What can possibly be said about Paris that hasn’t been covered already? Forever one of my favorite cities, I never skip a chance to spend even just a few days there. I love the style, the food, the architecture, the lifestyle, everything. Two of our close friends are getting married in the UK later this year, and we’re planning on taking the train to Paris while we're there because, why not? I’ve had a few friends ask me about good places to eat and visit in the city in the past, and I thought I’d finally put together a post about all my favorite spots.
WHERE TO EAT
Cafes & Bakeries
Du Pain et Des Idees - If you go to one bakery while you’re in Paris, let it be this one. It's widely known to be one of, if not the best, bakery in the city. The pistachio escargot (basically a snail shaped pastry filled with pistachio paste and chocolate) is hands down, the best pastry I’ve had ever. Grab a few of those (one was not enough), and some fresh bread. From here, we grabbed some wine, cheese and meat from a nearby shop, and took the metro to the Eiffel Tower for a picnic. .
Le Hibou - I initially went to this cafe because I was hangry, and I liked the font they used (embarrassing). I haven’t had a full meal here, but they have an affordable little breakfast special (a set breakfast of OJ, a croissant and an espresso, if I recall), and it’s a great people-watching spot. The orange juice was freshly squeezed and to die for.
La Bossue - If you’re craving a brunch with lots of options, this is the place.
Boot Cafe - You’ve probably seen a photo of this cafe on Instagram. The place is tiny but the coffee is good, and it’s on a great, quiet street in the Marais.
Lunches & Dinners
L’Avant Comptoir - This is literally one of my favorite places on the planet. I don’t know what it is, but I feel at home here. L’Avant Comptoir is a tiny, super casual, standing room only wine and snack bar. The menu hangs from cards on the ceiling, and with just about everything priced between 4 and 10 euros, you’ll want to order several things. The foie gras with black cherries, ham croquettes, and the pot au chocolat are some of my favorites along with the communal bread and butter (truly the best better ever). We usually just let the bartender choose a wine for us, and they’ve never gone wrong.
Grazie - We happened upon this place walking around the Marais, and it was absolutely spectacular. Eating pizza in Paris isn’t really what I planned, but it’s fantastic here. The interior is really pretty, and they have an excellent lambrusco.
Septime - I haven’t yet gotten the chance to eat here yet, but it’s a must this time around. This place books up fast so make sure you reserve three weeks ahead. You can do the lunch tasting menu for a more affordable option.
Au Passage - This place is really relaxed and unfussy, but has some of the best service, food and organic wines that I’ve had in Paris. I love everything about it.
Le Compas - We ended up here once after another spot we were going to head to was closed, and I’m glad we did. They have a full menu, but we just had a couple of glasses of wine on the patio and people-watched which is easily my favorite thing to do in Paris.
Frenchie - A great place to share a couple of small plates and have some wine. Try to go during off hours.
Experimental Cocktail Club - If you’re tired of wine, this is a cool speakeasy-style bar with inventive cocktails.
Septime La Cave - Around the corner from the restaurant, La Cave is a wine bar that was formerly a shoe repair shop!
TO SEE & VISIT
Sézane - I’ve loved Sezane since their first collaboration with Madewell. I love everything about this line.
Faure Le Page - A historic line similar to Goyard. Paris is literally the only place to purchase their leather goods (they don’t have an e-commerce shop) so it’s worth a visit.
Chine Machine - An affordable vintage shop
E. Dehillerin - We went here because my husband is obsessed with cooking, and this is supposed to be one of the best kitchen supply stores in the city, but I ended up walking out with a bunch of great kitchen finds and props for food shoots.
I’ve stayed in a few different areas around Paris, and in a mix of hotels and apartments. That being said, I don't actually have a hotel in particular I'd recommend. By far, my personal favorite stay was a cozy Airbnb we rented with some friends in the Marais on our trip last year. The area is so perfect with narrow alleys, cute cafes, and the metro all in walking distance. I love the Marais, and I think Paris lends itself well to staying in an Airbnb vs. a hotel anyway. For the most part, the Airbnb's are super chic, and much cheaper than most hotels.
GOOD TO KNOW
- There are free drinking water fountains all throughout the city so bring a reusable water bottle. The water is safe to drink, and they even having sparkling water fountains!
- The metro is SO SO easy to use. It's big but don't get overwhelmed because it really could not be easier.
- Give yourself a lot of unplanned time. You're going to want to walk around, stop into cafes you pass by, and lay in the parks. Don't try to see everything.
- A lot of restaurants and shops are closed on Sundays so plan ahead.