You’re trying to make most of a 24-hour layover or a quick weekend trip to Paris and well, it’s a little overwhelming. Understandable; touristic highlights, such as visiting Musée du Louvre, is supposed to take a week alone just to see all that it has to offer.
Luckily I’ve condensed all of the hard choices into a list of la crème de la crème and can make even the shortest excursions beyond satisfactory – when planning your petit trip to Paris, beware of the days you’re shooting for. Typically, many businesses are closed on Sunday and many public/national museums close on Mondays or Tuesdays.
Ultimately, eating is a huge part of a Parisian getaway. Purchasing full meals three times a day doesn’t necessarily leave room for a bigger appétit and won’t fulfill the Parisian culinary experience. We advise that you opt for smaller bites throughout the day, allowing you to try more eateries and treats along your journey.
Instead of indulging in a large breakfast grab coffee & viennoiserie, like a real Parisian, to hold you over for the morning. Pain Pain is sit down or takeaway boulangerie situated right off the metro Abbesses and on your way toward Sacré-Cœur in Montmartre. After that make use of the early morning in northern Paris, going to some of the vintage shops like Chinemachine and spree or wandering around the Lamarck / Caulaincourt that features picturesque stairwells and views across the city.
While grabbing a table at any cute brasserie or restaurant with the adorable quicker seats looks enticing, don’t do it. A lot of these places are over-priced duds. One that is not, is Cafe Charlot, located in the northern-reaches of Le Marais. It’s the perfect lunch spot, allowing you to people-watch and survey Parisians in their natural environment. It’s also conveniently across from Marché des Enfants Rouges where you can wander around the market stalls, smelling freshly baked goodies and flowers. Lines can get long here but the food is worth it if you find an opening.
Before you settle down for dinner, head to La Buvette or Au Passage in the 11th arrondissement. They both are wine bars with high quality tapas-style small plates. The location and menus make for a perfect apéritif. However, if you’re dying to see Le Seine, take up some glasses of wine at Chez Nous on Rue Dauphine, right across from Pont Neuf. They don’t have a menu, so you can ask questions and discuss price points and the server will open whatever you want to try.
When in Paris, you must eat at a Michelin restaurant. It’s no surprise that eating at a Michelin-starred restaurant will bring with it a hefty bill, but there’s a smart way of going about eating at the coveted establishments. First, research the restaurant you have in mind and make sure they serve lunch, most likely the price is about half of what your dinner bill would look like. Second, really check the reviews and make sure the cuisine is up your alley, if you’re a picky-eater, don’t even bother with the experience. Frenchie, is a Michelin-starred restaurant in the 3rd arrondissement that has multiple concepts, one with a take away style menu and another solely for drinks and wine. Frenchie’s lunch menu comes with four courses at €45 and a dinner menu of five courses at €74. The experience is worth every centime.
Breizh Café, which serves up star-quality crêpes, is also the perfect way to get a Michelin restaurant and the iconic French crêpe marked off your list. That being said, there are so many delicious crêperies across Paris, some of the best being the ones made out of the tiny kiosks that stay open late and nourish your drunken cravings. For instance, I’m big fan of Crêperie Genia by Fontaine Saint-Michel, an easy dessert and energy boost to help you dance the night away at local jazz club Caveau de la Huchette, which has been featured in many films but manages to keep the same locals coming each night. Seriously, gentlemen and ladies that are in their seniority who’ve danced in the underground jazz-filled caves for decades.
Nothing more to say than: enjoy your culinary trip to Paris!
Words and images by Amelia Goe