This is Woody Allen's first film since Love and Death (1975) made without co-executive producer Jack Rollins, who died in 2015 at the age of 100. Rollins was Allen's longtime manager, and they collaborated for over 45 years.
"Cafe Society" was a phrase coined by Maury Henry Biddle Paul in 1915 to describe the "beautiful people" who socialized and threw parties in the high profile cafés and restaurants in New York, Paris, and London.
At the Cannes 2016 Opening Night screening of this film, master of ceremonies Laurent Lafitte said, "It's very nice that you've been shooting so many movies in Europe, even if you are not being convicted for rape in the U.S." The joke, which drew gasps from the Palais audience, was taken as a knock on Woody Allen. (Variety, May 2016). It could also be a reference to Roman Polanski, who fled the US for Europe in 1977 after pleading guilty to statutory rape. Switzerland and Poland have refused to extradite Polanski.
When Ben's history of theft is shown, it includes a subtle homage to The 400 Blows (1959) when it says that his life of crime includes stealing typewriters when he was a schoolboy. The protagonist of that film, Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud), stole a typewriter when he was at school.