All posts by Our Paris Guide

Fromagerie Goncourt

This fromagerie is a welcome addition in the 11th where there’s an abundance of quality restaurants, but a serious lack of places to buy great cheese. Don’t miss the fresh dairy bar by the door where you can buy fromage frais, ricotta, and housemade cervelle de canut (a tangy cheese dip from Lyon flavored with fresh herbs and shallots) in bulk. Clément Brossault did a Tour de France of fromage on his bicycle to meet and build relationships with artisanal cheese producers before he opened his beautiful shop near Goncourt. The trip paid off and the shop is stocked with a wide variety of competitively priced cheeses.  Raw milk, which can be hard to find due to its short shelf life, is delivered here from Normandy twice weekly.

— Catherine Down, September 2015 Continue reading Fromagerie Goncourt

Laurent Favre-Mot

Between the chocolate mustache-topped sable sandwich cookies that resemble an inside-out Oreo, the “f*cking dark” chocolate tarts topped off with chocolate skulls, or a lemon cream in between sesame madeleines disguised as a hamburger, this pastry shop can feel a bit too self-consciously cool. Thankfully, the sweets mostly deliver, and the tattooed and beardedeponymous pastry chef is present most days, and gracious. The deconstructed cheesecake inside of a Camembert box is an interesting take on a ubiquitous dessert, and the fresh fig tart with dragées rich with an intensely vanilla cream in a crisp, not-too-sweet shell. Pastries taken to-go are packaged in reusable plastic pencil cases adorably slapped with a robot sticker. In yet another departure from his peers, Laurent Favre-Mot will be offering a limited savory lunch and brunch in the back room of the pâtisserie.

— Catherine Down, October 2015 

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Gilles Marchal

The giant madeleine door handle and the tiny seashell shaped sweets printed on the wallpaper are a good indicator of what lies within. The classic childhood treat is here elevated to a work of art in a variety of flavors. Delicately perfumed with crisp, buttery edges, the lemon glazed and salted caramel were particularly excellent. Madeleines were invented in Alsace where pastry chef Gilles Marchal hails from, and, while his are more expensive than most, they’re superlative within their category. It’s no surprise given that Marchal was the pastry chef for a number of years at Le Bristol, Plaza Athénée, and La Maison du Chocolat before striking out to open his own neighborhood bakery.  The madeleines might be the stars of the show, but there are numerous other options including breakfast pastries, after school snacks, an ice cream cart in summer, and artfully presented tarts, such as a piquant lemon tart garnished with meringue cigarettes. There’s even occasionally a solid gluten-free option in the form of a “sacher cake” which resembles a chocolatey tiramisu. There’s no space to sit so plan on taking your pastries to-go and snacking on the steps of Sacre-Coeur.

— Catherine Down, September 2015 

Continue reading Gilles Marchal

Gravity Bar

Practical information

Address: 43 rue des Vinaigriers, 75010
Nearest transport: Jacques Bonsergent (5)
Hours: Closed Sunday & Monday
Reservations: Not Accepted
Telephone: 06 11 84 21 76
Average price for a cocktail:12€
Average price for dinner:10-19€
Style of cuisine: Small plates

Reviews of interest

Le Fooding (2015) “Le Gravity, bar à manger du frais, exerce déjà son pouvoir d’attraction : c’est plein à craquer, extérieur compris.”

52 Martinis (2015) “The selection is packed with ingredients that won’t be immediately recognizable to the average drinker: Gentiane Salers, Maurin Kina, Galliana Ristretto, etc. These kinds of non-mainstream ingredients (well known in the craft cocktail world, less so outside of it) can either elevate or crush a menu. And it takes a skilled professional to pull this off with aplomb. Fortunately, that’s exactly what they have with Michael Mas behind the bar.”

Time Out (2015) “Les assiettes à partager finissent de nous séduire. De la vraie cuisine, imaginative et goûteuse, pour l’apéritif. Bonbons de saumon à l’érable et cacahuète, tataki de canard figue et pistache… Nos papilles frétillent et notre carte bleue se porte bien : toutes les assiettes sont à moins de 10 €. On mange bien, on boit bien et c’est beau.”


Practical information

Address: 52 rue Faubourg Saint-Martin, 75010
Nearest transport: Jacques Bonsergent (5)
Hours: Open every day
Reservations: Walk-Ins Welcome
Telephone: 01 42 41 73 31
Average price for lunch: 10-19€
Style of cuisine: Soup, salad & sandwiches
Website   Facebook

Reviews of interest

Sprudge (2015) “While the coffee is carefully selected, here the focus is more all-around cafe as opposed to coffee bar; it’s the entirety of Blackburn that’s important, not just what they’re serving. There are fresh juices if you’re not in a coffee mood, all food and most of the pastries are made in house, and there’s even an inviting couch at the back – a vintage Scandinavian model of course.”

Good Coffee in Paris (2014) “… the awesomely understated Blackburn Café, content in its isolation and home to some excellent coffee… Coffee is à la demande (by request), with an interesting variation in the beans, which have origins as diverse as Indonesia, Ethiopia and Salvador. There are several seating options depending on how much conversation is desired, and  sections for reading and laptop work.

Photo via Blackburn’s Facebook page

Le Syndicat

Practical information

Address: 51 rue Faubourg Saint-Denis, 75010
Nearest transport: Strasbourg Saint-Denis (4,8,9)
Hours: Closed Sunday
Telephone: 06 66 63 57 60
Average price for cocktail: 10€
Website   Facebook

Reviews of interest

Paris Bouge (2015) “Le concept,remettre au goût du jour des alcools de grand-père, sélectionner des spiritueux au quatre coins de la France et créer, comme en couture, un sur-mesure en matière de cocktails. Tout est français mais surtout, tout est particulièrement bien travaillé, les associations entre alcool et jus, liqueurs, saveurs.”

52 Martinis (2014) “Le Syndicat is the self-proclaimed “Organization in Defense of French Spirits” and, as such, focuses strictly on French ingredients.  The concept of its creators, Sullivan Doh and Romain Le Mouellic, is to stock the bar with bottles of gentian based beverages, French Gins, Cognacs, Armagnac, and other ingredients hailing from l’Hexagone.”

Time Out (2014) “Une façade décrépite, des affiches placardées sur une épaisseur de 5 centimètres… Mais où est ce bar? … C’est sur un concept très rafraîchissant que Sullivan Doh et Romain Le Mouellic ont décidé de fonder un rade aux allures de bar clandestin, qui contraste nettement avec un intérieur clinquant aux tonalités mordorées.”

Le Figaro (2014) “Sullivan Doh, transfuge de l‘Experimental, qui a fait ses classes à l’école Ferrandi et participé au succès du Sherry Butt (dans le IVe), jongle avec vieux cognacs, rhums blancs de La Réunion et eaux-de-vie de myrte. La carte est brève, précise et séduisante pour les amateurs de boissons tourbées.”

Photo via Le Syndicat’s Facebook page

Le Siffleur de Ballons

Sommelier-turned-restaurateur Thierry Bruneau’s versatile and tasteful neighborhood wine bar is a cherished mainstay of the Aligre neighborhood. It’s got a long, lively bar for solo diners, a bevy of small tables for couples and small groups, and a rear room that can be privatized for minor occasions. Managers Tristan Renoux and Frederick Malpart curate the dynamic, well-priced, mostly natural wine selection with an enthusiasm almost unheard of in the Paris hospitality scene. And the bar’s simple menu of salads and gourmet foodstuffs is anchored by a brilliant steak for two, prepared in the kitchen of Bruneau’s restaurant across the road, L’Ebauchoir. Bottles can also be purchased to go.  Continue reading Le Siffleur de Ballons

Une Glace à Paris

The  ice creams and sorbets here are made fresh, on-site, each day from quality ingredients, and they’re some of the best in Paris. That’s no surprise given that Emmanuel Ryon is a Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) glacier, a title that indicates outstanding achievement in an artisanal trade. There are creative surprises like blackcurrant with cinnamon and mint, the shockingly good carrot with orange and ginger sorbet, or Medovick, a flavor inspired by the Russian buckwheat cake sweetened with honey and Ryon’s background as the chef pâtissier at Café Pouchkine. Vanilla here isn’t boring and comes in three varieties, as does the chocolate, and both classics are available in ice cream flights. It’s a glace to rival Berthillon and, unlike Berthillon, it stays open late on the weekends and in August when you need it most. Continue reading Une Glace à Paris

Hakata Choten

While the focus of this cheap and cheerful Japanese franchise is ostensibly the authentic tonkatsu ramen, the real highlight is the gyoza with a thick, crisp, seared crust and a juicy pork filling. The parent restaurant won the Prix du Concours National of Gyoza in Japan in 2004, and the dumplings truly are winners. The dining room is busy and the lines can be long, but the steaming bowls of ramen come out fast and are worth the wait. The counter seating on the bottom floor makes this a nice option for dining alone.

— Catherine Down, September 2015

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Profiterole Chérie

This bright pink pastry shop  sells single serving profiteroles from Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) pâtissier Philippe Urraca. The choux are baked every 40 minutes to keep them crisp. The snowball sized choux are assembled to order, and available in a dozen flavors ranging from classics like the standard vanilla ice cream  with hot chocolate sauce to the more unique, such as lemon pastry cream and meringue filling served with lemon curd sauce. Each choux is served in an ice cream cup with a plastic shot of sauce on the side, so you can eat them on the run or settle down in the salon. The choux were notably crunchy, but overall, the flavor combinations were uneven. The salted caramel was a favorite.

Continue reading Profiterole Chérie

Ob-La-Di Café

Ob-La-Di might be the most Instagrammed café of the 2015 rentrée, but there’s real substance at this stylish spot in the Haut Marais. Most of the baked goods are made in-house, and many of them manage to be vegan and gluten-free, and still actually taste good. Coffee is expertly prepared with Lomi beans by Lloyd, formerly of Boot Café, who also curates a killer playlist most days. Creative offerings include an affogato made with cookie dough ice cream, horchata, a vegetarian burger, and avocado toast that is worth an eye-popping €9 price tag due to the homemade purple potato bread and chimichurri sauce, plus pomegranate seeds.

— Catherine Down, September 2015

An Absolute Favorite

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Le Triangle

In an exciting step forward for the craft beer scene in Paris, Le Triangle has opened its doors to become Paris’ first-ever gastrobrewpub. With brewing kettles on display behind the bar, an excellent selection of guest beers on tap (house-made brews are slated for early 2015), and enticing seasonal dishes coming out of the kitchen, the respect for good product is evident. The welcome is warm, the staff enthusiastic, the prices reasonable, and the menu changes daily – what more can a beer-loving foodie ask for?  Continue reading Le Triangle


Following their success with Verjus, where the more elaborate formula of dégustation + wine pairings has drawn a loyal following of happy locals and visiting celebrities, Braden Perkins and Laura Adrian have decided to open something more casual. Let’s call it “serious casual” because at Ellsworth (named for Perkins’ grandfather), foods that you might see at a county fair are elevated through careful sourcing and a sincere spirit of DIY. Corn dogs are thus filled with house-made rabbit sausage and paired with bitter mustard greens. Potato skins are topped with melted tomme and enlivened by crunchy chicken skin instead of crumbled bacon.

Continue reading Ellsworth