July 17, 2014
Every year, as the sun starts to sizzle, a picnic pandemic hits Paris. Although undeniably chic, the pique-nique parisien often comes with a lot of fuss. Those agonizingly slow-moving queues at the supermarket and the fight to find a decent grassy spot, can mean that by the time you actually sit down to eat you’ve lost your enthusiasm (and your appetite!)
So what’s the answer? Well, there’s one simple formula; fast food (real fast food, not McDo.) Paris’ street food scene has exploded in recent years, with a huge range of fresh and flavorsome options now available to Parisians a emporter. So here’s a guide to some of our favorite fast food take outs, all accompanied by a little-known lunch spot within a short walk, to ensure that perfect fast food, fuss-free Parisian picnic.
Burgers in the Marais
1) Blend burgers are some of the most notable on the ever-expanding Parisian burger scene. Made with locally sourced meat from one of the city’s best butchers, Yves-Marie le Bourdonnec, Blend doesn’t joke about fast food. Select your burger, fries and drink (not forgetting your preferred cuisson) and within minutes a fresh, cooked-to-order patty smelling tantalizingly tasty will appear before you.
July 15, 2014
There are few things in the world that make me happier than living in the 18th arrondissement. One could argue that it’s pretty great living anywhere in Paris, but there’s something about this quartier that has my heart forever. From the cinematic charm of Montmartre to the seductive side streets found beyond the Butte, this corner of of the city is full of friendly neighborhood addresses, unique boutiques, and rich cultural diversity.
Marche de Barbes
With the recent renovation of Le Louxor cinema (whose rooftop café offers magnificent views of the Sacre Coeur) increasing amounts of visitors are venturing to the foot of Boulevard Barbès, the entryway to the Goutte d’Or neighborhood. With its mosques, African markets, and North African pastry shops, this diverse and lively area has recently emerged as the city’s most eccentric up-and-coming neighborhood.
Sacre Coeur; Marche Dejean
Probably the most emblematic address of the Goutte d’Or is Thierry Roche’s Brasserie de la Goutte d’Or. Opened in 2012, the brasserie boasts the title of the city’s first microbrewery and has set an example for Ile-de-France brewers and Paris craft beer bars alike. Thierry takes inspiration from the diverse culture of the Goutte d’Or, using ingredients such a rooibus and kola nut in his beers, which can be found at nearby outdoor markets.
If you’re interested in finding your own inspiration at the market, visit Marché Dejean near the metro Chateau Rouge, rue Dejean. Open Tuesday to Saturday mornings, this chaotic jumble of a market is stuffed with overflowing baskets of exotic foods, fish heads, and cell phones of dubious origin. Get everything you need for a Senegalese feast or Cameroon cuisine. Here bartering is encouraged and the overall ambiance of the market transports you to another part of the world.
Get cosy with local shoppers and squeeze your way through Marché Barbès (Bld de la Chapelle, metro La Chapelle) on Wednesday or Saturday morning. Standard market stands such as fishmongers and cheese sellers are in the minority at this busy market, which reflects the ethnic diversity of the area. North African breads and pastries, inexpensive produce from abroad, mangoes and other foreign fruits lend an exotic air to this market, which draws deal seekers and tourists alike. An overwhelming aroma of mint accompanies your visit to Marché Barbès as you pass by piles of herbs and spices and items that likely “fell off a truck” before making it to the market.
Goutte d’Or is about to welcome a unique new market to its collection. Just down the street from the Brasserie de la Goutte d’Or is the future site of La Louve Coopérative, a Park Slope Food Coop inspired project set to open in June 2015. Watch this space for more information on this exciting addition to the list of “bio” shops in Paris.
In the meandering side streets around the historic Eglise Saint-Bernard de la Chapelle, you’ll find a selection of boutiques and bars that are a testament to the transformation of the neighborhood. Design team Cocobohème has their studio and showcase on rue de Jessaint, where you can shop for unique home decor, children’s clothes and toys, and handmade jewelry and accessories.
If you need a drink break after a day of shopping, pop into Le Tout Monde, a perfect spot for a pit stop and some small plates paired with natural wine. Recently open for lunch, keep this bar in mind for a break between boutiques or before a beer tasting!
For a proper sit down meal of tagine and mint tea, head to neighborhood favorite La Môme (16 rue Stephenson). An extensive menu of African specialties offers something for everyone (there’s even a vegetarian tagine option). Don’t miss out on the specialty La Môme beer that the Brasserie de la Goutte d’Or made especially for the restaurant!
If you’re weary of running around the city, opt for an indulgent afternoon and head to Azhar Hammam & Spa an affordable and authentic option for a traditional hammam experience. Enjoy a steam, massage, or mani-pedi that will refresh and restore, leaving you ready to explore some more!
The constantly growing scene of creative commerce and collaborations makes the Goutte d’Or neighborhood one to watch. Whether sipping on locally brewed beer or natural wine, catching a matinée, or shopping for unique handmade gifts, be sure to take pause and soak up the energy of one of the city’s most vibrant and swiftly changing neighborhoods.
- Le Louxor – 170 Boulevard Magenta, 75010 Paris. Tel: + 33 (0)1 44 63 96 96
- La Louve Cooperative – 61 rue de la Goutte D’Or, 75018 Paris.
- Cocoboheme – 22 rue Jessaint, 75018 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 42 62 40 60
- Le Tout Monde – 4 rue Affre, 75018 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 42 54 29 51
- Le Mome – 16 Rue Stephenson, 75018 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 42 23 35 64
- Azhar Hammam & Spa – 59 rue Stephenson, 75018 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 42 58 02 02
- For more tips on the 18ème arrondisement, check out My Parisian Life’s neighborhood round-up
- Chocolate & Zucchini’s guide to the best bio shops in Paris
- David Lebovitz writes about the Marché Barbès
July 3, 2014
With a menu that embraces the best of France and an approach to customer service that rejects the worst, Le Bon Georges is swiftly becoming a new neighborhood favorite in the 9th arrondissement.
Lunch service starts with a smile from a hostess and a seat in the sun-soaked, airy dining room where the attentive waitstaff takes over, buzzing between tables and sharing their excitement about the food they serve.
The reasonably priced lunch formule is 15 euro for the plat du jour with your choice of starter or desert. The price is right to entice locals who come on their lunch break, giving the restaurant a nice, neighborhood feel.
June 26, 2014
Last summer, the boys behind Le Perchoir brought eating and drinking in Paris to new heights, offering visitors and locals alike a never-before seen view over the rooftops of Paris from the East.
Le Perchoir, the first rooftop bar of its kind in Paris coupled with a high-end restaurant quickly became the place to be throughout the summer season.
I spent many evenings on their rooftop sipping their cocktails and natural wines, sunny Sundays filled with their specialty côte de boeuf and food festivals like the Paris Pop Up that gathered the it crowd of Paris food & wine. Needless to say, I wasn’t the only one.
June 17, 2014
Returning home from a week in Brooklyn, where serving “perfectly” brewed beans has almost been legislated into city bylaws, I’m always startled to see Parisians rush to their favorite zinc, savoring their industrially roasted, under-frothed café crème for a reassuring taste of home.
Everyone has their favorite café. It’s usually the one closest to home or the office, because it’s not actually about the coffee, it’s about the crowd of familiar faces and friendly gossip.
There are a few mythic addresses, though, for which even locals will cross town to savor a sun-soaked terrace, a colorful scene or prime people watching.
June 12, 2014
Fresh roasted coffee, craft beer, and international wines are increasingly popular among Parisians, with specialty stores, bars, and coffee shops popping up in their honor all around town. A few weeks ago, we (re)introduced you to Alannah McPerson Tavallai of Emperor Norton, Sarah Mouchot and Lise Kvan of Holybely, among others. In part two of the Ladies of the Paris Dining Scene series we concentrate on some of the women behind the best-loved beverages in the French capital.
These three ladies have their finger on the pulse of each growing movement and were kind enough to take some time and share their insights with us.
People’s Drugstore, Didier Gauducheau
May 28, 2014
Aristide Boucicaut opened the world’s first department store in the 1850′s. Le Bon Marché was an instant and enduring success, changing shopping habits (and the neighborhood) forever.
The magnificent Hôtel Lutetia was built across the street to host out of town shoppers, and restaurants opened to feed them. Little has changed in the last 150 years and there are still a lot of great lunch options in the area, making it hard to choose just one!
May 15, 2014
L’épicerie du Verre Volé
With more and more people in Paris paying attention to the quality and origin of their food, it’s no surprise that independent, organic stores are increasingly popular. A focus on ingredient-based cooking in restaurants has inspired a focus on ingredients in the home and specialty food shops like Terroirs d’Avenir and L’épicerie du Verre Volé provide the everyday consumer with options for locally sourced and artisanal ingredients.
If you’re looking to go “bio”, or organic, in Paris, there are several options for certified organic shopping. Three open-air markets, Marché Batignolles, Marché Raspail, and Marché Brancusi, are exclusively organic- with everything from fruits and vegetables to meats and cheeses all cultivated respecting traditional and natural methods. If you can’t make it to the market, there are quite a few options for organic shopping in Paris. Chain stores such as the Monoprix group owned Naturalia and the swiftly expanding Bio C’ Bon abound and are easily found in most neighborhoods, but if you’re looking for something with more of a family-owned feel here are a few independent and ethically engaged organic shops that you shouldn’t miss:
May 6, 2014
Emily Dilling and Erica Berman sat down with famed chef David Lebovitz inside his (actual) Paris kitchen to get some insider details on the inspirations for his latest cookbook, My Paris Kitchen.We’re also giving away a copy of the book to one lucky reader! For your chance to win, see instructions at the bottom of this post. Happy cooking! -Geneviève
In French the word cuisine has a double meaning- referring both to the room in your house where food is prepared and the type of cooking that you do there.
Salted Butter caramel Chocolate Mousse/ David Lebovitz (Ed Anderson)
David Lebovitz’s new book My Paris Kitchen, is all about his cuisine, in both French senses of the term. David’s stories of equipping his Paris kitchen, from the double basin sink he drove all the way to Lille to retrieve to the industrial lighting fixtures that were procured after hours of wily web searching, set the scene for the 100 recipes to come.
Kitchen Utensils & Chocolate Cake with Dulce de Leche filling (Erica Berman)
Much like the recipes in My Paris Kitchen, the accessories and ingredients in David’s kitchen all have a story; the sole salad tong still looking for its mate, the spices shared from friends abroad, the olive oil from an organic producer in Sicily, the vintage cutlery and glass garlic holder, all props in the story of David’s life in Paris.
April 25, 2014
Walking through the streets of Paris, past famous monuments and cult patisserie shops, it’s hard not to notice the lines filling up with tourists. The Japanese, in particular, have become huge fans of French sweets in recent years, thanks in part to the now-global reach of brands like Ladurée.
The influence between the two cultures is far from one-sided, however. Asian ingredients and flavors are no longer rare on French menus, as French chefs and patissiers are won over by the restraint and precision that dominate Japanese cuisine – a refreshing alternative to over-the-top traditional fare.
This symbiotic relationship has not escaped the pastry arena in Paris. Among the most popular pastry shops in Paris today, you’ll find more than one Japanese star leaving its mark on French and international palates.