WHERE TO SLEEP
Hotel Villa Madame
44, rue Madame 75006
+33 1 45 48 02 81
Rue Madame might be my new favorite street in Paris, and this hotel couldn’t be cuter (or more reasonably priced). The courtyard is super sweet and its location, right next to the Jardins du Luxembourg and Saint Sulpice literally cannot be beat.
Sometimes an Airbnb can be hit or miss, so I wanted to share this one on rue Honoré Chevalier (right next to rue Madame, coincidentally). It’s two-bedroom with a great kitchen, super comfortable living space on a really quiet street. We loved the building and plan to stay here again and again.
3, rue Christine 75006
+ 33 1 40 51 60 80
Tucked away on rue Christine is this former 13th century monastery is even more charming than it sounds. With a new renovation, a Guerlain spa and one of the best breakfasts in all of Paris, it’s a romantic, discreet hotel that screams rendez-vous.
WHERE TO EAT
9, rue d’Alger 75001
+33 1 40 20 72 14
Warning: It is a SCENE. I mean, a serious scene. The music, the super-chic Parisians gathered outside smoking cigarettes (did they not get the memo in France?) and the ambiance all point to ultrahip and frankly, pretty intimidating. But power through because the Israeli cuisine at the end of the rainbow is nothing short of incredible.
58, rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau 75001
+33 9 54 37 13 65
Oddly, another spot that’s more scene-y than I would usually recommend, but it’s the idea of a chic Parisian steakhouse that hooked me, and I’m happy to report that it’s worth its weight. A cold martini, a ribeye and an order of potatoes cooked in duck fat are all you need before you head to the lounge downstairs for a true French after party.
22, rue d’enghien 75010
+33 1 9 83 88 82 51
It’s always fun to find a restaurant in France that isn’t French, and Bonhomie is a fantastic example of what I mean. The Mediterranean menu is small but mighty — you can easily order one of everything — all served by the friendliest staff in all of Paris.
Café de la Mairie
8, Place Saint Sulpice 75006
+33 1 43 26 67 82
This simple bistro on the Place Saint Sulpice is my favorite in all of Paris. A perfect place for a morning coffee and an omelette or a lunch of a croque monsieur served on Paris’ famous Pain Polâine.
21, rue Saint Nicolas 75012
+33 9 81 01 12 73
It’s not the incredibly hip ambiance or the amazingly delicious food that you should come here for. In fact it’s the 5, 6 or 7 course tasting menus that are paired with cocktails — not wine — that should have you clicking “reserve” right now. Sounds weird, I know, but it works. I promise. a
Ducasse sur Seine
Port Debilly 75116
+33 1 58 00 22
Leave it superstar chef Alain Ducasse to take one of the cheesiest and most tourist-y things Paris has to offer, the Bateaux Mouches, and turn it into the chicest, most delicious floating restaurant you’ve ever seen. There’s no better way to see Paris then from the Seine, and there’s no better way to do it then from Ducasse’s boat, tricked out like any 5-star spot should be. PS: the butter is not to be missed.
1, Place du Trocadero 75016
+33 1 40 62 70 61
Located inside the Palais de Chaillot, Girafe is relatively new and absolutely stunning. If you’re lucky enough to dine in the warmer months, take a seat on the patio and you’ll have a front row view of the Eiffel Tower. The menu, which is seafood heavy, is a welcome departure from heavier French fare, and the room is so well designed you’ll want to stay all day.
3, rue Montfaucon 75006
+33 1 44 41 10 07
The teensiest tiniest oyster bar you ever did see, but, OMG. Pop in for a dozen and a glass of bubbles after an afternoon of shopping.
11, rue de Buci 75006
+33 1 40 51 26 30
The seafood tower + a bottle of Chablis + sitting outside on the Rue de Buci = perfection.
L’Enfance du Lard
21, rue Guisarde 75006
+33 1 46 33 89 65
I’ve learned that when it comes to bistros, you can land in some subpar places in Paris, which is why this find was such an inspiration. Tucked away by Saint Sulpice, the husband-wife team who run this super cozy spot are welcoming and warm and the menu is a solid as it gets. If they have the fried smelt on the menu (tiny fried white fish) get them, and the frisée aux lardons is thankfully more lardon than frisée.
32, rue Saint Maur 75011
+1 33 01 55 28 51 82
Everything you’ve heard is true. The space, the food, the service — amazing, amazing, amazing. If there are broccoli fritters on the menu, get them, devour them and then get them again. Have lunch and then take a stroll through Père Lachaise, the gorgeous cemetery where such luminaries as Chopin and Jim Morrison are buried.
20, avenue de New York 75116
+33 1 47 20 90 47
Maybe the most beautiful restaurant I’ve ever eaten in, in one of the most spectacular settings right outside the Palais de Tokyo with views of the Eiffel Tower. And the food. OMG. The pork belly is off the charts and the chicken for two is to die for. Eat here early on your trip so you have time to go back. It’s that good.
20, avenue Charles de Gaulle 92200 Neuilly
+33 1 46 24 71 31
We found this “temple to leg of lamb” (their proclamation, not mine) when we were looking for a lunch spot after visiting the Louis Vuitton Foundation, but honestly, it’s worth a solo excursion. White table cloths, old school waiters and that infamous lamb will make you glad you took the trip.
8, rue des Plantes 75014
+33 1 45 40 40 91
This old butcher shop might lack ambiance (you could perform surgery in the dining room), but the steak tartare and the côte de bouef more than make up for it in spades. Plus, you’ll be hard pressed ot find another American at any one of the 10 or so tables, which is always a good sign.
WHAT TO DO
Atelier des Lumieres
38 rue Saint Maur 75011
+33 1 80 98 46 00
Trippiest experience ever. The works of Gustav Klimt digitized and projected on the walls, floors and ceilings of this uber-industrial space in the 11th. And BONUS! Le Severo is right across the street, making it the perfect way to send an afternoon. (Note: It looks like the Klimt exhibit will end on January 6, 2019, but the space will remain open showing the work of various artists in the same way.)
Palais de Tokyo
13, avenue de President Wilson 75116
+33 1 81 97 35 88
I will admit that I’ve avoided this museum on every trip to Paris because I’m just not into Asian art. Well, the joke’s on me because while it’s called Palais de Tokyo, it actually has nothing to do with Tokyo. In fact, it’s a super modern, incredibly industrial space that showcases some of the most spectacular work I’ve ever seen. The exhibit when I was there is on until June 1, 2019, called Carte Blanche to Tomás Saraceno, is almost impossible to explain but I’ll try. Think a totally black room filled with glass boxes and inside are cobwebs. Yes. Cobwebs. And spiders. And it’s magnificent. But honestly even if that exhibit is gone when you visit, there is bound to be something just as spectacular to follow.
Paris Walking Tour
93200 St Denis, France
+33 01 48 09 21 40
Walking tours can often be dry, but these are fun, informative and there’s no better way to get your steps in.