To discover the legendary Paris cafés, the best place to start is the Boulevard Saint-Germain in the 6th arrondissement. This broad tree-lined boulevard is lined with designer fashion boutiques, prestigious cafés, and classic brasseries. The most celebrated cafés are the Café de Flore (172 Boulevard Saint-Germain), which was the meeting place of Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, and the Café des Deux Magots (6 Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés), the haunt of James Joyce, Picasso, Hemingway, and other creative types. At both cafés, tourists are treated to a classic Parisian café experience, complete with waiters wearing bow ties (although the waiters have a reputation for their brusque service).
The brasseries of Boulevard Montparnasse were also frequented by famous artists and writers. Le Dôme in Montparnasse is a Paris institution (108 Boulevard du Montparnasse). In its glittering Art Deco dining room, the restaurant serves gourmet cuisine focused on seafood.
La Coupole (102 Boulevard Montparnasse) is another classic French brasserie with a mythical past; since the 1920s it was visited by famous artists such as André Derain, Fernand Léger, Man Ray, Pablo Picasso, and Marc Chagall. La Coupole also boasts having served Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre. Le Rotonde (105 Boulevard Montparnasse) was a gathering place for painters and Surrealistic artists in the 1920s and still attracts cinematographers and artists today.