Café Procope is the oldest restaurant of Paris. It was opened in 1686 by the Sicilian Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli. It started as a Café where gentlemen of fashion might drink coffee or eat a sorbet, served up in porcelain cups.
The fact that the Comédie française was established across the street in 1689 helped to get famous people here.
Benjamin Franklin, John Paul Jones, Thomas Jefferson, Alain-René Lesage, Condorcet, La Harpe, Voltaire and Diderot are just a few.
During the Revolution the Phrygian cap, soon to be the symbol of Liberty, was first displayed at the Procope; the Cordeliers, Robespierre, Danton and Marat all used the Cafe as a meeting place.
Another famous customer was Alexander von Humboldt, who lunched here during the 1820s every day from 11am to noon.