Paris Journals

Living in Paris

A travel journal to Paris by trixie000

Quote: An account of Paris after living there for 7 months... the city is undending, and the more one explores, the more they're rewarded for it.

Living in Paris

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Quote:
Nearing the end of my 7 months in Paris, I felt rather proud of myself. I could navigate the web of the metro without looking up from my book, knew which bakery had the best baguette and which had the best croissant d'amande, and had seen literally dozens of museums. But then I realized all I had yet to experience...the pieces of the urban puzzle unexplored, the food not yet tasted!! But after an uncomfortable moment or two I realized -- it's just this, this unending nature, which give Paris its character and its charm. The anitiquity is coupled with an ever expanding and cutting edge atmosphere - one can never see it all. Take some daytrips - the train ride is beautiful no matter what direction y...Read More

Au Levain du Marais

Restaurant

Quote:
Au Levain du Marais is an outstanding bakery in a city of really excellent bakeries.

Their breads are their forte -- the baguettes and country loafs are hearty, but still light and airy. All are produced with organic flour.

The line after work can pile out the door, but it's worth it for Thierry Rabineau's (the baker) delectable breads.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 12, 2002

Au Levain du Marais
32 Rue de Turenne
Paris, France 75004
01 42 78 07 31

Pub St. Germain

Restaurant

Quote:
Surprisingly, Pub St. Germain (which is the largest pub in Paris), has a 24 hour restaurant that serves really delicious food.

This isn't your ordinary pub fare; there's salmon, steak, incredible soups, you name it. Even the cheeseburger is gourmet: no bun, rare, and smothered in Gruyere.

The service is decidedly snooty -- we had a waiter who made fun of our French -- but it was actually pretty funny, and they'll still be quick and efficient.

It's probably one of the best places in the city for a late night meal -- and the prices are reasonable.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 12, 2002

Pub St. Germain
17 rue de l'Ancienne Comedie, 6th
Paris, France

La Tour d'Argent

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
One of the most well-known perveyors of haute cuisine in Paris, La Tour d'Argent's other claim to fame is its incredible view. One sits surrounded by windows with Notre Dame directly below, the Seine snaking into the distance, and the rest of Paris spread out before him. It is almost always fully booked, so make sure to reserve in advance. The service will be impeccable - you'll find yourself questioning your own manners. The food is legendary - and although more traditional than many up and coming restaurants, it's dependably delicious. The duck is especially well-prepared and succulent. Be prepared, however -- it's very, very expensive. It is an experience in itself, regardless o...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 12, 2002

La Tour d'Argent
15-17 quai de la Tournelle
Paris, France 75005
01 43 54 23 31

Le Fouquet's

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Fouquet's is the long-standing home to the beau monde, and even though now the Champs-Elysees is crowded with chains stores and obnoxious teenagers, it is a remnant of the old, luxurious avenue where Quineau and Bonnard once hung out.

You can sit outside late at night, gaze at the Arc de Triomphe, and pretend you're a character in "Breathless". It has come back into vogue recently, and you'll be surrounded by lots of beautiful people and an occasional celebrity.

It's home to the French Oscars -- the Cesars -- and has recently reopened with a new decor, with hope that it will regain the status it once had. It is already a lovely place to spend a late night or an afternoon.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 12, 2002

Le Fouquet's
99 ave Champs-Elysees
Paris, France
01 47 23 70 60

L'Ambroisie

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
This is one of the most expensive restaurants in Paris -- and that is not an easy title to acquire. It is also legendary, however, and a true haute cuisine experience. It's located in Place des Vosges, the oldest and one of the loveliest square in Paris. You're surrounded by red brick arcades and hushed couples crossing the Place. The restaurant itself is in a romantic townhouse, and the inside is luxurious: tapestries, stone floors, and nice lighting. Bernard Pacaud uses luxe, if a little conventional, ingredients, and the food is always impeccable. Service will of course be snooty -- but ignore them and enjoy the atmosphere. The wine list is extensive - but pricey. Still, overall...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 12, 2002

L'Ambroisie
9 place des Vosges, 4e
Paris, France
01 42 78 51 45

Le Petit Bofinger

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Le Petit Bofinger is a more modern take on the Parisian classic Brasserie Bofinger, which is across the street.

The cuisine is creative and delicious. I had a spring salad which had arugula, chickpeas, walnuts, and goose (which was surprsingly tasty - like a meatier unfried bacon). You can get all the classics - coq au vin, creme brulee, moules (mussels), etc. - but there is always an interesting twist.

The prices are reasonable and the service is friendly (but don't expect the staff to speak a lot of English!). You might sit in one of the little 2 person tables which are packed in against the walls - we met a painter on one side and a dancer on the other.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 12, 2002

Le Petit Bofinger
8 Rue De La Bastille
Paris, France
33 01 42 72 05 23

Maison Kayser

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Maison Kayser is arguably the best bakery in Paris. This is a big claim to make, considering Paris is the capital of all boulangeries, but Maison Kayser is such an incredible place I can do it without a second thought. The baguettes are perfect -- Parisians line up after work to get them -- and they're usually hot. They're crunchy outside, almost milky inside, chewy and light. The croissant d'amande is the best I've ever had -- pure butter and sugar -- yet somehow still light and delicate. The walls are lined with beautiful bread of every variety, there are shelves of colorful tarts (which look like art, not food)... there are sandwiches, rolls, cakes... you name it. The only problem is c...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 12, 2002

Maison Kayser
8/14 rue Monge
Paris, France
01 44 07 01 42

Brioche Doree

Restaurant | "La Brioche Doree"

Quote:
La Brioche Doree is the ubiquitous chain bakery in Paris, and so I expected it to pale in comparison to the other boulangeries.

While it certainly isn't one of the best bakeries in the city, it is much better than I expected. I'd skip their croissants and more delicate pastries, but their sandwiches are fantastic and cheap, and the brioches and rolls are tasty. The sandwich jambon et fromage is one of my favorite snacks.

Plus, there's always a Brioche Doree around the corner, so it's convenient for a quick lunch or snack.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 12, 2002

Brioche Doree
Throughout Paris
Paris, France

Au Pied de Cochon

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Au Pied de Cochon is one of the most Parisian dining experiences I had while I lived there. I went at 3 in the afternoon, and it was packed with regulars enjoying enormous lunches (with wine) of steak tartare, French onion soup, mussels, you name it. The place was hopping. I was also there at 3 in the morning -- and it was still packed with a convivial and hungry crowd. The French onion soup is some of the best in the city -- rich, filled with bread, and smothered with cheese. The creme brulee is also delicious, if a bit rich. The house wines are good, the service is quick, and the people watching is fantastic. The decor is fun too -- really an old Parisian brasserie atmostphere. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 12, 2002

Au Pied de Cochon
6, rue Coquillière
Paris, France 75001
+33 1 40 13 77 00

Cafe La Madeleine

Restaurant

Quote:
This is the perfect spot to sit and have un cafe -- there's a view of the lovely Place de la Madeleine, in all of its culinary splendor, and of the enormous Eglise de Madeleine.

It's relaxed and only mildly chic -- the staff is friendly, and if you can sit outside on a nice day, it's fantastic people watching.

The coffee is the usual -- very good -- as are the pastries and light breakfasts.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 12, 2002

Cafe La Madeleine
Place de Madeleine
Paris, France

Cafe Hediard

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
The cafe inside of Hediard is positioned upstairs overlooking the bustling and colorful store. The coffees are exceptionally good, and they offer and extensive wine list.

You can sit back in some leather chairs, have a light lunch or a coffee, and enjoy watching the bustling happenings below.

The waiters were very friendly and don't mind if you only get a coffee or a glass of wine. English is spoken.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 12, 2002

Cafe Hediard
Place de la Madeleine
Paris, France

Le Batofar lighthouse boat

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Batofar"

Quote:
Batofar is THE place to see live electronic music in Paris. All of the best DJ's from Europe and beyond play at this club -- which is actually in a barge on the Seine. The line to get in can be long on weekends, but on weeknights (it's just as happening with really good music) there should be no problem. You can also call and try to get on the list to avoid the lines altogether. The music is mostly house or trance, but check Pariscope for who's playing. World-renown DJ's come to this little club -- it's the best way to see them. The crowd is attentive, really into the music, and NOT trying to hit on you like in most danceclubs. The bartenders are friendly and the drinks are reasona...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 12, 2002

Le Batofar lighthouse boat
Face Au 11, Quai François-mauriac
Paris, France 75013
+33 1 56 29 10 33

Bains (Les)

Attraction | "Les Bains"

Quote:
Les Bains has been in and out of vogue for the past 100 years or so -- and it is now very in once again. It's mildly annoying waiting with the throng of people to get in the door, and the cover is steep, but the music is dependably good - usually house or hip hop - and the crowd is pretty nice to look at. If you can sneak your way, or work your way, into the VIP area you can have jet-setters buy you drinks and dance on the mini dancefloor up there. That's where you'll see stars or models, also. It's best on a weeknight when it's easier to get in and less crowded on the dancefloor. The drinks are a little pricey - but you don't go here to save money. Monday is gay night. ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 12, 2002

Bains (Les)
7, rue du Bourg-l'Abbé
Paris, France 75003
+33 1 48 87 01 80

Bar du Plaza Athénée

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Plaza Athenee (in the hotel)"

Quote:
Just strolling down the tree-lined Avenue Montaigne at night, peeping into the couture windows, and then entering the tres tres chic Plaza Athenee is worth the price of a drink.

The bar is very modern and chic - and the people are dripping with money and jewels. The drinks are expensive, obviously, but the atmophere will make up for it.

Check out the courtyard in the summertime - it is overflowing with ivy.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 12, 2002

Bar du Plaza Athénée
Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris
Paris, France 75008
+33 1 53 67 66 00

Chez Richard

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
Chez Richard is one of my favorite bars in Paris. It's located on a lively street in the Marais, which makes it even more shocking to step into such a cool, dim haven.

There are palm trees and candles, lots of smaller rooms with mosaics on the walls and chairs, and many intimate tables for a couple to sit over a mojito or two.

The crowd is very friendly - a mix of expats and Parisians, and the staff speaks English.

The ambience is chill -- and it's the perfect place to relax after a day of walking. And the drinks are outstanding -- all refresing and interesting. The mojitos are perhaps the best, but there's an extensive menu to choose from.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 12, 2002

Chez Richard
37 rue Vieille-du-Temple, 4th
Paris, France

Rex Club

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Rex"

Quote:
Rex is a hard-core dance club. They have really talented DJ's and lots of serious dancers and music lovers.

And Rex isn't part of the trendy scene - you'll never be turned away unless it really is too full. The music is achingly loud, and there is no where to relax if you're tired - so make sure to go if you're ready for a long night of dancing. It is fun, though, if you're ready -- techno and house blaring and people going nuts.

Friday nights it's the best of techno and its sweaty, bumping mayhem - but tons of fun.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 12, 2002

Rex Club
5, boulevard Poissonnière
Paris, France 75002
+33 1 40 28 95 62

Alcazar

Attraction | "Alcazar/Mezzanine"

Quote:
This is one of the most trendy bar/clubs in the city, but if you don''t mind lots of posing, it''s a pretty swanky place.

It''s located in the chic and heavily galleried part of the 6eme, and draws an affluent crowd. There are a lot of private parties, however, so make sure to check Pariscope before you go, or call ahead.

The music is usually good -- sometimes a little chill for hard-core dancing -- but it''s nice to be at a more relaxed place and avoid continually brushing people off. If you just want to have a drink and lounge, it''s a great spot.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 12, 2002

Alcazar
62, rue Mazarine
Paris, France 75006
+33 1 53 10 19 99

Wax Bar (Le)

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Wax"

Quote:
Right behind the Place de la Bastille, Wax is nestled into rue Daval, a lively street packed with night revellers looking for a good time. Late night, queues form at almost every nearby crêpe stand. Since it's not as visible or as well-known, Wax manages to avoid the lascivious and more typical nocturnal crowd which seems to wander endlessly down Faubourg Saint-Antoine. Wax is a 60's version of futurism, if that makes sense -- think Austin Powers with a bit of 2001 thrown in for good measure. There's lots of orange and white, lots of plastic, long booths, and a central dancefloor where some pretty bad-ass dancers groove to top-notch DJs. And of course there are the ubiquitous spotlights, which ro...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 29, 2002

Wax Bar (Le)
15 rue Daval
Paris, France 75011