Ah, Paris... You either love it or you hate it. Regardless of how you may feel for the freezing cold winters or the, shall we say, "emotional" locals, we can all agree that this city has some of the finest places to eat and things to see of anywhere in the world.

 I'm happy to share some of them here with you...

 (Find even more of our favorites by looking at our Paris hashtag, #parisknights )




DU PAIN ET DES IDEES: This famous boulangerie is located just off Canal St. Martin. Famous for it's "escargot" (aka pinwheel shaped pastries) with a small, but winning, choice of filling such as praline or chocolate-pistachio, you won't want to miss out. (If that scares you, their croissants and pain au chocolats are also extraordinary and worth the trip.) Since they don't serve anything buy baked goodness here, bring your own coffee or drinks. (Yes, there are Starbucks in Paris.) If you're lucky, you can grab a seat in the sunshine at the lone picnic bench outside. If it's crowded, just wander a block or two over to Canal St. Martin for a great place to eat your breakfast. Only open on the weekdays! Closed Saturday and Sundays.
34 Rue Yves Toudic, 75010 Paris | +33 1 42 40 44 52

BOB’S JUICE BAR: Our last apartment was just a street behind Bob’s, and it was a fun stop for us in the mornings on our way to classes. We would go here and get fresh bagels piled up with colorful veggie ingredients, drink good coffee and leave with a little bounce in our step from the fun energy that the place has. The menu is less of your classic French stereotype, you’ll not be seeing stacks of croissants and pan au chocolats, but instead you’ll have a very cool Parisian experience to look forward to when you go. Plus, it’s great location near the Pompidou makes the breakfast an easy add-on before you head off to explore some French modern art.
15 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010 Paris | +33 9 50 06 36 18

CAFE SAINT-REGIS: If you're looking for a great spot of Sunday brunch, this is your place. Not only is the setting on Ile Saint Louis easily accessible from all parts of the city, but it also gives you a great place to people watch with the backside of Notre Dame as the backdrop. If you go, don't miss the "Pain Perdu" (French Toast) to enjoy thick slices of fresh brioche drowned in custard with your choice of bananas or berries on top. Too good to miss! Saint-Regis also has great lunch/dinner options as well as a happy hour with great deals.
6 Rue Jean du Bellay, 75004 Paris | +33 1 43 54 59 41

PAIN PAIN: I'll be honest that- when boiled down- this is just a boulangerie in Montmartre. However, the bakery won the award for the best baguette in Paris in 2012, so you know it's going to be a great one. With sweet and savoury options to choose from (hmm... cream-filled brioche, veggie quiche or hot bread stuffed with bacon, mustard & creme fraiche?) and a very cute seating area along the window, it's an affordable and picturesque start to your day. The coffee is not good, so save your money and wander down the famous Rue des Martyrs below and stop at KB Cafeshop for a decent cup.
88 Rue des Martyrs, 75018 Paris | +33 1 42 23 62 81

LOU LOU: This cheerfully French spot off Rue des Ecoles in the Latin Quarter is a breath of fresh air for the standard French breakfast experience. With really good coffee and classic pastries sat alongside fresh options. (Acai bowl, anyone?) and rows of potted plants, this is definitely the new generation of Paris refreshing the standard cafe breakfast experience. Also, they do coffee to take away! 
107 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris | +33 1 42 60 41 96

LES DEUX MAGOTS: Nestled prominently on Saint Germain, this classic spot,  named after the two Magi (“wisemen”) that flank the entrance upon entering, offers a chic dining experience that few Parisians often enjoy. Partially perhaps because it’s often crowded, or partially perhaps it will cost you around €40 for a breakfast for two people- it’s definitely a destination for dining or drinks. The people watching is fun, the food is good but not extraordinary, and you should try to be as Parisian as possible when you go. Clunky tennis shoes, enormous shopping bags piled around you and loud groups don’t suit the atmosphere.
6 Place Saint-Germain des Prés, 75006 Paris |  +33 1 45 48 55 25

CAFÉ SAINT-REGIS: This quaint spot sits just on the edge of Ile St. Louis, overlooking the tail-end of Ile de la Cite... and Notre Dame. Go for a drink during the last moments of the afternoon as the sun sinks down in the sky and the famous cathedral transforms into a staggering silhouette in the hued sky. (Also, the retro interior is pretty awesome.) To be honest, my favorite time to eat here is on Sundays for brunch. It's only served this day and after 10am- go for "le pain perdu" (French Toast), which arrives in a pool of custard and your choice of caramelized bananas or mixed berries. C'est incroyable.
6 Rue Jean du Bellay, 75004 Paris | +33 1 43 54 59 41

BREIZH CAFÉ ODÉON: After the original location of Breizh in the Marais did so well with it’s chic concept selling Breton-style crepes, it only seemed natural to hop across the Seine and open another location in an equally popular area. Luckily, the left bank loves crepes as much as the right and this location is just as fab.. and with a larger seating area. Go for savoury crepes (“galettes”) made from buckwheat to start and end with sweet crepes stuffed with classic and gourmet options at the end of your meal. Reservations are definitely recommended. 
1 Rue de l'Odéon, 75006 Paris | +33 1 42 49 34 73

TREIZE AU JARDIN: Treize definitely gets the Aspiring Kennedy stamp of approval. The coffee was great- even the almond latte needs to be mentioned because it was so smooth and creamy. The homemade biscuits are great (though, I wish I’d had some jam if I’m really being picky) and Tyler demolished his pecan-crusted fried chicken and waffles. All in all, it hit the spot for these Texpats needing a little love from back home… even though they were all the way in France. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, the food is delicious, the setting near the Luxembourg Gardens ideal for meeting up and having a nice place to stroll afterwards, and I have a strong feeling that I won’t wait all that long before I’m back.
5 Rue de Médicis, 75006 Paris



LE PELOTON CAFE: This coffee shop is, fortunately, located just across the street from our very favourite bakery in Paris. One of our favourite things to do is go get a warm loaf of brioche and then head to grab two cafe cremes from Peloton. While you may want to wander on, you'll be drawn in by the (really kind) owners that are often serving and behind the counter. This location near Saint Paul and the Seine makes it easy to stop at during your Paris exploring. (You can read my full review here.)
17 Rue du Pont Louis-Philippe, 75004 Paris | +33 6 24 58 02 15

CAFE KITSUNÉ PARIS: This Japanese-owned spot may be my favourite coffee shop in Paris- equally for it's coffee as for it's perfect location tucked in the Palais Royale. You can either sit outside at one of their tiny tables inside the gardens or take your coffee to go and lounge in one of the iconic green chairs around the fountain. As it is situated just across the street from the Louvre, this spot makes for the perfect place to relax and recharge after hitting the museum.
Jardin du Palais Royal, 51 Galerie de Montpensier, 75001 Paris | +33 1 40 15 62 31

CAFE LOUSTIC: This popular shop in the Marais serves high-grade coffee and good nibbles, like Boneshaker donuts. The staff is friendly, the tables are popular, and the wifi is good. Most patrons will get the chance to- unbeknownst to them- meet the cafe's friendly, London-born owner, Channa, when they order. The place is serious about coffee, but not pretentious. It feels good to be there. (Check out my full review here.)
40 Rue Chapon, 75003 Paris | +33 9 80 31 07 06

SHAKESPEARE & CO: The famous English bookshop in Paris now has a coffee shop. It's often got a line and tables are bit tricky and/or awkwardly shared, but the drinks are good and I like supporting this company. Plus, if you're hungry- they have food that feeds most any dietary requirements. (Though, I think the prices on food can be a bit trop cher.) The view from the tables outside of Notre Dame make it feel perfectly Parisian. Take a book or a friend and get comfortable.
37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris | +33 1 43 25 95 95

MATAMATA: If you're near the second arrondissement, MATAMATA is a great spot to get some coffee. Located on a tiny street in an easily-accessed area, you'll find friendly faces and good coffee. Seating is a bit harder to score, but it's worth a try. Or grab your coffee to go and sit on a pretty bench nearby.
58 Rue d'Argout, 75002 Paris | +33 1 71 39 44 58

KB CAFESHOP: This coffee shop perched on a pretty corner in Pigalle has everything you could want to spend an hour or two in Paris. Great real coffee, great seating outside, and a perfect location to people watch. Expect pour-over coffee, wifi, fresh-pressed juices & virtuous baked goods and nibbles. If you're an English speaker, you may find yourself feeling both relieved and annoyed to hear so much English when you arrive.
53 Avenue Trudaine, 75009 Paris | +33 1 56 92 12 41



LOUP: Sometimes a good lunch around the Louvre can prove a bit tricky. It feels like an abyss of yucky spots for tourists that offer high prices for bad food. If you are looking for a hidden gem, walk to LOUP for a classic bistro feel with all you’d want and more. The menu is a winner for everyone, the decor is pretty and the location near the Louvre makes it one of the best options for a great lunch in the area. Booking not required but recommended for high season. (Or go right at 12 to grab a table.)
44 Rue du Louvre, 75001 Paris | +33 1 42 36 73 23

BIGO: This cute little lunch place has a limited kids menu (or menu enfant), but great daily specials for adults, and it’s just across from a park. Plan to share your kids’ dessert, the house mousse au chocolat because it’s massive and rich and amazing.
37 Rue Berger, 75001 Paris | +33 1 40 26 23 20

L'AS DU FALLAFEL: An institution that is worth the long-line. Beware! It's not open on Friday nights or Saturdays due to the Sabbath... however, the neighboring King Falafel is open then & a close rival. (Both are located on Rue des Rosiers in Le Marais.) Check out my full post on L'As du Falafel here.
32-34 Rue des Rosiers, 75004 Paris | +33 1 48 87 63 60

CAFE DE LA PAIX: This historic (and posh!) restaurant sits cozily beside Le Palais Garnier. If a special lunch with pristine dining is on your list for Paris, I highly recommend booking a table here for a truly experience. You'll get the full French cuisine experience here, and the lunch/pre-theatre menu is a great way to do it without blowing your budget completely. Read my full review of our gorgeous lunch here. You can also opt to sit on the terrace for a less formal experience that offers many of the classic Parisian standards... but with a killer view and ambiance. 
5 Place de l'Opéra, 75009 Paris | +33 1 40 07 36 36

LE PETIT MARCEL: If you're around the Centre Pompidou, this local spot is almost small enough to miss if you walk by. Snag one of the few seats outside or tuck into the charming interior to dine on their classic brasserie options or some of the great daily specials. There is a lunch menu that offers two courses for €14 that is a great deal. Expect a bustling interior, slightly slow (but happy) service and a classic Paris experience.
65 Rue Rambuteau, 75004 Paris | +33 1 48 87 10 20

MUSÉE DU QUAI BRANLY: This museum's little cafe has great food and one of the best views of the Eiffel Tour. Opt for the patio for the stunning backdrop... and try their cafe viennoise for a creamy, naughty treat.
37 Quai Branly, 75007 Paris | +33 1 56 61 70 00

LE 7 BIS MONCEAU: We stumbled upon this neighborhood gem with friends, and I stand by the fact, that it might be one of my favorite meals ever. The day were were there, they had a goats cheese salad that was remarkable. Menu changes daily, but I have a feeling that anything this tiny kitchen concocts, won't leave you disappointed. Bring your French dictionary as the waitstaff doesn't speak great English and the menu can be a bit tricky to navigate.
7 Bis Rue de Monceau, 75008 Paris | +33 1 45 63 33 37

LE PROGRES: This Montmartre brasserie has all the standard cliches of a Parisian restaurant... but somehow, seems to do it better with a fresher appeal than other nearby establishments. The food is consistently good & the crowd, despite it's setting on Montmartre is a good mix of locals:  you can see anyone from hipsters to professionals, or cozy couples & young families. Lunch prices are decent for multi-course lunches, around €16 for two courses.
7 Rue des Trois Frères, 75018 Paris | +33 1 42 64 07 37

RUE CLER: This small, two-block street is a foodie's paradise. Each store front offers different stamps for your Epicurean passport. Fromagerie? Fresh Fruit? Shops devoted entirely to honey or wine? This is your place to shop for the perfect Parisian picnic... and with it's stone's throw proximity to Les Invalides & La Tour Eiffel, you'll be in luck to find a nice view to pair with your finds.

CAFÉ DES ARTS ET METIERS: If you're up near Arts & Metiers (just above the Pompidou) and are looking for a welcoming and solid place for lunch, this is the place. Named, conviently, after the area- this classic brasserie does things right. The decor is hip, the service is kind, the menu offers all the french classics you want in a way that refreshes them a bit... oh, and they're nice to kids! (High chairs and small portions out early!)
51 Rue de Turbigo, 75003 Paris | +33 1 48 87 83 25

MAISON PLISSON: I always think that if Gwyneth Paltrow lived in Paris, she’d like to come here. The food is all farm-fresh and the light and airy atmosphere is lovely. You can stop in for any meal of the day, or you can just pop in to buy some high-grade groceries to bring home and cook your own coq-au-vin. The atmosphere is lovely- I’d opt to bring small kids for brunch or lunch, if you’re traveling with them. (There are now two locations- one in the Marais and another prestigiously sat in the first arrondissement along Rue Marché Saint Honoré.)
93 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris | +33 1 71 18 19 09

BOUILLON CHARTIER: This restaurant began in 1896 and has been around every since. With a historic dining room and a goal to create affordable dining by serving French classics, it's a way to get a taste of French cuisine without a hefty price tag. Waiters will be dressed in black & white and the line may be long. It's a fun place to try!
7 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009 Paris | +33 1 47 70 86 29

LE PARADIS DU FRUIT: This is, oddly enough, a chain restaurant. With that said, it is a very hip chain that is full of Parisians. With cool white decor to set the scene, Le Paradis du Fruit offers a different menu than most of the brasseries you would walk into in Paris. If you're in the mood for healthy (but delicious!) food, head here. With salads, grilled skewers of meat, and sandwiches on their menu- you'll find something that hits the spot. Also, their smoothies are great: try one with yogurt, coconut and pineapple for a Pina Colada-esque treat. 
2 Place Saint-Michel, 75006 Paris | +33 9 79 71 80 79

CAFE LE NEMOURS: You know that gorgeous cafe that Angelina Jolie is sitting at in the opening of The Tourist? This is that one. Just out the side of the Palais Royale and Louvre, Le Nemours is more than just a pretty facade. The simple menu is perfectly French with daily staples like homemade quiches served with a simple salad, baguettes filled with ham and butter, or croques of your preference. You'll pay a bit more for the location (and it has become quite popular!), but the proximity to the Louvre and killer photo ops make it a stop I'd recommend. Even if just for a coffee.
Galerie de Nemours, 2 Place Colette, 75001 Paris | +33 1 42 61 34 14



A LA MERE DE FAMILLE: If I’m making my lazy way down from Montmartre back into the centre of the city, I love to stop by the historic A la Mere de Famille to either buy some gifts or chocolates for myself. Definitely one of the city’s treasures, as you’ll see by the incredible facade on the store’s exterior. But it doesn’t just look pretty- the chocolates inside are incredible. There are several locations in the city now, but this one is my favourite. 
35 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009 Paris | +33 1 47 70 83 69

GEORGES at the POMPIDOU: People are always saying you can't have great views with great food. Okay, I mostly agree, but when I stumbled upon the Pompidou's rooftop restaurant, I had to change my mind. The views of Paris are up close and personal. And the food ain't too shabby either, but while the burger was more than decent- it is overpriced. The sweet spot is to come for a coffee or drink between lunch & dinner. Sit with the City below you and drink deeply of all that loveliness underneath your feet. (If you're headed to the restaurant, take the giant hamster tube up from the left of the main entrance. It will take you straight to the top and won't require waiting in the long queues into the main entrance.)
Palais Beaubourg, Place Georges Pompidou, 75000 Paris | +33 1 44 78 47 99

POPELINI: As part of your pastry journey through Paris, don't miss Popelini. Fresh on the scene with small choux pastry filled with a variety of flavors and topped with adorable coordinating decorations- these make for a great gift to bring to a hostess's house, tea time treat or, you know, casual treat enjoyed in a sunny park on a bench by yourself. With classic eclair flavors like coffee, chocolate and salted caramel- don't shy away from some of the fresher fillings. The passion fruit is tangy and sweet- with just the right amour of pucker. See my full post about Popelini here.
71 Rue de Seine, 75006 Paris | +33 1 42 49 86 19

LA GRANDE MOSQUÉE DE PARIS If you like mint tea, baklava & something off the beaten path, head to the left bank to the Grand Mosque. Freshly made "the a la menthe" and baklava await you in a lush, arabic setting... complete with sparrows & greenery. This may well be one of the best kept secrets of Paris... especially if you indulge in the €63 package that gets you lunch, tea, hamman treatment & body scrub. {The entire menu is stocked full of arabic delights.}
2bis Place du Puits de l'Ermite, 75005 Paris | +33 1 45 35 97 33

CRÊPERIE SUZETTE: Located in Le Marais: This little creperie in Le Marais is a perfect place to tuck into in the middle of a day wondering through Paris. The standard fare is tasty, but the perfectly crafted crepes and savoury-stuffed galettes are what they do best. If you are up for something other than the standard nutella-filled crepe, try their honey & walnut crepe. 
24 Rue des Francs Bourgeois, 75003 Paris | +33 1 42 72 46 16

CARETTE: While the location off Trocadero is the well-known version of La Carette, I much prefer the quieter spot at Place des Vosges. With the same menu (and never a wait!), you can hop into this quaint space and spend the afternoon lingering over their coffee and sweets. While they have all the pastries and macarons you could want, I find their La Dame Blanche sundae (vanilla ice cream, chocolate and roasted almonds covered in chantilly cream) to really take the proverbially cake. Plus, the view from the terrace of the park is gorgeous.
4 Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, 75016 Paris | +33 1 47 27 98 85

LA DROUGERIE: My favorite crepe stand in Paris. Hands down. On the other side of Rue De Rosiers from the Falafel madness. Try the nutella, coconut & almond... and squeeze inside for a €1 cup of the mint tea. You might just see me there.
56 Rue des Rosiers, 75004 Paris | +33 1 40 26 13 51

BERTHILLION ICE CREAM Scads of places sell this local brand of ice cream within this tiny island. If you see the logo, go ahead and get in line. In 5 short minutes, you'll be glad you did. The ice cream really is amazing. The peach (peche) is dreamy... but the combo of dark chocolate (chocolat noir) & coconut (noix de coco) makes my head spin.
2 Quai d'Orléans, 75004 Paris | +33 1 43 54 31 61


MERCI: This cult favorite destination isn't just for the fashionistas... it's for the hungry, too. With three great cafes on site, there are light bites and swanky treats for everyone. I'd probably leave the kids at home for this stop. It's more suitable for meeting up with a girlfriend or a lazy afternoon spent curled up to a cute guy... or journal.
111 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris | +33 1 42 77 00 33

CRÊPERIE MARIE MADELEINE:This little stand and cafe was just around the corner from our place in Paris a few years ago. After far-too-frequent visits, we became friends with the sweet couple who own the cafe. By the end, Viola was helping make her crepes and we had made some sweet friends there. It doesn’t hurt that they have Speculoos on offer at this stand, my very favourite crepe filling. (If you don’t know what Speculoos is, it’s basically the original Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter. Aha… you see the amazing combination at hand now, don’t you?) So that’s my order. And if they have the crunchy Speculoos on hand, even better!
160 Rue Saint-Martin, 75003 Paris | +33 6 50 79 22 08

L'ECLAIR DE GENIE: What Laduree did for the macaron, so L'Eclair de Genie does for the eclair. This tiny shop in the Marais lines up their assortment of eclairs up with the pomp of a designer shoe department. For  €5, you can have one of their delicious treats. They are a bit on the small side, but the flavor is amazing. My favorites are the Vanille + Pecan or the Millefieulle. Tyler loves the Chocolate Art Deco with hazelnut. Mmm. (Read my full post about L'Eclair de Genie here.)
14 Rue Pavée, 75004 Paris | +33 1 42 77 85 11

AUX MERVEILLEUX DE FRED: I can’t go to Paris and not stop by for a loaf of warm brioche at Fred’s, or, as it’s officially called “Aux Merveilleux de Fred.” I initially fell in love with this place for the merveilleux- meringue cookies rolled in chocolate shavings and toasted nuts. BUT… their brioche is actually better. We like the location in the Marais- near the river, just a few minutes from the Saint Paul Metro station. (Check out my full review here.)
24 Rue du Pont Louis-Philippe, 75004 Paris | +33 1 57 40 98 43



CAFE CONSTANT: It should come as no surprise that this small restaurant nestled near the Eiffel Tower owned by famed chef, Christian Constant, has been discovered by tourists. (Plus, it has the Rick Steve's stamp of approval.) The first thing to tell you is that if you want to go & enjoy it's offerings, you need to get there at 7pm when the doors open... or plan on waiting for 1.5-2 hours for a table. While it may seem overwhelming to head to a place that is so popular, fear not! The food is worth it & the line isn't too bad, if you arrive when the doors open. The shrimp tart to start is fantastic...  and the homemade profiteroles for dessert shouldn't be missed! Prices for a three course meal are approx €32 per person, and the waitstaff is American friendly. 
139 Rue Saint-Dominique, 75007 Paris | +33 1 47 53 73 34

PINK MAMMA: This Instagram darling has a lot to live up to after seeing endless posts of the pretty upstairs dining area. We went for Tyler’s birthday and though we only got seated at the bars- we had no complaints. The food was amazing and if you don’t at least share the truffle pasta- you’re a fool. No bookings. Line can be quite crazy, but it’s worth a try! (We walked right in. So weird!)
20bis Rue de Douai, 75009 Paris | +33 1 40 36 03 94

LE RELAIS DE L'ENTRECOTE: So this place is not fancy... but it is really really good, and with the female waitstaff scurrying around in black & white aproned uniforms, feels perfectly Parisian. There is no menu... just one basic question: "How would you like your steak cooked?" {medium= "a point"} You''ll start a simple (and good) salad, followed by the yummiest steak-frites in France. Their secret sauce covering the top of the steak is just... delicious. Don't skip the mustard though. It's an added bonus of flavor. Their profiteroles are the perfect way to finish the evening. €24.50 per person, no reservations taken, multiple locations- but I always go to the one on Boulevard Montparnasse.
101 Boulevard du Montparnasse, 75006 Paris | +33 1 46 33 82 82

CHEZ JULIEN: This gorgeous restaurant with it's pretty windows opening up to a tiny dining room dotted with red velvet seating and golden detailing had been on my "must!" list for years. As it sits just off the Seine, it was always on my walk home- taunting me to spend a meal over it's white crisp tables covered with delicate stems and china. When we finally made it, it lived up to all my hopes for it. All four of us at the table ordered the waiter-recommended chateaubriand... and it was fantastic. The first courses are easy to skip. Save you money for something of their artistic drink list or one of their pretty desserts. Definitely a great spot for a romantic night in Paris.
1 Rue du Pont Louis-Philippe, 75004 Paris | +33 1 42 78 31 64

CAFE LE COUPE CHOU: While many brasseries feel Parisian, this discretely-facaded restaurant feels decidedley French. Think cozy rooms, stone walls, pots of boeuf bourgignon. You can get a fabulous three course meal for €32. It's our favorite date night spot in Paris. Not kid-friendly per se, but the atmosphere is inviting. Reservations quite recommended.
11 Rue de Lanneau, 75005 Paris | +33 1 46 33 68 69

LE POTAGER DU PERE THIERRY: This tiny place in Montmartre is our "place" to go when we are in the area. The tiny space can't fit more than 15 people, and it's popular. Try your luck by walking by,  but reservations are recommended. Not fancy food, but great tasting. It's a good date spot. 
16 Rue des Trois Frères, 75018 Paris | +33 1 53 28 26 20

LE 404: On the street behind our apartment this spring, we found a place that was so different than our normal Paris spots. It's 404 and it's Moroccan. But Moroccan done in an exquistite way that pulls you in off the Marais of Paris and instantly transports you to a ornate riad. The food is great and you won't believe how enormous the portions are. The couscous could feed a family. Go for lunch and score with their set menu- offering meals + drinks for under £15.00 per person. (If you're familiar to London, you'll recognize that they are owned by the owners of the hip, sketch.) If you arrive early, stop by Andy Walhoo for the coolest speakeasy experience with crazy crafted drinks and a DJ playing to the very cool crowd. You'll definitely feel like you've come into some place special with these two. Perfect spot for a date. Reservations recommended.
69 Rue des Gravilliers, 75003 Paris | +33 1 42 74 57 81

CANDELARIA: Once you've grown weary of steak & onion soup, head to Candelaria for a fresh taste: tacos! With a very limited menu of tacos and tostadas, this tiny place is a fantastic splash in the traditional line-up of French fare. The steak tacos and guacamole are a big winner. Pass through the door at the end of the kitchen to enter the super-cool secret tequila lounge. 
52 Rue de Saintonge, 75003 Paris | +33 1 42 74 41 28

LE PETIT CLER: This tiny spot sitting in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower has great style, great food, and nice service. The real win is the daily specials. For €12.50, you can get daily rotations of great dishes like veal stew and boeuf bourgignon. It's a price that is hard to beat.
29 Rue Cler, 75007 Paris | +33 1 45 50 17 50

AU PERE LOUIS: I don't always give advice- sometimes I'm desperate for it, too! This place was recommended to me via twitter, and was conveniently just around the corner from our apartment. We went, we loved it and it definitely makes the list as a good recommendation, cool interiors, fab bar scene up front & great menu stocked with classic French favorites. (I had the veal which came as a stew in a dutch over with green olives, celery and carrots. Holy moly. Delicious.) The onion soup is also exactly what you would want on a cold day. Reservations (or arriving before 8pm) recommended.
38 Rue Monsieur le Prince, 75006 Paris | +33 1 43 26 54 14



MUSEE DU LOUVRE: It goes without saying that you have to pay your respects to this famous institution when you visit Paris... and I've posted my advice here.
Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris | +33 1 40 20 50 50

LES INVALIDES: If you are bringing a man with you to Paris, throw him a bone amidst your girlish indulgences of macarons & cafes by taking him to Les Invalides for a half-day of French military history and a visit to Napolean's grave underneath the famous golden dome. The audioguides offer themed tours (Napolean, WWII, etc) that guide you through various parts of the complex to give you a great picture of specific areas of interest... I would definitely recommend one for navigating your way through this gigantic facility.
Rond-Point du Bleuet de France, 75007 Paris | +33 1 44 42 38 77

MUSEE D'ORSAY: Why should you go to the Musee D'Orsay? Think of it like this: the Louvre has the old art,  the Pompidou has all the modern art, and the D'Orsay has all of the stuff in the middle that you'd actually recognize. Monet, Degas, Van Gogh, Chagall... this is where it's at. And it's setting is magnificent.
1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris | +33 1 40 49 48 14

L'ORANGERIE: On that same vein, the Orangery sits across the Seine from the D'Orsay in the Tuileries. I have to admit, I didn't know it existed until we moved there. It's got HUGE waterlilles by Monet that wrap the walls of two rooms, plus highlights from a handful of other impressionists. It's a must, in my opinion. (You can buy a combo ticket for both the D'Orsay & L'Orangerie at FNAC.)
Jardin Tuileries, 75001 Paris | +33 1 44 50 43 00

VERSAILLES: If you have a day to devote to this trip, it's worth the simple trek out on the RER. A day trip is really easy to do... and you've never seen anything like it. (I posted my advice here.) Obligatory bike rental info included. If you’ve got a group and a bit of a budget, I really can not recommend doing the Visite Prestige tour of the King & Queen’s Private Apartments enough (I wrote about it here). You will walk through the unseen spaces of Versailles that the millions of tourists that visit never see- Marie Antoinette’s private bedroom where she relaxed and slept with her friends, the king's bathroom where he would bathe and was shaved, the private opera house, the apartments of Madame du Barry, the King’s mistress, and so much more. Over two hours, you’ll not encounter another tourist. Two people will accompany you. One person will be the official key holder- someone who carries the ancient keys to unlock and open the shutters and windows as you enter each closed off room and the other is a top-grade curator to guide you through these hidden rooms. The tour is a flat fee of €800 for up to220 people. You’ll receive the private tour, as well as access to all other areas of the property. It’s something incredibly, incredible special.
Place d'Armes, 78000 Versailles | +33 1 30 83 78 00


PALAIS GARNIER: Also known as the L'opera Garnier." Interesting to tour, but probably best viewed with a ballet ticket in hand. A seat below Marc Chagall's ceiling would be worth the hefty price tag! {Yes, "The Phantom of the Opera" opera house. No phantom sited when I was there!} You can book in advance here at FNAC.
8 Rue Scribe, 75009 Paris | +33 1 71 25 24 23

MUSEE NATIONAL DU MOYEN AGE:  Also known as "Musee Cluny, " this probably isn't for the first-time visitor to Paris, but it doesn't mean it's not a great stop. The left-bank museum focuses on the Middle Ages and is housed in one of the last remaining buildings from the period.
28 Rue du Sommerard, 75005 Paris | +33 1 53 73 78 00

LA CUISINE PARIS: This cooking school, sitting steps from Hotel De Ville & off the banks of the Seine, is the perfect souvenir for your trip to Paris. With friendly chefs guiding you through the skills to make French treats like macarons and eclairs, you'll come back with a lifeskill you won't soon forget. 
80 Quai de l'Hôtel de ville, 75004 Paris | +33 1 40 51 78 18



AIRBNB: I'm a big fan of for short-term apartment rentals. Honestly, it's what I've used for the past several years when traveling to Paris and plan to do for any upcoming trips. Give it a try! Use the link above to save $25 off your first stay.

PARIS PERFECT: Another way to rent apartments, but this time through an agency (rather than directly with the owner like AirBnB). I've never used this group, but I've heard really nice things. 

VILLA PANTHEON: Villa Pantheon is a quiet place to stay on the Rive Gauche, right off the Rue Des Ecoles... A bit basic, but the staff is nice & the location is pleasant.
41 Rue des Écoles, 75005 Paris | +33 1 53 10 95 95

HOTEL LE LAPIN BLANC: A fab hotel that won’t break your budget and keeps you right in the heart of Paris. Just down the street from the Musée Cluny on Saint Michel, this boutique hotel has designer rooms, breakfast and a free “snack happy hour” that is free for guests. The front desk is very helpful and the entire experience is relaxing. Complete with a glass covered plate of macarons in your room to greet you on arrival.
41 Boulevard Saint-Michel, 75005 Paris | +33 1 53 10 27 77

HOTEL GABRIEL PARIS MARAIS: This small boutique hotel offers the second-time visitor to Paris everything they could hope for... other than a large room. As it's a bit tucked out of the normal tourist route and back into the Marais, it may be difficult for first-time visitors to get fast access to all the sites they crave. Opt for the upgrade on rooms. The amazing bathtub and balconies make it well worth it. (Room 502 is a gem.) I book through Tablet for the best prices.
25 Rue du Grand Prieuré, 75011 Paris | +33 1 47 00 13 38

HOTEL VERNEUIL: Another left bank hotel recommendation for you- but this boutique on Saint Germain is tres chic. Plus, it's Latin Quarter address and proximity to the Musee D'Orsay and Cafe de Flore makes it hard to resist.
8 Rue de Verneuil, 75007 Paris | +33 1 42 60 82 14

HOTEL PANACHE: This design hotel perfectly located in the 9th is smart and sexy. The rooms aren't huge, but they are well-appointed and easy on the eyes. If you stay there, don't miss the very French and, admittedly, intimidating restaurant downstairs serving extremely French cuisine. The menu changes daily, so be prepared for something arranged beautifully made out of something you have probably never tried. (You're going to want to bring your phone to help you discreetly translate the menu.) Not great for kids, but would make for a cool lunch date or sexy night out.
1 Rue Geoffroy-Marie, 75009 Paris | +33 1 47 70 85 87

HOTEL FABRIC: This hotel's lobby is gorgeous and hip. I can't vouch for the rooms (as I've never made it up past the lobby), but the location is perfect for someone coming back to Paris for a second or third time. It sits in a great location in the 11th- right near endless boulangers and cafes. Easy access to Metro stops, too.
31 Rue de la Folie Méricourt, 75011 Paris | +33 1 43 57 27 00

HOTEL REGINA: If you are splurging, the Hotel Regina has an amazing location... and is often the setting for movie plots & romantic weekends.
2 Place des Pyramides, 75001 Paris | +33 1 42 60 31 10

HOTEL PROVIDENCE: This is the perfect sexy-but-not-icky spot for a couple headed to Paris. The setting on the edge of the 3rd in the 10th puts just in prime position for exploring as a repeat visitor to Paris. You’ll be close to the best neighbourhoods and just off the scenic Canal St. Martin. Also, you’re just around the corner from one of the best bakeries in the city, Du Pain et Des Idées. This isn’t the best option for kids- but better for adults only. Think it as the backdrop for a romantic weekend in Paris, a couples trip, a girls weekend, or a mother/daughter shopping trip. The restaurant on-site is not only pretty and popular, but also delicious! 
90 Rue René Boulanger, 75010 Paris | +33 1 46 34 34 04

HOTEL DU TEMPS: If you’re up for staying in the gritty-but-quickly-changing area of Pigalle under Montmartre, check out Hotel du Temps. You’ll find this area has some of the best new bakeries, restaurants and cafes in all of Paris. You can wander happily down Rue des Martyrs and all the way down into to the heart of Paris from this area, and the prices at Hotel du Temps will make up for any other objection you may have. While this adorable hotel is somewhat less luxe than other options- can definitely hang with the well-design crowd. Rooms are small but uniquely designed. Wouldn’t be my recommendation for families, unless you’re traveling with a small baby.
11 Rue de Montholon, 75009 Paris | +33 1 47 70 37 16

HOTEL BELLEVAL: If you’re needing a place around the 8th Arrondissement (think near the Opera House and Saint Lazare station), then this friendly boutique hotel is a lovely option. The rooms are comfortable and cool—with Nuxe amenities and Nespresso coffee. The staff is super friendly, and the open courtyard off the lobby is a lovely place to work or relax. Rooms are moderately priced, and the whole experience feels very much “Paris.”
16 Rue de la Pépinière, 75008 Paris | +33 1 85 73 36 45

banner photo by: stacy reeves, l'amour de paris

page photos by: noah darnell