La Rive Gauche: A.K.A. The Left Bank
Spending one week per month in Paris has allowed me the wonderful opportunity to get to know the city fairly well. It did take me a little while, however, to fully understand the difference between the Left Bank (La Rive Gauche) and the Right Bank (La Rive Droite).
For Parisians, there is a HUGE difference between each bank. In a similar way that New Yorkers would characterize the difference between uptown and downtown. The Left Bank, in particular, is known as the creative and intellectual hub of Paris and is comprised of six arrondissements; the 5th, 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th and 15th. In the past, it was famously the meeting spot of artists, writers and philosophers such as Anaïs Nin, Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, just to name a few. It was typically known to be more bohemian and less sophisticated than the Right Bank.
Today, however, the Left Bank has many of the same upscale boutiques and restaurants as the Right, yet remains extremely charming and picturesque. Below are some of my favorite places to eat, drink and shop when you find yourself exploring this part of Paris:
Left Bank Restaurants & Cafe's:
Café de Flore - Opened in the 1880's, one of Paris's oldest and well known cafes with typical Parisian fare and casual style outdoor seating
Les Deux Magots - The competing well-known cafe with outdoor seating and equally good people-watching
Le Voltaire - A chic and classic restaurant situated right on the river. A fashion crowd favorite
L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon - A Michelin rated, upscale restaurant, known as one of the best in Paris. Although they have a restaurant on each bank, the Left Bank one is my personal favorite