la pagode cinema paris julien hausherrJulien Hausherr – La Pagode theater’s Japanese style garden

While this list might appear to be a whimsically chosen, feel-good assortment of Parisian places and experiences, I’ll have you know that I agonized over the decisions herein. For instance, I couldn’t bring myself to include two houses of taxidermy (for fear of revealing myself to be a complete freak), so I had to make a heart-wrenching choice: Deyrolle or the Musée de la Chasse? A weighty conundrum indeed. Regardless, I’ve done my best to crystallize my love affair with Paris into ten snippets. Enjoy!

1. Bang-for-your-buck meal: The 12-Euro prix fixe lunch at Robert et Louise. Entrée, plat, roaring fire, convivial conversation with neighboring diners. Can’t do much better than that.

2. Inner-child indulgence: Is it just me, or does the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature make you believe in magic? I’m convinced that the taxidermy fox curled up on a Louis XV chair knows the meaning of life, if only I could get him to open up about it.

3. Street food: Roast chicken from the place on rue Mouffetard (just south of the produce stand on rue de l’Arbalète). Simply put: the chicken that changed my life. Pair with a little Dijon and you will instantly be transported to heaven. Chicken heaven.

la pagode julien hausherr parisJulien Hausherr – La Pagode garden and gilded screen room

4. Rainy day activity: Sneaking off to a film at La Pagode, a charming art house theater that was originally erected as an Eastern-themed ballroom in 1896. Dusty and elegant, it’s the perfect escape.

la pagode cinema paris 10 julien hausherrJulien Hausherr – La Pagode screening room

5. Trendy Dessert: Riz au lait. Preferably at l’Ami Jean, where they give you a giant bowl of it accompanied by a ridiculously decadent caramel sauce. Oh my good god.

6. Drink with a view: La Mer à Boire is a pretension-free Belleville watering hole, where you can skip across the street to take in sweeping views of the city (complete with Eiffel Tower) from the Parc de Belleville. Go at sunset and stay ’til whenever.

Jardin des plantes Julien HausherrJulien Hausherr – Jardin des Plantes gardens

7. Outdoors-y stroll: No one ever knows what I’m talking about when I insist, “The Jardin des Plantes is my spiritual home in Paris.” But if you meander there on a crisp fall afternoon or a spring morning (when everything is in bloom), you’ll get it. Bonus if you swing by the menagerie for a look at the red pandas (or the “panda foxes” as I call them).

Jardin des Plantes Julien Hausherr Paris
Julien Hausherr – Jardin des Plantes greenhouse and gardens

8. Wine Bar: Le Baron Rouge‘s appearance on a recent episode of Gossip Girl is a clear sign that the word has spread (perhaps too far), but I will champion this hole-in-the-wall forever. It’s all you need in an after-work apéro spot—nothing more, nothing less.

9. Market: When I first moved to Paris, I hit the vibrant Marché Bastille nearly every Sunday to banter with the enthusiastic (okay, aggressive) vendors hawking cherries, figs, olive breads and lots of other products I suddenly couldn’t live without.

Verre Vole Paris Julien HausherrJulien Hausherr – Verre Volé eat-in space and wines to order or carry-out

10. “Feel like a local” spot: Le Verre Volé. I’ll never stop gushing about this friendly eatery off the Canal St. Martin, where I’ve spent many an afternoon sipping wine, chatting with the waiters, and feeling lucky, lucky, lucky to be in Paris.

Verre Vole Julien Hausherr ParisJulien Hausherr – Verre Volé

So there it is. My Paris is one of low-key (and often low-budget) feasting, artsy film, quiet corners and frozen foxes. It might not be everyone’s take on the City of Light, but Paris has always seemed happy to accommodate my “special needs.” Perhaps that’s why I return again and again: Paris gets me.

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Written by Tory Hoen. Julien Hausherr is a photographer based in Paris, specializing in architecture, still-life and reporting. Contact: Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.


Tory Hoen

Tory Henwood Hoen has been published by New York Magazine, Vogue, Condé Nast Traveler, Bon Appétit, Fortune, and others. She was Creative Director of Brand at M.M.LaFleur, where she founded the brand’s digital magazine, The M Dash. Her debut novel, The Arc, is available in bookshops near you and online.


  1. Two more places to consider are 1)O Fil de l’O, moored on the left-bank quai across from Notre Dame during warm weather months. Dine/drink and wave at the tourist boats as you relax on the river, and 2) Les Pipos in Montparnasse to feel like a local and enjoy simple food, good wine and sometimes good music.

  2. I recently spent a lovely Sunday morning in the Jardin des Plantes ~ gutted that I didn’t see any panda foxes! I saw a lot of firemen jogging, so that was almost as good.

  3. Can’t wait to visit and experience my inner child indulgence au Musee de la Chasse et Nature. Always love going to museums.

  4. I would love to go to the Normandy area one day as my father’s side of the family were Normans a long time ago. I feel that area is part of my heritage.

  5. Oh Tory, I have been sick and I have stayed away from Hip Paris too long.
    And what a perfect way to ease back in, transporting myself to the Jardin des Plantes, dessert at l’Ami Jean, and spending time in the Pagoda.

    Perfect for daydreaming, merci !

  6. La Pagode is one of the most beautiful movie theaters I have even been to. That garden is divine. Le Verre Vole is delicious and the Canal so hip and happening. I can’t wait to try out Robert and Louise and the Musee de la Chasse et Nature!! Erica

  7. What a great list! Thanks for the tips, some of these I’ve never even heard of. Can’t wait to go. xo Lidy

    1. Lidy, let us know where you end up going and what you think… and if you have your own favorite places! A bientot – Erica

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