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Breadlovers’ Paris: Our Top Picks in Montmartre’s Abbesses ‘Hood

Jonathan Pielmayer

If you ask any Montmartrois what the neighborhood is famous for these days, most likely their response will be “bread.” Some locals attribute the quality of the water in the Butte Montmartre for baguettes that are regularly rated among the best in the capital. Others, more pragmatically, point out that this is a rare arrondissement where ambitious artisanal boulangers can find the perfect combination of lower rent and carb-loving customers.

Here are four of the best boulangeries in the Abbesses area.Philippe Ramakers

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Posted in Food | No Comments »

My Montmartre: Food, Coffee, Shopping & More

Montmartre Roundup

I have a confession to make. Even though I’ve spent a good portion of my adult life exploring Paris, I’d never dedicated ample time to discovering Montmartre. Sure, I’d seen all the “must-see” spots – I had climbed the endless steps to Sacré-Coeur, bought a still-wet canvas at Place du Tetre, gazed upon the moulins, and even visited Amélie’s favorite spots. However, it wasn’t until this past trip that I truly experienced the neighborhood (thanks to a stay at this incredible apartment), and subsequently fell in love with it. Here are my favorite addresses for an ideal day touring the famed butte.

Montmartre RoundupMontmartre Roundup

Cafe Marlette, Cuillier

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Posted in Reader Tips & Reviews, Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments »

My Montmartre: Erica’s Favorite Spots In Montmartre

My Montmartre, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Erica Berman

Montmartre. My Parisian neighborhood. My home, on and off, for more than 20 years. Over the years, many things in the neighborhood have changed and evolved but I have remained faithful and dedicated to this little slice of Parisian happiness.

My Montmartre, Photo by Erica Berman, Erica's Montmartre view

Erica’s Montmartre view

SoPi has exploded and Montmartre has gentrified. Real estate values are up. Abbesses now evokes hip, funky and stylish. Parisians come here for a weekend outing, no longer shunning it for the potential dangers of hoodlums and prostitutes.

My Montmartre, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Erica Berman

L’Objet Qui Parle & Chairs from l’Objet Qui Parle and flowers from Des Fleurs Pour Soi

I wince at the increasing number of chain stores, the Starbucks that popped up around the corner, and the Subway sandwich shops exploding everywhere like mushrooms… Quelle horreur! Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 14 Comments »

Avoiding Bad food In Paris: 5 Things You Need To Know

Dinner Series & Mike Fleming

I have a friend who travels for the museums, spending each day snapping photos next to ancient art, otherworldly architecture, and every single monument she comes across.

All I can say is: pfft.

While I adore her, if you’ve seen one thousand-year-old building, you’ve seen them all, right? Okay, I’m teasing. But for me, history, art and language are pleasant fringe benefits best served on the side. Call me names and throw Monets at me, but I travel for the food.

jimmyweee & ktylerconk

In one flavorful bite, I experience history, art and years of culture passed down from generation to generation. For this humble foodie, an entire plate will tell me a story far longer and more interesting than the line at the Louvre on a free Sunday. You stand in line, mon amie, and I’ll skip around the corner to a 500-bottle wine bar to taste and learn the history of French wine.

Sadly, all Paris food spots don’t tell such fine tales. In fact, Paris food can be – gasp! – kind of bad sometimes. If you’ve dreamed of perfect foie and crispy frites on every corner, wake up, lovely. You actually do have to work for your food. And since I’ve narrowly escaped a lot of bad dishes, I’d like to share here five bits of advice that may help with your next visit to Paris – or any city, for that matter.

pdbreen & Sarah and Iain

1. Charm doesn’t mean quality. Quaint Parisian bistros may bewitch you, but often the beautiful facade is not reflected in your plate. In fact, it feels like there’s a direct and opposite correlation between the two: the higher the cheesy charm quotient, the worse the food. I found charm and deliciousness at Coquelicot, Le Baron Rouge, Bistrot Paul Bert and Le Petit Pontoise. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food | 14 Comments »

Le Brunch: Paris’ New Favorite Meal

Paris brunch-montage AlainTom Purves – claydevoutesavagecattawalker

At the risk of sounding cranky, there are two things I hate that everyone else seems to love: brunch and bowling. In my humble opinion, both are a lot more trouble than they’re worth. We’ll leave bowling for another day, but for now, brunch. It’s not the actual food I object to—it’s the scene, particularly in New York, where a 1-2 hour wait at popular spots is standard. Seriously… who wants an omelet that badly?

So the fact that Paris used to be a brunch-free zone came as somewhat of a relief to me. (Traditionally, the French eat a very simple breakfast of whatever’s lying around—coffee, a tartine… a cigarette—and then wait it out for lunch, the main event). Of late, however, the concept of “le brunch” is slowly but surely creeping its way into Parisian culture.

Initially, I was skeptical, but I’m happy to report that the French put their own unique spin on the hybridized meal. Just as it’s hard to find a true dirty martini in Paris (a tragedy), it’s still rare to come across a true American-style brunch, which is fine with me. As long as you’re not holding your breath for Bloody Marys and maple syrup-drowned pancakes, you’ll be more than satisfied.

montage-topXmattSnippy Hollow

Here are a few HIP-approved brunch spots that indulge American-style gluttony without sacrificing French-style gastronomic refinement.

Coquelicot. One of our favorite bloggers and Francophiles, Nichole Robertson, tipped us off to the great brunch at Montmartre’s rustic Coquelicot boulangerie. On the weekend, a lavish brunch—which entails a variety of pastries, a soft-boiled egg, toast with smoked salmon, fruit salad, and steaming bowls of coffee—is served all day long. 24 rue des Abbesses, 18eme (01 46 06 18 77). Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 7 Comments »

Brunch in Montmartre at Le Coquelicot

Guest Blogger Nichole Robertson (of Little Brown Pen fame) discovers one of our favorite bakeries in Montmartre. Make sure to come early to snag one of the outside tables, and enjoy Paris people watching at its best.

breakfastphoto courtesy of Meg Zimbeck

On Saturday, we braved the Amelie obsessed tourists on Rue de Abbesses in Montmartre to visit Coquelicot–a sweet little bakery recommended by Clotilde Dusoulier of Chocolate and Zucchini. I adore Clotilde’s blog and books, and her Paris picks never let me down. She raved about the baguettes at Coquelicot, and her blessing coupled with a glimpse of their charming website, was all we needed to pen a visit into our schedule. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 10 Comments »