Paris - Around Town : St-Germain, Latin and Luxembourg Quarters (part 2) - Booksellers, Specialist Food Shops

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A Day on the Left Bank


This area is as much about atmosphere as sightseeing, so take time to soak up some of that Left Bank feeling. Begin on the Quai de la Tournelle, strolling by the booksellers here and on the adjacent Quai de Montebello, which runs parallel to rue de la Bûcherie home to Shakespeare and Company .

From here head south down any street away from the river to the busy boulevard St-Germain. Turn right for two famous cafés, the Flore and the Deux Magots, and stop for a break among the locals talking the morning away.

Cut your way south to the rue de Grenelle and the Musée Maillol, a delightful lesser-known museum. Then enjoy lunch at L’Oeillade (

10 rue St-Simon
01 42 22 01 60), a bistro full of Gallic atmosphere.

The later you reach the Musée d’Orsay the less crowded it will be. Spend an hour or two exploring the collection. The most popular displays are the Impressionists on the upper level.

After the museum visit, enjoy tea and a cake at Christian Constant, one of the best chocolate-makers in Paris (

37 rue d’Assas, 75006
01 53 63 15 15).Or if it’s dinner time, stay at the Musée d’Orsay and indulge in their set menu (Thu only).


  1. Shakespeare and Co

    Bibliophiles spend hours in the rambling rooms of Paris’s renowned English-language bookshop. There are books in other languages too and regular readings in English and French.

    • 37 rue de la Bûcherie, 75005

  2. Bouquinistes

    The green stalls of the booksellers (bouquinistes) on the quays of the Left Bank are a Parisian landmark. Pore over the posters, old postcards, magazines, hardbacks, paperbacks, comics and sheet music.

  3. Musée d’Orsay Bookshop

    As well as its wonderful collections, the museum has a bewilderingly large and busy art bookshop .

  4. La Hune

    Renowned literary hang-out. Good collections on art, photography and literature.

    • 170 blvd St-Germain, 75006

  5. Gibert Jeune

    A cluster of bookshops that sell everything from travel guides and French literature to cookery books and children’s stories.

    • 3 and 5 place St-Michel, 27 quai St-Michel, 37 rue de la Huchette, 75005

  6. Album

    Specialist in comic books, which are big business in France, from Tintin to erotica.

    • 8 rue Dante, 75005

  7. Librairie Présence Africaine

    Specialist on books on Africa, as the name suggests. Good information point, too, if you want to eat African food or hear African music.

    • 25 bis rue des Écoles, 75005

  8. Tea & Tattered Pages

    An excellent venue for a relaxed afternoon’s browsing among thousands of English-language books; you can have a cuppa, too.

    • 24 rue Mayet, 75006

  9. Librairie Maeght

    Specialist in books on art adjoining the Maeght art gallery, with a good collection of posters, postcards and other items.

    • 42 rue du Bac, 75007

  10. The Village Voice

    North American bias, but works by writers from around the world as well.

    • 6 rue Princesse, 75006

    The Village Voice

Specialist Food Shops

  1. Patrick Roger

    One of a new generation of chocolatiers, Patrick Roger already has legions of fans thanks to his lifelike sculptures and ganache-filled chocolates.

    • 108 boulevard St Germain, 75006

    • Closed Sun

  2. Michel Chaudun

    Michel Chaudun produces chocolates so divine that le tout Paris drops by in chauffeur-driven cars for a regular fix.

    • 149 rue de l’Université, 75007

    • Closed Sun

  3. Jean-Paul Hévin

    Another of Paris’s distinguished chocolatiers. Elegant, minimalist presentation and superb flavour combinations.

    • 3 rue Vavin, 75006

  4. Poilâne

    Founded in the 1930s, this tiny bakery produces rustic, naturally leavened loaves in a Roman-style, wood-fired oven.

    • 8 rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006

  5. La Dernière Goutte

    The owners of this English-speaking wine shop, which has a good selection of bottles from small producers, also run the nearby wine bar Fish.

    • 6 rue Bourbon Le Château, 75006

  6. Debauve & Gallais

    This shop dates from 1800 when chocolate was sold for medicinal purposes.

    • 30 rue des Sts-Pères, 75007

  7. Pierre Hermé Paris

    Here are some of the city’s very finest cakes and pastries, including what is said to be the best chocolate gâteau in Paris.

    • 72 rue Bonaparte, 75006

  8. Ryst Dupeyron

    Wine shop specializing in fine Bordeaux, rare spirits and sparkling champagne.

    • 79 rue du Bac, 75007

  9. Sadaharu Aoki

    Aoki cleverly incorporates Japanese flavours such as yuzu, green tea, and black sesame into intoxicating classic French pastries that taste as good as they look.

    • 35 rue de Vaugirard 75006

    • Closed Mon

  10. Gérard Mulot

    Here you’ll find some of the finest pastries in Paris, along with some truly miraculous macaroons.

    • 76 rue de Seine, 75006

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