I’ve been wanting to share my favorite places in Paris for a while now, but I’ve wanted a chance to get to know this city a bit more. With a year under my belt in the city of lights, I feel that I have a more balanced view. When I first visited Paris I wanted to know where locals(both french and expats) wanted to eat or drink, or their favorite museums. I know there are a lot of blogs about Paris, my best recommendation for you is to view as many as you can and write down the places you want to go so you have a broad and exciting visit. *Note: These are my favorite places, I’m not saying these places are the best or better than other people’s suggestions! These are just the places that I enjoy going to.*
Home in le premier
My boyfriend and I live in the first arrondissement, right next to the Louvre. In a previous postI was not kind to the first… but even though it is touristy in some parts, even just a few blocks from the Louvre can be quiet and charming. Also, note that some of my favorite places in Paris are around Palais Royal, we had liked them before moving here. It was just the cherry on top when we found an apartment near the places we love!
My favorite garden in Paris is Jardin du Palais Royal, it’s right across the street from the Louvre and even on a weekend it isn’t too crowded. It has 2 flower gardens and a fountain and those black and white pillars at different heights. I’m sure you’ll recognize it as so many Instagrammers, bloggers, photographers, photograph this garden every day. The garden is lined with shopping and restaurants, mostly of the high-end variety. The garden has one of my favorite places to grab a coffee, Café Kitsuné. On Saturday mornings we often come grab a coffee and go sit next to the fountain, it’s so relaxing and a great place to take a break with a view. It reminds me of a much smaller Tuileries, without as many people and vendors trying to sell you mini Eiffel towers.
Hands down, this is my favorite pizza place in Paris. Apart from their pizza, they have an amazing cocktail bar in the back AND they have the friendliest servers in Paris. Daroco is the restaurant I recommend the most; if I could eat here every night… I would. Make sure to book a table in advance for dinner, they usually don’t take walk-ins.
Pizzeria Popolare is part of the big mamma chain, they’re famous for their non-reservations and making you wait in line. We’ve dined at their East Mamma location and prefer this one, both for time and money. PP seats 250 people, so the line moves fairly quickly. Their prices are relatively low because of their shared table seating. I often come here when I want a cheap pizza, and for 5€, it definitely doesn’t disappoint.
Bofingeris a classic French brasserie right next to Place de la Bastille. The waiters wear suits and you’ll have multiple sets of cutlery and the interior reminds me of the movie Titanic. It can be a bit stiff if you’re not super dressed up, but their food is delicious and moderately priced. I came here on my first trip to Paris and loved it, I still compare every onion soup I try to this one(the best I’ve ever had). Depending on the day/time you’ll need a reservation.
Willi’s Wine Bar is a more casual take on classic French food. They have a large wine menu and their dinner menu has an interesting take on French food. You could sit at the bar or have dinner in the dining room, comme vous voulez. My favorite thing to order here is their onion crumble, it is heaven. You can also host a wine party here or come for wine workshops.
Senoble just opened up two stores in 2017, originally known for selling deserts in grocery stores in the 90’s. Senoble has opened its own tea room with delicious chocolate treats and amazing ice cream. With one location outside of Palais Royal and the other on Île Saint-Louis, two scoops starting at 3,70€. Classic French style ice cream and gelato.
Italian style gelato in Paris, the closest to authentic Italian gelato I’ve tasted here.Pozettoalso sells other Italian treats on the interior. The prices are different if you eat in or take out. My suggestion, take it to go!
Musée de l’Orangerie– The Monet rooms are enough to visit this small museum. If you like French impressionist and post-impressionist painters, you will love this museum. They also have great exhibitions, my favorite was ‘American Painters from the 1930’s’.
Musée Picasso – If you love Picasso, then this is the museum for you! The museum itself is in a beautiful building in the center of Le Marais. You can see the progression of all his work from his early work of learning how to paint and draw, to his paintings right before he died.
Musee de l’Armée – If you are into war history or European wars then this is worth a visit. My favorite part of this museum was the interactive war maps showing various battles, history of Napoleon, the outfits of the army men and the ancient weaponry.
Musée Rodin – If you like sculpture and beautiful gardens you’ll lovethis beautiful museum dedicated to Rodin. It homes the famous “the thinker” and “The gates of Hell”.
My favorite place to grab a delicious croissant or pain au chocolat is at Des Gateaux et Du Pain. Their 7th arrondissement location is on Rue du Bac, which is worth visiting sans DGDP just for the shopping. Rue du Bac houses Charlie Chapon and Jacques Genin, two very famous chocolatiers. Even though the price tag is a tad higher than the normal boulangerie… the buttery, flaky goodness is worth treating yourself for.
Dépôt Légal recently opened up around the corner from our place by Christophe Adam, the genius behind L’Eclair de Génie. This croissant is like none other in Paris. It is shaped more like a cinnamon roll and instead of the typical butter flavor, the soft inside is sweet. Try their “croissant sucre” it’s like a cinnamon roll meets a croissant. It is expensive for a croissant, but it’s a great little treat if you think of it as more of a pastry.
Du Pain et Des Idéesis one of the most well-known boulangeries in Paris, and there’s a reason why. Their bread is like nothing else I’ve ever tasted(even my French boyfriend agrees it’s the best) perfectly crusty exterior with a heavenly soft inside. This is the mecca of baguettes. Situated in the 10th arrondissement next to Canal Saint Martin and Republique, in a cute rustic, corner store. You might have to wait in line just to get your bread, but it is worth it. Also noteworthy le pain des amis and les escargots.
Breizh Cafe is the place I come for whenever I’m wanting something small and sweet. They have an excellent selection of both savory crêpes and sweet crêpes and cider to wash it down. I strongly believe these are the best crêpes in Paris and haven’t found better! On the weekends there tends to be a line to get in, I usually come during the week and there isn’t a problem. This summer, Breizh opened a new cafe in Saint Germain, this location tends to be less crowded!
Being an American expat in France, you tend to miss the small things that remind you of home. I love Boneshaker because of the super friendly husband & wife duo (Irish and American couple) and the authenticity and unique flavors. I tend to be consistent with my flavor choice and get caramel, but my boyfriend always tries a different flavor when we come.
I tend to go to coffee shops quite frequently in Paris, too many to name. Here are my top 3 most visited coffee shops. If you want to see a list of all the coffee shops I recommend in Paris, click here.
Télescopeis right around the corner from my house, so it’s an easy place to grab a coffee. The bakery treats are a bit expensive but delicious and their coffee is consistently good. A quick walk from the Louvre in a quiet, cozy cafe.
Boot Café in the Marais, is housed in an old shoe repair shop. It’s super petite, but the cute chairs and decorations make it a great spot to grab a quick coffee or something to eat. Boot also usually has cakes made by Cake Boy Paris which are delicious! They’ve also opened a much bigger location in the 6th arrondissement.
Finalement, my favorite cafe is Cafe Oberkampf, situated in the 11th arrondissement. Everything I’ve tried on their menu has been truly delicious. I usually order an espresso and avocado toast, and sometimes I switch it up and get the tartine with homemade peanut butter and bananas. The owner, Guy, told me that they often get new beans from all over Paris. This cozy cafe is a can’t miss in Paris.
Marche d’Aligre is a bustling market in the 12th arrondissement in-between Ledru-Rollin and Faidherbe Chaligny (ligne 8). In movies about Paris, I always see them buying their fruits and vegetables at an outdoor market instead of, god forbid, a supermarket! This market you can shop for all things food and feel like a real Parisien. The market is open 6 days a week (no Mondays) and from 9:30-1. The prices during the week are slightly less than the weekend, but still, the prices are very affordable.
I hope you enjoyed my list of favorite places, let me know in the comments below where your favorite places in Paris are. Or where you want to visit!