Paris Eats

There are few things I love more than French cuisine. It should come as no surprise that I’ve enjoyed some of my most memorable meals in Paris. I’m happy to share with you my shortlist of treasured spots – bon appétit!

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Cafés & Bakeries: 

Le Moulin de La Vierge – beautiful and delicious pastries + viennoiseries. Limited outdoor seating – I’ve only been to their location in Victoires, which I love as it’s in a sweet square

Du Pain et Des Idées – amazing bread and pastries. Their pistachio pain aux raisins is to die for

Polâine – renowed for their bread and viennoiseries. Several locations

Dupain – another excellent boulangerie – in the Marais

L'éclair de Genie – gourmet éclairs – several locations 

Le Loir dans la Théière – great spot in the Marais for an afternoon tea (great selection!) and cake – they have a variety that are baked fresh daily, but their most popular is their famed tarte au citron meringuée (lemon meringue pie). I wrote a blog entry about this here. Their tarte tatin is really very good too.

A La Mere de Famille – my favorite chocolates. They have several locations and the boutiques are all exquisite

Coffee / Cafes: O CoffeeshopTelescopeCaféothèque, Radiodays, Fragments, Boot Café, Coutume, Ten Belles, for more sophisticated experience, I'd opt for Carette (by Trocadero – view o the Eiffel Tower) or Cafe Kitsune (by Palais Royal)

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 Brunch

Buvette – beautiful and cozy restaurant, they have 1 in NYC too and now Tokyo as well. Delicious food - their waffle with bacon and egg is the perfect mix of sweet and savory

Le Dome du Marais – place to go if you want to splurge on a pricier brunch, as the interior is really special. You go here for the atmosphere, but not necessarily for the food.

Others that are fab that I love:
– Season
–  Holybelly
–  Paperboy Paris
– Cafe Mericourt
–  Marlon
– Café Oberkampf
Cafe Charlot

 

Wine Bars / l'apero: I’d go to one of these before dinner for some wine and shared charcuterie or cheese plate, or alternatively can be a lighter meal

Le Baron Rouge – wine bar and charcuterie (in the 12th)

Le Barav: wine bar and charcuterie (in the 3rd)

Others: La Cave de Gaston Leroux and Sauvage

Cocktail Bars:

Moonshiner – speak easy. Great Gatsby feel, awesome cocktails. they made a really good Sidecar!

The Little Red Door – literally has a small red door, cool décor and super friendly bartenders, which is also right next door to Candeleria, so ideal if you want to try both. Their cocktail menu is made from various artists and how they translated/perceived the drink, it's pretty unique. 

Candeleria – at the front is their kitchen/tacos, which you pass through to get to the bar in the back

Le Perchoir – rooftop bar with superb views of Paris and great cocktails

Others: Bar Hemingway and Caveau de la Huchette 

 
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Lunch

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Brezih Café: Brittany style crepes (galettes) and cider  

Café Marcel: French bistro with a warm, charming interior and good French fare

Cafe de l'industrie - excellent, classic French food in a charming bistro. Perfect for lunch after exploring the area - lots of sweet boutiques in the area.

L'As du Fallafel - the best falafel in the Marais, very causal, and is open on Sunday (when a lot of the city is closed)

Dinner:

Aux Deux Amis – one my favs. very local spot, gets busy. small plates and really good wine list. reasonable and really good/authentic. In Oberkampf neighbourhood, so quite artsy/hip. 

Le Servan: Owned and run by two sisters, this restaurant is known for its seasonal and innovative menu (closed Saturdays and Sundays!)

Au Passage – super french, great wine list. small plates, try the pigeon and burrata. closed Sundays and Mondays

Chez Janou – good food, classic french bistro, fun place. Best, best chocolate mousse in the world – served in a big sharing bowl (it's all you can eat…) I've had the duck and escargot tagliatelle- both are good!

Frenchie's wine bar - tapas style and a really good wine list. Food like rillettes, foie gras, burrata, lamb.

Buvette - also listed within brunch, but I equally love Buvette for dinner. They have a great variety of small plates and excellent wine list

Ober Mama - has become very popular. gorgeous italian eatery, good pizzas, etc.

 
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Pizza Chic is a delicious italian pizza eatery  

Pizza Rossi – not fussy, you don’t go here for ambiance but if you want authentic (and affordable), delicious wood oven pizza

more €€€ but amazing include: Pierre Sang - does a tasting menu and Allard

Others suggestions: Septime, Vivant, Deviant (bar), le 404 (Moroccan), Frenchie, (see above for Frenchie wine bar), Verjus (tasting menu), Petrelle (most beautiful interior), Le Timbre, Chez Bartolo (Italian), Rue du Dragon, Carbon, Le Villaret, Claude Colliot (vegetarian 4 course meal or meat/seafood course)

A Weekend in Paris

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I’m often asked for recommendations of things to do, see, eat and where to stay when visiting Paris for just a few days. The sample itinerary I’ve put together below is based on places that I personally love and return to time and time again. It is based on having three full days, aiming to give you a good overview of the city.

Friday: see this map I’ve prepped in Google Maps
– Breakfast at one of the suggested breakfast places – list here.
– Louvre (Museum Option 1)
– Musee D’Orsay (Museum Option 2)
– Pont des Arts (scenic bridge crossing the Seine)
– Polaine  - for a snack. They are renowned for their bread!
– Saint Germain (explore the area at large, visiting streets like Rue du Four and Boulevard St Germain, world famous cafes Deux Magots and Café de Flore)
– Lunch at Chez Marcel
– Luxembourg Gardens
– Latin Quarter
– St Michel fountain
– Shakespere and Co
– Visit the Eiffel Tower at night and cross over to Trocadero to see the view from across (go back by metro or uber)
– Dinner suggestion: Le Servan or Aux Deux Amis and Le Perchoir (rooftop bar) for a cocktail

Saturday
– Montmartre & Sacre Coeur. There are windy, beautiful streets leading up to Sacre Coeur (this is the path I would suggest you take to make sure you see special spots. The top of Montmartre is like a little village where artists during the Belle Epoque lived. You’ll walk through the Place du Tertre, the square with artists painting and see La maison Rose which is often photographed.
– Reference this map for the latter half of the itinerary
– Brunch at Buvette
– Muse Gustave Moreau (Museum Option 1)
– A la mere de famille – oldest chocolate shop on Paris. Pick up some delicious chocolates
– Passage des Panoramas (Passageway 1)
– Galerie Vivienne (Passageway 2)
– Le Moulin de la Vierge – a beautiful square with one of my favourite bakeries. Get a treat or sandwich if hungry, you can also sit down and be served outside if you want to rest your feet, ideal for a coffee and pastry
Passage du Grand Cerf (Passageway 3)
– Le Palais Royal (can sit down for a coffee at Café Kitsune)
– Tuileries Garden
– Musee de l’Orangerie (Museum Option 2)
– Dinner suggestion: Frenchie’s / Frenchies wine bar

Sunday: see this map I’ve prepped in Google Maps
– Start the day off with a pastry at Du Pain et des Idees (pistachio pain aux raisins) or Dupain
– Merci concept store
– Marche Des Enfants Rouge – have a snack here
– Walk along the heart of the Marais via Rue des Rosiers and Rue Vieille du Temple
– Lunch: if you like falafel, a *very* popular option is L’as du Fallafel in the Marais. There is always a long queue – you can get takeaway and eat your falafel as you wander in the Maris. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to sit down, Breizh Café is a lovely and traditional crepe restaurant specializing in authentic Brittany crepes and cider where I’ll go to get my crepe fix.
– Place des Vosges (get a coffee at iconic Carette)
– European House of Photography (Museum/art gallery option for photography lovers)
– Hotel de Ville
– Marche aux Fleurs et aux Oiseaux
– St Chapelle  (Option 1)
– Notre Dame (Option 2)
– Dinner suggestion: Chez Janou and drinks at Little Red Door, Candelaria and/or Moonshiner

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If it’s not your fist time in Paris, or perhaps you have more time to visit, I have summarised some more of my tips and ‘must-do’s’

See/Visit Landmark classics:
Paris offers so many magnificent landmarks and museums to visit. Limiting it to just a weekend is torture, so I’m also including a fuller list if your schedule should allow. If I had to limit it to 3 landmarks, I would choose Montmartre, St.Chapelle and Musee d’Orsay

Museums:
Understandably, people want to see the Louvre, but here are some other museums that warrant a visit:
– Musee d’Orsay: was a former train station, the inside is exquisite and has a beautiful impressionist collection such as Renoir’s Bal du Moulin de la Galette, Manet’s Dejeuner sur L’herbe, and Cezane’s unfinished portrait of Gustave Geffroy). Location: the 7th (left bank) 1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007
– Musee de L’Orangerie: where you can see Monet’s water lilies murals. Location: the 1st (within the Tuileries Gardens)
– Maison européenne de la photographie - gallery for photography lovers. I used to have a membership here and loved going often. Exhibitions change. Location: the 4th (5/7 Rue de Fourcy, 75004)
– Musee National Gustave Moreau: Moreau was a French Symbolist painter. The museum was actually his house and now inhabits all his paintings. The house is beautifully decorated, making this a great spot for those equally appreciative of architecture as paintings. Location: the 9th (14 Rue de la Rochefoucauld, 75009)
– Marmottan Monet Museum: a mini chateau museum with a beautiful collection of Monet’s work. Location: 16th (2 Rue Louis Boilly, 75016)
– Maison de Victor Hugo: it is surreal visiting this literary legend’s former home. Location: the 4th (6 Place des Vosges, 75004)

Passageways:
On a rainy day, exploring Paris’s exquisite arcades/covered passageways will keep you occupied. They feature various antique shops, charming boutiques, restaurants and cafes. There are nearly 20 of them, but these are my favorites:
– Galerie Vivienne: 4 rue des Petits-Champs, Paris, 75002
– Passage des Panoramas: 11 boulevard Montmartre, Paris, 75002
– Passage du Grand Cerf: 145 rue Saint-Denis, Paris, 75002
– Passage Verdeau: 6 rue de la Grange-Batelière, Paris, 75003

Markets:
– Marche des Enfants Rouge – food stalls in the Marais with a range of innovative food. Oldest covered market in paris. Open Tues-Sat 8.30am – 7.30pm and Sunday 8:30-2pm
– Marche de Puces: massive flea market (11am-5pm on Mondays, 9am – 6pm Saturday + Sunday) 

Parks:
– Be sure to visit Tuileries, Luxembourg (on summer days, hunt for a spare chair and enjoy a good book), and parc Monceau (I used to run in this park when I lived in the 17th – it’s a lively park, with a carousel and often busy with children and their nannies!)

Shopping:
– Champs Elysées is very popular and you might to visit (the Arc du Triomphre is remarkable), but you’ll find much better shopping in my opnion at the Galeries (a beautiful department store) and also in the Marais –– you’ll come across plenty of beautiful boutiques while wandering.
– For a taste of french haute couture and window shopping in trendy places (faire du lèche-vitrines as they say in France), you should go to Place Vendome and Rue de la Paix which is near the Opera, or Rue St.Honoré which is near the Jardin des Tuileries and is beautiful. 
– Merci: concept shop with a used bookstore and lovely cafe adjacent 
– My favorite French clothing brands include: Sezane, Sandro, Art du Basic (everything is black or white. Go here for great tailoring and beautiful basics), A.P.C, Cos and Tabio for my socks and tights (this brand is actually Japanese and they have stores in Tokyo and London but I love their French store in the Marais)
– Vintage/second-hand: Troc en stock – fav second hand store where I’ve found beautiful agnès b leather loafers. When I was a student I was patient enough to browse through the mass of vintage goods at the Kilo shops – you pay by the kilo and can find some nice things. Free’P’Star is another vintage store – I still use a leather purse I found there nearly 10 years ago.

Stay:
– For first time visitors, I recommend staying in an airbnb in the Marais or St Germain is also very beautiful – it’s a more sophisticated/wealthy area. If you want to go the hotel route, it all depends on budget as there are many exquisite hotels, but I’ve heard great things about the Hoxton from friends.

Saturday's Stroll

My most enjoyable afternoons in Paris are typically those without an agenda, meaning I can wander and explore to my heart’s content. Whenever in the 3rd, I will make a point to stop by Merci, a three-story design concept shop known for its sweet little red car, as well as its ever-changing fashion and design collections. Its café, located right next door, has 10,000 used books that you can choose from while enjoying a light fare. After having a coffee, I walked towards the Bastille, in the 11th arrondissement, where I pleasantly discovered two passages, the first being Cour Damoye. The cobblestone street is home to beautiful architecture; traditional lampposts and tall white houses covered with ivy make this street picture-perfect. Farther along, I stumbled upon Passage l’Homme, a beautifully lush alleyway with a plethora of plants. The sun had just come out after a rainfall, creating an amazing abundance of sunlight. I continued on my walk, and ended up along the Seine where summer is in full swing thanks to the Paris Plages, make-up beaches equipped with sand and deck chairs, and ice cream vendors too ­– nothing better than a cold glace (ice cream) after a long day of walking. 


Merci

Merci

Cour Damoye

Cour Damoye

Passage l’Homme

Passage l’Homme

Paris-Plages along the Seine

Paris-Plages along the Seine

Lemon Meringue Pie in the Marais

I had been hearing about the famed tarte au citron meringuée (lemon meringue pie) from Le Loire dans la Théière for quite some time now that I decided it was time to try it! A Friday rendez-vous for afternoon tea gave me the perfect excuse to meet in the Marais, one of my favorite neighborhoods that you can even enjoy on a Sunday, when the rest of the city is quiet. I must say, the dessert lived up to its reputation and really was as good as it looks. Needless to say, I finished it all! After satisfying my sweet tooth, I wandered the charming streets of the neighborhood, including the lovely Rue des Rosiers, where you can find the best falafel, and made my way to the nearby streets to pop into a few galleries and window shop from the beautiful boutiques. I behaved, and didn't buy anything..this time.


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