stephmodo: Stephmodo Guide to Paris

Stephmodo Guide to Paris

• 07 June 2010

It's high time I assemble all the information I've shared on this blog about Paris in one tidy post. It's lengthy, but it's chock full of excellent, useful, budget-friendly information. Enjoy!

Poilane: You'll find the best apple tart (tarte au pomme) in Paris right here on Rue Cherche-Midi. Poilane is a must-visit if you love pastry. They don't offer a bajillion choices, but rest assured that what they do make is perfection. Every time I'm in there I eye their linen market bag--one of these days I'll actually pick it up :) After munching on a few treats, start walking towards Mamie Gateaux.

Mamie Gateaux
: A lovely mix of Japanese and French design thanks to the cute couple who owns this shop, the brocante next door, and the yummy cafe two doors down as well. I hear her cakes are delicious! You can read more about my experience there here.

my favorite place to lunch in Paris. L'Ebouillante is located on a quiet pieton, next to a church and offers outdoor seating. I love their big salads and non-alcoholic drinks--two things that are hard to find in Paris and well-done in this establishment. Try their "bricks" too--amazing, giant, omelets. After eating here, walk one street over to Papier+.

Papier +
my favorite paperie in Paris. It's not cheap, and I usually don't buy much, but I love walking away with a few labels, a pad of paper, and pencils. It's such a cheerful place due to all the intense color and they package your goods up so very nicely.

After lunch at L'Ebouillante and a quick trip to Papier +, walk over the Seine to the lovely Ille de Saint Louis and grab a cornet double (2-scoop cone) at Berthillon. I recommend the Peche au Menthe (Peach Mint) and the Fraises de Bois (Wild Strawberries--like the kind that grow in the Dordogne). Closed on Sundays, Mondays and during the entire month August.

If I hit one store in Paris, it's this one. I can't tell you how much I love it! Located in the Marais.

While studying art in Paris for an entire month during college, I came to know the Parisian museums quite well. Here are a few museums I favored the most: Museé d'Orsay (a must-see for any tourist), Museé Rodin (perfect for a quiet garden walk and stunning sculpture), Museé Jacquemart-André (excellent Dutch art--think Rembrandt--in a cozy setting) and the Museé Marmottan Monet (go only if you are a Monet fan).

Restaurants that are Affordable:

Le Pré Verre -
I've never not enjoyed their delightful, easy-on-the-wallet 3 course meal. For less than 30€ one can consume 3 inventive, nouveau French courses. Tucked behind the Sorbonne, it's usually locals only. Make reservations ahead of time or show up the minute they open and promise to eat quickly :)

Les Cocottes -
Located down the street from one of our favorite boulangerie/sandwicheries and conveniently located near the Tour Eiffel. Everything here is baked in a little dutch oven (Le Creuset of course!) and is delicious and affordable. It's a fun spin on typical French food and I'm dying to get my hands on their cookbook for sale in the restaurant as well.

La Régalade -
7 years ago we ate there and each enjoyed a 4-course meal for 65€...for 2 people! I've read the prices have gone up a bit since then, and that the well-known chef has moved on (wasn't thrilled with his new restaurant Le Comptoir), but is still affordable for what you receive. It's a bit of a schlep from the nearest metro station (Alésia) , but it's worth it. You'll need to make reservations a week in advance at least. The best terrine and cornichons I've ever consumed came out of this kitchen.

Bistro Poulbot -
a recent discovery near Montmartre. Truly locals only, which is where I prefer to dine in Paris. Very traditional French fare (escargot, terrine, foie gras) and all of it oh so good! Head up to Sacre Coeur afterwards for a crepe and excellent views of the city.

Flea Markets
Hit a flea market {or two} during your stay in Paris...just make sure you know your numbers in French first :) In Paris try Porte de Vanves, Clignancourt or St. Ouen (this is supposed to be the largest). If you speak enough French to navigate a French website, check out the local vide-greniers instead. It's pretty much all locals. However, you will likely need a car to visit these locations.

Other notes that are trés important:

Helpful information as to what to pack for your trip to Paris can be found here.

I found a handful of these recommendations via Blueprint magazine--what an excellent guide. Oh I miss that magazine.

If you are traveling to Paris with kids, read this post. We spent some time in Paris with our 3 little ones a couple of years ago and learned a few things :)

Looking for an affordable hotel right in Paris? Read this post as well as the helpful comments shared for some valuable information.

I've shared some of my favorite chain stores in Paris (and a couple of boutiques) in this post. Keep in mind that chain stores are closed on Sundays and the boutiques on both Sundays and Mondays (and during August).

Ina Garten's Insider Guide to Paris can be found here. I love that woman!

Also, David Leibovitz's blog stores some excellent information about Paris. You'd be wise to spend some time there.

images 1-13 by Stephanie Brubaker / images 14-15 - the Kok's Nikon + iPhone :)


  1. Ah, my lifelong dream is to buy a chandelier at a flea market in Paris! I hear it's quite a pinch to ship back, though!

    Maybe just a china plate or something will have to do :)

    Thanks for all the great info! Do you have any recommendations for good French language learning programs? I've looked at Rosetta but haven't made the plunge just yet.

  2. Thanks Steph, my sister is leaving today, Perfect timing! love your blog!

  3. This is one of my very favorite posts ever. Wonderful!! Thank you for all the tips!

  4. ps--love how chic you (always) look in these photos. very French! :-)

  5. Love this post. Thanks for the inside info. Can't wait to go back there someday. I think we hit only one of the places you listed, on our trip 6 years ago. There's a lot to do in that city. Next time...

  6. Great post -- makes me itch to go back. I did not shop any of the flea markets when I was there last (I type with great remorse).

    The d'Orsay was definitely one of my favs, I also really enjoyed the Picasso museum in the Marais.

  7. brilliant!!! we were in paris last year and thanks to your blog we visited most of these places. the apple tart from poilane is to die for!! i bought one and walked the streets - a delightful experience. its the little things hey! our omlette at l'ebouillante - fabulous! the look on my children's faces when their hot chocolates arrived (with that gooey chocolate in the bottom!)- priceless. great memories. love paris!!

  8. Surprised to hear that Stephmodo didn't like Cambdeborde's Le Comptoir. It's one of my favorites. (Francois Simon, the irascible, tough-to-please food critic for Le Figaro also likes it). Maybe it was just an off day when you visited? Or could it be a subersive attempt to throw everybody off the scent of greatness? If so, Stephmodo might be a genius.

  9. I'm leaving for Paris in 2 weeks. This is perfect! Thanks so much.

  10. I love the little cookies at Poilane.
    Punitions. I usually head to Poilane's and then find a nice bench to sit in at the Luxembourg Gardens. Love your suggestions. Can't wait to use them in Sept. As well staying at La Maisonette.

  11. Anon: maybe it was an "off-night", but it certainly wasn't close to being the best meal I've had in Paris. I was super disappointed too given all the rave reviews and our love for La Regalade. Maybe we'll have to give it another go another time when we are lucky enough to get in!

  12. Hadley Duncan HowardJune 11, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    Oooh, you've hit on some of my favorites, as well as given me some new ideas! We'll use these in the fall! Thanks!

  13. Hi Stephanie - I was so happy to have the perfect resource - your blog for my good friends going to Paris for the first time!! Thanks!!

  14. hey girl. i am treating myself to a very quick day trip (via train) a paris tomorrow. super excited. i have 8 hours there. this post is great! thank you! wish you could join me! xoxo


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