre Dame was still under reconstruction from the devastating 2019 fire. The cathedral is closed to the public during this time, and most of the structure is hidden behind cranes and scaffolding. But you know what’s not obstructed? The gorgeous front facade. You can’t get very close - there’s a security wall up to keep the construction zone separate from the viewers - but you can still admire the gorgeous stonework and take photos to your heart’s content. If you speak French, there’s some lovely images and storytelling printed on that security wall that describe the restoration process that you can read. My French is minimal, so I only understood pieces of it, but even the images showed me a lot about the work being done to restore Our Lady of Paris to her full glory. I look forward to being able to visit her once the work is complete (she’s projected to reopen to the public in 2024!), but even as she is, she’s worth visiting and admiring.


#3 - Shakespeare and Company, and The Abbey Bookshop


the Shakespeare and Company bookshop in Paris

There are two English language bookstores in the Latin Quarter with varying levels of fame, and I sincerely recommend checking out both.


The Abbey Bookstore is the used bookshop of your dreams. It’s narrow and winding and the shelves go all the way to the ceiling and it’s the perfect place to hunt for treasures.


Shakespeare and Company is the one you’ve likely heard of. There will likely be a line outside, but it’s well worth waiting in to experience an icon of literary Paris. The bookshop feels very cozy inside, and if you purchase a book, you can get it stamped with the logo and address of the shop. And pick up a tote bag because, I mean, you gotta. It helps you find other biblio-franco-philes in the wild.


#4 - Lunch at Creperie Little B-

a buckwheat crepe from a creperie in the Latin Quarter, Paris

Sometimes the place with a line out the door is a tourist trap, but sometimes the line is how you know where the good stuff is. When I walked up to Creperie Little B-, there was a short line on the sidewalk, but I had my book with me and I was willing to wait. And was it ever worth the wait! The interior of the restaurant is endlessly cozy, and they specialize in buckwheat crepes of every possible variety. I personally ordered the chevre chaud e espinch (goat cheese and spinach) crepe, and I think the photo speaks for itself.



#5 - Jardin du Luxembourg


There are parks all over Paris, and this one has a lovely local feel. The main courtyard area is studded with gorgeous statues, and the farther you get from said courtyard, the more homey it starts to feel. Clearly this is where Parisians relax in the afternoons. But just because the area gets more relaxed, that doesn’t mean that the statues disappear. The more paths you wander, the more beauties you’ll find, so take your time and wander to your heart’s desire.



#6 - Cafe de Flore


This is probably the most touristy thing I did in the Latin Quarter, but you simply cannot visit Paris without stopping in at the Cafe de Flore. Think of any famous artist or writer who spent time living in Paris, and they spent time at Cafe de Flore.

hot chocolate and whipped cream from Cafe de Flore, Paris

If you want to sit indoors, you’ll likely have to wait in a long line. But dressed for the weather as I was, I asked one of the waiters about an empty table on the sidewalk and got seated there immediately.


Cafe de Flore is decidedly not a budget destination, so if you’re counting your euros I don’t recommend a full meal here. I had a sparking water and a hot chocolate and my experience was still amazing. And speaking of the hot chocolate, you MUST try it. They bring you the chocolate in a little carafe, which you pour into a separate teacup. And they bring you fresh whipped cream in a little glass that you can scoop on top of your chocolate. Connoisseurs have said that the chocolat chaud at Cafe de Flore is the best in Paris, and I believe them. Was my Perrier and hot chocolate at Cafe de Flore more expensive than the crepe I had for lunch? Yes. Was it worth it to sit at a famous corner cafe in the Latin Quarter of Paris and watch the world go by while sipping a life-altering hot beverage? Absolutely it was.


#7 - Dinner at Le Relais de L’Entrecote

steak frites from Relais de L’Entrecote, Paris

If you want to try steak frites while in France, my friend, this is the place. This is the kind of place where they seat you at your table and they don’t even give you a menu. They just ask you how you want your meat cooked. You order a glass of red wine and in absolutely no time at all, a beautiful plate of steak and fresh frites appears in front of you. You savor your steak, and once your plate is clean, the waiters come around again and give you MORE steak, so pace yourself! If you have any room left, they have a massive dessert menu. Or you can do like I did and top off your meal with an Irish Coffee with cream so decadent it felt like eating yogurt.



Savor the Magic of the Paris's Latin Quarter


The Latin Quarter is my favorite neighborhood in Paris and the one I am most looking forward to returning to. Wander these streets and gardens and soak up the magic of this amazing neighborhood.


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Love and Shenanigans,


Andi


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