Les Deux Magots | Paris

A Paris institution and possible tourist trap, Les Deux Magots was highly recommended by a colleague as a place to stop by not only for its historic importance but also as an interesting waypoint to other spots of touristic importance in the city. I’d heard of the cafe from decades back and read not only about the literary and cultural fame surrounding it but also its reputation as a tourist magnet and money pit of sorts. I went in thinking it was like the cafes in cities like Prague and Budapest and wasn’t disappointed – the atmosphere was polished turn of the century cafe society, typified by the tiny cafe tables, leather banquettes, and brass fixtures. The service though was surprisingly pleasant – truly far from the comic book portrayal of the snotty, impatient Frenchman who can’t be bothered and has to bear the burden of serving individuals below their stature. After ordering my long-yearned escargot, along with normandy steak, and ice cream coupe, the bill reached a hefty total that gave some credence to its reputation as unnecessarily pricey but all in all the experience was memorable for visiting, being, and tasting a part of history.

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