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Saturday, July 13, 2019


There’s only one way to make a good lemon pie, you know.
—George Whitman, 1969
Partnering with Bob’s Bake Shop, Shakespeare and Company opened its café in 2015, located next door to the shop in what had been, since 1981, an abandoned garage. 

Shakespeare and Company Café is located right next to the iconic bookshop of the same name, with large picture windows that look onto Notre-Dame and the quintessentially Parisian park of St.-Julien-le-Pauvre. With indoor and outdoor tables, the café serves coffee, tea, and fresh-squeezed juices, as well as organic, largely vegetarian food—including George’s lemon pie!

Sylvia Beach, an American, opened the original Shakespeare and Company bookstore in 1919.  It closed during the Nazi occupation.  George Whitman opened the second incarnation of S& Co. in 1951.  Whitman's only child, Sylvia Whitman, named after Sylvia Beach, began helping her late father with management of the bookstore in 2003. She now runs the shop with her partner, David Delannet, in the same manner as her father did.

Current owner/manager Sylvia Beach Whitman (right)
37 rue de la Bucherie, Paris

Monday to Sunday, 9:30am-8pm

Shakespeare and Company Café is run in collaboration with our friends at Bob’s Bake Shop, founded in Paris by Marc Grossman, a native New Yorker, in 2006.

The bookshop staff have long been huge fans of Bob’s fresh and imaginative food, like hand-rolled bagels, American-style baked goods, and vegan and gluten-free dishes like our veggie stew. For the bookshop café, we introduced some special British treats, including scones with clotted cream and the crumble fruit pie. And why not pair your pie with a cup of Chaï Latte from La Main Noire, a young collective that created a chai tea Paris could be proud of. Completely organic and hand made, the spices and tea are gently cooked into vanilla and ginger infused honey. A complex and spicy drink, the Sticky Chai is the first of its kind in Paris!

Café staff spent a long time looking for (and, lucky them, sampling) the best locally roasted coffee beans. The unanimous coffee of choice at the Café is from the exquisite craft-roaster Café Lomi, based in the 18th arrondissement.

The Cafe serves Postcard Teas London, and proudly claim they’re the only ones in Paris to do so!

George Whitman, circa 1951
Ever since the 1960s, the bookstore’s then-owner, George Whitman, had been trying to rent this exact space so he could open his own literary café, intending to serve tea and coffee and microbiotic foods. The space had been a stationery store before it fell into disuse in the 1980s. Finally, in 2015, the garage became the café.  Many of the garage’s original features were preserved as much as possible, like the 1970s floor tiles and the ancient stone walls—even the old garage doors were repurposed into (what else!) bookshelves.

Sylvia Beach with James Joyce, early 1920s in her Paris bookstore

Café Lomi, 3b rue Marcadet

 Bob’s Bake Shop, Halle Pajol, 12 esplanade Nathalie Sarraute

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