PARIS | THE UPDATE

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.

Airbnb
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.

Relais Christine
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

Balagan
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.

Beef Club
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.

Bonhomie
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.

Dersou
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.

Girafe
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.

Huîterie Regis
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.

L’Atlas
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.

Le Servan
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.

Monsieur Bleu
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.

Sebillion
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.

Severo
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.

Paris | What to Do

BUBBLE SKY BAR AT MONTPARNASSE
33 Avenue du Maine, 75015
+33 1 45 38 52 56
This is, hands down, the ugliest building in all of Paris, but it also has the best views of ANYWHERE there (it actually looks down on the Eiffel Tower). There’s a restaurant, Ciel de Paris on the 56th floor, which is fine, but the real deal is the 58th floor observation deck and the OUTDOOR champagne bar with 360-degree views of the city.

FONDATION LOUIS VUITTON
8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi
Bois de Boulogne, 75116
+33 1 40 69 96 00
There are obviously a million museums to visit in Paris and all of them should be seen, but there are, for me, just a few that are worth an honest mention. The Fondation Louis Vuitton is high at the top of that list, and not for its collection of art, which is small and somewhat nondescript, but for the building itself. Designed by Frank Ghery and created in 2006 by LVMH to be a place “for meaningful exchanges between artists and visitors from Paris, from France, and from the entire world,” it sits on an incredible location next to the Jardin d’Acclimatation inside the Bois de Boulogne. Don’t miss it.

MUSEE RODIN
79 rue de Varenne, 75007
+33 1 44 18 61 10
I have never been to Paris without stopping here, if even for a minute. The museum itself is housed in a beautiful mansion that was recently completely renovated, but the true beauty is in the gardens where some of Rodin’s most celebrated sculptures rest among lush, green gardens. There’s also a café within the gardens, making it a perfect stop for a drink or snack as well.

PARIS MUSEUM PASS
This is one of the best shortcuts I have ever found: order these passes online before you go (give yourself at least a couple of weeks to get them in the mail), and skip the lines at a slew of museums and hotspots, including The Louvre, The Musée d’Orsay, The Musée Rodin and a whole bunch more. They are sold in either  2, 4 or 6-day passes and are really worth the time you’ll save.

LA TOUR EIFFEL
Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007
Obviously. But in the past few years, they have started to sell timed tickets online,  making the endless wait to get the top a little less endless. Buy online before you go (up to the day before), and make sure to bring your printed ticket with you.


SCAVENGER HUNTS

THATLOU
+33 6 86 13 32 12
We did this with 2 other families, and it was really one of the best experiences we have ever had. It’s a treasure hunt where teams must find certain works of art throughout the museums and photograph themselves in front of it. It is riotously hilarious and educational and team building all at the same time. We did ours at The Louvre, but the company has since added options for The Musée d’Orsay (THATd'or) and through the streets of The Latin Quarter (THATrue).


GET ON A BIKE

Bike About Tours
+33 6 18 80 84 92
Fun, small group, family-friendly rides through Paris, Versailles or Champagne.

LA GRANDE EPICERIE PARIS
38 Rue de Sèvres75007 Paris
+33 1 44 39 81 00
Best. Market. Ever. Imagine if Eataly, Whole Foods, Zabar’s and Fairway got together, had a baby and moved to Paris. It’s literally too much to handle – you have never seen so much beautiful product in your life.   


LUNCH OR DINNER CRUISE ON THE SEINE

Bateaux Parisiens
It’s possibly the most tourist-y thing you can do in Paris, but the view of the city from the Seine, especially at night, is pretty magical. And the food is surprisingly pretty decent, too.

JARDIN D'ACCLIMATATION
Bois de Boulogne, 75016 Paris, France
+33 1 40 67 90 82
Great park with everything from amusement parks to food trucks and art exhibits. This is also where the Fondation Louis Vuitton is located. 

L'AQUARIUM DE PARIS
5 Avenue Albert de Mun75016 Paris, France
+33 1 40 69 23 23
There are so many incredible things to see and do in Paris that is seems a little strange to go to an aquarium, but it’s actually a pretty cool one and a good place to escape the heat of summer or the cold of winter.

 

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Paris | What to Buy

CARAVANE
6 rue Pavée, 75004
9 rue Jacob, 75006

Very cool housewares. From tableware to hand blown glass and furniture.

COLETTE
213 rue Saint-Honoré,  75001
+33 1 55 35 33 90

Colette is a cult favorite and it’s sort of like a department store on acid. You can find everything and nothing here, but it's so well curated and perfectly edited, it's a must for anyone looking for a true Parisian shopping experience.

DEMILUNE
33 rue du Dragon 75006
+33 1 45 44 21 06

Fantastic kids shoes. And if you’re lucky enough to wear anything below a size 37, you can get yourself a pair of kid-priced Golden Goose sneakers, too.

LES LUNETTES D'ALSO
115 rue Vieille Du Temple, 75003
+33 1 48 04 93 52

Very cool eyewear and they will ship your finished prescription glasses back to you at no charge.

MURIEL GRATEAU
37 rue de Beaune, 75007
+33 1 40 20 42 82

More cool housewares, leather goods and jewelry. I am especially obsessed with the Metal series of dishes.

RIAD KNIEFE
Not a place, but a an incredible interior designer and personal shopper who will take you through any of the Paris antiques markets (Saint Ouen being the most famous) and can advise on any and all vintage furniture and decor. He has been written up in all kinds of travel and design magazines, and his ability to design and furnish a home from these markets is simply amazing. He works with clients all over the world and is so much fun to spend time with. Make sure your day includes a stop for lunch at Cocotte. Riad has “his” table at this Philipe Starck-decorated restaurant and it’s the perfect stop on the antiques tour.

 

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