Du Pain et des Idées
We could save you some reading and simply say that many Parisians regard this little bakery near Place de la République, one of the central meeting points of Paris, as the best in the world. It’s esteemed especially for its range of options. Located in a traditional Haussmannian building, it has a facade that recalls typical bakeries of the 1910s. Inside, you’ll find gilded mirrors and an ornate painted ceiling above the stacks of bread and pastries.
BTW: Don’t leave without trying the mouna, a brioche with orange-blossom flavor.
Du Pain et des Idées, 34 Rue Yves Toudic, 75010 Paris, France
Boulangerie Benoît Castel
Among all the breads, cakes and pies, it’s difficult to make a choice at Boulangerie Benoît Castel. Everything is homemade — as you can tell by the scent as you enter the shop. The place has a rustic feel, with long tables, mismatched plates, stacks of wood and two big, old ovens that serve as pure decoration. On the weekends, egg dishes and salads are served family-style on the counter for unlimited brunch. This place is also nice for a weekday breakfast of coffee and croissants — and don’t miss the jam.
BTW: They don’t take reservations. Come early for the weekend brunch.
Boulangerie Benoît Castel, 150 Rue Ménilmontant, 75020 Paris, France
Jah-Jah by Le Tricycle
Whether you’re vegan or just want to spend a meal as one, Jah-Jah is the kind of place that proves plant-based food can shine even in a city laden with butter. Coralie Jouhier and Daqui Gomis, the team behind Le Tricycle, Paris’s first vegan hot dog cart, were inspired by Ital cuisine (the vegan Jamaican diet) for this one. There are “burgers” and junk food along with Instagrammable bowls and smoothies. With tropical and Rastafarian accents, this laid-back place brings a bit of Jamaica to Paris.
BTW: Le Tricycle, originally only a cart, now has a storefront and is only a few blocks away.
Jah-Jah by Le Tricycle, 11 Rue des Petites Écuries 75010 Paris, France
In the heart of the 18th district’s Goutte d’Or, the most ethnically diverse area of Paris, you’ll find this tiny cafe at the Institute of Islamic Culture, where French and Mediterranean influences inspire plates of couscous, tajine and chorba (a traditional North African soup). It may not look like much from the outside, but inside, the cafe is designed like those of 1970s Barbès, with posters from the golden age of North African singers. A patio is open during the warmer months where you can end your meal with a traditional mint tea.
BTW: While you’re in the area, check the calendar for the latest exhibits at the institute.
Cafe D’Ici, 19 Rue Léon, 75018 Paris, France
Think of traditional French food amid hip decor and a mix of Parisian creatives, millennials of all stripes and, yes, some tourists at the same place, and you get Bouillon Pigalle. Opened in 2017, it quickly became the place to have a date, birthday party, work dinner or late lunch (so, really, any meal). Because it’s cheap, good and huge (300 seats), this is the must-do restaurant when you want to stick to classics like onion soup, beef bourguignon and bone marrow — they’re all done well here. Snag a seat on the covered balcony.
BTW: The line can be scary but moves pretty fast.
Bouillon Pigalle, 22 Boulevard de Clichy, 75018 Paris, France
An Di An Di
The name means “eat eat” in Vietnamese, and that’s what you’ll want to do here again and again. An Di An Di combines Vietnamese and French cuisines in daring but excellent combinations, such as the boudin noir, with mashed potatoes and green apples, or the chocolate cake with an avocado sauce. The restaurant is in a quiet neighborhood, too, far from the crowds: the perfect dinner.
BTW: The tofu doughnut with lime mayonnaise is worth a medal — and super Instagrammable.
An Di An Di, 9 Rue du Liban, 75020 Paris, France
Here’s the kind of place you go when you crave a sunny vacation without leaving the city: Brazil and Japan united in a brightly painted space. Why those two? Well, it turns out São Paulo has one of the largest Japanese populations outside of Japan. There’s a range of tapas, with Brazilian inspiration and Japanese seasoning, but you can just as easily come for the drinks and be happy. The staff is good at helping you choose something.
BTW: Try the coxinhas de frango (Brazilian chicken croquettes with okra) and pastéis de carne seca (like an empanada with beef and cheese).
Uma Nota, 86 Rue Réaumur, 75002 Paris, France
Shake n’ Smash
From the outside, you wouldn’t think this place serves some of the best cocktails in town. Inside the moody bar, you’ll discover kitschy decorations, like animal-print chairs and feather lampshades — an homage to the owner’s mother. It’s the perfect place for a date or just a night out with friends, where you’ll fill up with snacks like the duck tacos, with honey mustard and mint, or the mini beef sandwich with Cantal cheese. Very French.
BTW: You can book a 90-minute mixology class for 50 euros.
Shake n’ Smash, 87 Rue de Turbigo, 75003 Paris, France