Something you loved in Paris

It's hard to believe one quarter of my time here in Paris has passed already. I don't feel like I've even begun to do all the things I want, never mind the things I don't know I should be doing! Before it's too late, I'd like to hear some recommendations for interesting things you've done or experienced in Paris (or France, for that matter, if I could find the same wine in Paris, etc.).

Is there a little restaurant you loved? An amazing unpasteurised milk cheese you tasted once? A small store that sold lovely little things? Something you just don't think I should miss while I'm here? Comments are open, share what you will. Thanks!

43 thoughts on “Something you loved in Paris

  1. Au Gamin de Paris
    51 r Vieille du Temple 75004 PARIS
    01 42 78 97 24
    I had the best chocolate cake I have had in my life, and I’ve had a lot. It was like a religious experience. One waiter spoke no English, the other spoke it better than us. (I know you’re learning French, but many food items are mysterious even if you do.)

  2. There’s a small Glace shop across the street from Notre Dame. Best Glace in Paris.
    And of course, don’t forget Disneyland Paris. They just debuted their renovated Space Mountain Coaster.

  3. the poster above might be referring to berthillion , on ile st louis. indeed wonderful…

  4. Also on Ile st Louis, around Berthillon, is nos ancetres les galois which is a bit hard to describe. for 160 francs (not sure what it is in euros now) you got smething like 7 courses of food starting with a basket of crudites, followed by meats, cheeses, and dessert. Wine is served by the pitcher (you fill it yourself, all you can drink). Bit of a tourist dive but fun.

  5. Yes, by all means try Berthillon. 31 rue Saint-Louis-en-l’le – right in the middle of the Ile St. Louis. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Many other cafes advertise that they offer Berthillon’s ice cream, but I think if you go to the actual place you’ll get a wider selection of flavors to choose from. (I had chocolate and red currant. SO good!)
    Also on Ile St. Louis, I enjoyed a good meal of traditional onion soup and beef Bouguinon at a little restaurant – the sign outside reads “Aux Anysetiers du Roy,” but the receipt and menu read “Le Petit Bacchus” so I’m not sure which name to call it. But it was good food and really charming atmosphere in a very old medieval building.
    On Rue St. Antoine, near Place de Bastille is a place called Htel de Sully. It’s a very old medieval mansion, from when the Marais district was the home of the wealthy of Paris. I didn’t go inside – it’s some sort of library now – but just walking through the courtyards and gardens is quite a sight. The garden area also has a side entrance to Place des Vosges. I used Htel de Sully as a shortcut from my hotel to Place des Vosges a couple times on my way to Cafe Hugo.

  6. fine dining and eating in general.. there’s actually a lot of asian food to try in the 13th arrondissement.. u can safely try about any chicken (curry, fried, hainan) and rice dishes at yuan xin
    9 Rue du Philibert Lucot (at Avenue de Choisy)
    75013 Paris
    phone: 0145857316

  7. Thanks for all the suggestions so far. What I’m really looking for are more “hole in the wall” suggestions, stuff I wouldn’t find in, the weird thing you stumbled across that surprised you, etc. Thanks!

  8. Hi Meg,
    It’s been a long time, how are you?
    I did a post on my blog on inexpensive ways to eat in Paris. You might want to check it out, it might give you a few ideas.
    Besides what’s on that post, you might want to check out the Sunday bio market on Blvd.Raspail. There are a few artisanal cheese makers who sell very interesting and yummy raw-milk cheeses. One of my favorites is called Pointus Gaborit, a goat cheese covered in cinder in the shape of a fist-size Hershey’s Kiss. It’s ripe, soft, slightly pungent, and simply delicious. A piece of that and a baguette is often good enough for a picnic lunch for me. Also, don’t forget the galette d’oignon at the opposite end of the market from the Metro Renne.
    I’m going to be in Paris myself in a week or two, and stay until the end of May, and will actually be taking classes at the Alliance as well!

  9. I have the card right here on my desk: Denise Acabo, Chocolaterie. The name is Etoile d’OR 30 Rue Fontaine. 75009. The phone if you wish to try it (but why bother, just go there) is 01 48 74 59 55
    Le chocolat est un produit delicat. Pour preserver sa saveur et sa belle apparence, il faut toujour le conserver dans son emballage d’origine, jamais au refrigerateur, mais dans un endroit frais et sec entre 16 et 18 degrees C, a l’abri des odeurs fortes.
    (from the back of her card)
    Also, I’d make sure to see the Roman Coliseum if you haven’t already.

  10. Visit Le Muse Rodin (Paris, 7th arronidissement). The bronze sculptures are OK, but the stone ones are breathtaking.
    On a sunday afternoon, the Parc de Versailles: during the warm season, they let the fountains run for a few hours (original plumbing!). Spectacular.
    -A five-course meal in Saumur (Loire Valley) : the restaurant (if it still exists) is inside an ancient wine-cellar dug in the side of a hill.
    In Burgundy, the castle at La Rochepot, with its roof of coloured tiles. The kitchen is about the size of a football field. Close by, in Beaune, the best wine in the world: Hospices de Beaune.
    Enjoy it all.

  11. While it’s not a very French thing, there are many times that I crave the gyros that are sold in the Latin Quarter. 🙂
    Give me those and Nutella Crepes and I’m very happy when in Paris. I guess I’m a sucker for French junk food.
    (Don’t get me wrong ~ I’m also a huge fan of French wine, cheese and all of the cuisine. Sometimes, I just need some grease, though…)

  12. Walking Paris, finding local bakers
    Luckily, few things are more enjoyable than wandering around Paris, baguette in hand, burning calories while consuming them. At the oddly named Au Duc de la Chapelle (32 Rue Tristan-Tzara, a cul-de-sac at the northern edge of the 18th), I bit into a nuanced rye bread by Thierry Meunier, making note of its potential role as a foil for ham and cheese. As if to underscore the increasingly global reach of Paris’ rising young bakers, Mr. Meunier was not at home: he was preparing to train a group of bakers in Tokyo.
    On a nondescript street at the foot of the Butte-aux-Cailles (2 Rue Wurtz, 13th), Laurent Dûchene’s boulangerie-ptisserie beckoned, its window a frothy showcase of all that art can effect with a few simple ingredients. I tore off the crusty nose of an ivory-colored baguette before I was more than steps away.
    In a working-class street market one Sunday morning, a stunning 40 customers were waiting for a chance to shuffle one by one into Le Pain au Naturel (5 Place d’Aligre, 12th), where Michel Moisan makes rustic-looking bread by manipulating fermentation times in an ultra-modern manner.
    And in an overlooked patch of the 11th (43 Rue de Montreuil), I returned to one of my old favorites, l’Autre Boulange, whose owner, Michel Cousin, has stubbornly refused to alter a recipe that is equal parts dark stone-ground flours and old-fashioned manual labor.
    Searching for geo-boulangerie patterns, I found great bakeries almost evenly distributed across the city, with distinct clusters in the less-well-heeled 13th, 14th and 18th arrondissements. Perhaps working-class Parisians demand that at least one element of their daily life be utterly correct. For whatever reason, near one 18th-arrondissement Mtro stop (Abbesses) alone you’ll find Au Levain du Marais (48 Rue Caulaincourt), Boulangerie Laurent (63 Rue Caulaincourt), Grenier Pain (38 Rue des Abbesses), Au Levain d’Antan (6 Rue des Abbesses) and Coquelicot (24 Rue des Abbesses)—for starters.
    Like so many great movements, the revival of bread has not only a devoted historian in Kaplan but its own leaders and political partisans. In keeping with the times, this movement is also increasingly “mdiatique.” A lavish event was held in May to celebrate the other new guidebook, “Le Guide des Boulangeries de Paris,” by Augustin Paluel-Marmont and Michel de Rovira (Les Editions de l’If, 14.5E in Paris bookstores), who took the measure of the baguettes, ceiling frescoes and croissant flakiness in hundreds of bakeries.
    Gathering for champagne, some of the featured bakers stood elbow to elbow, perhaps for the first time, surrounded by crusty loaves and delicate canaps.

  13. There’s a little tibetan restaurant just off the Luxembourg Gardens. Very relaxing, good value, lovely staff, tasty food and just wonderful. I don’t remember it’s name but I stumbled across it several years ago in a bid to escape the hustle and bustle of Paris and it was perfect. Have spoken to a couple of new french friends since, and they both know it and recommend it. Hope you can find it!

  14. Check out this food blog, Chocolate & Zucchini:
    It’s run by Clotilde, who lives in Paris. She’s got the inside scoop on lots of good, out-of-the-way places to eat in Paris, so get in touch if you have the chance.
    Now for my own recommendation…
    Le Coup Chou, which is down by the Museum of Medieval History, is great. It’s worth going just to experience the intricate maze of its interior.

  15. We went to Denise Acabo’s chocolate shop, loved it, spent a fortune with delight, and then went just down the street to a restaurant recommended by Mme. Acabo, La Petite Sirene de Copenhague, a great Danish restaurant where we had a magnificent lentil/shrimp soup followed by a delicious bit of halibut with turnips and a dessert of caramelized apple topped by pineapple sorbet.

  16. Just recently discovered the Promenade Plante a two mile long strip of park that runs from the Place de la Bastille to the Bois de Vincennes. Makes use of old rail viaduct. Beautifully planted and designed – never boring. Makes a great walk or run.

  17. It’s barely mentioned in the guidebooks, and it took me three trips to finally see it, but the Sewer museum is quite interesting, if a bit smelly.
    The catacombs are a fun walk, and yes, pretty morbid.
    As for restaurants, I’ve either forgotten the names, they’ve closed or I just try what friends with better connections or more time in Paris recommend. I do agree about Chocolate and Zuccini, it’s where I’d go for food pointers today.
    Do try to get out of Paris though, just as you spend time betweeen NYC and NH (or wherever you were last winter)

  18. It’s great to read everyone’s recommendations. Here are some of mine:
    Parks for lounging on the grass:
    Parc de Belleville (20th)
    Parc Montsouris (14th)
    Eric Kayser (6th – rue d’Assas or rue de L’ancienne comedie). Best baguettes. Also try the pain aux figues, the pain au fromage and the mini financiers.
    Cinema/garden cafe:
    Studio 28 (18th).
    L’Homme Bleu (11th). The ladies in that kitchen are geniuses.
    Discount designer shopping:
    Chercheminippes (6th – rue du cherche midi). Vanessa Bruno, Isabelle Marant, Agnes B., Joseph, Claudie Pierlot, etc. Cheap!
    Bistro under 30 Euros:
    Chez Michel (10th)
    L’Ourcine (13th) Start with the absinthe.
    L’Avant Gout (13th)
    Corner of rue Bonaparte and rue du Four (6th). Best selection/prices.
    2000 Feuilles, Pierre Herme. Don’t leave Paris without eating at least one.

  19. My wife and I found the loveliest embroidered things at Majolique ( in the Marais (note: website indicates they may have moved in the four years since we were there). Beautiful and not outrageously expensive. Also there was a bistro near there, Les Philosophes, I believe. Most fantastic tarte tomate we’ve ever had.
    But what you REALLY need to find, today especially, is a place that’ll sell you a Fenway Frank. I do hope you’ve found a place to watch the Home Opener, rings and banners and all.
    Best regards from Boston.

  20. Hey Meg,
    My fav fun activities in paris other than seeing the fam are
    1) checking out the Saint Ouen Flea Market (Porte de Clignancourt, 18th arrondissement ) on Sat- Mon. They have some cool chotskies ,old prints and french antiques.
    2) Go to the Catacombes under Paris. freaky but interesting
    3) Sunday Go for a 10K ride through Paris on Rollerblades w 300 crazy french people. Info @ rollerblade shops in Bastille.
    4) Favorite neighborhood- Bastille check out the small street restaurants and shops
    5)if your into snails La Maison de Escargot
    6) Buy a Paris Scope and find a french film to watch…..usually on the champs d’elysee…They have many with english subtitles…site seems down ….
    7) Check outPere Lachaise Cemmetary, Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, Balzac and hundred more famous writers painters and thinkers graves. It is out of the way in the 19th arro but its near my Aunt and Uncles so i go when i have a chance…..
    If you want a young parisians advice email me and ill send you my cousins email….he’ll tell ya some cool things going on……Amuse Toi

  21. Chez Prune along Canal St. Martin in the 10th is a great hangout and pretty much a tourist free zone.

  22. The strangest library ‘Un Regard Moderne’, 10 rue Git le Coeur (close to Saint Michel). I can’t describe it, you have to see…
    An hidden and nice park with a weird name and an unusual view on the northern suburb : ‘Square de la Butte du Chapeau Rouge” (Paris 19ime, Metro Prs St Gervais or Danube)
    A quiet bar with a terrace : ‘Lou Pascalou’, 14 rue des Panoyaux (near Le Pre Lachaise cemetery). Not amazing but nice and 100% TimeOut Free.

  23. Oooh, I miss Paris so bad this time of year!
    The parc des buttes-chaumont is absolutely the most amazing in Paris… on saturday, buy some mangoes or lychees in the outdoor market in Belleville, stroll up to the parc (past the communist party headquarters in place col. fabien!)… make a detour to see the vinyard on the tiny street of Edgar Poe (I challenge you to even find it as I still get lost after going there a dozen times). In the evening, dine at Najwa on rue des recollets by the canal st. martin, then see a film at the MK2 quai de seine OR go to Cafe Cherie for a dance party.
    As you can tell I love that area of Paris very dearly…

  24. I forgot! The Place Ste. Marthe! A hidden square with hipster cafes! Looks like Napoli! Sketchy for the uninitiated! Ahhhhhh! I miss it so bad.
    Pho soup in a vietnamese off Belleville chinatown… priceless (though it’s better in the 13th)…

  25. I had some of the best ramen I’ve ever eaten in Paris. Seriously.
    The place is located on 37 rue Sainte Anne. Great for people watching, and seriously great ramen.

  26. I had some of the best ramen I’ve ever eaten in Paris. Seriously.
    The place is located on 37 rue Sainte Anne, and it’s called Sapporo. Great for people watching, and seriously great ramen.

  27. Best caviar splurge: Kaviar Kaspia in the Place de la Madeleine.
    Best surf shop: XeroWave in 16th, Rue Bosquet of all places.
    Best little record shop: Jerome on Rue du Faubourge St. Denis near the Julien resto; lots of world music–don’t be afraid of the dark.
    Best dank dungeon of fun: Les Caves, 50 rue St Sabin in the 11th. Go late. Very late.
    Best SM bar: Le Keller on rue Keller; everyone knows this place.
    Best Vampire bar: No address; ask Martine at Amnesia, rue Vielle du Temple & rue des Francs Bourgeois (don’t tell her who told you to ask).

  28. regarding chez prune: just for drinks, the food sucks. and after browse books at OFR systems and the bookshop around the corner, on the canal.
    my list…
    chez george (not the one at the centre pompidou), near place des victoires. classic french bistro thats been there for years and years.
    yen: rue st benoit 6em, japanese
    PARIS 05 , vietnamese
    cheap eats: falafels on rue de rosiers, 3em, marais, everybody has their favorite one, find your own.
    bike ride: pick up the canal ourcq at parc de la villette. you can ride out of paris into the countryside.
    downstairs at colette: veggie plate, very healthy and very good.
    le progres cafe, rue de bretagne, 3em, local branch cafe.
    muji: rue de francs bourgois / rue vielle du temple. 3em. great japanese house stuff, stationary, furniture, etc.
    bookshop beat: OFR systems, rue beaurepaire 10em / la hune, blvd st germaine, across from the flore. / palais de tokyo bookshop 16em / yvonne lambert gallerie 3em, rue vielle de temple, great artist’s books / centre pompidou bookshop / w.h. smith near concord for magazine browsing / 7L, the lagerfeld bookshop 6em.

  29. one more…
    le pop-in
    rue amelot near oberkampf 11em
    20 something kids listening to 25 year old punk and new wave in a funky 3 level bar.

  30. If you are looking for affordable books in English, the absolute best place for browsing is Tea and Tattered Pages. 24 rue Mayet (in the 6th), Mtro: Duroc
    Open M to Sat 11am – 7pm; Sunday noon – 6pm
    I stumbled on the best, cheapest books there. I loved the tea room in the back – four tables where you can sit and read all afternoon with tea or a bite to eat. I heard it’s changed owners and I haven’t been there recently, but I’m sure it’s still great.

  31. The last time I was in Paris a couple of years ago, I discovered a great poster shop on Rue de Seine, on the block right next to the river, on the edge of the art gallery neighborhood in the Latin Quarter. I found a couple of great Chagall posters. There’s a lot of unusual stuff, cheap. That whole neighborhood is great for walking.

  32. My magical Paris moment happened in this ribbon & button shop in the Marais. In fact, just today as I was cleaning my room, I found the ribbons & buttons I bought there 2 years ago still in the bag from the shop. I just like having them around, and every once in a while I think I might make something and use them, but I like that they are always full of possibility and memories. My sister hustled me out of there, but if she hadn’t I would have stayed there all day. You can see the link below.

  33. If you love bread and croissant, do not hesitate to visit the following web site
    Our last book is available for free on it and it will help you to discover the best “boulangeries” in the city.
    Best regards. Augustin. Do not hesitate to contact me if you need more infos.

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