Since its inception, Café Deux Magots has been the favourite hangout of famous artists and writers such as Guillaume Apollinaire, Louis Aragon, André Gide, Jean Giraudoux, Fernand Léger, Jacques Prévert, Ernest Hemingway, …
Right here, many literary and artistic movements were conceived and nurtured, such as André Breton’s surrealism and Jean-Paul Sartre’s and Simone de Beauvoir’s ideas of existentialism.
Les Deux Magots is still an exciting creative crossroads, drawing luminaries from the arts, and the literary, fashion and political worlds, as well as tourists who come to savour an authentic slice of Paris.Take a deep dive into history
Café Deux Magots first opened
on Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés,
at a location formerly occupied
by a silk and novelty boutique.
Our Café was taken over by
Auguste Boulay and became
a family business. Over the last
four generations, it has been owned
by the Mathivat family.
Our House bolstered its identity
as a literary café. It was here
that Simone de Beauvoir wrote
“Les Mandarins”, the novel for which
she won the Goncourt Prize.
Les Deux Magots continues to embody a truly Parisian lifestyle in France and abroad with the opening of other “Deux Magots” outposts.
In order to go right back to the beginning of our history, you will find our origins well traced in the book “Les Deux Magots, l’esprit Rive Gauche hier et aujourd’hui” (Les Deux Magots, the West Bank spirit yesterday and today) by Arnaud Hofmarcher and Adrien Pontet, with a preface by Pierre Arditi, published by Editions du Cherche Midi. The book clearly demonstrates that, without Les Deux Magots, Saint-Germain-des-Prés would not have evolved into the charming neighbourhood that it is today.
Now, more than ever, “the literary café symbolises and embodies this Left Bank spirit for the entire world. Since the end of the nineteenth century, writers and intellectuals from all over the world have converged in this hub of creativity, welcoming Verlaine, Apollinaire, James Joyce and the surrealists, or, closer to our own time, Camus, Sartre, Hemingway and numerous artists from all disciplines whose history is closely linked to that of the neighbourhood.”
Picasso, Vian and even Pink Floyd, and all of the avant-garde, have graced our café, as well as our outdoor sidewalk terrace, managed by several successive generations of one same family.Read extracts
« Les Deux Magots is named
after the scutcheon of
a novelty store that was previously
located on the same site »