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Four volumes of SUITCASE Magazine, with a new issue delivered to your door each quarter
With its grey walls, metal chairs and industrial lighting, the interiors of Marcel’s three restaurants create a hip surrounding for those wanting an Instagrammable dining experience. Though undoubtedly trendy, Marcel still manages to be unassuming and welcoming. Come here for a lively American-style brunch or pick up coffee and spend your afternoon wandering the tree-lined streets of Paris.
When you’re good to mamma, mamma’s good to you…and good Ober Mamma is. This restaurant, which is spitting distance from the Oberkampf metro, is a colourful combination of blues and oranges, wood, brass and marble. There’s even a tree, albeit a fake one, in the middle of the restaurant for good measure. Hearty and authentic Italian cuisine is served in a delightfully unpretentious environment, where everyone is welcome to have a fun and relaxed meal. Sometimes you just want pizza, even in Paris.
Porte 12 is hidden behind a heavy wooden door in the heart of the 10th arrondissement and housed in an old textile and lingerie atelier. A favourite of design enthusiasts and fashionistas, the 24-seat restaurant is a lesson in good taste, with taupe walls and deep blue banquettes with large copper lamps hanging from the ceilings. The restaurant opened its doors in September 2014 backed by Singaporean chef and restaurateur André Chiang and global hotelier Loh Lik Peng and is headed up by his former sous chef Vincent Crépel from the South of France. The result is a sophisticated and interesting dialogue between French and Asian cuisine.
Diners choose from a three or five-course meal at lunch or seven-course meal for dinner. Expect daring combinations from this chef who takes inspiration from his travels and tutelage under André Chiang to spice up his own take on French cuisine. Think Jerusalem artichokes on a bed of burnt onion with black truffle and cod with Spanish olives and a carrot-ginger emulsion. For dessert, order slow roasted figs with meringue and beurre noisette.
Caviar Kaspia has been the go-to spot for the high society in Paris since the 1920s when it was opened by Russian owner Arcady Fixon. Here the likes of Carine Roitfield, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Beyoncé rub shoulders with politicians and the literary elite. The space feels like an old world private members club where guests are welcomed by name and taken through the ground floor shop and up to the hidden second floor. Champagne flows, vodka is served in carafes and caviar reigns. The menu is simple with extravagant ingredients and various ways to enjoy caviar – on blinis, with eggs, in a baked potato. There is a large selection of smoked fish and foie gras with a few soups and salads to accompany your main meal.
Simple and stylish, Paradis is a French brasserie in the 10th arrondissement and the type of place you could spend hours with friends over a bottle of red wine. Chef Nicolas Gaudin serves up simple dishes such as duck and veal carpaccio in a chic living room-esque setting with large wooden tables lit by vintage wall lights and large wax candles. The menu changes daily depending on the creations of Nicolas Gaudin and his choice of fresh ingredients, but it is divided into sections such as eggs, vegetables, fish, pasta and grains so there will always be something to try.
Following their relocation earlier this year, L’Entrée des Artistes is now situated in Pigalle. The New York-style restaurant is set over two floors but has maintained a cosy, intimate ambience. Exotic green plants, soft lighting and exposed brick walls set the scene in this art deco establishment which embodies Parisian cool. The menu is innovative and creative, mixing Asian and French flavours.
This is a Miami Vice-inspired burger bar in the heart of Le Marais. We know you’ve heard it all before, but PNY’s third location is genuinely one of the trendiest burger joints we have seen thus far. Come for the design and eat the Le Ponclet beef burgers with hand-cut french fries.The menu is reminiscent of any cult US burger bar but PNY pride themselves on the quality of their ingredients and their exceptional mature cuts of Le Ponclet beef. Check out PNY Oberkampf or PNY FBG Saint-Denis instead, depending which is closest to you.
After two years of refurbishment, Brasserie Barbès finally opened its doors in spring 2015. What was revealed was a three-storey café/restaurant/club which hosts everything from coffee breaks and sit down meals to cocktails and dancing. Big brass lamps hang from the ceilings, leafy plants cling to the piping and the enormous windows flood each floor with brilliant natural light. Almost always bustling, from 8am-2am.
Bertrand Grébaut’s Septime is one of the most coveted restaurants in the French capital, and with good reason. Combining the décor of a traditional bistro with a stylised finish, the spiral staircase, large industrial mirrors and flowers propped in metal watering cans create the ideal backdrop to your meal. Seasonal, flavoursome and beautifully presented, Septime’s simple yet creative menu changes daily. To really get a sense of just how talented Grébaut and his team are, try the carte blanche menu, which lists three ingredients per course.
As an internationally renowned restaurant, Frenchie is hardly a place that needs its praises sung. Despite its fame and success, with its brick walls and tiny dining room, Frenchie’s interior and service maintains a neighbourhood bistro vibe, perfect for cosy and romantic dinners. Attracting anyone who enjoys exquisite food and wine, chef Gregory Marchand’s little alley spot lives up to the hype. Putting a spin on traditional French cuisine, Marchand’s seasonal menu is creative and inspired by his travels around the world, hosting a variety of flavours in his succinct menu. Be sure to try the informal café Frenchie To go on 9 rue de Nil.
For a slightly more wholesome meal amid all the croque monsieurs and steak frites, head to one of our favourite healthier hot spots in the Upper Marais. Season is the place to be for filling smoked salmon, avocado and poached egg toast when you’re in dire need of some nutrients, or a matcha brioche when you’ve had one too many éclairs but still need to satisfy your sweet tooth. The muted, neutral tones of the décor also make it the perfect brunch place to soothe a post-Titty Twister hangover.
With the ambience of an ultra-chic garden, Alcazar’s abundance of plants enhance its feng shui tenfold. The restaurant’s flattering golden light and sleek décor maintain its Parisian appeal, so think of it as a cooler, more natural take on an elegant brasserie. Head up to the rainforest-like balcony bar overlooking the restaurant for fruity après-dinner cocktails before hitting the clubs (the basil berry cooler is a life-changer).
The vegan food craze is finally catching on in Paris. Wild and the Moon is one of our favourites – and not just because of the easy-on-the-eye staff. With a slew of smoothies and Instagrammable drinks such as their blueberry-lavender latte and iced coco matcha, it’s a perfect one-stop-shop for picking up a healthy juice on the go à la Los Angeles. Need a little more than blended strawberries and kale to keep you going? Their hearty breakfast and lunch bowls are sublime – think cinnamon-drizzled chia seed pudding and lentil salad packed with fennel, capers and marinated red onion.
Before diving into the shopping haven that is Merci, pause at the Used Book Café right by the shop’s entrance. Peruse the selection of 10,000 books and settle into at one of the tables in the cosy space, solo or en tête-à-tête. While heavy fare isn’t this restaurant’s specialty, it’s ideal for light nibbles like cheese with honey and pistachios, organic terrine or bagels with smoked salmon and dill cream cheese. Order a glass of their homemade lemonade or a pot of hibiscus tea on chillier days and make yourself at home as you pretend to understand the original version of In Search of Lost Time.
Located on a rooftop under a bow-shaped glass dome, this restaurant provides sparkling views across the Seine and into the Louis Vuitton ateliers come nightfall. Start the evening with a drink at the buzzing downstairs bar before heading up to the jazzy dining area. If you’d rather take in the sunshine from up high, Kong does brunch as well.
If tabletop screens and manga wall art don’t instantly transport you to Tokyo, we don’t know what will. Miss Ko, a hyper-pigmented and hyper-stimulating restaurant located smack on Avenue George V, is Paris’ answer to fun but fashionable Japanese fare in the heart of the city. Sidle up to the sushi bar topped with ever-changing Japanese news streams for dragon rolls and salmon nigiri. While snapping photos of the decor, make sure to keep an eye out for the Insta-famous crowd who frequent this spot.
With the feeling of your bohemian aunt’s apartment that you use as a crash pad during Eurostar weekend getaways, this cosy restaurant is all kooky wall art, mismatched chairs and fringed red-velvet cushions. For “candid” action shots following your crème brûlée, step through Derrière’s mirrored version of Narnia’s wardrobe and into the hideaway smoking room.
Set in the Louvre’s courtyard amid meticulously trimmed hedges, Loulou sprawls out under a canopy of pristine white umbrellas shading a crowd of Sandro-clad couples enjoying views of the Tuileries. The golden facades of the museum serve as the perfect backdrop if you’re looking for a little bourgeois glamour come mealtime.
For an upscale meal out, book a table at the Centre Pompidou’s iconic Café Georges. Set on the top floor of the museum, the restaurant offers sweeping views over the city (including a close-up of Notre Dame). Head upstairs after a tour of the museum for a chic lunch with girlfriends, or schedule a birthday dinner overlooking the city lights.
Remember the post-Victoria’s Secret fashion show picture of Kendall Jenner asking for a burger? Taken at none other than Ferdi. It’s home to the best burger in Paris, as well as to the cheesiest, most mouthwatering baked mac and cheese this side of the Atlantic. This tiny, kookily decorated restaurant is constantly packed with too-cool-for-school New Yorkers on a weekend away and stylish French couples changing it up from their usual steak tartare.
For a casual spot in the 2nd arrondissement that’s always buzzing, head to Little Italy. It’s got one of the biggest pizza ovens in Paris, and is constantly serving up fresh takes on your classic Neapolitan slice (made with organic dough, bien sûr). In the mood for something lighter? Order a round of antipasti, without missing the smoked stracciatella, Sicilian arancini and grilled artichokes. Bear in mind that this spot is often packed, so arrive early and sip an Aperol spritz on the terrace.
You know how you have that one incredible friend who knows their city inside out? That’s us. We take the world’s most dynamic destinations, hand-pick the best bits and give them to you in one place. This is the kind of guide that you don’t need to run by a local – it was written by one. Eat your heart out, shop until you drop, drink like a fish, dance your socks off, sleep – then repeat.
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