South of the River Seine and Notre Dame in Paris lies the Latin Quarter, a neighborhood filled with bustling cobbled streets, historic landmarks and fantastic restaurants. Full of hidden gems, famous writers’ houses and some of Paris’ oldest churches, the best way to explore the Quartier Latin is on foot.
Wander the same streets that inspired Victor Hugo, Ernest Hemingway and Woody Allen, and you will instantly fall in love with this part of Paris! Known for being the student district, the Latin Quarter is home to the oldest university in Europe, the Sorbonne University. If you’re looking for a unique experience, climb to the top of the Pantheon to admire the view over the Seine and the greenery of Luxembourg Gardens.
But most importantly, the Latin Quarter is known for great places to buy local food and delicious French specialities. Read on for all our recommendations!
Best Restaurants in the Latin Quarter in Paris
Bistrot style: La Methode
La Méthode (located at 2 Rue Descartes, 75005 Paris) is a typical Parisian bistro and a family-friendly restaurant. It serves great food in a cozy atmosphere that feels like a step back in time, amongst old wooden beams. Try their lobster tartare or the dish of the day! The name is a reference to the philosopher Descartes who lived nearby. George Orwell and James Joyce were also famous residents of this neighbourhood. Many movies about Paris have been shot in this quiet area, like Midnight in Paris by Woody Allen.
Restaurant: Atelier du Maître Albert
The Atelier Maître Albert is located in the oldest part of Paris, at 1 Rue Maître Albert, 75005 Paris. Maitre Albert was a teacher in the Middle Ages and a friend of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Some say he was an alchemist, magician and philosopher. His house and old workshop is now a restaurant run by the multi-starred chef Guy Savoy.
Best French Desserts in the Latin Quarter
Best bakery in Latin Quarter: Kayser
Boulangerie Kayser (at 8 rue Monge 75005 Paris) is a renowned institution in Paris. There are branches in New York and across the world, but it all started here in the Latin Quarter! Their specialty is brioche with white chocolate chunks. You can choose the original turmeric bread or a traditional French baguette and croissant. Don’t forget to try a “financier”, made with almond, butter and vanilla, pistachio or chocolate. Save one for us too please!
Best French dessert: Merveilleux de Fred
Fancy talking about the French Revolution while eating the best meringue in France? Go to Merveilleux de Fred (2 rue Monge, 75005 Paris) and say “I want a marvellous and an incredible”. These are tiny meringues, made of egg whites and sugar, covered with chocolate flakes and filled with a delicate cream. All their names are inspired by the French Revolution in 1789, feel free to ask them why!
Wine and Cheese in the Latin Quarter
Wine lovers: Les caves du Pantheon
Climb Sainte Genevieve hill and visit the Pantheon to see Voltaire and Marie Curie’s graves. You can also drink great French wine in their honor at Les Caves du Pantheon (74 Rue Saint-Jacques, 75005 Paris ). Olivier will welcome you into his cozy wine shop, which has the largest selection of grapes and labels you could think of!
Cheese addicts: Laurent Dubois
The best cheese shop in Paris? Laurent Dubois. If you don’t taste Dubois’s cheeses before you leave Paris, you are really missing something! It has excellent quality cheeses and an amazing selection. Our absolute favourite is the Brillat Savarin cheese with truffles and their camembert cheese with caramelised apple. Yum! Laurent Dubois is located at place Maubert, 47 ter Boulevard Saint-Germain.
Food Market in the Latin Quarter
To feel like a true local Parisian, rendez-vous at place Maubert Mutualité. This place used to be the first open air university during the Middle Ages. Now it’s famous for its food market, open three days a week. On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday you can enjoy fresh farmer’s produce, vegetables, fish, cheese, as well as foie gras and truffle oil. On the other days (Wednesdays, Fridays, Sundays), go to Place Monge for another farmer’s market – Metro Maubert Mutualite or Metro Place Monge.
To continue exploring, if you like poetry and literature you will love the Shakespeare and Company bookshop. If you prefer history, travel in time with a walk around the ruins of Roman baths and a Roman gladiator arena from the 2nd Century. There’s also the Musee Cluny for medieval art pieces. If you prefer nature and science, have a look at some dinosaurs in the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle (Natural History Museum).
The Latin Quarter is truly a time machine and full of surprises! If you want to discover more about this neighbourhood, book our Latin Quarter private tour here.
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