There is not city on earth quite like Paris; it is at once captivating and soothing, beautiful and unapologetic.
PARISIANS get a bad wrap for being rude, but if you make even the slightest attempt to speak the language you’ll get far. Paris, for me, is all about food- Sure there’s galleries and famous museums (Musee de Orsee and the Louvre) as well as a host of boutiques and shops. But Paris Eats, is the best Eats in the world.
For a “can-these-macaroons-truly-be-better-than-ten-orgasms-at-once” experience you MUST go to this place, then (after waiting in line for them) take a seat at the Place St. Sulpice and enjoy the most sublime confections in the world.
@ 72 Rue Bonaparte (by the plaza of St. Sulpice | 6th arr.)
An entire shop of distilled treasure from France.
@ 79 Rue du Bac (6th)
Patisserie Gerard Mulot
The Sweet spot
Nothing is better than France’s pattisseries; part jewelry store for confections, part christmas-time for gluttons, lots of butter and all delicious… stop here for tarts, cookies and all that is right with the world- it’s crowded but that’s half the fun. With baguette in hand walk next door to the St. Germain market and look for the cheese display- the couple that runs it is wonderful! Tell them about your preference for cheese and watch her blow you away.
Gerard Mult @ 76 Rue de Seine (closed Wed | 6th).
Maitre Parfumer et Gantier
Once upon a time this house made the perfumes and gloves for the French crown- not they make spectacular, hand-crafted limited-edition perfumes. Wonderful (for the wife and husband). My Pick:
– I wear it in November, it’s seductive cinnamon-sweetness and ambrette heft and complex aromatics are intoxicating.
(Sandalwood with seductive amber. Woodsy. Top Note: Coffe beans, spice oils, incense; Middle Note: Sandalwood, patchouli, vanilla, vetiver; Base Note: Ambegris, oakmoss, vanilla)
@ 5 Rue de Capucins (Metro: OPERA |9th)
Les Cocottes de Christian Constant
The Good Stuff
Tired and exhausted from outing the Eiffel tower and a bit chilly? Head to this place… a fabulous little restaurant that serves up hearty food by a star-chef all cooked in small (Staub) Coccottes…
@ 135 Rue St. Dominique (7th)
Chocolatier Christian Constant
Do i need to say anything? Startlingly amazing.
@ 37 Rue d’Assas (6th)
The wild card
Do you need a break from foie and lardons- we all do: this became our favorite little place in the world- a great Vietnamesse hole-in-the-wall where the host (Miss Mai) is very busy servicing all four tables plus watching her shows in a heaping, but welcoming mess that is this restaurant (just don’t have too much of the chili sauce or like us you’ll get yelled at)…
@ 65 Rue de Galande (TINY!)-(5th)
Berthillon (Ice Cream)
The life-changing moment...
It is only a few times in life when something so well known is taken for granted that we don’t think anything will ever redefine it for us: and that is where Berthillon comes in. Berthillon will forever change your relationship with Ice Cream. Tucked deep in the Isle St. Louis almost every cafe on the way to this shrine announces they serve Berthillon Ice cream- keep walking. Make yourself to the actual establishment, sit in the small but cozy (and always full) parlor and be ready to have your life re-defined. Even by the Vanilla Ice Cream!!! (The Fleur de sel topped caramel Ice Cream is also an all-time favorite favourite)
@ 31 Rue Saint Louis in Isle St. Louis (4th)
La Cerise sur le Chapeau
The little things in life...
Roughly “The cherry on top (or in this case on a hat) is a wonderful little shop with a great collection of hand-made hats and Bespoke on order. Check it out! Get measured, get a hat and continue to tour the town.
@ 11 rue Cassette (6th)
Les Jardins de Luxembourg
The Luxembourg Gardens are amongst some of the most beautiful in Paris… rent a bike and circle the neighborhood, or simply take a book, stroll through the park, find a sunny spot and make yourself at home.
@ South of St. Sulpice on Rue Bonaparte (6th)
Restaurant L’Arpege by Alain Passard
One of the most unforgettable gastronomic experiences of my life. This 3-star michelin restaurant is an experience on its own. Small dining room is not cold and daunting like many similarly-starred restaurants in Paris. The staff is friendly, the wine list vast, and it’s chef, who specialty is his ability to coax magic out of the simplest most honest vegetables from France, strolls around the dining room at lunch making sure everyone is happy. On certain fridays, this parade is accompanied by a crispy suckling pig on a silver tray that is actuioned off table to table– and you’d be keen to get a piece, for a bit of this pig is enough to make you cry for joy.
@ 84, Rue de Varenne (5th) – Monday through Friday/ lunch and dinner.
Paradis Latin Cabaret
The caution to the air (why the hell not?)
Forget Le Moulin Rouge- it’s an overpriced tourist trap; come here instead, bookearly, get a table and a bottle of champagne and enjoy.
@28 Rue Cardinal Lemoine (Dinner 8pm. Show 9.30pm daily.)-(5th)
Our favorite Restaurant in Paris– and what’s not to love? Big rotisserie when you walk in and a table full of thick-sided casserole dishes holding in rich pates and terrines which are brought table-side where you can serve yourself to your cholesterol’s content (or until someone else orders it). Everything on the menu is from an AOC appellation- from the sausage and hams, to the chickens and beef and it is all very very delicious! Not easy to find, but worth seeking out….
@ 14 Rue Fosses Saint Bernard (5th)
The 'no-nonesense' meal
If you feel like a homey environment, and have had enough of the michelin-stars getting in the way of pure guttural enjoyment of food head to this little place not to far from Mr Eiffel’s metal behemoth. The outside makes you question if you are indeed in the right place- which only proves you indeed are. Sit down; a long table with an array of salads and cold items in bowls greets you to the right as you make your way into a dim interior dominated by a large stone hearth with a well-worn iron grill on top: three items to choose from: Chicken, beef or Foie Gras. One cooking method: On that stone hearth, cooked over a wood fire. The table: all you can eat. The wine: Cheap and quaffable. The experience: unforgettable (the price? 30-40EU a person…).
@ 79 Avenue Segur (CASH ONLY)-(5th)
– La Puce | The flea-marker… Paris-style…
One of the most AMAZING walks around town, which most tourists miss is the “Prais Flea Market” or Les Puces de Saint-Ouen. It’s a track, but if uou got a 20-foot container to fill my God could you fill it. Trinkets from castles, Old WWII memorabilia, furniture, mideval clothes, lithographs, old music you name it….
@ 140 Rue de Rosiers
How to get there:
Porte de Clignancourt, line 4, coming from Paris.
Take the exit marked Boulevard Ornano, odd numbers, then the exit rue Belliaud /rue letord. Go under the ring road. Avenue Michelet is the continuation of the Porte de Clignancourt, but the easiest way to get to most of the markets is along the rue des Rosiers (first left off the avenue Michelet).