When in Paris, one tends to frequent the usual hang-out spots such as Café Chalot, L'Avenue, Café de Flore and Le Societé. And blimey, you should indeed enjoy a glass of chilled Chablis in one (if not all) of the about, if you happen t find yourself in Paris. You haven't quite been there, if missing out on these good-old classics.
But, when I lived in Paris, i happen to find a handful of even better and a little less obvious places to eat, drink and be merry. Places, that are not quite known to everyone, nor mentioned in every blog or guide to Paris. All situated in Marais - my old hood - are here 5 secret insider-tips.
Café The Broken Arm
The Broken Arm behind Square du Temple in the middle of "haute Marais". The tiny café is the ideal place to have breakfast, coffee or a light lunch. They have great cakes, soups and salads - and a little boutique with upcoming fashion for both men and women.
12, RUE PERRÉE (75003 PARIS) - Website
On Rue Vielle du Temple you'll find Glou - an itsy bitsy winebar/restaurant with a modern New York inspired interior and superb attention to great wines and a few seasonal dishes, that changes according to the fresh produce available on the market. Ask the waiter to choose your wine and pair a suitable menu with it - then you are sure to get a really tasty experience! On the 1st floor you may find yourself in luck and get the table in the window overlooking the Picasso museum. Glou is the ideal spot for an intimate dinner or a glas of wine and nibble snacks after a day of shopping in Marais.
101, RUE VIELLE DU TEMPLE (75003 Paris) - Website
Derriere litterallt means "behind" - both as a preposition and a bodypart, for those with a slightly dirtier mindset ;) But the dual meaning aside, nothing bad can be said about Derriere - my all-time favourite in Marias - and all of Paris. For canocopic weekend brunch, a festive dinner with friends or drinks in the Maroccan yard on warmer nights Derriere is IT. Don't let it's dodgy and incognito location put you off - behind the black gate its wonders expand in a shabby chic interior mash-up where nothing matches, but everything goes together. From the Vespa to the ping-pong table. The restaurant is decorated as a priveate home, where you can be seated everywhere from the longe n plush chairs, to a bed in the boudoir or more "conventionally" at tables in the dining room. The food is sharable, sociable, uncomplicated and just SUPERB. And the chance of rubbing shoulders with celebs, it-girls and designers is quite high, which makes reservations or friendly terms with the owner a must.
69, RUE DES GRAVILLIERS (75003 Paris) - Website
JaJa is the slightly bigger sister of Glou. The concept of great seasonal food an great wines is still the core, but JaJa has an advantage over Glou in its really nice court yard, which is the place to have a great casual-chic dinner on warmer nights. JaJa is situated in the bottom of Marais, and is hidden from plain view from the street behind a non-discibant gate, so look out.
3 RUE SAINTE-CROIX DE LA BRETONNERIE (75004 Paris) - Website
For all who favour the greens, this is a tip for you. If you ever dreamed about rawfood in an haute cuisine variation do not hesitate to make reservations a CRU, in Village St Paul in the bottom of the Marais quater, Cru means "raw", but its is not a dogmatic rawfood restaurant as the menu also features dishes with fish and meat. But is IS the veggies that takes the prize and play the leading part in most servings. Most items of the menu are left relatively uncooked - a part from a few of the more meaty serving, which has touched a hot pan briefly. Everything is so beautifully arranged that it is almost a pity to devour it - but the demolition is quite worth it!
7. RUE CHARLEMANGE (75004 Paris) - Website