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There's no doubt about it, Paris is stunning and impeccably cool. From the artfully-design buildings to the perfectly-curated, Instagram-worthy shops, the city of lights is a trendsetter's dreams. But when planning a trip to the city it can be a bit overwhelming, trying to find out the best places to check off your itinerary.
Well, worry no more. We have you covered on the best places to drink, eat, shop, and stay. Read on to find out the best places, old and new, that the world's most fashionable people love to visit when in Paris.
Where to Eat in Paris
Balagan is defined as a state of chaos, which seems to be a running theme for Parisian restaurants at the moment, but this place is unlike the rest. Israeli chefs Assaf Granit and Uni Navon created an up-beat, welcoming space located within a stone’s throw from the shuttered iconic Colette store just off Rue Saint-Honore. Dishes such as Kubane Bread, Kebab Destructure, and Muschen Chicken are all meant to be shared, but the real magic happens when you order the Balagan dessert which draws the entire staff into dance while creating the most heavenly mess you ever did devour. *Note when possible, aim for a seat at the Chef’s Table.
Related: The Ultimate Instagrammer’s Guide to Paris
With the most epic views of the Eiffel Tower, it's not surprising that reservations, especially for Girafe’s terrace in warmer temperatures, are difficult to come by. Owners Gilles Malafosse and Laurent Gourcoff, known for their previous heavy hitting restaurants Loulou and Monseiur Bleu, developed this deluxe seafaring brasserie into a show-stopping space framed with an extensive marble bar and velvet 30’s décor. Go for the Tuna Takaki, Lobster Linguine, and salt-crusted Sea Bass—it's divine.
Hidden in the back of the newly renovated Hôtel de Crillon is this little cozy gem ran by chef Justin Schmitt that's perfect for lunch or dinner. A modern foodie approach to exquisite French cuisine centered around a delectable crudo bar, Brasserie d’Aumont offers stand-out dishes such as Troncon de Sole Meunière (dover sole fish), Saint jacques (scallops) with Chestnut Gnocchis, and a simple lemon tart for dessert.
Inspired by Akira Kurosawa's 1985 film ''Ran'' meaning ''chaos,” (an adaptation of Shakespeare’s "King Lear"), this opulent French-Japanese restaurant stuns with modern metallic interiors, waiters in bold red monochromatic uniforms and mini Miso Black Cod lettuce wraps.
Location is key, we can all agree. While Loulou’s indoor restaurant serves a sumptuous candle-lit atmosphere, its expansive outdoor terrace is unsurpassable. Centered between the Palais du Louvre and the Tuileries Gardens, the view will leave you breathless and the French/Italian menu of raw purple artichokes, truffle pizza, and veal Bolognese will leave you more than satisfied.
Yup, it’s still running strong. Whether it’s lunch or dinner, coffee or cocktails, Hotel Costes’ terrace reigns as the place to be rain or shine. Perhaps it’s the luring aroma of amber scented Costes candles or the Bardot-esque waitresses laissez-fairing from table to table or simply the non-stop people watching that has everyone coming back for more. Order a glass of Sancerre, a plate of smoked salmon hearts and a side of pommes frites, then sit back, relax and enjoy the show
You cannot go to Paris, especially during fashion week, and not dine on their infamous caviar-dolloped baked potato while sipping on carafes of chilled vodka over azure-hued linens. It would be sacrilegious.
Within The Peninsula Paris, lies LiLi, a gourmet Cantonese restaurant enveloped in rouge Chinese painted silk décor. Gastronomic highlights include caviar filled lobster dim-sum and peking duck served two ways. The restaurant also offers a superb private dining option for special occasions where the Dim Sum is prepared fresh next to your table.
La Belle Epoque
As if taking a step back in time into the “Beautiful Age” time period (1871-1914), this hip restaurant is designed to reignite one of the most artistic eras where you will no doubt run into the most infamous photographers, stylists, and celebrities. A glass of red wine and a steak frites will do the trick.
Where to Drink in Paris
The infamous café, which opened in the 1880’s and is known for frequenters such as Pablo Picasso, is the Parisian’s choice for a pre-dinner aperif in Saint-Germain.
The ultimate afternoon spot to be spotted, sipping on an aperol spritz, soaking in the sun on the sought-after terrace.
The perfect night-cap in midst of a modern burlesque performance.
Where to Stay in Paris
The alternative option to a luxury hotel is a luxury home. Launched in 2010, Onefinestay offers an exclusive portfolio of the world’s finest apartments and villas (only 1 in 10 make the cut) with 24/7 support for anything you need. The entire experience is professionally managed from being greeted upon arrival to assistance with day-to-day needs including airport transfers, grocery deliveries, restaurant reservations, private chefs, babysitting, entertainment tickets, and bespoke city experiences. While Paris provides sublime options from their “City” portfolio, they also offer “Villa” options for beach-side destinations. Their service is impeccable and with such a quick response rate, it has me questioning whether I should be staying in their accommodations more often.
There are hotels and then there are French rated “Palace 5-star” hotels. Yes, there is a difference. And iconic resident guests such as Coco Chanel and Ernest Hemingway would agree. Imagine a “luxury” hotel that effortlessly checks off every box you would expect when staying at the 15th best hotel in the world. It feels like an opulent French palace inclusive of the world’s first Chanel spa, an indoor pool basking under frescoed clouds, an extensive hall of mirror satiated with luxury boutiques and the best part—the famed Hemingway Bar, where you can feel the spirits of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Cole Porter lingering around the cozy space. A must stop in Paris in additional to the cocktails list above.
Once known as Palacio Castilla belonging to Queen Isabella II of Spain in 1868, this 5-star hotel rivals those of the exclusive Palace 5-star rating. From the majestic marble lobby with cascading, suspended quartz, leads to the panoramic terraces overlooking the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, The Peninsula Paris offers more of a sleek, tech-savvy, modern luxury approach with supremely spacious rooms. Also make sure to check out its full-service, subterranean spa inclusive of an expansive pool and sizable gym.
After a four-year renovation, it’s reopening in 2017—located in the heart of Place de la Concorde—has it competing to be Paris’ new “It” hotel with its grandiose architecture by Ange-Jacques Gabriel.
What to Do in Paris
The luxury megastore freshly opened it’s 70,000-square-foot “concept store” this month featuring exclusive, cutting-edge designers, a foodies’ food court, and fancy coffee lounge all based around tech-savvy experimental practices. A must see for anyone visiting Paris.
On the other side of the Seine River lies this ultimate Parisian department store, “The Good Market” owned by LVMH, with the most in-demand, high-end designers' pieces and it’s own artistically curated grocery store, La Grande Épicerie, which is a destination in itself.
This beauty spa is a Mecca to many and for good reason. They have a cult following simply based on their P50 exfoliating lotion which is known to reverse the signs of aging along with additional products such as their Mask Vivant and Placenta Serum which will transform your visage to its original youthful appearance. Advanced reservations for beauty treatments are highly recommended as they book quickly.