An Insider’s Guide to Paris: The Coolest Places to Eat, Stay, and Shop

Paris

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The city on the Seine is very close to our hearts. Not only have we spent a lot of time there together, but we both lived there separately before we met—Thomas for six years and me for one. No matter how long we’ve been gone, it always feels like home when we return.

That being said, Paris always offers plenty of new stuff to keep us on our toes. So, in the spirit of discovery, we asked our favorite expat/expert Alison Beckner Kaloumenos of Scout Services to share her current favorite Paris haunts.

If you know Alison, you definitely know this: She doesn’t mess around when it comes to recommendations. She’s the kind of person who will send a list of fresh new places in the middle of the night, then call early the next morning to make you a reservation at whatever cool restaurant just opened—all because she wants your time in her adopted town to be the most amazing experience possible.

Read on for Alison’s recommendations on where to stay, drink, shop, eat, and play in the City of Light.

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Where to Stay (and Play)

Les Bains 7 rue du Bourg l’Abbé 75002 Paris

Formerly known as Les Bains Guerbois then Les Bains Douches and now simply Les Bains, this 19th-century cultural institution started as public baths and was really the first spa in Paris. Later, it was a bohemian hot spot during the Belle Epoque period and continued on to become what was arguably the most famous dinner and nightclub to ever exist in the city, hosting everyone from Joy Division and Prince to Don Johnson and David Bowie.

The latest incarnation is a hybrid affair with a hotel, bar, restaurant, and nightclub. It’s extremely central, providing a welcome haven (and flattering lighting!) just a few blocks from hectic Châtelet and les Halles. Great for a drink for two, dinner for ten, and dancing till 4 am.

Hôtel Bachaumont 18 rue Bachaumont 75002 Paris

Not far from Les Bains is another multitasking establishment. An illustrious address in the ’20s, it has now been renovated to a state of modern splendor thanks to the increasingly recognizable touch of Paris-based industrial designer Dorothée Meilichzon.

Tucked away in a predominantly pedestrian area of the Montorgueil neighborhood, the environment is retro-contemporary and sophisticated while remaining extremely inviting. Add to that a bar and restaurant overseen by the Experimental Group (Experimental Cocktail Club, Beef Bar, Prescription Cocktail), and a prime meeting point is born.

Grand Pigalle Hôtel 29 rue Victor Massé 75009 Paris

This Wes Anderson–inspired hotel has killer cocktails and provides a great landing pad in the SoPi (south of Pigalle) area.

Hôtel Providence 90 rue René Boulanger 75010 Paris

The brand-new spot provides a four-star destination with gorgeous design in the eastern part of the quickly emerging Château d’Eau area. Plus, there is a ton of great bars and restaurants within walking distance, as well as a historical covered market.

Le Montana 28 rue Saint Benoit 75006 Paris

This hotel in the sixth is perhaps best known for its bar, restaurant, and louche basement club.

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Where to Eat

Brasserie Barbès 2 boulevard Barbès 75018 Paris

Work, eat, lounge, drink, and dance at this brand new brasserie in up-and-coming Barbès in the 18th. Though a bit off the beaten path for most visitors, it’s a destination definitely worth checking out. And, it’s right across from the stunning Cinéma Louxor.

Les Chouettes 32 rue de Picardie 75003 Paris, Les Chouettes

A luminous restaurant with high ceilings and a variety of seating configurations. Open early to late with great Wi-Fi and sympathetic service.

Café Pinson 6 rue du Forez, Paris 70003; 58 rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, Paris 70010; 35 Boulevard Haussmann, Paris 70009

This vegan and predominantly gluten-free café serves around the clock in every one of its locations. The cozy, shabby-chic interior was designed by rising star Dorothée Meilichzon (Fish Club, Hotel Bachaumont).

Café Kitsuné Filles du Calvaire 109 rue Amelot 75011 Paris

A funky new David Hockney–inspired outpost boasting Kitsuné’s largest café ever and serving fantastic, well, everything. Think: fox-shaped cookies, creamy matcha lattes, and cold-press from Juice It.

Café Oberkampf 3 rue Neuve Popincourt 75011 Paris, Cafe Oberkampf

This café-cantine serves avocado toast, homemade muesli, baked eggs, and coffee from Coûtume. There’s brunch on the weekend, too. (Closed Monday and Tuesday.)

Capucine Cafette 159 rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine 75011 Paris

This little Italian eatery in a small passageway off of busy Faubourg Saint Antoine in the hip ’hood of Ledru Rollin serves coffee all day, tasty lunch specials, and aperitivo in the early evening. It’s so cute and special—do I really want to share?

Season 1 rue Charles François Dupuis 75003 Paris

Artiste of the moment Mathias Kiss did the décor for this new organic restaurant serving food and drinks all day in a pleasant setting at the Carreau du Temple. The menu features culinary collaborations with local restaurants and superfood trendsetters like Youm dim-sum, Dear Meusli cereals and Le Tricycle veggie dogs.

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Where to Shop

White Bird 7 boulevard des Filles du Calvaire 75003 Paris; 38 rue du Mont Thabor 75001 Paris

Stephanie Roger’s White Bird—a sort of Paris version of Catbird in Williamsburg—has a fabulous jewelry selection in two lovely settings. The first, a magical shop with Moroccan rugs and exposed beams, is in the Golden Triangle between rue Saint Honoré and the Tuileries gardens.

The latest—designed by the talented women of En Bande Organisé  agency and Johanna Etrounel—is in the Haut Marais showcases a slightly more accessible selection from designers like Ileana Makri and Lito for women as well as Stormie and M. Cohen for men.

Broken Arm 12 rue Perrée 75003 Paris

The epitome of Paris cool—the store, the café, and the three owners. The Broken Arm has the books you want, the limited-edition Nike kicks you need, the Isaac Reina wallet you’ve been looking for and the Vetements raincoat that so perfectly embodies your vagabonding lifestyle.

Tom Greyhound 19 rue de Saintonge 75003 Paris

This Korean-based concept shop features a unique interior and an extremely well-curated selection of established and emerging brands like MM6, Philip Lim, Journ/ée and Aalto. Plus, sleek lifestyle products and jewelry.

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Where to Work Out

Le Tigre Yoga Club 17–19 rue de Chaillot 75016 Paris; 101 rue du Cherche Midi 75007 Paris

There are now two of these suave new studios: one near Trocadéro and the latest in Saint Germain. The teachers, classes, workshops, and services are top-notch and well worth the extra travel time (and Uber!) to get there. Don’t let the name fool you—in addition to all kinds of yoga classes, Le Tigre also offers Swiss ball, Pilates, barre, and a variety of other techniques.

Studio Colibri Yoga 7 rue Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle, 75009 Paris

Central, spacious, and with showers. Oh my! This brand-new studio near Bonne Nouvelle and République has a solid roster of teachers, offers styles like Jivamukti, yin and Iyengar and is open seven days a week year round.

Temple Noble Art  11 rue Molière 75001 Paris

A sexy boxing club with offerings for all levels in a cool space with good lighting, nice facilities, excellent teachers, and frequent celebrity sightings.

Inside Elsewhere is a travel website dedicated to free spirits near and far. From Bali to Brooklyn and everywhere in between, Christina Pérez and Thomas Beckner explore the best places to stay, eat, shop, and play. Let’s get out of here. Follow along on Instagram at @inside_elsewhere.

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