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The 8 best cafés in Montparnasse for coffee lovers

  • 05/06/2024
  • In Paris

Dear coffee lovers and Le Littré hotel guests, you’ll be delighted to learn that the Montparnasse district, where our hotel is located, is famous for its charming Parisian cafés, which often pay homage to the area’s rich artistic and literary heritage. Before exploring the best cafés and restaurants in the 6th arrondissement, let’s take a brief look back at the history of Parisian cafés.

The history of cafés:

The history of cafés goes back several centuries, but their popularity exploded in 17th-century Europe, particularly in Paris. In the Montparnasse district at the beginning of the 20th century, cafés became emblematic places for intellectual and artistic life. Writers, artists and thinkers gathered in these establishments to exchange ideas, discuss politics and create innovative cultural movements, such as Picasso, Hemingway and Sartre. These cafés played an essential role in the formation of artistic movements such as Cubism, Surrealism and Existentialism, leaving an indelible mark on the cultural history of Montparnasse and Paris as a whole.

Today, although the days of Montparnasse’s artistic bohemia are long gone, the vibrant, cosmopolitan atmosphere of its cafés persists. These establishments continue to attract a diverse clientele, mixing locals, tourists and art and culture enthusiasts. Montparnasse’s cafés remain lively places to meet and chat, where you can enjoy a coffee while observing the comings and goings of passers-by or immersing yourself in a good book. This eclectic, convivial atmosphere perpetuates Montparnasse’s historic heritage as a fertile ground for the exchange of ideas and artistic creation, making its cafés essential institutions of contemporary Parisian life.

The best cafés in Montparnasse

In our exploration of the best cafés in the Montparnasse district, we invite you to discover our selection where you can be transported by the bewitching aromas and rich flavors of these establishments that embody the very essence of Parisian café culture.

1: Le Café Bohème Edgar Quinet

In the heart of the theater district, right next to the Edgar Quinet metro station, nestles a real gem: the Café Bohème. Right in the heart of the Edgar Quinet theater district, this café embodies a timeless parenthesis in Montparnasse, nostalgically evoking the Montmartre of the 20s, as sung by Aznavour. Its brightly colored terrace and warm interior portray a singular charm, imbued with a country touch reminiscent of the walks of the young Arthur Rimbaud. Imbued with the atmosphere of its neighborhood, Café Bohème offers contemporary cuisine that’s open to the world, inviting you on a gustatory journey as rich as the history that surrounds it.

  • Address: 19 Bd Edgar Quinet, 75014 Paris
  • 9-minute walk from the hotel
  • Open every day of the week from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner menus

2: Le Café Quartier Vavin

Le Café Quartier Vavin, in Paris’s 6th arrondissement, is a haven of peace in the heart of the bustling city. With its warm ambience and elegant decor, it attracts a varied clientele, from local regulars to visitors in search of authenticity. Inside, large windows let in natural light, illuminating the space adorned with wooden tables and comfortable chairs. The outdoor terrace, lined with greenery, provides the ideal setting for enjoying sunny days while watching the comings and goings of passers-by. On the culinary side, Café Quartier Vavin offers a tempting selection of traditional French dishes and delicious pastries, all prepared with fresh, quality ingredients. Whether for a morning coffee, lunch with friends or a romantic dinner, this iconic café embodies the Parisian art of living at its best.

  • Address: 18 Rue Vavin, 75006 Paris
  • 11-minute walk from the hotel
  • Open weekdays from 8am to 1am

3: Le Maine Café

Le Maine Café, located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, is a charming address where you can enjoy delicious French specialties in a friendly atmosphere. The café is renowned for its relaxed atmosphere and friendly welcome. Whether for morning coffee, lunch with friends or dinner with the family, the Maine Café offers an authentic gastronomic experience. On the menu you’ll find a selection of traditional French dishes, often prepared with local, seasonal ingredients. Fresh salads, meat and fish dishes, and gourmet desserts are available to satisfy every culinary craving.

  • Address: 88 Av. du Maine, 75014 Paris
  • 15-minute walk from the hotel
  • Open every day of the week from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Happy Hour from 6pm to 10pm

4: Le select

Located in the heart of Paris’ 6th arrondissement, Le Select is an emblematic café that embodies the spirit and elegance of the French capital. Nestled on the corner of boulevard Montparnasse and rue Vavin, this historic establishment is much more than just a café: it’s a veritable meeting place for culture and relaxation. On the menu: a wide choice of cocktails, rosés and fine French wines from the large bar at the heart of the establishment. Food-wise, you’ll find fine cuts of meat and fish.

  • Address: 99 Bd du Montparnasse, 75006 Paris
  • 8-minute walk from the hotel

5: Le Café du Rendez-Vous

Located on the Place Denfert-Rochereau, the Café du Rendez-Vous is nestled in one of the capital’s liveliest neighborhoods, offering friendly French cuisine with a twist to delight the taste buds. At Café du Rendez-Vous, the atmosphere is one of conviviality and moments shared with family and friends. Whether in summer, with its sunny terrace, or in winter, in its cosy indoor dining room, this establishment welcomes residents of all ages, making it an essential meeting place for local residents.

The brasserie menu is both simple and dynamic, with a focus on seasonal produce and a typically Parisian bistro atmosphere. The kitchen even stays open until 2 a.m. on weekend evenings. The authentic dishes will seduce you with their freshness and quality.

  • Address: 2 Av. du Général Leclerc, 75014 Paris
  • 14-minute walk from the hotel
  • Open every day of the week from 7.30 a.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Happy Hour from 4pm – 9pm

6: La Rotonde

Nestled in the heart of the legendary Montparnasse district, this brasserie has played host to a host of celebrities, from Picasso and Modigliani to Cocteau, Trotsky, Gershwin and Scott Fitzgerald. For a century, La Rotonde was a privileged witness to the effervescence of Montparnasse, in the heart of this lively district, 24 hours a day.

Behind its magnificent façade, spacious lounges adorned with large red velvet banquettes invite you to savor refined, traditional French cuisine. In this cosy atmosphere, you can enjoy every moment. On sunny days, La Rotonde offers you the chance to enjoy its large terrace, steeped in the typically Parisian atmosphere of a place steeped in history.

  • Address: 105 Bd du Montparnasse, 75006 Paris
  • 9-minute walk from the hotel
  • Open every day of the week, from 7:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Happy Hour 5pm-10pm

7: Le Café de Flore

Just a stone’s throw from Montparnasse lies the St Germain des Prés district. Right in the heart of this district nestles the most famous of cafés: Le Café de Flore. Founded in 1887, it’s famous for its timeless ambience, red leather banquettes, antique mirrors and Art Deco decor.

Over the decades, Café de Flore became a meeting place for intellectuals, writers, artists and philosophers. Among its famous customers were Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus and Pablo Picasso. Today, it continues to attract writers, artists, celebrities and tourists from all over the world, eager to soak up its unique atmosphere and rich cultural past.

In addition to its historic ambience, Café de Flore is prized for its Parisian classics, such as croissants, salads, omelettes and, of course, its coffee. The café retains its old-world charm while offering an authentically Parisian experience.

  • Address: 172 Bd Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris
  • 10 min with Métro 4 or 20 min on foot
  • Open daily from 7:30am to 1:30am

8: La Table du Luxembourg 

La Table du Luxembourg offers an exceptional gastronomic experience in the heart of the Jardin du Luxembourg. Headed by Michelin-starred chef Philippe Renard, this café-restaurant combines traditional French cuisine with contemporary touches. The décor is elegant and luminous, with large bay windows offering a breathtaking view of the garden. Dishes vary with the seasons, and include specialties such as North Atlantic cod a la plancha and farmhouse chicken roasted with thyme. The outdoor terrace adds a pleasant dimension to al fresco dining, especially in fine weather, making this a popular destination for quiet lunches or special events.

  • Address: 7 Rue Guynemer, 75006 Paris
  • 15 min walk from the hotel
  • Open Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Why these cafés?

Each café featured in this list has been chosen for its uniqueness. From Café du Rendez-Vous, which embodies Parisian authenticity with its convivial cuisine and central location, to La Rotonde, a veritable institution steeped in history where tradition meets modernity, each establishment offers its own unique experience. Whether for their bohemian ambience, carefully selected wine list or culinary specialties, these cafés are Montparnasse gems waiting to be discovered.

Our tips for visiting Montparnasse

For an unforgettable experience, we recommend visiting these cafés at different times of the day. Enjoy Café du Rendez-Vous for a lively lunch with family or friends, savor an early morning coffee at Maine Café to start your day on the right foot, or immerse yourself in the hushed atmosphere of La Rotonde for a romantic dinner. And don’t miss the special events organized in these establishments, such as wine tastings or theme evenings.
As a hotel located in the heart of Montparnasse, we strongly encourage our guests to explore this emblematic district not only for its rich artistic and cultural heritage, but also for its remarkable cafés. Whether for a coffee break on the terrace, a convivial meal or a lively evening out, Montparnasse’s cafés are essential destinations for discovering the very essence of Parisian life.