Around Centre Pompidou:
Cafe Beaubourg (directly adjacent to Centre Pompidou’s main entrance). What a great place to come in out of the rain!
Cafe Beaubourg is listed in Nouvel Obs as a place to have brunch (after you’ve been out all night, for example). We ducked in during an afternoon cloudburst. It was the closest cafe to Centre Pompidou. Unlike your typical Paris cafe, Cafe Beaubourg’s chairs look like a continuation of a Pompidou modern art exhibit. So, if you Do decide to sit down, it’s your job (if you choose to take it) to look just as cool, metallic and contemporary as the chairs you’re sitting on. How you can look cool and drenched at the same time, I’m not sure. But we didn’t regret our choice. This is like hanging out at an artist friend’s apartment (the artist friend who’s sold enough art and gained enough fame to buy some cool furniture).
If the wait staff had been the slightest bit pretentious or haughty, we wouldn’t have stayed only long enough to dry off, but far from it – our server was genuinely friendly. Try to ignore all those stories you’ve heard in the past about rude Parisians! The landscape is changing every day.
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There are at least two good reasons to come to the Cafe Beaubourg: Club Sandwiches – for those of you who are too homesick to admit it. You may cringe at a burger – but a club sandwich is more discreet. The tomato millefeuille appetizer is extraordinary. The vegetarian millefeuille is popping up in all sorts of cafes around Paris (thinly cut vegetables layered together with cheese) but this millefeuille which resembles a sort of tomato aspic is the best yet.
Like Le Georges, Cafe Beaubourg falls into the pricey category. If you do drop in to get out of the rain, stick to the appetizers – or save up for brunch.