Visit Hemmingway’s Favourite Parisian Addresses

March 12, 2019
Ernest Hemingway Paris Address Book

It was said that after the war, Ernest Hemingway made his way into Paris to rid the city of Nazis. Instead, he headed straight to The Ritz and downed 51 Dry Martinis. In this same bar, he was given a Louis Vuitton suitcase, a suitcase that he thought he had lost a long time ago. Inside, contained all his old notes about his time in 1920s Paris.

When he was eventually sober, he worked on his autobiography, A Moveable Feast. But it wasn’t till after his death in the ’60s, that his book was published. It was for this delightful reason, that I chose this to be the first Hemingway book that I read and I devoured it quicker than a bottle of Merlot.

A Movable Feast took me all over 1920s Paris which was full of café conversations, charcuteries and lots of eau-de-vie. There, in that short splash of time, lived so many talented people such as Picasso, F Scott Fitzgerald and Ezra Pound. Now, all we have is YouTubers showing us how to draw on our own faces. Thrilling.

I’ve been to Paris before, but A Moveable Feast reminded me that there’s so much more to see. And although many of the places that he mentioned in the book have gone, the ones that I’ve listed below are still standing.

Jardin Du Luxembourg

75006 Paris, France

Hemingway often roamed the gardens of Jardin Du Luxembourg, clearing his head and possibly concocting ideas for his writing. But this was also where he came when he was hungry. Partly because he couldn’t smell the nearby restaurants that tempted the Parisian streets, and partly because if he was really hungry, he’d just grab a nearby pigeon for his dinner.

La Closerie Des Lilas

171 Boulevard du Montparnasse, 75006 Paris, France

When Hemingway wasn’t at home writing, he preferred the comfort of a cafe. One of his favourites in Paris was La Closerie Des Lilas where he would sit with a notebook and “bleed”. It was in this cafe, that Hemingway first read his friend’s story- The Great Gatsby.


Banks of the Seine, Paris, France

Along the banks of the Seine river (the right bank from the Pont Marie to the Quai du Louvre, and on the left bank from the Quai de la Tournelle to Quai Voltaire) sits a number of vintage booksellers. In the ’20s, Hemingway would flick through the second-hand books looking for a classic. Fast-forward to today, and they sell first edition Hemingways which are deemed as classics. C’est la vie.

Harry's New York Bar

5 Rue Daunou, 75002 Paris, France

Jockey Tod Sloan dismantled a bar in Manhattan, had it shipped to Paris and reassembled it on the Rue Daunou in 1911. What seems like utter madness, seemed to make sense for the American expats who flocked to the New York bar for a slice of home. Hemingway was often spotted with Fitzgerald in this bar that claims to have created the Sidecar, the Paris 75 and the Bloody Mary.

Marché Mouffetard

139 Rue Mouffetard, 75005 Paris, France

When Hemingway had enough money and wasn’t munching on pigeons, he would pick up food from the Marché Mouffetard. The market still offers fresh groceries and sells mostly organic and fairtrade goods.

Les Deux Magots

6 Place Saint-Germain des Prés, 75006 Paris, France

Les Deux Magots opened in 1885 and attracted a lot of young creatives, especially in the ’20s. Simone De Beauvoir, Picasso and young Ernest Hemingway all hung out in the cafe of Les Deux Magots. Now, more like a bar, you can grab one of Hemingway’s favourite drinks here, a Dry Martini. You could also try drinking 51 in a row.

Sylvia Beach's Library

37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, France

Sylvia Beach opened Shakespeare & Company, a bookstore that was treasured by the American expats and writers. Sadly, the original store was shut down during Nazi-Occupied Paris. But a Shakespeare and Company opened in tribute to the Sylvia Beach bookstore that was much loved by Hemingway, Gertrude Stein and many more. 

La Rotonde

105 Boulevard du Montparnasse, 75006 Paris, France

La Rotonde’s owner in the 1920s was such a blanket. He’d accept pieces of artwork from unknown artists in exchange for La Rotonde’s classic French food. Even though he would generously let many come and sit in his cafe, not paying for a thing, penniless creatives would still nick a baguette or two. Which is probably why savage pigeon-nosher Hemingway frequented here. Now, La Rotonde doesn’t give away free food but their old customer’s work still hangs on the wall (copies of the original). Hemmingway wrote “No matter what café in Montparnasse you ask a taxi driver to bring you to from the right bank of the river, they always take you to the Rotonde.”

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