As a student in the city, going out to cafés can be off-putting as costs can escalate easily. However, not wanting to cut corners, outings can become limited and hefty prices are a worrying prospect, even though eating and drinking in Paris is somewhat a pastime. And so the search began for a reasonably priced and pleasant place where we could allow time to wash over us in a sea of chit-chat. As a continuation of our “Best of Paris” series, Le Boulanger des Invalides is definitely one of our favourite places that we feel needs to be shared.
Walking down the Boulevard des Invalides away from the university, we dawdled along, planning to visit Le Bon Marché or do something rare and extravagant when we arrived at St François-Xavier. To my great satisfaction, we spotted the little bakery and wandered over, realising that it was not only a boulanger/pâtissier, but a café as well and we proceeded straight inside.
I knew instantly that this was my favourite place in Paris. The food looked brilliant and there was a terrific range. We even forgot to consider the prices as the charm overcame us. Little tables are arranged in half of the room and the other half is occupied by the bakery, selling to the public. The decor is traditional and quaint and feels welcoming and the staff are polite and can be seen chatting to customers, as well as enjoying some coffee themselves occasionally. However, the most surprising element of the experience is the price: expect to pay less than 5 euros for an espresso and a cake. Since our discovery, we have visited the Boulanger des Invalides possibly ten times, and it just keeps getting better.
The success of the Boulanger des Invalides is due to the ability to enjoy fresh coffee and pastries while sitting in the same seat, coupled with the terrific people-watching potential outside. Recently, a wedding party made its way to l’Eglise St François-Xavier and we were able to watch passers-by hooting their car horns and people staring in awe. I like to observe ladies drift by dressed in the finest designer attire; friends will often comment, “Isn’t that dress by Chanel?”
14 Avenue de Villars – 75007 Paris
Metro: St François-Xavier (Line 13)