Paris, often referred to as "The City of Light" (La Ville Lumière) or the city of love, is a must-visit for anybody living in or going to Europe. Paris is known for being one of the most romantic places on earth, due to the breathtaking architecture surrounding the city and the French way of life. Our favourite thing about Paris is that anywhere you go you'll be amazed by how perfect everything looks and feels. Whether it's the iconic buildings such as the Louvre, the Palais Royal or monuments such as the Eiffel Tower or L'arc de Triomphe. The city is full of lovely sidewalk cafés, good food and fine wines. The beauty of this city is that every visit will leave you wanting more and the desire to live the Parisian lifestyle. We've listed our favourite places below to make sure that your trip to Paris will be truly unforgettable. Bon voyage!
➳ WHERE TO HAVE DINNER in paris
Chez Toinette: Tucked away in the north of Paris you’ll find this little local gem. Chez Toinette is a lovely French restaurant very close to the Pigalle with lots of old school style and intimacy.
Great menu that offers French classics such as snails, steaks and duck. Small number of tables, but great atmosphere for a romantic French dinner.
L'Agapé: This modern French one star Michelin restaurant does not disappoint. A very simple menu that changes with the season is a real treat that won’t hurt your wallet too much either. Interior is very modern and minimalistic that gives you an idea of what the modern French cuisine is like.
Clamato: A new hip restaurant, sister restaurant to the very popular Septime. This place serves up some of the best seafood in Paris and it’s easy to understand why the Parisians flock here to taste their seafood tapas. Clamato has daily-changing plates in and the atmosphere at the restaurant is super casual. This is not to be missed.
Frenchie: This relaxed little bistro/restaurant just by Les Halles is very trendy and is really a mix between fine french dining and your regular neighborhood restaurant. Affordable cooking, amazing wines and friendly professional service make it so popular. The menus change with the seasons and are either a la carte or carte blanche (5 courses for 58€).Getting a table isn’t easy so make sure to book ahead of your upcoming trip to Paris. Great place for a date night.
Chez Janou: Close by Place des Vosges you’ll find this cute little colorful bistro. The food here is proper French and the ambience is very casual. The place is covered in old French posters and paintings and really gives you the feeling of being in Paris. You can wait for a table at the bar. Here you can get pretty much all of the French classics such as Steak Frites, grilled Tuna, tasty duck and mussels. You need to try their chocolate mousse too. Very casual and unpretentious.
Clover: This place is buzzing with celebrities and the hip Parisian crowd. This small casual restaurant doesn’t even have a sign outside, which means less tourists. The menu offers 2 different fixed menus, both equally tasty. We started off dinner with some good champagne followed by 4 delicious courses that were unlike anything we had ever had before. The menu was playful. We started off with foccacia with mushrooms and blackberries followed by small anchovy skewers that we grilled ourselves on a rock - so good. Then we had an amazing soup based on coconut milk and finished off with a lovely fennel ice cream for dessert. Blend in with the trendy Frenchies at this cool little restaurant.
Metropolitain: A small local restaurant close to Notre Dame we were recommended to go here by one our friends from Paris. This cute little restaurant had very friendly staff and the ambience was super casual. We had 3 courses each. All French classics with a twist. Great place to go if you want a good relaxing meal.
➳ WHERE TO HAVE LUNCH in paris
Septime: Big brother to Clamato, this may be one of the most highly demanded places in Paris. Why? The place has a cool look, a multi-award winning chef, a trendy clientele and an interesting menu. Septime has a fixed menu that changes weekly. It’s going to be difficult to beat this place if you’re looking for a real culinary experience in Paris. You better book early though, as this is one of the most difficult places to get a table in Paris.
Frenchie to go: Little brother to the popular ‘Frenchie’ restaurant, this place serves up breakfast as well as lunch. Not a traditional French experience but this place has some great options to satisfy your hunger. Try the lobster roll, the pastrami on rye, their hot dog with a side of slaw or homemade fries. Delicious!
Bob's Kitchen: Great for vegetarians and the health conscious. Bob’s Kitchen is a trendy small café that offers salads, soups and great bagels - make sure to get a fresh juice too. You really can’t go wrong at Bob’s, which is why Parisian locals go here.
L'as du Fallafel: This might be the most popular Fallafel joint in the world. Praised by pretty much all travel books and guides L’as du Fallafel has a reputation as the best Fallafel in France. Tucked away in the popular Rue des Roisiers you can’t miss this place due to the massive amount of people queuing on the street to get their hands on their pitas. Stuffed with fallafel, cabbage, aubergine and a whole lot of other lovely things this is a must-try when visiting Paris.
Les Philosophes: A classic in Marais. Les Philosophes is situated on the ever so popular Rue Vieille du Temple. Grab a table outside and do some serious people watching. Les Philosophes serves up all of the French classics like boeuf bourguignon, great cheeses, steaks and fish. You can’t really go wrong here, whether it’s getting lunch, dinner or just having an espresso.
Miznon: 100 meters from L’as du fallafel you’ll find Miznon. Miznon doesn’t have as many tourists hanging around as L’as du Fallafel and to be honest we prefered the atmosphere at Miznon - as well as the food. Miznon specializes in Israeli pitas, grilled artichokes with aioli and grilled cauliflower. You’ll hear classic rock tunes playing loudly in this little place and the staff creating a buzzing atmosphere that you have to experience. This one one of our favourite places in Paris. We tried the artichoke, the freshly grilled Pita Kebab and the cauliflower. Beautiful!
Sanukiya: We were recommended to go here by one of Ollie’s friends who lives in Paris. Sanukiya is a traditional Japanese Udon Ramen restaurant located close to Palais Royal. We didn’t really know what to expect of a Japanese ramen spot in Paris, but god were we pleasantly surprised. After having tried a lot of ramen places in Tokyo and Kyoto we were happy to see that the way this place was run was just like in Japan. The staff was friendly and most of the clientele was Japanese (always a good sign). The ramen was actually better than many of the ramen places we went to in Japan, so this should definitely be on your places-to-eat-list in Paris. Sanukiya has been mentioned in the Michelin guide the last 3 years running and it’s really quite obvious why. Amazing!
Grazie: In the mood for Italian even though you’re in Paris? This might be one of your best bets. Trendy Italian place with a good cocktail list. Their pizzas are good and if you want to be part of the cool crowd then this isn’t a bad place to be. Right next to the concept store Merci if you wanna do some shopping too.
➳ WHERE TO HAVE BREAKFAST, BRUNCH & COFFEE in Paris
Du Pain et Des Idees: We had heard and read a lot about this place and luckily we lived 100 meters from it at the Canal St. Martin. From the outside this place looks like a bakery from the old days. We tried everything here - the croissants, the rum-raisin escargots, the tarte fine, the Sacristain and the pain des amis. This place will charge your idea of what pastry should taste like. Du Pain et des Idees doesn’t sell coffee, just pastry, but what you could do is take your pastry to go and sit by the Canal St. Martin with a takeaway coffee from one of the many coffee shops just nearby. Enjoy!
Claus: This is the closest we’ve ever been to having ‘fine dining’ for breakfast. Claus oozes of sophistication and minimalism. Claus has several fixed breakfast options that give you a ‘starter’, a ‘main’ and a ‘dessert’. We first tried going here on a Saturday morning, but we quickly learned that to have breakfast at Claus you have to get there early. We were told to wait for an hour and a half (which of course we didn’t want to do) so we decided to go again on Sunday and made sure to be there when they opened. We had an amazing basket of various types of bread, perfect eggs with bacon and a fennel-yoghurt with apple compote. Claus takes reservations for their upstairs section. This place will cost you more than the average breakfast places in Paris, but so worth it.
Holybelly: Just by Canal St. Martin you’ll find this little gem. Holybelly specializes in breakfasts, tasty coffee and good serve. Just like Claus this is one of Paris’ most popular places to go for breakfast so getting here early is a must if you don’t want to wait in line. We had the fried eggs with hash browns, baked tomato and streaky bacon, as well as the granola with fresh berries and figs. Yummy! You can find the menu here.
Le Poutch: Another must-visit in the Canal St. Martin area. Le Poutch serves up perfect coffee, breakfast and brunch options. Go here for a healthy salads, freshly squeezed juices, quiches and sandwiches.
Folks and Sparrows: a new, über cool café-épicerie-concept store tucked on rue Saint Sebastien. With its picture perfect minimalistic, bohemian vibe and fabulous attention to design details (check our the packaging), it's become the talk of the town among the hip Parisians. Think, Paris meets New York meets Woodstock. This place has more than good looks though. They serve up delicious bagels, sandwiches, quiches, salads and coffee (beans from Café Lomi) and sell pretty goods; tote bags, mugs, kitchen goodies. Try the Roast Beef Bagel accompanied by a bottle of Goud (sparking German cider).
Café Lomi: a big name in Parisian coffee scene. Previously purely a roastery, but since 2012 also a café. Lomi supplies beans to plenty of restaurants and specialty coffee shops in the city (Folk and Sparrows for example). The cafe is good looking, spacious, airy and open. Come here to enjoy a great cup of coffee and something sweet or savory, and choose a read among the selection of magazines and newspapers layed out on the bar.
CREAM Café: Hip craft coffee shop situated in the strange and interesting neighborhood that is Belleville. Locals go to CREAM café for excellent pour-overs, sandwiches and a lovely selection of cakes.
➳ OUR FAVORITE SHOPS IN PARIS
Merci: Concept store that has everything. Fashion, stuff for your kitchen, furniture, accessories, beautiful linens. It has it all. A must-visit. Oh yeah, and you can grab lunch/coffee at their café when you need a break.
Broken Arm: Great for shopping, both male and female. Grab a coffee at their in-store café.
Galeries Lafayette: The quintessential French shopping experience. Lafayette offers you everything you could wish for in high-street brands, trendy designers or shoes.
Colette: The place to go for the most popular designers, limited edition fashion collaborations and the coolest accessories in town.
Fleux’: Great place for interior decoration. Go here for inspiration on how you should be decorating your apartment or if you want to bring home a special souvenir for your home.
Astier de Villate: Astier de Villatte is known for its handmade pottery. Pinterest this stuff and you’ll immediately be convinced. The shop in Saint-Honoré does the pottery justice and makes you feel like you jumped back in time. Expensive, but also the most charming pottery you’ll probably ever see.
➳ OUR LIST OF MUST DO’S AND SEES IN PARIS
- If you’re into jazz (and even if you’re not) go to Caveau de la Huchette in the latin quarter for amazing swing and jazz music. Get a bottle of red and enjoy an amazing atmosphere and happy vibes of Paris’ oldest jazz club.
- Go for a stroll in the Tuilerie Gardens. Sit by the fountains on the chairs and suck in the beauty of Paris and the breathtaking gardens.
- Another must-visit garden in Paris is the Jardin du Luxembourg. Just walk around here, it’s incredible.
- Visit the church of Sacré-Cœur. Not only is the church a site for sore eyes, but the view of Paris from the top of the stairs at Sacré-Cœur is stunning.
- If you don’t have time to visit Sacré-Cœur go to the rooftop of Galeries Lafayette from where you’ll be able to see the main sites of Paris.
- Go to Places de La Concorde from where you’ll be able to see the Arc de Triompe, Louvre, the Eiffel tower, Madeleine, Tuilerie Gardens and the Palais Royal.
- Shopping in the Marais. Just wander around these streets and you’ll be sure to find a boutique that will be of interest. Make sure to check out Places des Vosges if you’re in this neighborhood.
- Walk across the various bridges that cross the Seine. A good tip is to buy a bottle of wine in a local supermarket and bring it to the riverbanks of the Seine and blend in with the locals.