beautiful, stylish and jam-packed full of hidden treasures, history and romance…paris is one of (not alone on this we realise!) our favorite cities in europe.
ever evolving, always buzzing, the energy here is one of creative inspiration; a juxtaposition of old and new.
wander, cycle, get lost. eat cheese, drink champagne, dance, shop. get cultured. find secret gardens hidden behind big old doors. sit by the river. picnic in the park. soak it up. and repeat. every little thing. it’s so beautiful here.
we spend most of our time in the 10eme (canal st martin: by the canal – young, laid-back, fun, creative, arty, kind of boho) and the 3eme (marais: beautiful cobblestoned streets, boutiques, cafes, restaurants, galleries). only 10mins apart.
here are a few of our favorite things right now.
boot: still very new, this adorable pint-sized (literally just 4m2) storefront in the marais is one of our new favorites. an old shoe repair studio, come here for amazing coffee by belleville, fresh coconuts, banana bread and sunny, friendly vibes. 3eme.
ten belles: for great coffee (belleville) and ridiculously amazing, freshly baked cakes and scones. 10eme.
holy belly: seriously good breakfast and really great coffee. a must. 10eme.
tuck shop: in the same street as holy belly, and bob’s, come to tuck shop when you cant face another croissant. avocado toast, and other australian favorites on the menu. great coffee as well. 10eme.
bob's juice bar: cute stop for green juice and healthy options. 10eme.
telescope café: good coffee in a quiet and charming little area. 1eme.
** we just read that a whole bunch of our favorite parisian places right now have been designed by the same amazing paris (via cali and nyc) duo,david rager and cheri messerli (under the nameweekends – responsible for ten belles, le mary celeste, broken arm, candelaria and glass…among others). no wonder they are all so beautiful. no wonder they are all on our list of favorites (without knowing the design connection).
café pinson: a gorgeous vegan café, great for lunch, right in the heart of the marais. in the same street as nanashi. 3eme.
rose bakery: love this famed organic bakery (kitchen opens at 11am on weekdays – amazing lunch, or 10am on weekends – brekkie is delicious!). come here for tantalizing baked goods, savoury tarts, pizzas and more. all dishes prepared using organic and seasonal produce. two locations. we frequent the one in the marais.3eme.
hoja: this adorable scando-style café has only been open a few weeks, but is already impressing with their ‘jus presses frais’ and delicious healthy treats (as well as the bright and happy scando design – look upstairs). 3eme.
breizh cafe: for the best crepes in all of paris. a true destination. people come from all over the world to try this spot! book a table or go at a weird time like 3pm. 3eme.
lunch at merci: for delicious salads and quiche, in a seriously beautiful setting. see more below. 3eme.
le bon marche: for lunch on the run. aside from the incredible shopping upstairs, the downstairs food court is amazing. grab picnic stuff, and eat it in the park nearby. a beautiful thing to do. 7eme.
les marche des enfants rouges: another great option for lunch on the run. this is the oldest covered market in paris, a true hidden gem. be spoiled for choice with incredible food options from around the world. 3eme.
le mary celeste: our favorite dinner spot right now. cosy, fun, and ridiculously amazing food and cocktails. try the deviled eggs (sounds weird, but trust us on this), the tacos, the quinoa cake, and the grilled cauliflower with aubergine. All so good. Note: on monday and tuesday they don't have their full menu, just bar snacks. 3eme.
bones: very popular right now. australian chef – james henry – leading the charge. very meat (and offal) focused. small plates. cosy. if you cant get a table, grab a seat a the bar. 11eme.
frenchie: a super cute tiny spot, down a laneway in the 2eme. hard to get into (i.e. they are booked out for months), but you can always try the wine bar across the road, or the new ‘frenchie to go’ for take-out instead. 2eme.
la pulperia: cosy and charming, argentinian/french-influenced shared plates. great wine list. must book. 11eme.
au passage: cute spot for an interesting menu of small plates. can book. 10eme.
le comptoir generale: come here for coffee or lunch during the day, or for dinner and drinks in the evening. this “temple of ghetto culture” offers up african-inspired food, a vintage shop, and vines that grow up the walls. its weird and its wonderful. 10eme.
clown bar: great food, excellent wine and beautiful terrace if the weather is kind (as recommended by bones’ chef, james henry).
le verre vole: this is a fun neighborhood spot in canal st martin. traditional french. cosy and casual. great organic wine list, and excellent food. 10eme.
derriere: this is an unexpected, hidden gem. start late, and finish late. a mash up of vintage furniture and flea market finds, come here for a fun night out, interesting food, and a great terrace. 3eme.
le baratin: come here for traditional french food, mama and papa style - soo good. the chef here, raquel carena, is argentine and cooks from the heart. her husband, matali crasset, looks after the wine. a beautiful experience. 20 eme.
roseval: traditional tasting, must book. Cool young chefs doing really interesting and inventive food. 20eme.
robert et louise: looking for a good steak? look no further. steak from the open fire inside the restaurant. delicious, and always packed. 3eme.
benoit: for classic paris, but expensive. 4eme.
cafe dei cioppi: if you are sick of french, come here for incredible pasta. great italian food. 11eme.
nanashi: a super cute, modern japanese if you are still sick of french. come here for organic Japanese-french style bento. fun and colorful.the chef used to be at rose bakery. can book. 3eme.
guilo guilo: come here for high-end japanese, with a no-choice seven course changing seasonal menu. Located on a quiet road, this tiny restaurant is a little gem hidden away from the craziness of montmarte. 18eme.
clamato: it’s no reservations here at Chef BetrandGrébaut and Théo Pourriat’s seafood tapas bar. Already a local favorite, having only opened in November. Grab a seat at the long bar, or at one of the cute tables at the far end of the room. A changing daily menu. Delicious. 11eme.
candelaria: channeling nyc’s la esquina’s-hidden-mexican-joint kinda vibes, this cosy cocktail bar in the 3eme is at the back of a cute tacos to-go shop. come here for cocktails, tacos, nice tunes and romance! voila. 3eme.
le perchoir: on sunny afternoons, come to this amazing rooftop. It’s beautiful here. 11eme.
le mary celeste: as above. most delicious cocktails in paris (we think!). try the cucumber martini, or the campari cocktail. 3eme.
verjus wine bar: cosy and beautiful. come here for delicious wines and great food as well. 1eme.
lockwood: brought to you by christophe, olivier and thomas lehoux – three brothers who have done amazing things in the drinks world so far (thomas, with coffee at ten belles in paris; and christophe in sydney at pocket bar, button bar and stitch bar)! lockwood is a great option not only for coffee during the day, but great for drinks at night. 2eme.
glass: for great beers and fun tunes. in the pigalle. 9eme.
little red door: for cocktails in the marais. 3eme.
merci merci: it’s a must (for beautiful fashion, interiors and food and coffee). spread over three levels. the basement is amazing for lunch as well. 3eme.
broken arm: we adore this gorgeous concept store on a marais street corner, with a very, very cute café attached. 3eme.
colette: a mad-house, but a must-see (for high end, quirky and amazing merchandising). 1eme.
le bon marche: amazing one stop shop for everything. two buildings. check out the beautiful building next door (grand epicerie - the fancy food market they own). 6eme.
violette et léonie: for a well curated mix of vintage and modern labels. 3eme.
ofr.: for art and fashion books. 3eme.
and…just wander the charming little streets of the marais: we especially like the stores in rue vielle du temple, rue du temple, and rue de francs-bourgeois (and the streets that interconnect these). too many stores to mention…but all our french favorites (isabel marant, vanessa bruno, sandro, maje, apc, etc…plus so many other cool little independent labels).
check out the flea markets (marché aux puces), especially at clignancourt. the best place to roam if you are in the market for interiors. expensive, but has it all. the saint-ouen flea market is the largest concentration of antique dealers and second-hand goods dealers in the world. located in the 18eme, the markets happen here on saturdays, sundays and mondays.
marché raspail: come to this huge organic market on a sunday morning, for your weekly fix of incredible produce (fish, meat, fruit, veg, cheese, wine etc etc). nibble on everything along the way. so fun. 6eme.
walk, sit, hang along canal st martin. nothing better on a sunny sunday afternoon. byo wine. 10eme.
check out these galleries/exhibitions:
* yvon lambert: in the marais. we love the mario testino exhibition on now until 24 july 2014.
* galérie blumann in the place des vosges for their current rolling stones photo exhibition. we also love the tribute to brigitte bardot.
take a ride on the bateaux mouches. what may seem a little touristy, is actually quite magical.
*hotel paradis: this is our favorite sleeping spot in paris right now. a super cute and charming boutique hotel, perfectly located in the 10eme…close to both canal st martin, and the marais. walk and cycle everywhere from here. with design features reminiscent of the ace / marlton (in nyc) hotels…we love every single little detail here, from the stunning wallpaper (different on every floor), the mid-century furniture, the letterpress coasters, the toiletries by malin + goetz, the full breakfast each morning. it has it all. It’s beautiful here.
*hotel amour: once pretty sketch, the red-light district of pigalle is slowly cleaning up its act, and fast becoming cool – especially thanks to the likes of this great boutique hotel. designed by swedish-born, paris-raised graffiti artist and nightclub entrepreneur andre saraiva (the guy behind le baron in london and paris, as well as le bain at andre balazs’ nyc standard) – a great sleeping option, and beautiful lush courtyard as well for lunch or aperitif.
*mama shelter: located in an unlikely part of town (the northeast of paris), this philippe starck-designed beauty, is an affordable sleeping option which attracts creative types on a budget. You can find mama shelters now in marseille, lyon, istanbul and bordeaux as well (with la to come).
* airbnb: there are some seriously amazing apartments to be found. we recommend looking in the 10eme (canal st martin – boho, laidback, young, fun vibes), or the 3eme (marais – fun, beautiful streets, restaurants, boutiques, cafes – only 10mins walk from canal st martin).