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The Tasting Passport: Self-Guided Foodie Tours from a Fresh Paris Start-Up

Cafe Creme, Beans on Fire

The Beans on Fire

Innovative small businesses like Paris Picnic, Insidr Paris, and SacreBleu are leading Paris tourism in the direction of more personal, tailored, user-friendly service.

Montage 1 Comptoir Gana, Beans on Fire

Comptoir Gana, The Beans on Fire

In March, Le Food Trip start-up launched a concept totally new to Paris: The Tasting Passport. The booklet contains 12 coupons redeemable for tastings at épiceries, cafés, and bakeries around the city. So for 34 euros, you can taste a range of authentic goods at your own pace (the passport is valid for one year after purchase), in whatever order you choose, all while taking in the ambiance of a neighborhood and interacting with local business owners, one on one.

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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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Doni Belau’s Picks for Paris’ Three Most Outrageous Cocktails

HiP Paris blog. The 3 most outrageous cocktails in Paris. Careful measuring leads to balanced cocktails at Bespoke. Photo by Jean-Marie Heidinger.
Morning My Love, Bespoke

In a typically French response to the Paris attacks, last week bistrot and bar owners began a rallying cry that ended up as a hashtag, as many things do these days. Simply put, they demanded us to #TousauBistrot! Meaning, get yourself to a bar, bistrot, restaurant, or café ASAP, show that we will continue to live our lives outdoors and in cafés as we’ve always done. The hashtag #JeSuisenTerrasse then followed.

I believe this kind of bravado or courage is what we all need right now. We must continue to travel, book Paris hotel rooms or rent those lovely Paris apartments, and continue to laugh and enjoy our lives. French business owners are telling us that it’s our civic duty as Parisians and Francophiles alike to get out and shop, eat and drink, and practice the French art de vivre, or art of living.

HiP Paris blog. The 3 most outrageous cocktails in Paris. Fig garnishes at Bespoke. Photo by Jean-Marie Heidinger.
Bespoke

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Fresh Flowers, Produce, and Cold-Press Juices at L’Epicerie Végétale in Paris’ 11ème

HiP Paris L'Epicierie Vegetal flowers

Once a country girl, always a country girl. Or at least it turned out that way for Zoé Kovacs, one of the owners of L’Epicerie Végétale, a new flower and produce market and cold-press juice bar in the 11th arrondissement.

Having made a name for herself as a fashion photographer with clients like Sephora, Zoé and her business partner Guillaume Servet reached a point where life in the fashion fast lane was no longer what they wanted. After spending nearly a year working for a small organic produce store and learning the ins and outs of working directly with independent producers, Zoé and Guillaume opened L’Epicerie Végétale at the end of September. The vision? To make everything as local and seasonal as possible.

HiP Paris L'Epicerie Vegetal sign

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Rediscovering the Art of French Cocktails at À La Française

HiP Paris A La Francaise Paris A-t-Il Brule cocktail

With its place firmly staked as one of the most happening areas of Paris, the 11th arrondissement does not lack in new, fresh spots to eat or drink. But with so many locations cropping up seemingly daily, all filled with inspiration spanning the globe, it’s nice to find a place aiming to keep alive the culture that the French people love so dearly. Tucked away in a nondescript side street off of the southern end of boulevard Voltaire, À La Française is a very French neighborhood favorite with a twist: incredible craft cocktails at exceptionally reasonable prices.

Owner Stephen Martin got his start in the restaurant industry at the age of 17, and has worked in numerous high-profile bars in France and elsewhere in Europe. He began to notice, however, that there was a lack of the true presence of French culture in bartending, so he dove into the project of rediscovering the art of classic French cocktails. Armed with his research and an impressive collection of cocktail books- some dating back to 1850- he opened À La Française to bring the Paris bar scene back to its formidable roots.

HiP Paris A La Francaise front view

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The Paris Craft Coffee Revolution Continues with Coffee Spoune and Café Oberkampf

HiP Paris blog. Cafe Oberkampf. Latte made with Coutume coffee.

If this summer in Paris were to be labeled anything, it could certainly be called the season of the craft café. With so many places opening up — Steel, Honor, Ob-La-Di, Broken Biscuits, to name a few — it’s hard to believe that there are any niches left to fill. But somehow, the minds behind the 11th arrondissement’s newest offerings, Coffee Spoune and Café Oberkampf, have managed to differentiate themselves from the pack.

HiP Paris blog. Coffee Spoune. Looking in the window. Continue Reading »

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Inside Steel: Paris’ Premiere Coffee and Cycling Shop

We recently rounded up our favorite new coffee addresses in Paris with Kate Robinson and took a closer look inside Honor. Today we continue with the story behind Steel. -ErinHiP Paris blog. Inside Steel. Street view.

Many delight in discovering just how bicycle-friendly Paris is. With a network of over 1,500 bike rental stations and designated bike lanes protected from traffic, the city is not exactly subtle in encouraging this type of eco-transport. In addition, Paris City Hall recently announced their intentions to make Paris the “world capital of cycling” by rolling out a multi-million euro campaign that will stretch out over the next five years, which will include adding fifty miles of new bike lanes throughout the city. With Paris taking the reigns in two-wheel inter-city travel, Steel, a new boutique café located in the 11th arrondissement makes for a clever addition to the concept shop boom.

HiP Paris blog. Inside Steel.  Cafe side vs store side.

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Three Insider Coffee Addresses for Your Paris Caffeine Fix

New Coffee Shops Opening in Paris

Broken Biscuits

Paris is wonderful at any time of the year, but it’s during the summer months that the city really seems to stretch out of its lazy winter haze and launch into the season of terrasses, 10pm sunsets, rooftop apéros, and openings. Over the past few weeks, three new cafés have sprung up in Paris, adding to the city’s ever-growing list of places to get delicious craft coffee.

New Coffee Shop Openings in Paris

Broken Biscuits

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Yard: French Fare with a Fresh Twist in the 11ème

Yard Restaurant in Paris' 11th Arrondissement

Throughout our meal at Yard, I noticed my dining companion’s attention being drawn to nearby tables and the circling staff. He wasn’t looking at what our fellow patrons were eating, as we had ordered almost everything on the menu. At first I thought he was taken by the beautiful owner of the restaurant, Jane Drotter, which turned out to be true, but only partially.

Yard Restaurant in Paris' 11th Arrondissement

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Paris’ Best Natural Wine Bars & Shops

Natural Wine Bars in Paris

La Buvette

While it is exciting to live in a city that is increasingly open to international influences and imported ideas, it’s also reassuring to know that Paris holds its own as a trendsetter in certain fields. The natural wine scene is definitely one of the domains in which the French capital has gained and maintained solid footing. Senior natural wine sellers such as La Quincave and La Cave des Papilles established themselves as reliable outposts for vin nature in the early days of the movement, bringing low-intervention wine from small-scale vineyards to the city. These role models have inspired a new wave of wine bars to open in Paris, making natural wine increasingly present and accessible.

Natural Wine Bars in Paris

Le Mary Celeste

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