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Bob’s Bake Shop: A Slice of New York in Paris’ 18th Arrondissement

Bobs, Cherry Pie

When he opened his first spot, Bob’s Juice Bar, in 2006, Marc Grossman says he was driven by a simple desire to bring a little of New York to Paris. “It was something from back home, something I missed, health food, juice bars,” says Grossman. The born-and-bred New Yorker, who at one time worked on Wall Street, decided to move to Paris 15 years ago. He married a French girl and never left.

Bobs, Montage, Cherry Pie, Pecan Pie

Since opening his first café, he has almost single-handedly changed Parisian’s dining habits for the better, introducing them to things like green juice and rice bowls he calls “Veggie Stew.” However, he says his goal was never to push a health food agenda, but rather serve organic, wholesome, tasty food. “We’re not extreme,” says Grossman. “We have muffins, but we also have salads. We try to mix it up.”

Bobs, Breakfast

Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 1 Comment »

Folks and Sparrows: A Trendy Café-Épicerie-Concept Store in Paris’ 11ème

HiP Paris Blog, Folks and Sparrows, Isabel Miller-Bottome, sandwich bag 1

The latest buzz on the Paris coffee scene this summer is Folks and Sparrows, a café-épicerie-concept store tucked away on a quiet street in the 11ème, one of my favorite neighborhoods.

HiP Paris Blog, Folks and Sparrows, Isabel MIller-Bottome, sunflowersHiP Paris Blog, Folks and Sparrows, Isabel Miller-Bottome, drinks

I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours here on a drizzly Tuesday afternoon last week. I relaxed into a leather easy chair in the corner, admired the sunflower and lavender arrangements around me, and enjoyed a perfectly satisfying cappuccino – smooth, creamy, and served in a hefty mug for two hands. Folk music played in the background and I felt immediately transported to another place, a cabin in the rural woods of New England perhaps.

Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments »

Coffee in Paris: The Coffee Revolution Continues in the City of Light

Loustic-New-Coffee-Round-up-HiP-Paris-Blog-Photo-by-Kim-Laidlaw-1

Loustic (Kim Laidlaw)

Paris: capital of a country whose gastronomy is UNESCO classified, populated by people with palates refined enough to distinguish multiple tasting notes in wines, to appreciate numerous subtleties of cheese… And yet, when it comes to coffee, nuances of taste seem to go out the window: to be necked back at the bar after a meal, its role is as a shot of caffeine to jolt the system awake through the soporific task of digestion.

Loustic, New Coffe Round-up, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Kim Laidlaw

 Loustic (Kim Laidlaw)

But, recently, something of a coffee revolution has been slowly but surely taking place in Paris, with serious coffee specialists popping up throughout the capital over the last couple of years. We talked about the inaugural wave of this trend back in 2011 here but the scene continues to go from strength to strength with a new spate of superlative coffee shops having since opened. Here is our roundup of some of the best and latest places to get your coffee fix in Paris. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 7 Comments »

The Other Side of Montmartre: Coffee, Food and Shopping Off the Beaten Path

HiP Paris Blog, Café Lomi, Montmartre Round Up

Café Lomi

Paris’ 18th arrondissement, to the north of the city, is a vast and varied area, encompassing some of the most affluent enclaves (right up at the top of the hill) and some of the shadiest (La Goutte d’Or), as well as one of the city’s most frequented tourist spots — Le Sacre Coeur and the surrounding streets and squares in Montmartre.

HiP Paris Blog, www.larallonge.fr, La Rallonge, Montmartre Round Up

La Rallonge

But slightly off the beaten track is the more unassuming part of this neighborhood: the residential area in the foothills of Montmartre, extending from the arrondissement’s town hall – where I happen to have lived for the best part of a decade – which is well worth the detour to discover the lesser known shops, restaurants and more that the guide-book clutching hoards are yet to discover.

HiP Paris Blog, Manufacture Parisienne, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up 8

HiP Paris Blog, Manufacture Parisienne, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round UpManufacture Parisienne (Kim Laidlaw)

Here is a selection of my favorite new and newish places that look set to make this part of the 18th a destination on any discerning visitor or local’s itinerary. Food in the area ranges from a quick bite and coffee right up to fine French dining. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews, Shopping | 6 Comments »

Coffee Culture Revolution in Paris: The Black Market

On a recent Culturefish “Must Do” walking tour around the center of Paris, our guide Pierre enthusiastically described a major turning point of Parisian culture. During the Age of Enlightenment, the city was a hotbed of thinkers and politicians who were getting hyped up on a new drug being served around town: coffee!

The famous Café Procope, Paris’ first café, was serving this new, caffeinated beverage to the likes of Voltaire – rumored to have consumed 40 cups of coffee a day – among a star-studded cast of other enlightened historical figures, including Benjamin Franklin, Rousseau, Diderot, and Robespierre. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 9 Comments »

Ten Belles: Paris’ Coffee Pros Strike Again by the Canal St Martin

As I parked my Velib on a rare sunny afternoon in Paris, just steps from the Canal St Martin, I could already tell I was in for a treat.  I made my way up charming rue de la Grange aux Belles to the narrow storefront of Ten Belles, snuggled next to a lush, overgrown plant store (le Bleuet Coquelicot). I highly suggest a peek inside… adorable!

Ten Belles, this brand new Paris coffee house is a collaboration of the team behind Le Bal Café and Frogfight organizer, and well known Paris barrista, Thomas Lehoux. It’s intimate ambiance and focus on refined and meticulously cared for coffee make it the perfect stop for coffee enthusiasts, even attracting other known Paris baristas on their days off. Ten Belles served up one of the best cappuccinos I have ever had in Paris, and the charming baristas make it all the sweeter. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 13 Comments »

Une Vie Parisienne in New York City

Paris (Oncle Tom)

Returning home to New York hit me with the biggest culture shock I’ve ever felt. Now, I’m no stranger to culture shock. My first notable quake occurred when I moved to Paris at the age of 18 with just a handful of French words at my disposal (croissant, café, cigarette…).

Paris (Lost In Cheeseland) & (Making Magique)

The move hit pretty high on the Richter scale, but eventually I assimilated as best I could, and my American friends who came to visit told me I seemed “French.” (For the record, the French always said I seemed “Swedish.”) Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 19 Comments »

Fast Coffee in Italy – Quick, Cheap and Delicious

Coffee and focaccia – Breakfast in Genoa

In Italy, coffee is delicious, quick, and to the point.

You arrive, you order, you drink, you go. Now, your day can start or your afternoon can continue.

Your barrista probably knows your name, the name of first born child, where you live and, most importantly, what kind of coffee you want and how you want it.

Small and quick, the morning coffee fix

Your coffee will be served velocemente…. you will stand at the bar, you will chat about the weather, your vacation, your work, your kids, your partner, your pet …. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Italy tips & suggestions | 13 Comments »

Life in Italy vs. Life in France: Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, Erica Berman shared her most telling anecdotes about the difference between life in France and life in Italy. While most of us can only envy the lifestyle that makes intimate knowledge of those details a part of daily life, Erica’s insight into the particularities of French and Italian culture helps us live the dream. In part two, she moves beyond general life to get to the juicy stuff : how the natives operate.

Vongole CamogliPhotos Erica Berman – Seafood Pasta in Italy this summer

Differences between the French and the Italians…

  • Nothing is a problem for the Italians…everything is a problem for the French. I think there are numerous posts to be written on this thought… a suivre!
  • Italians miss pasta and coffee when away from their beloved Italy. The French are hands down pining for bread and cheese when far from home.
Croissant Erica ParisCroissants in Paris
  • The French do not ask personal questions. Italians ask many. The French find asking questions a sign of indiscretion, and they take the utmost pride in being discreet, sometimes to the point of ridiculous (when applying for a job they may not feel comfortable asking the salary).
  • The Italians are curious and their inquiring minds want to know. In elevators in Italy I have had personal conversations on where I’m from and why I’m in Italy with people I have never seen before and will probably never see again. In France a bonsoir or bonjour is possibly all the chatting you will get after years of being neighbors.
  • Italians remember you after seeing you once. The French might, of course, remember you, I am convinced they do, but will do their very best to pretend that they have never seen you before (my corner bakery in Montmartre is in the running for longest possible non recognition of a regular customer – almost 18 years. The bread is so amazing and their complete neutrality so fascinating, I keep on going).
Continue Reading »

Posted in Italy tips & suggestions, Parisian Living, Travel | 49 Comments »

Paris Foods You Must Eat – Part 1

Taking photos of the Seine and Sacre Coeur are a must when visiting Paris, but my camera is filled with images of gorgeous meal after gorgeous meal, thousands of food photos bursting with freshness, color and deliciousness. As my time in Paris winds down – I leave later this week! – I promise to share every last morsel, starting with part one below that originally appeared on my food site, Eat Boutique. Bon appetit! -Maggie

Eat Boutique - Le Mirroir Scallops

Let’s be honest. Paris may be a foodie mecca, but all that amazing food isn’t a breeze to find. You have to research, ask the locals and scout out those hidden gems (far away from all the tourists). I did a lot of those aforementioned tasks and have produced my first “Paris Foods You Must Eat” list. Expect many more parts to come, but give me some time. I’ve got about two thousand photos to sort through, and many more neighborhoods to explore before I sleep, err, leave!

Growing up along the East Coast, I thought I had had the best seafood in the world. Um, that was until I tasted the scallops and oysters in Paris. Both are far sweeter here, with a lot more character and taste. The above scallops were caramelized and served on a beautiful plate with spring asparagus, carrots, beets and mache at one of my favorite restaurants in Montmartre called Le Miroir (94, rue des Martyrs, 18ème. Tel: 01 46 06 50 73. Metro: Abbesses or Pigalle.) If they are serving scallops the day you dine there, order them. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 9 Comments »