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The oldest restaurants in Paris

20 July 2023

Paris is known for its rich culinary heritage, and the city boasts several historic and oldest restaurants that have been serving customers for generations. Here are some of the oldest restaurants in Paris!

La Tour d'Argent (1582)

 The iconic La Tour d’Argent has a history dating all the way back to 1582, making it the oldest restaurant in Paris. According to the restaurant’s official history, La Tour d’Argent was opened in 1582 by a man named Rourteau. He wanted to establish an inn that would service nobelmen. Rourteau named his new establishment “L’Hôstellerie de La Tour d’Argent” because of the silvery reflections cast by the nearby Château de la Tournelle (La Tour d’Argent translates to “The Silver Tower”).

Le Procope (1686)

Le Procope, officially founded in 1986, opened its doors in 1689. This was a café for artists, intellectuals and politicians. It was frequented by Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot and d'Alembert.

The restaurant has put a plate on its window stating that Benjamin Franklin drafted his Treaty of Alliance between Louis XVI and the New Republic in Le Procope. Actually, this was Treaty of Amity and Commerce signed by the King of France and the United States of North America on February 6, 1778. We want to believe it.

During the French Revolution, Le Procope was quite an active place. The place used to foster the revolutionary movement.

The restaurant has two levels; it is large with many rooms decorated in the French style of the eighteenth century.

 Le Procope is a historical site classified as a historical monument in 1962.

À la petite chaise (1680)

À La Petite Chaise was founded during the reign of King Louis XIV. The building was originally constructed in 1610 and according to some historical documents, a man named Georges Rameau selling wines and some food from the building.

ÀLa Petite Chaise considers this to be the restaurant’s official origins because various owners have been selling wines and food from the building since then. Eventually, À La Petite Chaise built up its reputation through word of mouth and the greatest lords of the time stopped in to have bite.

In the 19th century, famous policeman Vidocq made several arrests at À La Petite Chaise. Another famous face that frequented À La Petite Chaise around this time was famed gourmet Brillat Savarin, who highlighted the restaurant’s food in his book Physiologie du goût (The Physiology of Taste). Today, À La Petite Chaise is still one of the best restaurants in Paris to experience traditional French cuisine.

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