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DonAntónia Pastelaria: Portuguese Treats Along the Canal St-Martin

HiP Paris Blog DonAntonia Pastelaria Canal St MartinAmong all of the trendy coffee shops and boutiques along the Canal Saint Martin, one new address is standing out from the rest. Forget croissants and café crèmes for a moment and immerse yourself in the pasteis de nata and galão at DonAntónia, a part eatery, part grocery store that is dedicated to the tastes of Portugal.

HiP Paris Blog DonAntonia Pastelaria Canal St MartinThe idea is simple: everything – down to the milk in the coffee – comes from Portugal. A team at Canelas bakery in Pierrefitte, just north of Paris, creates the pastries each day. In fact, they’ve been catering Portuguese cuisine for 35 years, but DonAntónia is the first storefront for the products in Paris. Continue Reading »

Posted in Coffee, Food, Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments »

A Gay Night Out in Paris: Bars and Clubs in the Marais

For a gay night out in Paris, try a few of these favorite bars and clubs around the Marais

Le Feeling Bar, ce matin, un lapin

From fancy cocktail clubs to pristine cafés, Paris has it all in terms of nightlife. Sometimes, however, you just want to hang out with the guys and stand around with a few pints of Heineken. At least that’s how it goes in Parisian gay bars.

Gay nightlife in Paris isn’t necessarily the most talked about option in the media. Maybe it’s because women are often shunned from some of its venues. Maybe it’s because the days of Le Queen on the Champs-Élysées are over. Still, there are more than enough options to have a gay old night on the town, no matter what your interests.

For a gay night out in Paris, try a few of these favorite bars and clubs around the Marais

Café Cox, Sergio Calleja

Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | No Comments »

Paris Through Another Lens: Travel Writer vs. Tourist

Paris' best monuments, museums, and cafés through the eyes of a travel writer

Emma Stencil

Visitors see Paris as a giant playground, an outdoor museum with amazing food and wine, as the most inspirational city in the world. Visitors may be right.

As a travel writer, however, I see Paris a bit differently. It’s my business to know what’s happening under the surface, to distinguish the good from, well, the less good. Travel writers and journalists are trained to notice what the everyday tourist might not, to make sure you can just show up and enjoy the city without having to worry. It’s not always as easy as it looks, especially since we want to enjoy Parisian moments as much as anyone else, but someone needs to find the buried information. So here are some ways we do it.

Paris' best monuments, museums, and cafés through the eyes of a travel writer

Isabel Miller-Bottome

Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 1 Comment »

Cupcakes: France vs America? The Paris Cupcake Camp Showdown

Next week, Paris is hosting its second annual Cupcake Camp, with all proceeds going to the Make a Wish Foundation. To celebrate this worthy occasion, one of  the Cupcake Camp organizers Bryan Pirolli shares his thoughts on the difference between French and American cupcakes.  If you can find room after your croissants and eclairs this Sunday, we hope you’ll make an appearance in October 2nd. After all, it’s for a good cause! -Geneviève

Nessa B.

Cupcakes have slowly been invading Paris since 2008. By the time French frozen food chain (and Parisian institution) Picard started carrying them, it was pretty obvious that these trendy cakes were on the French foodie scene for good.  They are part of the same cross-cultural exchange that has resulted in the opening of legendary macaron-maker, Ladurée, in New York.

As with most things that cross the Atlantic, certain aspects of the cupcake Carrie Bradshaw enjoyed outside of Manhattan’s famed Magnolia Bakery were lost in translation…

Alisa Morov, Sensational Cupcakes; Island Girl 4 Ever

1.  French cupcakes are often served with a small fork or spoon.  Why?  Half the fun is taking a big bite and licking the icing off your fingers like you did when you were seven.  Maybe the French fancy themselves too refined to sport the inevitable icing lip-glaze, or maybe they just really like silverware.

2.  French cupcakes often have a coeur, a filling of sorts, often jam-based, that likes to escape out of the bottom as if your cupcake had a trap door.  American cupcakes, devoid of this sophisticated yet messy upgrade, must be therefore be more superficial and less spiritually concerned with what’s on the inside. Continue Reading »

Posted in Events, Food | 14 Comments »

Social Eating: Paris’ Best Private Dining Clubs, Networks & Foodie Groups

This could be your hostess (Very Swell, by Lost in Cheeseland)

Even the French say that Paris is a hard city to crack socially. This may have been true once upon a time, but with the recent wave of foodie groups and networks bringing adventurous diners together in secret and not-so-secret Parisian locations, however, there’s no reason anyone should be eating alone these days.  For every linguistic level and budget, there’s a way to meet the locals and experience authentic French cuisine.

All it takes is a few clicks:

Small, sophisticated bites at a Very Swell gathering (Lost in Cheeseland)

Super Marmite is a social site that puts the emphasis back on local cooking, literally.  Users browse the site to locate neighbors who have made extra portions of quiche lorraine or who have a few crème brulée in excess on their counters.  You can then purchase the servings (prices are indicated on the site), swing buy, say hello, and buy your homemade, locally produced French dinne

COlunching: Getting back to basics, COlunching started as a way for freelancers to escape their home offices for lunch and meet new people. Now the online network includes brunches and dinners in a number of international cities, allowing foodies and travelers to join eat and mingle in Paris, New York, and beyond.

Treats at the Super Marmite Improv Brunch (Super Marmite)

Voulez-Vous Diner: This site brings together French hosts and international travelers at – where else – the dinner table.  For 65 euros per person, guests can sign up to dine in the French home of their choice.  Simply browse the meals available and make a reservation. Continue Reading »

Posted in Events, Food, Restaurant Reviews | 11 Comments »

Bryan’s Italian Love Affair With Napoli

Paris might be our one true love, but there is always room for summer flings. As the season of summer getaways winds down and our very own Erica Berman soaks up the pasta and capuccino in Genoa, Bryan Pirolli tells us about his (short-lived) love affair with another irresistible Italian city: Napoli. – Geneviève

Shades of Italian architecture

I did a very bad thing.  I left Paris to spend some time in Naples.  There are some jealousy issues there.

Since I moved to Paris, I have never spent as much time in another European city as I have in this Italian port town. After just a week of feeling and acting like a local, I knew I was in love with Neapolitan culture. People actually stop you in the street to help you, to recommend which souvenirs to buy, or which beach to visit. Literally, pull up a chair and join the street sitters – it is Mediterranean culture at its best.

Everyday life – Italy

On my last day, I feared returning home to my first love.  The piazzas, the sun that turns your skin a leisurely brown, the gesticulating yet welcoming Italians – how could I leave this? Paris all of a sudden seemed lacking in so many Italian essentials – and not just the perfectly ricotta-filled cannoli. What’s worse, I knew Paris would be able to smell my new Italian love affair all over my clothes.

A Genovese stoop

Thankfully, as I started walking through the City of Lights again after my week of Italian bliss, the familiarity of it all made me feel at home. All of the things I usually take for granted stood out a little more –the things that, as a visitor, I didn’t have with my Italian fling. Continue Reading »

Posted in Italy tips & suggestions, Travel | 7 Comments »

Lactose Intolerance in Paris: The Plight of the Dairy-Challenged

Gelato from Amorino in Paris is a no-no for the lactose averse, unfortunately! (Josh Leo)

Hello.  For about ten months now I have been grappling with intolerance in my life, something deeply rooted and painful to me and to loved ones.  I feel that it’s time to come out with it, to share this issue publically in order that others may not suffer as well.  Here it goes:

My name is Bryan.  I live in Paris.  And I am lactose intolerant.

I join the roughly 30 million Americans who, by the age of 20, develop some sort of negative reaction to dairy products.  If I were in America, I probably wouldn’t worry so much, since there are more soy alternatives available in the grocery store than stars in the sky.  The real problem is that I live in France, a country that can proudly boast a different cheese for practically every day of the year.  Cream-filled pastries line bakery windows.  Ice cream and gelato can be found on every corner.  How’s a guy supposed to deal with such blatant intolerance of his own intolerance?

Double-dairy: for extra creaminess, do as the French: spread a little butter on your bread before heaping it with brie (Bhamsandwich)

I’ve learned to cope.  I don’t take it personally that most French foods are riddled with lactose molecules.  Every time I get the urge to grab some Camembert or ask for a double scoop of pistachio ice cream, I remember the pain.  Consuming the dairy sends a ticking time bomb into my gastro-intestinal tract.  Mere hours later, it feels as though a family of rabid meerkats are tirelessly trying to burrow their way out of my stomach.  It’s not good.

So for the past few months I have resisted, swearing off cheese and opting for meats on my picnic sandwich instead.  No more butter, just olive oil, please.  Yogurt?  Sure, if it has those bacteria in it that will help me digest the evil lactose (look for bifidus at the supermarket yogurt aisle).

Erica Berman

Bye bye ice cream, hello sorbet – with the added vitamins helping to fight scurvy, who could complain?  It’s difficult to pass up the fruity seasonal sorbet varieties at Pozetto or Grom (like fig and blueberry) once you try them.  The alternatives, seemingly less tempting but altogether surprising, are there if you choose to look. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 25 Comments »