I came, I saw, I conquered. But what did I like best? The question comes up often, and luckily I’ve been keeping notes. Sure, the tourist sights are typically beautiful, but it was the small hidden streets I liked best, the quaint cafes and small boutiques. If you want to know about the Louvre or Notre Dame, buy a Guide Book, but if you want to know what perked the interest of this fanciful young woman, keep reading…
An upstairs café to a trendy bakery with nice meals, tasty breads and pastries. Fun to sit upstairs with a coffee and people watch through the window.
2 rue de la Verrerie
Metro: Hotel de Ville
Café de Flore
Okay, you’ll definitely find this in any guide book, but it’s worth stopping for the excellent, and elegant, coffee or Kir.
“This afternoon I’m upstairs at the Flore, near the window; I can see the wet street, the plane tree swaying in the sharp wind; there are a lot of people, and downstairs there’s a great hubbub.” –Simone de Beauvoire
172 Boulevard St.Germain
Metro: St.Germain des Pres
A comfortable café just off the Jardin de Luxembourg. Great for reading, writing, and tasty drinks.
13 rue de Medicis
Just off La Place des Vosges, this cozy little café is often full and serves some excellent thick hot chocolate.
11 rue du Pas de la Mule
A funky old bar in the Marais filled with great energy and young hipsters.
78, Rue Vieille du Temple
A cheap student bar with a great ambiance in Montmartre.
74 rue des Martyrs
La Belle Hortense
A small literary café/bar with a nice selection of wine. Open in the evenings. Very cozy back room with books lining the walls.
21, rue vielle du Temple
Metro: Hotel de Ville or St.Paul
Caveau de la Huchette
A tourist attraction, but also a great place to go for live jazz and blues and some fascinating swing dancing. Entry from 9-13 euros, drinks around 6 euros.
5, rue de la Huchette
Le Petit Journal
Another tiny jazz bar. Go for dinner and live music, but check who’s playing ahead of time.
71 boulevard St.Michel
Taverne de Cluny
The drinks here are a huge rip off, but some evenings there’s great live music and the drinks pay for themselves.
51, rue de la Harpe
An old artist hangout, this large restaurant carries a certain glow, is always warm and welcoming, and has some great seafood. Reasonable prices.
13, rue de l’Ancienne Comedie
I was drawn into this place by the name, and came back for the simple food, Perrier cocktail, and the ultra modern bathrooms. Great crème brulee.
28, rue Vieille-du-Temple
Metro: Hotel de Ville or St.Paul
Remember the Sex and the City where Carrie Bradshaw goes to Paris? Well this is the trendy restaurant where she meets her lover’s ex. Placed on top of Kenzo, the top floor has a great view. Food is so-so, but cocktails are quite good.
1 rue Pont Neuf
Traditional French food in an authentic setting. Great big wood tables and tasty eats. Arrive early as it fills up fast.
41, rue Monsieur-Le-Prince
On a street covered in creperies, this one seemed to be the most authentic. Full of French people and great crepes, order the one they light on fire…
67, rue de Montparnasse
A great Indian vegetarian restaurant full of Indians. Amazing prices and great food. Placed on a street of great, cheap Indian restaurants. Take your pick, although this one was my favourite.
24 rue Cail
Metro: Gare du Nord
The best Japanese restaurant I could find it Paris. I always felt comfortable and relaxed eating here alone, and loved getting a Shake Don menu for under 10 euros. Great service and pitchers of wine.
39, rue Galande
Metro: Cluny de la Sorbonne
A chain of trendy café-style food to eat in or take out. Healthy and yummy, and always a nice set-up inside.
15, Boulevard Haussman (one of many)
Home of my acclaimed Turkish family, this small fast-food Turkish restaurant is cheap and good. You can pay around 6 euros for some great lamb and couscous and sit in the comfortable tables in the back. Don’t be fooled by the fast-food front, this place is actually a great restaurant and the people are astoundly kind and generous. Tell them you know Gill, the blond Canadian, and you will receive great service. I ate here every Sunday for a year, and practically cried saying goodbye to this beautiful family.
41, rue de Clignancourt
The place to see and be seen. Great books, music, accessories and clothing. Fun and funky, and full of the trendiest Parisians. Water bar downstairs.
213 rue St.Honore
Adorable little store filled with original creations by small-time Parisian designers. Small gallery downstairs.
7, rue Vauvilliers
Comme des Garcons
Just go to look, it’s a fashion playground.
54 rue du faubourg-saint-honore
Simple gadgets, clothing, house-ware and accessories by this modern Japanese brand. Reasonalbe, practical and fun.
27, rue St.Sulpice (One of many)
Shakespeare & Company
I love this place for many reasons. I love it because it has English books, beds to read on, and because it’s open until midnight.
37 rue de la Bucherie
Metro: St.Michel or Cluny de la Sorbonne
(Other great English bookstores include the Red Wheelbarrow, Village Voice, and W.H Smith)
Expensive French food goodies, great for looking around, and best lemon tarts ever.
26 place de la Madeleine
Orgasmic pastries…try the macaroons to make your life worth living.
185 rue de Vaugirard
or 72 rue Bonaparte
Bon Marche Epicerie
Metro: Belleville and Melimontant
Place d’Aligre Market
Place Monge Market
Close to rue Mouffetard
Wednesday, Friday, Sunday
The biggest market in Paris with a giant antique section as well as hundreds of stands selling souvenirs, jewelery, shoes, Dior rip-offs and other Parisian wonders. Beware of pick pockets and hold your bag close to you. Stop for a crepe or lunch in one of the restaurants in the antique section.
Metro:Porte de Clignancourt
Parc des Buttes Chaumont
A savage beauty of a park.
Metro Botzaris and Buttes Chaumont
A beautiful park with everything to offer and more. Pay around 10 euros to take the hot air balloon up into the sky and get a 360 degree view of Paris.
Bois de Boulogne
A giant forest that runs across the top border of Paris. The best place to go on a sunny day.
Rocky Horror Picture Show
Sing along with the actors on stage, who sing and dance in heavy French accents and fake an orgy. Good times all around. Saturdays at 10pm, 8 euros.
The Studio Galande
42, rue Galande
Metro: Cluny de la Sorbonne
Rue de la Lappe
A street for night owls, full of bars and clubs. Stop in Bollywood for some Indian dance music or discover some of the best happy hours in Paris.
A passageway full of great Pakistanian Indian restaurants. I recommend Bhai Bhai Sweets, 77 Passage Brady.
Metro: Strasbourg St.Denis
Place des Vosges
Oldest square in Paris. Great for people watching over a giant café crème. Located in the Marais.
Palais de Tokyo
I have so much love for this place it hurts. As a modern art museum it is pure fun and originality, and also provides great gift shops and an even better restaurant. I am in love with the entire male staff.
13 avenue du Président Wilso
Maison Europeene de la Photographie
Great photography museum.
5, rue de Fourcy