Restaurants

You really can’t go to Paris without planning to enjoy the food.

One of my all time favorites here is Le Relaise de l’Entrôte (http://www.relaisentrecote.fr/).  I have dined here many times, always at the 20 rue Saint-Benôit location which is near l’Église St-Germain-des-Prés (http://www.sacred-destinations.com/france/paris-st-germain-des-pres.htm).  They serve one thing, steak in this amazing secret recipe sauce, so when you are seated they ask one question (how do you want it cooked) and pretty much expect a response in French (but I think they will accept English).  Here is a good place to have a phrase ready (http://www.frenchentree.com/france-food-cuisine/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=2195). And they do have a menu for wine and dessert, but diner is a walnut salad followed by two servings of steak-frites.

Another go to place for me is Le Danton (https://www.yelp.fr/biz/le-danton-paris) for hot chocolate (the kind made with melted dark chocolate and steamed milk mixed at your table). It is near the Odeon metro stop, so get off at that stop and get on the side of the Boulevard St. Germain that is away from the river and you will see it on the corner, with a couple of rows of tables outside, some inside possibly with large possibly open windows and more seats inside.

Not too far from there is that somewhat touristy street with a lot of fondue restaurants that we stumbled upon when I was there with my parents and I was able to find again when I was there in 2015. The one I ate at the last time was http://www.lemarmitondelutece.fr/ but there are plenty of other options to peruse in the same area https://www.google.com/maps/place/Le+Marmiton+de+Lutece,+6+Rue+Saint-S%C3%A9verin,+75005+Paris/@48.8539659,2.3459377,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x47e671e0c2310e43:0xf7eb4dac6138805f?hl=en-US. I couldn’t find the one my parents and I had gone to, which had a lot of non cheese fondue choices as well, perhaps it has closed or was only open for dinner as on my last trip I had to fit this into a lunch slot.

A bit pricier than that is Le P’Tit Troquet (http://www.zagat.com/Verticals/PropertyDetails.aspx?VID=8&R=100777) which I find very charming mostly due to its very tiny size and have enjoyed the food at twice.

Once, a few years back when with friends I went to to Le Pecope (http://www.procope.com/ and http://home.att.net/~sakal/pages/procope.htm). It is very famous and also very pricy.

Finally, Cafe Marly inside the Louvre complex, facing the pyramid and is great place to sip some wine as the sun sets reflecting off the glass.

Shopping

Also hard to avoid in Paris is shopping. It’s not worth going over the large, well known stores here, so I focus more on some gems I have found over the years.

One place that I stop almost every time I visit is the Maille mustard store (http://www.maille.us/pages/home.aspx)shop (http://www.wcities.com/en/record/,321175/8/record.html).  They have more flavors than you can imagine and were very friendly the last time I was there.

I also like to pick up perfume at Fragonard (https://musee-parfum-paris.fragonard.com/). This sort of blends into the museum category below because you can take a tour to learn the history before making your purchases.

Museums and Monuments

And one can also hardly go to Paris without setting foot into at least one museum or monument. There are too many to detail here, and are so well know that you probably don’t need me to tell you about them.
That said, a few of my favorites from this category are:
And while every knows about Notre Dame, I have been able to experience it through more than a saunter through over the years and suggest that you try to do the same by
  • Taking the tour of the towers, the line is long and getting there early seems to work best. I was lucky once to be at the top on a Sunday morning as the bells began to toll, it was an unforgettable experience.
  • Visiting the crypt below the cathedral (http://www.crypte.paris.fr).
  • Attending a mass and singing along with the service music.
However, the few below are either less well known or ones that I have found to be truly special.
The Musée du Quai Branly (http://www.quaibranly.fr/) has collections of artifacts from prior French colonies, thus containing items you may be unable to see elsewhere. By no means is my recommending this museum a show of support for colonization and imperialism, as I see those as quite evil, but the pieces are spectacular and tell stories.
Both the building containing The Musée d’Art Moderne (http://www.mam.paris.fr/en) and the museum itself are quite interesting. Even if you are not a fan of modern art, I still think it is worth spending a couple hours to wander through it.
Also quite amazing is The Musée Cluny (http://www.musee-moyenage.fr/) which contains works from the the middle ages. I had wandered past this place many times before finally stepping inside when I was there in 2015 and was amazed at what I found.
Of course, Paris would probably not be complete if it didn’t have a wine museum (http://www.museeduvinparis.com/index.php/fr/accueil). I stumbled upon it by accident once and was glad that I did. The collection contains tools of the trade throughout history, and at least when I was there, you got a glass of wine at the end of the tour.
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