Paris City Guide

For those of you who know me, you know Paris is my favorite city. For those of you who don’t know me, you will know at least that about me after you read this guide. When I go to Paris I mostly stick to Le Marais, so this is by no means an exhaustive list of places to go in the City of Lights. I initially created this list to send to friends who were visiting the city for the first time, but whether it’s your first or fiftieth visit, I hope these places show you why this city is so special to me.

Where to eat:

    • Yard Bistro

      • This is an incredibly biased suggestion because I know someone who works here (Hi, Axel!), but it was also where I had an incredible meal and I couldn’t recommend it enough. Get a bottle of natural wine or cider and don’t miss the cacio e pepe arancini!

    • Chez Julien

      • If you’re looking for a romantic night out, start at Chez Julien with some châteaubriand and a side of frites. Bonus points if the weather is nice and you can sit outside.

    • La droguerie

      • This little hole in the wall has the best crepes in all of Paris (jk, I’ve definitely not tried them all, but I’m up to the challenge). You really can’t go wrong here, and all crepes can be made gluten-free!

    • Clamato

      • Clamato (pictured above) is my favorite restaurant in Paris. It has a beautiful ambiance, and the food is even better than you could imagine. I highly recommend ordering the mussels and a glass of the moscato. If the word moscato recalls memories of chugging cheap wine in your dorm room, forget everything you know and try this!

    • Bonhomie

      • I stumbled upon this cool spot while hangry and desperately in need of some good food, it did not disappoint. The decor is what I wish my apartment looked like, and their eggs are killer!

    • Septime

      • I’m too poor to go here, but I’ve heard amazing things! If you go, please let me know how it is so I can update this description.

  • Where to get coffee and baked goods:

    • Chambelland

      • Whether you eat gluten or not, this bakery is not to be missed! They mill all of their own flour from ancient grains in their bakery, and everything they sell is 100% sans gluten.

    • Du pain et des idées

      • This is a truly special Parisian bakery, and rumored to be one of the best in the city. There’s almost always a line out the door, but don’t let that deter you. Get the pain des amies and the chocolate croissants.

    • Peonies

      • The first place I ever stepped foot in while in Paris, this cafe has a special place in my heart. It was the city’s first coffee shop/florist shop hybrid and it’s just as cute as it sounds. My favorite things to get here are the pink matcha latte and the chocolate banana bread. They also have great merch, you can catch me carrying their tote bag most days.

    • Dreamin’ Man

      • If you’re looking for some great coffee, go here! This cozy third wave coffee shop makes a killer cortado and if it’s nice outside, makes for a great spot for people watching.

     

    Where to drink:

    • Le Mary Celeste

      • My first stop when I get to Paris, is usually LMC for a glass or orange wine and some oysters. This is the kind of bar you wish was a block away from your house. It’s just the right amounts of hip and comfortable with a book of creative cocktails and natural wine and makes a great spot to start or end your night (or both!). What more could you want?

    • Café Beaubourg

      • In a sea of tourist traps directly surrounding Centre Pompidou, this place (pictured above) may be the exception. It’s the perfect place to grab a drink and recover from museum fatigue. Get an Aperol Spritz and some fries, and you’ll be good as new.

    • Septime La Cave

      • If you, like me, find Septime to be out of reach please head directly to their wine bar down the block. While you won’t be eating the best meal of your life here, you will get to enjoy some stellar natural wines and feel like a true Parisian drinking with friends on the sidewalk. If there’s no room or you’re not in the party mood, the bartenders will be kind enough to help you pick a bottle to take to go.

    Where to shop:

    • Free “P” Star

      • This place is thrift store heaven! They recently downsized, but I can’t recommend their 1 euro bin enough. Bring a tote bag and dig like your life depends on it, and you’ll find some gems. To this day, my favorite piece in my closet is from here.

    • Kilo Shop

      • For a more organized thrifting experience, check out any of the Kilo Shop locations around the city. Most items are sold by weight, so if you’re strategic you can get some great deals.

    • Merci

      • Merci is a dream. It’s a concept store spanning three floors, where you can find home goods, books, or apparel. The last time I went they had a highlight on upcycled goods, and you know we love a sustainable shop.

    • Thanx god I’m a VIP

      • Quite possibly the coolest vintage store I’ve ever been to. It’s organized by color and has everything from typical thrift store finds to rare designer pieces.

    • La Fromagerie Goncourt

      • This amazing little cheese store has everything you need for a great picnic. My ideal afternoon would be pairing multiple cheeses and wines from this shop with a big loaf of bread from Du pain et des idees and setting up shop along the Canal Saint Martin.

    • Galeries Lafayette Champs Élysée

      • A big, very well curated department store (pictured above). My personal heaven! Although it’s probably the only thing worth checking out on Champs Élysée, unless big crowds are your thing.

     

    Some tips for planning your trip:

    1. I highly recommend using Hopper and Skiplagged to watch flights to see when they’re at their cheapest. Flights have been getting cheaper, and there’s no need to pay more than $500 roundtrip to Paris.

    2. When looking for lodging, I recommend staying around Le Marais, Canal St Martin, and La Bastille. The 10th and 11th arrondissements are in close walking distance to many attractions and restaurants, while still being off the beaten path enough to be affordable.

    3. Definitely try to learn some French! Although I haven’t found Parisians to be rude to Americans struggling with French, it’s still the polite thing to do. Need some help on which essential phrases to learn? DM me and I’ll send you my spreadsheet!

    Can’t get to Paris yet? Check out Mise en Scènt’s French New Wave candle in our shop