Although we are all under quarantine and cannot travel, especially to Paris, I decided to make a new “favorite things” list for my favorite place. So, even though you cannot be there, reading these is definitely the next best thing. Forget the Louvre virtual tour and read this gem instead !
This cute little restaurant has something about being a “friendly diner” in its name and is apparently Australian, but they really are just a great spot with a chill atmosphere and have the tastiest viennoiseries. They were once ranked the best croissant in Paris and their decor is aesthetic enough for your instagram feed, so it’s really a win win. This little cafe is nestled in the perfect location, sitting happily in the Saint-Germain neighborhood. You can walk just down the street and reach the Luxembourg gardens and if you walk the other way you’ll wander along some little bookshops and independent vendors.
In the 11e arrondissement this little female-owned boutique houses beautiful clothes, patterns, and jewelry. Everything is made in France (woo sustainability! Ethical! Good for the environment!) and the jewelry is new but has a vintage look. Some of the most unique jewelry I have ever seen resides here and it is all under 40 euros. You can get a bracelet for just 12 bucks or a nice pair of earrings for 35. For great quality, look, and make, you can’t beat it. The owner was so incredibly sweet and welcoming, and I left with a fun pair of earrings and the longing to go back.
LE CAVEAU DE LA HUCHETTE
Some friends told me about this little hideaway and when I mentioned it to some locals they were so excited for me to try it out. This bar is a hole in the wall on one of the most touristy streets of Paris (I know, what a rare juxtaposition). You pay the 10 euro cover and go into what seems like an empty bar with maybe two old men sitting in the corner. My friend gave me very dubious looks as I drug her through. You order a drink and travel down several flights of stairs, deep into the underground cave. Different jazz bands play throughout the week and as soon as the music starts you realize this is the best decision you’ve ever made. It seems as if the same large group of locals frequent the bar and dance with each other every night; they were all so talented and familiar with dancing to jazz. They switched partners, old couples twirled each other around, and even some younger tourists bravely went on the dance floor and just swayed with their friends. It was so fun to watch and I’m sure even more fun to be apart of, I just need to be brave (and drunk) enough to do it next time.
BIS BOUTIQUE SOLIDAIRE
This little consignment shop was a hole-in-the-wall find filled with Parisians. We wandered in hoping for a better thrift experience, as most thrift stores we found were extremely overpriced and tailored towards tourists. This was the complete antithesis – it was cheap, cluttered yet organized, and held many hidden gems. My friend got a really great pair of heeled booties for 9 euros and I found a baby blue trench coat and a nice tweed suit jacket (I’m thinking of pairing it with a white tee and jeans???) for a total of less than 30 euros. They have several locations around Paris along with a mens section in each store. I highly recommend as I quickly discovered this is where the locals go.
This speak easy is unlike the classic 1920s hideaway bars in Paris frequented by Hemingway and Fitzgerald. You go to a working Laundromat and hidden behind one of the machines is a steep set of stairs. Upon figuring out how to open this door, you climb the stairs and walk into a very cozy, dark, and loud place full of people, swings, tables, and a bar. The drinks were great and as I got a seat at the bar, I was able to chat with the bartender and tell him to make my drink very fruity (I am a wimp and cannot stand the taste of liquor). We spoke to the locals around us and ended up sitting by a first Tinder date, I wonder how they’re doing. My friend mentioned this to a local the next day, and he hadn’t even been able to go yet, so basically we officially made it into the elite club of local Parisians.
Lol, I wish.
And there you are, some of my new favorite things in Paris that have the approval of the locals. Although everyone is trapped inside their houses and flats, unable to step foot outside, hopefully your imagination is good enough for this to have sufficed.