I’ve always found bloggers’ city guides to be a lot more helpful than just scrolling through Trip Advisor or Yelp ratings. Those are well curated websites, for sure, but they’re so big that when I go onto them there’s no way for me to differentiate between the tastes of those who gave restaurant A five stars versus those who gave it one. The majority could happen to love everything I don’t love in a restaurant or hotel or bar, and the simple fact is I’m not going to know if that’s the case until I get there. Of course, you can go through and read the individual reviews to get more of a feel for what characteristics define a place, but if you’re heading to a huge city where you have no grasp on where you even want to begin, reading reviews a couple dozen times over will quickly lead to zoning out, making the whole process unproductive (at least in my case).
On blogs I feel like you can get a feel for someone’s tastes & personality much more quickly ,(maybe it’s the visuals?) so it’s easy for me to just head to whichever blogs match my own tastes the closest and use those city guides and suggestions (and photographs) to sketch out an itinerary. With all that in mind, I decided to include a brief little Paris city guide here for anyone unfamiliar with Paris or looking to try some new spots out. (I’m hoping this is something I’ll always include going forward). Also, I’ve chosen to list only a couple of places under each category. I want this list to be absolutely 100% reliable, so I’ve nixed those places I like a whole lot, but don’t love.
Where To Eat:
L’etage de Pastavino – This is our favorite restaurant in the world. That sounds like an exaggeration, but it’s a fact. Listed as one of Paris’s “secret restaurants” it is genuinely that. Way in the back of an Italian grocer is a small spiral staircase leading to a minimally decorated room with a single waiter standing behind a small bar & only six or seven tables. The pasta, burrata, and desserts are better than any we’ve eaten in Italy. There are so few “secret” places left that are actually secret. This is one of them. Don’t be surprised if your concierge has never heard of it, they don’t even have a website.
Seb’on – this is another small gem. The menu has only one or two choices for each category and is written on a chalkboard at the center of the restauarnt. Everything you eat reflects the idea that great food relies not on complicated recipes but on quality, locally-sourced ingredients.
Marcel – a busy little brunch spot with three locations throughout the city. Reliable, delicious, & nice without being too nice (perfect stop before heading out to tour the city).
Le George at the George V – upscale but very, very worth it for a special dinner. (Just ducking into the George V to see the almost floor to ceiling flower arrangements they put up fresh every single day is also worth it).
Where To Shop:
Le Marais – the isn’t a store, but an area. The streets are car-free, tourists don’t usually go here, and there are as many delicious brunch, lunch, and coffee spots as there are beautiful boutiques.
Maje – because Maje has very few locations in the U.S., this is always a first stop for me in Paris. It’s one of my absolute favorite brands of all time.
Le Mont Saint Michel – As reliable for me as Club Monaco, a small, airy boutique in Le Marais with gorgeous everything. Multiple locations throughout the city.
The Broken Arm – home decor, a cafe inside, and beautiful clothing. (I’ve linked to Yelp because their website seems to be down at the minute).
Centre Commercial – Scandinavian & minimalist vibes with lots of boutique style & lifestyle British & French brands.
Where To Drink:
The Prescription Cocktail Club & The Experimental Cocktail Club – also, if you’re in Dublin you can go to their sister bar, The Vintage Cocktail Club, which is a personal favorite.
Le Perchoir – rooftop views of the entire city, but unpretentious & relaxing.
Silencio – Members only, but if you can figure out a way to go, do!
The White Rooms – a Michelin Star restaurant that becomes a nightclub on the weekends. Win-win.
Where To Visit:
Musee d’orsay – This is probably my favorite museum because of how light and airy it is. On quiet days it feels more like walking along a long, well-decorated atrium than visiting a museum.
Jardin du Luxembourg – beautiful anytime of year, but especially in the spring.
The Louvre – I’m not going to say I was blown away by The Mona Lisa because it’s so hard to feel anything but claustrophobic in that area of the museum, but it’s definitely worth waking up early to explore as many as you want of the endless exhibits.
Hope this was helpful & you enjoy the pics!
Porter & Anna