Paris is Paris is Paris, until you get to know the Parisians’ Paris. The Paris that tourists never see, where the cool locals hang out, the city that is not exhausted with rude visitors and has plenty of good mood and smiles to share with you, the Paris that want you to have a good time.
There are more and more little quaint shops and bars and restaurants in the city. They seem to spring like colourful mushrooms. Here are some spots not to miss to be able to say: I was in Paris.
If you need an energy boost, this is the place to go. A green cold press with kale, of course, or the fresh juice of the day and a veggie stew and you’ll be ready to walk around Paris all day. Even if you’re not vegan, you will love it. Karlie Kloss surely does. She gets her lunch delivered from Bob during Paris Fashion Week.
74 Rue des Gravilliers, 75003
Finally someone thought of made-to-measure make-up. A professional make-up artist will welcome you into a cosy shop where high quality ready-to-wear products are available, but you can also have foundation, powder, eyeshadow and lipstick made to your taste, for your skin colour. They also add moisturising and anti-ageing products to the mix, which is not unpleasant. The “Haute Couleur” creation will be made in their Parisian laboratory and sent to your home.
The talented make-up artist can also teache you how to perfect your make-up or just do it for you if you have to attend a party or important meeting and want to look French chic.
36 Galerie Véro-Dodat, 75001
This address is not glamorous but insanely useful. Parisian women owe their fresh look to pharmacy beauty products. Unlike the big well-known brands, which make your skin addicted to the product to the point that you always need more to get your kick, pharmacy brands are more natural and lot cheaper. Caudalie, which works with fruits, and Nuxe with flowers, are the market leaders and can be found in every pharmacy.
The beauty of this specific pharmacy is that everything is discounted, even the medication. It is the health temple. but be ready to queue and squeeze in.
26 Rue du Four, 75006
If you are in the centre of Paris and want to escape the crowd without going far, Da Rosa is right there in a street parallel to Rivoli, waiting for you with a selection of tapas and small meals. The waiters will help you chose the best wine to complement your food order. The bar restaurant is also a gourmet boutique so you can shop for delicious souvenirs on your way out.
19bis Rue du Mont Thabor, 75001
Front de Mode
Bye bye tree-hugger bag-clothes and hello funky and classy sustainable fashion. When you enter Sakina’s concept store, you would not guess you entered a paradise of ethics. Contrary to what we have seen so far with ethical products, every piece here is cool. You will find women’s and men’s clothes, jewellery, shoes, bags (amazing ones) and accessories.
Sakina, who has her own brand which you will discover in the shop, is an astonishing curator and a fabulous human being who is fair and ethical about absolutely everything.
42 Rue Volta, 75003
Affordable designer clothes and amazing quality fabrics and finish in the chicest boutique. Karoline Lang opened her exclusive shop in a classy apartment rue Montaigne. No window, no mass sales, you’ll find a haven of sexy, classy and feminine tailored ready-to-wear, evening and wedding dresses on the top floor of a gorgeous building. You can just walk in but it is advised to make an appointment for a personalised service. This is your chance to shop like Parisian ladies use to a century ago.
45 avenue Montaigne 75008
This is the DIY temple. You will find wonders for any level of manual abilities from guided kits to baby’s shoes, earrings or brooches, to raw material to create whatever you feel like, such as wool, beads, feathers, ribbons, strings, glitters, clips, needles and elements to customise your clothes, like funky patches.
9-11 Rue du Jour, 75001
Nobody doubts that you are worth it but if you really care about your hair Lazartigue is the only hair care per se. They don’t sell beautifying products that cover your problems, they make products which cure, protect and nourish your hair. You’ll have to make some time to go there, as a test is required the first time. They will check out your scalp with a camera and after delicately puling a couple of hair out, they put it in a microscope to check if it’s tired, dry, healthy, nervous, about to give up on you.
And then, the charming lady will prescribe you a treatment made of hair masks, shampoos and conditioners all of which smelling marvellously comforting.
44 Rue de la Chaussée d’Antin, 75009
Kids’ food, revisited for grown ups. If you want to know what French kids eat for breakfast (and many adults still do that but would not admit it), go there for brunch. Otherwise, dinner is probably the best time so you can enjoy a nice Spritz whilst discovering the vintage comics and games decorating the walls. Club des 5 was a famous kids book series and here it is also a group of five guys who followed their dream and opened a restaurant.
The menu goes from breaded Babybel cheese (cheese definitely made for kids but consumed by all) to delicate salmon tartare so you can happily mix weird dishes to safe ones, or not and just enjoy a moment far far away (not so far in reality) from noisy, touristic, hectic Paris.
57 Rue des Batignolles, 75017
The place is very Parisian chic and conveniently located if you are wandering around Rivoli and Le Louvre. The best time to go is during happy hours (6pm to 8pm) and the best thing to order is one of their fabulous cocktails. The basics such as Margarita or Gin & Tonic are pure perfection and their signature cocktails are out of this world. Try the Black Panther, a wise mix of rum, coconut milk, cinnamon and coco beans, or the Stomping At Le Fumoir, with bourbon, cognac, tea liquor and bitters.
6 Rue de l’Amiral de Coligny, 75001
Brunch at Martlette is always a good idea, especially if you are recovering from a late night. There is no waiting staff in Paris who can beat the level of happy faces and warmth of this crew. The general good mood carries on with the colourful and delicious dishes. The other good news is that if you particularly loved a cake, you can buy the cake mix and make it at home. If you loved all the cakes… well it’s up to you. It’s all organic, fair trade and locally-made.
51 Rue des Martyrs, 75009
Welcome in Alice’s Wonderland. The chairs are nailed to the ceiling, you’ll find cool jewellery in the bathroom, hats in the kitchen, clothes in a grandmother’s cupboard and accessories in the living room. Everything here is created by young designers wisely curated by Candy, the owner of the house. You can find a full look here and be sure to look totally Parisian.
5 rue Houdon, 75018