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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 »

Fraîche: A Summer Must for Light French Fare Along the Canal St-Martin

Canal St-Martin bistrot, Fraîche. A summer go-to for light French fare.

Everything about Fraîche is in keeping with its name: light and refined dishes made with market-fresh ingredients, surprising flavor combinations, and a sunny yet airy space that puts you immediately at ease. Whether for a weekday lunch with colleagues or an intimate dinner date, you’ll walk away from a meal at this unpretentious Canal St-Martin bistrot full and restored.

Canal St-Martin bistrot, Fraîche. A summer go-to for light French fare.

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La Cantine de Merci. Lunch in Paris’ Trendiest Concept Store

La Cantine de Merci: Light Lunch in Paris' Premier Concept Store

Paris abounds with design galleries, chic clothing boutiques and tile-floored bistros serving market-fresh cuisine, but rarely do you find more than one together under the same roof. Merci is a delightful exception.

La Cantine de Merci: Light Lunch in Paris' Premier Concept Store

Founded in 2009 by Bernard and Marie-France Cohen, Merci is a concept store that rolls the best of fashion, design, household goods, lighting, and lunch into one stunning space in the Haut Marais neighborhood. Spanning three light-filled floors of a former wallpaper factory, the gallery-cum-boutique is run a bit like a magazine: roughly 15 “exhibitions” held throughout the year highlight diverse themes that have included herring, urban sports, wax-dyed batiks, and urban gardening.

La Cantine de Merci: Light Lunch in Paris' Premier Concept Store

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Posted in Fashion, Restaurant Reviews, Shopping | No Comments »

Café Chilango: Authentic Mexican Street Food in Paris

Mexican Street Food in Paris at Cafe Chilango

I desperately missed Mexican food when I moved to Paris from the United States twelve years ago. Now there are plenty of taquerias and places riffing on contemporary Mexican cuisine, but Café Chilango, which opened in June of 2014, remains one of the finest.

Mexican Street Food in Paris at Cafe Chilango

Mexican Street Food in Paris at Cafe Chilango

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments »

Le Bougainville: Homemade, Grandmother-Style French Cooking

Le Bougainville: Unfussy French Cooking near Place de la Victoire in Paris

I recently found myself strolling near the Place des Victoires, a business district that appeared to have closed for the day. Continuing in the direction of the more promising Galerie Vivienne, my date and I spotted a 1950s-style café with mosaic tile floors, Formica table tops, and primary-color paint. We were dubious, but hungry, so we stepped in, pleased to find that behind Le Bougainville’s near-empty café was a welcoming restaurant with a trove of pleased diners.

Le Bougainville: Unfussy French Cooking near Place de la Victoire in Paris

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Aux Deux Cygnes: A Classic Parisian Wine Bar with a Vietnamese Twist

HiP Paris blog Aux Deux Cygnes end of the night (1)

Paris is home to a thriving, expanding scene when it comes to craft coffee, beer, and natural wines. However, despite evolutions in how the city’s residents and visitors eat and drink, the setting in which we enjoy these items rarely strays from the standard model. Enter any craft coffee shop and you’ll like have a choice of locally sourced cookies, or the more standard croissant or pain au chocolat to enjoy in a small, sparsely decorated space which incorporates innovative seating options to accommodate the hoards of self-employeds and bloggers who flock there. Standing-room-only is often the case at the city’s craft beer bars, where beer geeks are equipped with pints and perhaps a coveted bowl of roasted peanuts to go with.

HiP Paris blog Aux Deux Cygnes bottles on the wall Emily Jackson

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 1 Comment »

Myrthe: A Quality Cantine and 100% French Épicerie Along Paris’ Canal St-Martin

HiP Paris blog. Myrthe, a locally sourced epicerie and cantine off of the Canal Saint Martin. Street view of the colorful cantine.

Long-time friends Marion and Laura couldn’t have found a better spot for Myrthe, the half-cantine, half-épicerie they opened in December 2014. Sandwiched between specialty coffee shop Ten Belles and lush florist Bleuet Coquelicot, Myrthe is one of the Canal St-Martin’s newest tenants. And it’s a great fit for the area. In addition to serving sandwiches, salads, and gluten-free pastries on-site, Myrthe offers a selection of take-away apéro baskets that demand to be eaten canal-side. “The hardest part about opening a business in Paris is finding the right spot. We got really lucky with this one,” says Marion.

HiP Paris blog. Myrthe, a locally sourced epicerie and cantine off of the Canal Saint Martin. Grab a coffee, settle in and stay awhile.

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments »

Les Pinces: A New-England-Style Lobster Joint with a Parisian Twist

HiP Paris Les Pinces lobster spread

Le Marais is considered by many to be the dining capital of Paris with choices abound. Varying from take-out hot dogs on the corner of rue Vieille du Temple to falafels on the iconic rue des Rosiers to up-and-coming hipster hangouts where the design is equally as important as the menu, choosing a place to dine is a culinary experience in itself. One group of French restaurateurs with a penchant for North American travel decided what the chic quartier needed was a splash of something different, and opened a lobster joint.

Steering away from the opulence that could be equated with going out for lobster in Paris and taking a cue from Northeast lobster restaurants they frequented on their travels, friends Damien Borjesson, Remy Bougenaux, Vivien Mathieu, and Louis Kerveillant opened Les Pinces (meaning “claws” in French) in November 2014.

HiP Paris Les Pinces montage

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Hunting for the Best Boeuf Bourguignon in France

Paris may be experiencing unseasonably warm and sunny weather at the moment, but we’re still readying ourselves for the chilly months to come and dishing on our favorite addresses serving up boeuf bourguignon, a comforting winter French favorite. Enjoy! -ErinWhere to taste France's best Boeuf Bourguignon, a savory and rich traditional beef stew from Burgundy

Auprès du Clocher

Julia Child immortalized boeuf bourguignon in featuring it on her first French cooking show. At the start of the episode, she says in her distinct high-pitched trill, “it’s a wonderful show to begin our series on because it shows you so many useful things about French cooking.” Indeed by watching the 30-minute segment, a must-see on YouTube, you’ll learn how to brown meat, braise onions, sauté mushrooms, and make a wine sauce. However, it’s also clear this is a recipe that requires time and patience. “People don’t make it right because it takes too much time” is a phrase I heard often during visits to Burgundy, the birthplace of the beloved French dish. Luckily there are some places that are getting it right.

Boeuf Bourgignon France. Where to get the best of the Bourgignon.

Alan C.

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 3 Comments »

Bistrot Meets Beaujolais: Natural Wines and French Fare at Café de la Nouvelle Mairie

HiP Paris blog. Cafe de la Nouvelle Mairie. Natural light and natural material decor.

One of my favorite memories of Café de la Nouvelle Mairie in the 5th arrondissement is from Beaujolais Nouveau night in 2014. Tucked away on a quiet street just behind the Pantheon, Café de la Nouvelle Mairie only claims a small sidewalk terrasse as its outdoor space, yet when things get lively – and many an evening they do – wine drinkers and bons vivants spill out into the street and onto the small, tree-lined island that separates the occasional two-way traffic.

Traditional bistrot fare paired with an extensive list of natural wines make the Café de la Nouvelle Mairie a recommended addition to your Paris itinerary any night, but for Beaujolais Nouveau I can’t think of anywhere else in the city I’d rather go. The annual event, which is held on the third Thursday of November, celebrates the first wine that is bottled from that year’s grape harvest. The young wines are enjoyed as an extended celebration of the harvest season and all the wine to come.

HiP Paris blog. Cafe de la Nouvelle Mairie. Counter decor.

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