PARIS BOBO

The go to places of the trendy Parisian bourgeois boheme

Grazie: Tu Vuo Fa L’Americano?

 

They say when in Paris, do as the Parisians do. But what happens when the Parisians would rather do like somebody else? Well, Grazie. If Naples and Tribeca were two people (or restaurants capable of reproduction), Grazie would be their illegitimate love child. There’s nothing much French about this hybrid pizzeria/cocktail bar, except its location in the Marais. Grazie is a magnet for cool Parisians, and the attraction is no surprise. Firstly, a pizza is to a cocktail (or in our case, a few…) what a nutella crêpe is to a Saturday night out in Pigalle at 3am - one delicious lifesaver. Add to the mix a fabulous New York industrial loft style décor, where bottles are displayed in wooden crates and the walls look more like the inside of a bomb shelter, and you have a winning combination. Pizzas range from 8-19 euros and cocktails hover around 12. Vespa over to Grazie, just remember, the early bobo catches the peacock.

Bisou bisou, Paris Bobo

Grazie, 91 boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003  

01 42 78 11 96

Hotel Particulier: Particularly Good

Ding Dong! The witch is dead. But magic, thankfully, is not. And it can be found here, at the exclusive Hotel Particulier. Hidden in the picture perfect Montmartre, you’d be forgiven for consulting Google maps several times to find your way. Seek out the Witch’s Rock – this is a passage, not a potion – and follow it down to the black iron gates. Once inside, a lush, secret garden (landscaped by the man behind the renovated gardens at the Elysée and Tuileries no less) and an imposing white mansion await you. The garden is set up with wrought iron tables and chairs, nestled within the foliage, lit at night by candelabra. When we were last there, they were only serving plates of charcuterie. But alas, our prayers have been answered and a restaurant has opened for dinner, Wednesdays to Sundays, under reservation. For a special treat, why not stay at one of their extravagant suites? As the weather warms, you can be sure we’ll be around to sip delicious cocktails from their bar, le Très Particulier. Come out, come out, wherever you are…

Bisou bisou, Paris Bobo

Hotel Particulier, 23, avenue Junot, Pavillon D, 75018

01 53 41 81 40

Filez chez Philou

Lesson number 1: must not confuse Philou with filou. One is short for Philippe, and in the present case, refers to Philippe Damas and his restaurant a hop, skip and a jump away from the Canal Saint-Martin in the 10e. The other, an adjective to describe a not very nice person. Despite the identical pronunciation, they have nothing in common, for Philou is a simple, honest kind of place. The restaurant’s decor is sober: ruby red booths stand out against blackboard walls setting out the day’s menu. A beautiful Ingo Maurer lamp with poems attached to thin wires by clips gives the room soft lighting and a cosy feel. But without doubt, the highlightis the food. Not only great value at 30 euros for 3 courses, but a fresh, market menu and a clin d’oeil to some ingredients you didn’t think had been revisited since the end of WWII. We don’t usually comment in this level of detail about a meal, but in the case of Philou, the buzz is on the plate! So now we’ve established that Philou and filou are different and that Philou is not a filou – are you still with me bobos? OK, just go and check it out for yourselves then.

Bisou bisou, Paris Bobo

Philou, 12 avenue Richerand, 75010

01 42 38 00 13

Less is More Aux Deux Amis

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and this has never been more true than Aux Deux Amis in the 11e. This retro bar and bistro, with its blinding neon lights, wooden panel walls and minimalist decor, may leave you completely indifferent should you walk past at the wrong time. But there is more than meets the eye Aux Deux Amis. This tiny place is so popular in the evening, people are pouring out into the street, and we know why. Friendly service, fresh food at reasonable prices and more red lipstick on pretty girls than DSK could poke a stick at, this is the local you’ll wish you had in your neighbourhood. 20 euros will get you a couple of tasty, simple tapas and some vino. If you own a pair of plastic, thick frame glasses, this is the place to wear them. So bobo, so chic.

Bisou bisou, Paris Bobo

Aux Deux Amis, 45 rue Oberkampf, 75011

01 58 30 38 13

La belle vie at La Bellevilloise

 

He who said the best things come in small packages obviously has never been to La Bellevilloise. Slightly off the beaten track in the 20e, La Bellevilloise was the first Parisian co-op, founded in 1877 to give the working class access to political education and culture. Today, it’s a multi-purpose space hosting concerts, theatre performances and festivals, as well as art exhibitions and conferences. The restaurant, an internal garden with its olive and palm trees, iron tables and sofas, is the perfect place for a jazzy Sunday brunch or an evening with friends to discover an independent artist. For more bite than a croque monsieur, there’s the club - who can resist a Big Bang Gang Party? I know I can’t. Life imitates art at La Bellevilloise.

Bisou bisou, Paris Bobo

La Bellevilloise, 19-21 Rue Boyer, 75020 

01 46 36 07 07

All Roads Lead to La Fidelite

Name the top 5 branchouille restaurants in Paris, go… Ok, no need to make Rob Gordon lists to know that La Fidélité, in the buzzing 10e, is a favourite of the Parisian bobo crowd. The neon sign and proximity to the Gare de l’Est could be somewhat misleading, but once through the heavy curtains concealing La Fidélité from the outside world, you will find an unusually spacious, sober and elegant restaurant. The high ceilings, dim lights and ornate art nouveau mirrors (did I see art deco as well?) are a perfect contrast to the dark wooden floorboards and deep red booths, creating a warm and intimate space that takes you back in time. Expect to pay around 40 euros, and after your meal, follow the skinny jeans generation to the jukebox bar in the basement for the smoking hot installment of the evening… What came first, the music or the misery? Who cares – leave High Fidelity for La Fidélité.

Bisou bisou, Paris Bobo

La Fidélité, 12 rue de la Fidélité, 75010

01 47 70 19 34

Nice Derriere

Mirror, mirror on the wall, which room’s the coolest of them all? You will wish you had your own magical mirror when asked to choose where to sit at this very original, apartment-style restaurant. Located derrière the 404 (a chic Moroccan eatery by the same owners) in the Marais, the formula is simple – a fun time in a trendy setting. Each room has a different feel and boasts loads of cheeky, eclectic knick knacks. My favourite, the fumoir – who can resist chesterfield leather couches, empty hanging frames, worn wall paper and…umm…mounted animals around a foosball table? The food was not the highlight, but the charming surroundings and unusually elevated levels of attractive 20/30 somethings easily puts Derrière on the must-do list. Heigh-ho into the kitch Andy Wahloo bar next door after your ping pong victory (yes, there is a table downstairs!). This is a place for Happy the bobo.

Bisou bisou, Paris Bobo         

Derrière, 404, Andy Wahloo, 69 rue des Gravilliers, 75003

Derrière: 01 44 61 91 95

Hotel du Nord: all the atmosphere without the film noir

Made famous in the 1930’s by Marcel Carné’s film of the same name, l’Hotel du Nord is in the trendy Xe, facing the Canal Saint Martin. If you’re looking for mementos, you’ll find plenty of Arletty. But unlike the movie, there’s nothing fatalistic about this place. The mosaic floors and white tiled walls of the zinc bar morph into a restaurant brimming with books, candles and hanging pictures. Hotel du Nord is seductive, in a paradoxically glamorous yet laid back way. You can get away with 35 euros for 2 courses and a glass of wine. Atmosphère, atmosphère…Est-ce que j’ai une gueule d’atmosphère? Poetic realism never looked this good.

Bisou bisou, Paris Bobo

Hotel du Nord, 102, quai de Jemmapes, 75010

01 40 40 78 78 

Winter Boboland at Cafe Charbon

They say good things come to those who wait. But it seems there is such a thing as waiting too long, to go to Café Charbon that is. This famous belle-époque establishment in the XIe is a bobo institution. The perfect mix of Paris old and new: red leather booths, frescos and tiled floors meet tolix chairs, metal kegs and cocktails. Brunch is a treat – copious and tasty, at 18 euros per person the tables are snatched up comme des petits pains. But if it’s a more underground bobo experience you’re looking for, turn up after sunset, and bring the funk.

Bisou bisou, Paris Bobo

Café Charbon109 rue Oberkampf, 75011

01 43 57 55 13

Don’t be a Schmuck

Bonjour left bankers, this is a call to action. A sexy establishment opened its pretty little doors in Odeon, and you’d be a Schmuck not to go there. The handsome team behind the original cocktail club in the VIIIe has struck again, this time with the more accessible restaurant version. Expect baroque decadence – chandeliers, vintage wall mirrors, Louis XV style sofas and chairs. Be prepared to spend 50 euros per person for dinner, and dress the part. Watch out bobos, we hear the Schmucks may be multiplying…

Bisou bisou, Paris Bobo

Schmuck, 1 rue de Condé, 75006

01 43 54 18 21

M is for Marcel

I spy with my little eye something beginning with M: Marcel, the cosy new york loft style restaurant on the chic Avenue Junot in the XVIIIe. The look is minimalist but très tendance – industrial pendant lights, metal tables, vintage wooden chairs your mother remembers from her school days in the 1960’s – and the food is best described as “world”. Marcel attracts a local bobo crowd, making it an authentically Parisian experience despite the lack of steak frites on the menu. Budget for 35 euros a head.

Bisou bisou, Paris Bobo

Marcel, 1 villa Léandre, 75018

01 46 06 04 04