The go to places of the trendy Parisian bourgeois boheme

Nanashi: Bohemian Rhapsody

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Bohemians all over Paris are certainly enthusiastic about Nanashi, the organic Japanese inspired canteens multiplying all over the capital. The Northern Marais branch perfectly embodies its ethos – simple and cheerful, both in terms of décor and food. A long, narrow hall flanked by white walls on one side and floor to ceiling windows on the other are brought to life by colourful wooden furniture, blackboards and hoards of fashionable fresh food seeking bobos.  The menu reflects the chef’s Japanese heritage and stint at Rose Bakery, you can choose the bento and chirashi options or opt for a salad, brioche pizza or cheesecake with a twist.  Prices are reasonable, no Freddy Mercury meltdowns here, 20 euros for a meal with an organic fruit juice thrown into the mix. Goodbye, everybody, I’ve got to go. To Nanashi that is.

Bisou bisou, Paris Bobo

Nanashi (the original), 31 rue du Paradis, 75010

01 40 22 05 55

Nanashi (the 2nd), 57 rue Charlot, 75003

01 44 61 45 49

Nanashi (Bonpoint boutique), 6 rue de Tournon, 75006

Le Dauphin: the King’s firstborn

They say that France is a republic, but in Paris, many answer to a King by the name of Iñaki Aizpitarte. After the success of Le Chateaubriand (cf. 7/3/12), its offspring Le Dauphin is his new too-cool-to-be-true wine bar and restaurant. Located next door to its regal predecessor in the 11e, the decor is dominated by majestic white Carrara marble. With a fit out consisting of a few floor to ceiling mirrors, an island bar and some wooden tables and stools, Le Dauphin is suited to its trendy patrons. But noble bobos should know that the royal treatment does not end here – the tapas style menu, both varied and creative, is also befitting of monarchs. More affordable than its patriarch, 45 euros is the budget for a meal with wine. Call in advance if you want to book a table for the first service, or turn up around 9:30pm for the second, no-reservations coronation. Long live the King!

Bisou bisou, Paris Bobo

Le Dauphin, 131 avenue Parmentier, 75011

01 55 28 78 88

Le Point Ephemere: Here to Stay?

They say all good things must come to an end. Le Point Ephémère, part bar/restaurant, part cultural super center in the bobolicious 10e, was conceived to respect this rule. But everyone who’s anyone knows rules are meant to be broken, and so it is that eight years on, Le Point Ephémère is still kicking it. Housed in an impressive brick and concrete dock style building covered in graffiti, Le Point Ephémère lies on the banks of the Canal Saint-Martin and is home to exhibitions, concerts and artist residences as well as a very down to earth watering hole and eatery. So down to earth in fact, you might find yourself sitting on the floor to enjoy your beer, served (un)cheerfully in a plastic cup. Be prepared to fight the hoard of trendy bohemian and arty types on a warm day – its perfect location canal side coupled with very reasonable prices (under 20 euros for a main and a glass of wine), makes Le Point Ephémère a serious contender for best outdoor terrace. Check it out bobos: nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Bisou bisou, Paris Bobo

Le Point Ephémère200 quai de Valmy, 75010

01 40 34 02 48

Le Bal Cafe: Little Britain

Britain, Britain, Britain, they may have invented the cat but we have Le Bal Café, a café/restaurant tucked away in a suprisingly charming alley off the Avenue de Clichy in the 18e. Recognisbly anglo-saxon, Le Bal Café’s cool colours, modern design and menu that screams Pom is a genuine voyage to the land of hope and glory. If scones and capuccinos don’t butter your toast, you may be interested by the venue itself: Le Bal, an independent exhibition space dedicated to the image in all its forms. A melting pot of English accents, the café has a pretty terrace facing a little park, making for a most enjoyable brunch that will cost you around 20 euros. With the cat out of the bag there’s only one thing left to do - head for a cuppa to chew the fat with the lads at this intellectual bobo paradise. 

Bisou bisou, Paris Bobo

Le Bal Café6 impasse de la Défense, 75018

01 44 70 75 56

Back to the Future Chez Jeannette

It’s a good thing a leopard cannot change its spots, or we may never have lived to see Chez Jeannette. This ever so trendy bar/cafe in the animated rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis in the 10e, looks like it hasn’t changed a thing since 1950, despite its recent renovation. Modernity’s loss is our gain: [zinc bar + red satin lampshades + neon signs] x frayed, yellowing walls = a room full of snappy dressers. The food is reasonably priced at an average of 14 euros a main. For a slightly rougher version, try Le Sully down the road at number 13. The crowd is eclectic and the drinks are so cheap, they could be classified as social security benefits. Carpe Diem bobos!

Bisou bisou, Paris Bobo

Chez Jeannette, 47 rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 75010 

01 47 70 30 89

Le Sully, 13 rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 75010

01 77 10 74 70

Le Floreal: Cocktails and Dreams

This funky, hard to miss corner café, bar and bistro, not far from some Goncourt heavyweights in the 10e, is the latest venture from the team behind the hipster Chez Jeannette. The décor is a mix of 60’s retro, classic French bistro and the best of the 1980’s. The generous terrace is luring with its bright colour blocks and classic wicker furniture. Inside, it’s Formica tables, leather benches, individual table lamps and a colourful ceiling to contrast the warm wooden tones. My favourite touch: a neon “Cocktail” sign behind the bar, reminding us that once upon a time before Scientology and Oprah, Tom Cruise actually made good movies. The menu varies from burgers to lobster, average budget around 40 euros. If you want to keep up with the Joneses bobos, strike while Le Floréal is hot.

Bisou bisou, Paris Bobo

Le Floréal, 73 rue du Faubourg du Temple, 75010

01 42 08 81 03

Le Chateaubriand: how fine it is to know a thing or two

If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, le Chateaubriand is breaking hearts all over Paris. We had Great Expectations from this néo-bistro found in an unpretentious avenue in the 11e, whose name simultaneously depicts the father of Romanticism and a rather dandy bit of beef. I could tell you that the time-warp décor, so à la mode with its zinc bar, mosaic floors, dim lights and dark wood furniture creates a casual, somewhat nostalgic atmosphere. I could also tell you that the set menu at 55 euros, printed in black and white on an A4 piece of paper and probably photocopied, is the daily brainchild of a genius self-made chef of Basque origins. All these things are relevant, yes, but the truth is that you only need to know one thing. At Le Chateaubriand, I ate possibly the best dessert of my entire life. If you think that’s an exaggeration, ask the queue trying to get into the second seating because they missed out on a reservation. Sorry Molière, but we think bobos should live to eat.

Bisou bisou, Paris Bobo

Le Chateaubriand, 129 avenue Parmentier, 75011

01 43 57 45 95

Apocalypse Bobo at Mama Shelter

If Mama won’t come to bobo, then bobo must go to Mama. Mama Shelter: the funky hotel, bar and restaurant in the OMG-its-gritty-and-so-far-away-how-ever-will-we-manage-to-get-there-did-I-just-see-a-Porsche-pull-up? 20e. Mama Shelter is a bustling, quirky, rough and tough hub for the fashion conscious, designed by Philippe Starck. Four spaces to enjoy on the ground floor: a no reservations pizzeria with a long communal table (11 euros average), a more traditional, reservations necessary restaurant (around 35 euros for 2 courses), a square island cocktail bar (approx. 12 euros a pop) and a narrow private outdoor terrace, decorated in a deliberate mismatch of industrial, vintage and rock gangsta styles. The focus, a chalkboard ceiling covered in graffiti. The hotel rooms continue the contemporary theme and are a treat, if you’re into bed side lamp shades in the shape of batman’s face. I love the smell of chalk in the morning… smells like, victory.

Bisou bisou, Paris Bobo

Mama Shelter, 109 Rue de Bagnolet, 75020

01 43 48 45 45

Hotel Amour: l’amour dure toujours


Beigbeder might think that love lasts 3 years, but at Hotel Amour, it lasts at least 6, or one hour, depending on how you like to look at things. Opened in 2006, this boutique designer hotel in the 9e is still one of the places to be in Paris. Embracing its past life as a brothel, and reminding us that notwithstanding its hipster location we’re still in Pigalle, it’s one of the few hotels where you can book a room by the hour. If you like provocative but don’t have anyone to provoke, there’s always the restaurant/bar, a destination in itself. Fitted out with 1950’s style furniture, the décor is understated (red booths, dim lights, mirrors) with the exception of a few erotic photos and the trendsetters lining the tables. And yet Hotel Amour has another card up its sleeve: a leafy internal courtyard - coveted in Paris - perfect for a summer brunch, in fact, a summer anything. Budget around 40 euros for traditional bistro fare, unless you’re hoping for a dangerous liaison. But please, don’t go all Glenn Close on us.

Bisou bisou, Paris Bobo

Hotel Amour, 8 rue de Navarin, 75009

01 48 78 31 80 

Buena onda at Candelaria

Meet Candelaria, the taqueria in the upper Marais that is bringing authentic tortillas to the discerning Parisian bobo. There’s an air of exclusivity at this tiny establishment, housing a small communal table, narrow counter and genuine Mexican accents. The décor is minimalist, some might even call it sterile, but all that glitters is not gold - the proof is in the quesadilla. As if that wasn’t enough to write home about, there’s a cocktail den hidden behind an unassuming white door by the kitchen: push through to go from Mexico DF to Playa del Carmen, figuratively speaking of course. The bar is seductive with its exposed wooden beams, stone walls and candles, and feels very private. Watch out for the Guêpe Verte, a delicious cocktail made with chili infused tequila and cucumbers. At 11 euros a pop, it’s going to be one pricey, spicy evening. Que pasa güey? Candelaria, that’s what. 

Bisou bisou, Paris Bobo

Candelaria, 52 Rue de Saintonge, 75003

01 42 74 41 28

Au Passage is not De Passage

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. A notion dear to the crew behind the Caves and Pères Populaires (in the 17e and 20e respectively), successfully applied to their business model. Their latest venture, Au Passage, is built upon the tradition of its predecessors. A canteen/bar where shabby is synonymous with chic and the hobos have turned into bobos, tucked away in a narrow alley in the 11e that you’re unlikely to hazard upon by simple chance. Au Passage has joined the wave of Parisian bistros offering tapas style dining, and they’re doing it with a talented kitchen team. At an average price of 8 euros a plate, Au Passage is making good quality produce accessible, and encouraging that conviviality around a meal we could only envy once upon a time about our endearing Spanish neighbours. Strike while the iron is hot bobos, and check out the New Kids on the Alley.

Bisou bisou, Paris Bobo

Au Passage, 1 bis, passage Saint-Sébastien, 75011

01 43 55 07 52

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