With parks, shops, restaurants and terraces open again in Paris, Parisians are gradually starting to fill up again the streets and the city is slowly but surely coming back to life, a socially-distant one anyway. Moreover, with French borders opening up on June 22nd for European Union members, and July 1st for many other countries, I felt inspired to talk about my favourite spots in one of Paris most popular quartiers – Saint-Germain-des-Prés – now that we can finally enjoy being out and about again. I hope you get a few good ideas just in case you are planning a little escapade to the City of Lights soon!
Since the early 1900s all of Paris has been singing, dancing, writing and painting in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Indeed, Saint-Germain has been the favorite neighbourhood of artists and philosophers from all over the world – think Ernest Hemingway, Picasso and Jean-Paul Sartre, to name a few. Known for being an artsy, chic area of Paris, its atmosphere is both bohemian and bourgeois, a true concept we call bobo in French.
In its charming cobbled streets, you can relax in famous literary cafés such as Les Deux Magots, with a lovely sunny terrace right in front of the oldest church in Paris. Saint-Germain is also an amazing area for fashion shopping, art hunting, strolls by the river, and picnics in the park. It really has something to offer for everyone! And perhaps most importantly, Saint-Germain is full of fantastic French food addresses – patisserie, wine, cheese… you can find the best of it all!
Now, without further due, I’m presenting to you below my favourite French food addresses is Saint-Germain. All worth checking out if you’re staying in the area or just passing by!
Best restaurants in Saint Germain Paris
Bistrot style: Le Relais de l’Entrecote
20 Rue Saint-Benoît, 75006 Paris
If you’re craving homemade French fries and an amazingly cooked piece of steak, Le Relais de l’Entrecôte is the place to go. For your main course, there’s only one option in this old-school looking, family-friendly restaurant: beef steak with French fries and a green salad. But not any beef steak and not any fries – this main dish has become a true icon in the city for how incredibly good it tastes! The dessert menu offers more choice, as there are 20 different specialties you can choose from including crème brulée, chocolate ice cream, rum baba and lemon pie. A visit to this famous bistrot will make for a French meal you’ll never forget!
Modern dining: Semilla
54 Rue de Seine, 75006 Paris
Semilla is a chic restaurant in Paris, located in the heart of Saint Germain. Their menu changes every day according to seasonal products and the chef’s inspiration. If you can, make a reservation for the “chef’s table”. A table for two, you get a special court-side table where you’ll be able to watch the kitchen team in action from your seats! A true spectacle of modern French cuisine. Either before or after your dinner, why not have a glass of champagne at Freddy’s wine bar, a vibrant casual but chic spot usually full of locals having tapas and wine by the counter. Freddy’s is right next door and is owned by the same person as Semilla.
Best French desserts in Saint Germain Paris
Best boulangerie in Saint Germain Paris: Gerard Mulot
76 Rue de Seine, 75006 Paris
Bread and pastries wise, you can find everything you could possibly want at the bakery and patisserie Gérard Mulot: from delicious salmon quiches to buttery croissants and hundreds of truly home-made macarons. Perfect place to grab a quick lunch or sweet bite to take away and enjoy in the Luxembourg Gardens park! Gérard Mulot is located righ by the Marché Saint-Germain, a famous covered market.
Best Patisserie in Saint Germain Paris: Un Dimanche a Paris
4 8, 6 Cour du Commerce Saint-André, 75006 Paris
You must try the best chocolate éclair in Saint Germain from Un Dimanche à Paris. This patisserie shop is located in an enchanting, hidden cobbled street dating back to the Middle Ages. You can admire the chefs patissiers through a glass wall while they make their magic creating your delicious French desserts. If the weather is cold I recommend sitting at their salon de thé and trying their creamy hot chocolate, it’s absolutely fantastic! Like the famous Angelina one or even better, and no need to queue.
Best wine and cheese in Saint Germain Paris
Wine lovers: La Dernière Goutte
6 Rue de Bourbon le Château, 75006 Paris
Looking for a good bottle of French Pinot noir? La Dernière Goutte offers wine tastings in English as well as French throughout the week. They get most of their selection from small producers around the country and have a particularly great selection of organic wines.
Cheese addicts: Coopérative Laitière du Beaufortain
9 Rue Corneille, 75006 Paris
Coopérative Laitière du Beaufortain isn’t your regular cheese shop: all the products are from small producers, which makes for the perfect opportunity to learn more about regional French cheeses. Have you ever heard of Beaufort cheese? It’s a firm, cow’s milk cheese from the Alps. You have to try it at least once in your life – or twice!
Best market in Saint Germain Paris: Marché Biologique Raspail
Boulevard Raspail, 75006 Paris (Between Rue du Cherche-Midi et Rue de Rennes)
On a Sunday morning, grab your tote bag and have a stroll around the Marché Biologique de Raspail. This weekly French market is famous amongst the world’s greatest chefs. On offer? Only the best organic food, directly from the farms! If you are not available on a Sunday but you love markets, you can pay a visit to the Marché Couvert de Saint Germain instead.
I hope you enjoyed this list of my favourite food stops in Saint-Germain. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and feel free to ask me any questions! To continue exploring the neighbourhood, why not walk along the Seine River from the Pont-Neuf bridge to Notre-Dame Cathedral, or look for the mini Statue of Liberty hidden in the Luxembourg Gardens? À bientôt!
Maria Pasca is the Communications & Marketing Director at My Private Paris. My Private Paris is an award-winning boutique travel agency that fully tailors high-end tours and experiences in Paris with the finest local guides.