House Crazy Sarah loves all things French and Parisian. That’s where one half of her ancestry hails from, after all.
Naturally, she was completely charmed when she first saw this dainty little place.
Known for its beautiful purple Wisteria draping the exterior, Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole dates back 500 years!
Constructed in the year 1512, (around the same time Notre Dame cathedral was completed!) the building was once home to the Canon of the nearby cathedral.
In the 18th century, it was purchased by a private citizen and was turned into a wine bar. It has remained a public place to eat and drink ever since.
It has been a favorite for Parisians for literally centuries!
The enchanting façade is well known and frequently photographed for the romantic wisteria which frames the entrance. The wisteria was planted in 1946 – right after the war – and has its own special permit that allows it to grow to its 7+ meter height!
Let’s have a look inside this historic restaurant…
Draped in heavy, red velvet, the décor is like stepping back in time to the Belle Époque era.
Set over two floors, the ground floor level features a vintage bar with an old tavern feel, while the upper floor has several cozy dining areas.
The seating is very limited, and that is the reason why most patrons prefer to sit in the café area outside during the good weather months.
The richly upholstered interior, however, makes for a warm and intimate setting during the winter months.
The current owners, George & Odette de la Rochebrochard, are the chefs and caretakers of the historic restaurant that has been passed down for generations. The owners live on the fifth floor of the building and rent out the 3rd & 4th floors to staff.
What a stunning piece of Parisian history to steward!
Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole is registered on the French Inventory of Historic Monuments as one of the oldest documented restaurants in Paris.
Another unique thing about the café is that it is situated right next to a courtyard paved with old gravestones. The gravestones were taken from a nearby church after it was demolished in the 18th Century to make way for the wide boulevards that intersect the city today.
With such an amazing, quirky history and unforgettable façade, it is little wonder the Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole has a special place in the hearts of locals and travelers alike.
When we dream of Paris, we dream of Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole – oui?