I’m packed and ready for Thanksgiving in Paris! I can’t wait for time with my oldest, shopping for Christmas gifts, strolling outdoor holiday markets and eating *all the things*. This trip is extra sweet because it’s coming at the end of a few very busy weeks. I’m excited to share my list of what we’re up to next week. It’s by no means an exhaustive Paris travel guide. It’s a “what we’re doing on this trip” list based on the fact that we’ll be there as a family that includes a 14-year-old girl who just wants to shop and a 16-year-old boy who might rather be in the mountains skiing, fishing or golfing (just a hunch). I want restaurants that aren’t stuffy, days that aren’t too packed and lots of downtime.
A few notes before we jump in.
If you’re headed to Paris, download the G7 app for a really convenient taxi service. They are everywhere. Uber is also available.
You can use the map app that comes downloaded on your iPhone to enter your final destination, it will tell you which metro to take and how to walk to the nearest stop based on where you are. When you purchase a metro pass don’t let it touch your phone or it will demagnetize, take it from me! There’s a Paris Metro app as well, but honestly, I like how the iPhone map works the best
Paris does not have a central restaurant reservation system like Resy or OpenTable (that I know of), but most restaurants have online reservations available on their website. Make reservations in advance for every restaurant, except at most cafés. And be sure to cancel if you can’t make it. We don’t need any more reasons for Parisiennes to think we’re rude and don’t follow their rules!
I much prefer smaller hotels where you get to know the staff a bit. But make them cool with soft sheets and an honor bar!
A budget-friendly hotel on the right bank, owned by the same people who run Hotel Recamier (one of my favorites on St. Sulpice square in the 6th) and Adele & Jules. We walked in to check it out last time we were in Paris and the interiors and cozy sitting areas are better than the photos on the website.
I haven’t stayed here, but it’s at the top of my list. Old world, cool bar and superb concierge, according to a friend.
Anything that’s good enough for Mimi Thorisson is good enough for me. Good friends just stayed here and raved about it. Dark and clubby bar, staff car to drive you to dinner, and no detail missed in the rooms including a free mini bar, which is weirdly one of my favorite amenities.
I’ve been stalking their website, but never pull the trigger to stay there. If anyone has, please share in the comments below.
This was recommended by a friend and it’s in my favorite neighborhood for shopping. Looks so charming.
Aux Bons Crus (11th)
Open Sunday, casual, locals-vibe and classic entrees. I had a good laugh with the waiter here when I thought I ordered bread and he brought me a pen. And then he swiftly brought an English language menu after our dual laughter.
Les Vitelloni (3rd)
Just the best, most charming, little sidewalk spot with kind waitresses. I hugged our waitress goodbye the last time I was here after we had a sweet conversation about leaving my oldest in Paris for her first year of college (she offered to be an emergency contact!). I love this place! Oh, and it’s really good Italian food with an awesome wine list.
Fried chicken is what everyone goes for. Cute and cozy but lots of Americans talking loudly (you guys! Let’s all make a pact not to be those loud Americans). These guys also own Verjus, which is currently closed, and 22 Club.
Pizza Chic (6th)
Delicious pizza and casual setting. Better than Marzo, which is also really good. My in-laws saw Ina Garten here.
Croissants, bread and great bread knives you can purchase to take home as a souvenir (if you’re checking a bag).
L’As Du Fallafel (3rd)
So efficient even when there’s a line, great regular menu items, love the eggplant and falafel plate but the falafel is why everyone comes. No reservations, but the line moves fast.
Les Juveniles (2nd)
Charming wine bar with good food in a neighborhood setting. No online reservations, but you can have your hotel call for you.
Near Luxembourg Gardens. Owned by two women, one from Charleston and one who’s Scandinavian. Casual and delicious. More of a cafe or bakery.
An institution! Not far from the Pompidou if you want to plan a pre-dinner visit.
Le Mary Celeste (3rd)
Adorable neighborhood spot in the Marais, but it will have limited indoor seating in cooler temps, so not sure if we’ll make it. I haven’t eaten here, but the food always looks delicious.
Hotel Costes (1st)
Dark and clubby hotel bar that’s less Disneyland in feel than the velvet-roped Ritz.
Jacques’ Bar (2nd)
A young crowd sits in the courtyard of The Hoxton, but walk upstairs for a quite and cozy setting.
Harry’s Bar (2nd)
I’ve never been, but it’s on my perpetual list.
You can hit all the big stores (Galeries Lafayette, Bon Marche, Samaritaine) but the smaller specialty boutiques are more fun. Please share any personal favorites in the comments.
Flea and Food Markets (“Brocantes” and “Marchés Alimentaires“)
Vance flea market (easy to navigate and faster than Les Puces)