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Street Food Revolution: Paris’ Most Popular Food Trucks

HiP Paris Blog, Food Trucks, Emma Stencil

Le Réfectoire

It’s been three years since Paris food truck forerunner Le Camion Qui Fume hit the cobblestones of Europe’s culinary capital. Since then, the city of gourmet cuisine has experienced a revolution. More and more food trucks have joined the parade along the streets of Paris, invading the city with bistronomique burgers, kebabs, and bagels reminiscent of those in New York.

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Cantine California

Just before lunchtime, these camions assemble at neighborhood markets to await hungry Parisians who are happy (or at least willing) to wait in line for a burger from Le Réfectoire or empañadas and helados from Clasico Argentina. Here are a few tried-and-true Parisian favorites to be enjoyed year-round. 

HiP Paris Blog, Food Trucks, Emma Stencil, 9

Cantine California

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 2 Comments »

In Search of Paris’ Sweetest Candy Shops

HiP Paris Blog, Candy, Isabel Miller-Bottome, Le Bonbon au Palais 10

Le Bonbon au Palais

French desserts would make almost anyone’s mouth start to water. Beautifully lined on bakery shelves, they are a heavenly wonder for sweet-tooths. But in addition to pastries, macarons, and mousse au chocolat, France is abundant with sweet regional specialties: Toulouse has its cachou Lajaunie (licorice); Orléans its cotignac (quince hard candy); Aix-en-Provence its calisson (marzipan).

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Henri Le Roux

Île-de-France may not boast its own traditional bonbon, but that doesn’t mean that quality Parisian candy makers and suppliers are not putting their flair on other regions’ specialties. Here are some of our favorite artisanal candy shops in Paris:

HiP Paris Blog, Candy, Isabel Miller-Bottome, bonbon 3, 12

Le Bonbon au Palais

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 2 Comments »

Some Like It Hot: Our Favorite Hot Chocolate Spots in Paris

Hot Chocolate in Paris, Jean Paul Hevin, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Aisling Greally 1

Jean-Paul Hevin

There’s something about cold weather in Paris that makes me long for something warm, luxurious and indulgent… From the Belle Epoque-inspired classic served in every corner café, to the masterpieces of contemporary artisans dedicated to the art of chocolate making, I can’t think of a better way to chase away the chills than with a warm, dark, velvety, chocolate chaud. Here are a few of my very favorite Paris spots to indulge in this cold-weather treat.

Hot Chocolate in Paris, Angelina, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Aisling Greally 2

Angelina

A Good Old Fashioned Classic: Angelina
Founded in 1903, the Belle Epoque inspired Angelina is celebrated today for its traditional hot chocolate recipe: a thick, deliciously rich drink served with cream on the side.

Hot Chocolate in Paris, Park Hyatt, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Aisling Greally 3

Park Hyatt

The exquisite tea house on Rue Rivoli was once frequented by Coco Chanel and Proust. This season, thanks to the chic new boutique on Rue du Bac, you can now get your Angelina cocoa to-go – and skip the notoriously long lines.

Angelina. 108 Rue du Bac, 75007, Paris.

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 8 Comments »

Looking For An Excuse To Visit Brussels? Here Are Three

Michal Osmenda

Beer, frites, comics. Blah, blah, blah. No disrespect to lovers of ambers and ales, salty, fried foods, or Tintin, but there’s so much more to Brussels, capital of Belgium—capital of all of Europe—than these perennially touted attractions. Here are three lesser-celebrated reasons to hop on a train and make the 80-minute trip from Paris.

Chocolate boutique in Brussels (flavijus)

Architecture
At first glance, the architecture in Brussels is incongruous—ugly, even. But in that odd stew of styles are treasures from many eras. Continue Reading »

Posted in Travel | 5 Comments »

Why Visit Paris? For The Chocolate, Of Course

cafepetitgateau

There are many different reasons people fall in love with Paris: the art and culture; the beauty and history; the fashion and femme fatales. Moi? I can think of no bigger, better, more divine seductress than the chocolate.

Cocoa is the food of the gods, and the French unabashedly worship at its altar. For nearly four centuries, they’ve been evolving the humble brown cacao seed into something decadent, transporting and otherworldly. You can get chocolate in liquid, molten or frozen form. Sculpted into a stiletto—or a squirrel.

As a single-origin bar (tablette) or a decadent box (un ballotin) of many splendored flavors. In fact, in Paris you can toss a truffle in nearly any direction and hit a chocolatier. But don’t leave it to fate. Get yourself to any of these 11 chocolatiers for an unforgettable Parisian experience.

vincen-t & yuichi sakuraga

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Posted in Food | 13 Comments »

Puerto Cacao: Socially Minded Chocolate in Paris

Julien Hausherr

Yes, more chocolate! Paris does not lack for it. But in a town that boasts everything from over-the-top delicacies to perfectly executed classics, we’re always impressed when a shop manages to distinguish itself from the cacao-hawking competition.

Puerto Cacao is not the most decadent, shocking or renowned chocolate shop in Paris, but it might just be the most conscientious. On a recent visit, we sat down with store manager José Evrard to learn more about owner Guillaume Hermitte’s vision for an équitable (fair-trade) chocolate shop that does as much to promote social good as it does to promote deliciousness.

Amazing hot chocolate! Tory Hoen

Hermitte’s team works directly with Venezuelan cacao producers, cutting out unnecessary middlemen who might drive up prices for consumers and deprive cacao producers of fair payment. In addition, they work with “entreprises d’insertion,” organizations that help people who have encountered various difficulties (poverty, imprisonment, etc.) re-enter the workforce and improve their lives. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 5 Comments »

My First Paris: Tory Discovers Angelina’s Chocolat Chaud

Do you remember the first time you realized “Wow, I am in Paris”? Those of us who have been lucky enough to visit Paris have all, I think, had that moment — a tingling, joyful, excited realization that there’s something about Paris that can make one happy simply to exist and observe. We have asked a few of our favorite writers to share their true First Paris moments with us . For our first installment, Tory tells us about when she discovered the magic of Angelina’s chocolat chaud… - Geneviève

Justine Robinett

It was the hot chocolate that did it. For a girl who had grown up on watery Swiss Miss with tiny, desiccated marshmallows in it, the chocolat chaud in Paris was a life-changing revelation.

Angelina’s hot chocolate; macarons (Justine Robinett)

First of all, I was allowed to drink it for breakfast. It was no longer something I had to “earn” by clocking hours on an icy ski slope, trying to ignore the fact that I could barely breathe through my ice-encrusted neck-warmer. No, in Paris, it was my inalienable right to drink hot chocolate, simply because I had woken up. No neck-warmer needed. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 13 Comments »

June in Paris: Don’t Miss These Events

June is one of the very best times to be in Paris. It’s starting to warm up, but the temperature stays pleasantly cool enough to be outside all day. Parisians can feel it too – get ready to start seeing more and more natives abandoning their lairs in favor of sun-bathed café terraces. Heather from Secrets of Paris keeps a wonderful calendar of the best things to do in Paris. To help you make the most of your month of June, we’re sharing a few of her top picks here…

David BloomDavid Bloom

June 3 – I almost regret mentioning this here, because I don’t want to have to elbow any of my darling readers out of the way (just consider yourself warned). Expect big crowds at the first Nuit du Gâteau at the Maison du Chocolat (8 blvd Madeleine, 9th), free tastings of their newest creations from 7pm-midnight.

June 4-6 – The Jardins Jardin garden festival takes place this weekend at the Jardin des Tuileries (1st), with a focus on urban garden design and “exterior decorating”.  Open from 10am until 8pm. Entry €11.

June 5 – Join the Paris Urban Adventurers for a Scavenger Hunt through the city to raise money for their 2010 charity drive: “This year we’re raising money for solar technology to allow families in developing African countries to study, cook, read and live even where electricity is lacking. So you get to have a good time, and feel good about helping others, all at the same time.” Form your team and register to join the fun.

Little Brown PenLittle Brown Pen

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Posted in Parisian Living | 4 Comments »

Let Them Eat Cupcakes: Paris’ Best American Sweets

Little Miss CupcakeLittle Miss Cupcake

As a New Yorker, I find it equal parts utter insanity and totally logical that as soon as I moved to Paris last year—with visions of millefeuilles, pains au chocolat, artisan chocolates and good old Nutella street crepes dancing through my head—I wound up Velib’ing through the back streets of the eleventh arrondissement seeking the city’s then cupcakes-only bakery. It took a few wrong turns down some side streets, but I found Cupcakes & Co, with sunlight happily spilling across the sole café table—an auspicious signpost pointing to the delicious display case of American delights.

cupcakes-and-co-3Cupcakes & Co

Rebecca and Maggie Bellity, the two sisters who opened Cupcakes & Co in 2008, pride themselves on using natural and organic baking ingredients for their petits gateaux. And even though the concept arose from their travels to the states, their recipes are all French. They’ve dreamed up combinations like jasmine and vanilla, lemon and coconut, coffee and hazelnut and over a dozen others that set my heart racing and ensured many weeks of repeat business.

That was well over a year ago. And as my American obsession has waned (grace à new obsessions with macarons, violet éclairs and salted caramels), the Parisians’ has exploded. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food | 23 Comments »

Back in Paris: Adjusting to Life at a French Pace

doudinguesmontmartreErica Berman

After seven months away, I’m back in Paris for a while and am greedily soaking up every minute of it. After two weeks, I’ve slipped back into many of my happy habits, though I’ve come to realize that settling back into my Parisian life does require a few active adjustments. For instance:

1. Dietary shifts. You’d be surprised how fulfilling a diet composed solely of butter, cheese, Dijon, bread, chocolate and macarons can be. Although I must admit, a steady stream of coffee and wine leave me perpetually dehydrated. Note to self: water is the essence of life, even in Paris.

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2. Embracing linguistic limbo. When I get back to France, I regularly find myself in situations where two, three, or four languages are being spoken simultaneously. While the linguistic mélange is always exciting, I find that my English often starts to slip before my French has time to pick up the slack, and I am therefore left in a strange language-less limbo. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 5 Comments »