That headline would be really annoying if we were talking about ourselves. But we aren’t. We chatted up a bunch of Cool Kids — Christine Muhlke of Bon Appétit magazine, Anna Polonsky of Le Fooding (and her Paris-based Cool-Kid Friends), and food photographer Michael Harlan Turkell, among them — to get the list of must-see, -do, and -eat things in Paris, France right now. So you can be a Cool Kid, too.
The chefs at Au Passage. Photo credit: Au Passage
RESTAURANTS: Septime because it lives up to the hype; Clamato, by the same team, for delicately balanced flavors of the sea (like razor clams with fresh herbs); Bones, for its Brooklyn-in-Paris lack of pretentiousness and 32-year-old Australian chef James Henry’s smoky bar snacks; Candelaria for chorizo tacos (taqueria in Paris!) that “honestly rivaled anything I’ve had here in LA,” according to our west coast friend; Le Voltaire, the classic Paris bistro; Au Passage, the perfect neighborhood restaurant where, if you stay until a little past midnight, you might tip back a couple shots with the staff.
The bar behind Candelaria. Photo credit: Candelaria
BARS: Le Mary Celeste, one of the small number of places in Paris serving craft cocktails, is owned by the folks behind Candelaria; Aux Deux Amis, which should not be judged by its sleepy café exterior — just don’t try to get in on a Friday night; Septime La Cave is a stone’s throw from Clamato, making it a good resting spot while you wait for your name to reach the top of the list; La Buvette, run by Camille Fourmont, formerly of Inaki Aizpitarte’s tapas joint Le Dauphin; Le Baron Rouge, where, according to cookbook writer David Lebovitz: “On weekends, the crowd spills out onto the sidewalk, where fresh oysters are heaped in baskets and a young man pops each one open, serving them by the half- or full-dozen on a tangle of glistening seaweed.” So, yeah.
MARKET: Le Marché des Enfants Rouges is small but expertly curated. It has 3-4 small rows of produce, cheese, and meats, a sushi place, Taeko, with cool bento boxes, great rotisserie chicken — all the makings of a beautifully cobbled-together meal at home.
One corner of The Broken Arm. Photo credit: Julia Bainbridge
SHOPPING: Buly, recently opened by Ramdane Touhami of Cire Trudon, for oils and pomades; Cos, a Uniqlo-like chain that’s only in Europe (although the first Cos is coming to New York soon); concept store The Broken Arm, which carries the coolest labels (Carven, Kenzo) and also has a little coffee shop and juice bar; Merci, a home goods and clothing store with a little Aesop counter in it (of course), part of the proceeds of whose sales go to educational projects and development in southwest Madagascar; Librairie Gourmande for foodie books; Jacques Genin for chocolates (and caramels!).
The goods at L’As Du Fallafel. Photo credit: Julia Bainbridge
DON’T MISS: A sandwich at L’As Du Fallafel. Yes, it’s been written about a bunch, but this is the best falafel I’ve had in the Western hemisphere.
COFFEE: Owned by photographer Nicolas Clerc and David Flynn, private barista to David Lynch (uh-huh), Telescope is a light-filled space in the First Arrondissement. Ten Belles gets its beans from Flynn and, as Oliver Strand put it, it’s “a central location in one of the most vibrant
neighborhoods in Paris — the cafe is a one-block walk from the Canal
Saint-Martin, a one-minute walk from le Verre Volé.”
TOURS: Context’s experts give totally not-lame (i.e. no paddles) walking tours of, for example, “The Louvre: An Immense Collection, in Manageable Pieces.” Walk along La Promenade Plantée, which is Paris’s answer to New York City’s High Line. And take advantage of those Vélib’ bikes, won’t you?
A room at Mama Shelter. Photo credit: Mama Shelter
HOTEL: The very sexy Mama Shelter. Floor-to-ceiling windows, mirrors
a-plenty, and quirkier design accents like collections of masks (ours was
Scooby-themed) and bedside detachable, portable bedside light rods, make Mama Shelter pretty darn hot. “It was not fun to be in there alone,” said a friend of ours. “Okay it was a little bit fun.” The bar serves up great cocktails a surprisingly hard thing to find in this city — and it comes complete with a foosball table and a stage for live music. Bonus points for being across the street from La Fleche D’Or, an indie music
stronghold. If you go the Air BnB route, stay in the 11th arrondissement,
which seems to be The Neighborhood right now.
MUSEUMS: All the classics, really. We particularly like the Picasso and the Rodin, but the best otherwise are kind of obvious.