When I watched Parisian business people in suites with Blackberry sip a cup of café slowly and peaceful (and even reading a newspaper) in the morning at 11:00 a.m. at a famous Café de Flore in St. Germain with no real urgency, I began to wonder what time they actually go to work in Paris. When I sat down at this legendary café frequented by celebrities, intellects, and tourists alike one morning, the place was packed with locals and they didn’t look like they were in a hurry to go anywhere, on an early lunch break. Living in a place where you are at your computer by 9:00 a.m., I found it strange that people took sweet time getting to work in the morning. I bet they take siesta, a quick nap, after they take equally long and slow-paced lunch. What a luxurious lifestyle.
On a completely random note, I read that this café enjoys a long-standing rivalry with the equally famous Les Deux Magots, across the street, in a Pat’s vs. Geno’s Philly Cheese Steak fashion. I didn’t go to the latter due to time, but I read that, while Cafe de Flore is known for omelets, Les Deux Magots is famous for serving fabulous hot chocolate.
I ordered a cup of Cafe Le Creme, which is a shot of espresso with cream (because I needed a caffeine boost), but hot chocolate was my absolute favorite drink during my stay in Paris. A hot chocolate served in Paris is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, like what you’re accustomed to in the states (no powder stuff). They literally melt a great quality chocolate and add milk to it. I know that espresso drinks are very tempting, but please take a moment to order a hot chocolate when you’re in Paris! It’s a pure liquid crack.
It wasn’t that I was particularly hungry or like egg dishes that much but I had to try it here. I ordered the ham and cheese omelet for breakfast, before I realized that I was the only one eating the traditional American breakfast meal at this time of the day. Perhaps omelet is not something that people eat before noon but I ate it anyway. I enjoyed the dish with generous portions of ham and cheese, and cooked perfectly with the middle still somewhat runny. The omelet was too big for one person, I thought, and ended up eating only half, but I was very satisfied, having tasted perhaps the best omelet in the world.
I liked this café, especially watching the locals coexisting harmoniously with tourists. Although it was very crowded, I felt like I was in my own, comfortable space here, where I can just sit for hours, write a journal, read, and soak up the wonders of the city.
This is a design of the place mat at Cafe De Flore. How adorable is this?
Café de Flore
173 Boulevard St. Germain
Metro: St. Gremain des-Pres