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Paris shopping, eating, drinking and living

mike lowrey

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edit: please note that the info here is from several years ago and might not be accurate.

thought I'd share a few things..


department stores in paris are quite boring, I was done with lafayette and printemps in 15 minutes. printemps had martin margiela, dries van noten, dior and others. lafayette had those plus comme des garcons... but a rather bland selection of everything. le bon marche was my favorite department store, but the menswear sections sucks compared to womens.

colette is overrated, its basically a display cabinet for tourists, I don't know of anyone every buying anything there, unless it was a souvenier or a magazine.

maria luisa is a nice small store, they have 3 locations with one being mens. they have ann demeulemeester, veronique branquinho, undercoverism, margiela, alexander mcqueen, some rick owens etc. somewhat limited selection of clothing and shoes but worth checking out I think if you like the style. edit: mens store is closed

l'eclaireur was very interesting, they have several stores in paris. the one on rue herold is the original one. hard to find at first, its behind a unmarked door on the small street. once you get buzzed in you'll see a dark halway and amazing looking studio style space. they carry carol christian poell, carpe diem, undercoverism, faliero sarti, paul harnden, guidi etc. The location on rue Malher also has a great selection that mostly resembles the one on rue Herold. Ann demeulemeester, Rick Owens, Lanvin, Paul Harnden, Givenchy etc... the store on champs elysees is shit and at least a few years ago the staff was beyond annoying, haven't stepped there since then. selection is more mainstream. the rest sell womens only.

rick owens store - always new stuff as well as sales, but only a small part of each collection. worth visiting.

Shimji - CLOSED

Void - new small independent store in Marais, haven't been but supposedly nice.

oh and palais de tokyo was a pretty cool place. the bookstore there was great. we also grabbed some food at the restaurant which was surprisingly good. definately worth going to, its a great place to spend the evening since its open so late (midnight, I think).


eat at Le 404 (moroccan, they speak english so reserve a table) and drink in the ajoined bar, Andy Wahloo. cool atmosphere, the courtyard is nice and cozy.

Pinxo is a nice small asian/fusion restaurant, eat at the counter to see your food being prepared.

Le Petit Marche - in Marais, nice cozy place.

Clou - small, minimal and trendy spot in Marais, not cheap but good food.


Artus is a nice hotel in saint-germain, but renting an apartment is usually more convenient and cheaper.

Apartments - check out vrbo, feelparis etc, there are plenty of agencies for rentals, short or long.

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awesome post, I'll have to checkout the places you mentioned and the review definitely helps narrow some of them down. Did you end up finding anything you like at any of the stores?

I went to collete for the first time yesterday (around closing time) as well and it was pretty full with people. I thought it was interesting to just walk around and see some of the things they have, but like you said there wasn't much selection with each brand. They had a handful of visvim shoes, but I remember seeing a few models on the shelf in different colors... maybe the time you went ppl were trying them on or who knows.

I noticed that you didn't goto the APC surplus store, which is good because it's closed and won't reopen for a while. The first time I was there the lady told me March, but then I went back last weekend and some other guy said end of May. I'll just keep checking back with them until it's open. The normal APC stores (3 on the same block) are open and they had the standard stuff with a full range of all the dry denim, sizes 25-36.

Everything I've seen so far around Paris is pretty expensive compared to the US due to the exchange rates, taxes, and other reasons, so I haven't really looked to buy much. Maybe i'll just have to wait until sale season in the summertime or hit up some outlets (not sure if they even exist out here).

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Maybe i'll just have to wait until sale season in the summertime or hit up some outlets (not sure if they even exist out here).

This is definitely not a recommendation, but if you must, there's plenty of outlet shopping on the outskirts of Paris:

La Vallée Outlet Shopping Village

Take the RER to Disneyland and get out at Val d'Europe. They sell brands like Cacharel, Charles Jourdan shoes, Gianfranco Ferré, Kenzo, Lamarthe, and Mandarina Duck purses and leather goods, Max Mara and Nina Ricci.

3 cours de la Garonne 7770 Serris (Marne la Vallée)

telephone: +33 (0)1 6042 3500

Open Monday to Saturday, 10:00 to 20:00 in summer and 10:00 to 19:00 in winter, Sunday 11:00 to 19:00.

There are a bunch of discount stores in the city too, but I'd have to look up the addresses (if I still have them). And then there's waiting for the sale season. :)

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no not really apart from the basic ouis and bonjours :P

most people at stores or any other service professions speak atleast some english though, some very good. some taxi drivers for example dont but you can always show the adress on a piece of paper if you're unsure.

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  • 3 years later...

Hey, thought i would bump up an old thread and add to it instead of starting a new one.

Basically, its my gf 21st in july and im planning to surprise her with a trip to paris. I really wanna make it a memorable experience for her and shit. And like im tryna stay away from more touristy things...Any ideas?

Like, i really wanna take her to small/atmospheric joints...not really interested in shopping but like want to know more about cool bars, galleries (monet gallery as opposed to louvre?) little hideaways n stuff.

Any help would be mucho appreciated!

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45rpm has its only European shop in Paris. On rue du Marche St Honore, just round the corner from Colette. Take someone else's credit card, though; if you think that stuff is expensive in Japan or the US, the prices in Euros will make your eyes bleed.

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  • 8 months later...

Sup. Hitting Paris for 3 days next week. I heard the snowfall is really bad.

Looking mainly to chill/visit interesting shops. Any good gigs/dj sets to catch?

Edit: Also, how to purchase sim cards in Europe? I also want to surf the web via my iphone.

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If you are in a more workwear/rugged casual/vintage/street wear mood, retail offering is not as big and innovative as Pari's reputation could let you imagine...

Casual menswear is definitely not a French tradition...

You can still check French Trotters, APC, around République place or near Canal St Martin (same neighborhood). LVC store is a good addition to the retail offering, be sure to check it. Royal Cheese also has a good denim and boots selection.

Try to check " les puces de St Ouen", where the whole world come to find rare and expensive antiquities (lots of beautifull XIXth and industrial furnitures). Really nice place a bit outside Paris, only opened on weekends though :)

Good Larry Clarck and Basquiat expositions at the modern art museum; also check the Palais de Tokyo library and Cité de l'Architecture (also same area).

Best areas for gigs: Buttes Chaumont, Menilmontant, Ledru-Rollin (metro stations)

If you're into bike, several adresses to check (refer to the pictures on the left of this page: http://www.pignonfixe.com/)

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  • 3 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

my experience is pretty limited, but Andy Wahloo is a nice, small and cozy bar in le marais.

La Perle on rue Vieille-du-Temple is a cafe by day / hip(ster?) hangout by night. open til 2am, can be really crowded on weekend nights. the cool thing is you can sit here for a coffee or pour down beers. oh, and you might catch john galliano yelling shit to strangers.

Pop In - a bar/music venue, DJ's or live music, which is usually of the rock/indie/folk variety. cozy small place.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm going to be in Paris next Monday (5/9) - Friday (5/13). I've pulled together a few things I want to check out. Anyone familiar have other ideas? Are there any cool events/shows that week (that aren't on Pollstar)? Anyone SuFus in Paris that want to meet up with a few Americans from SF?

Here's a few things I have written down:

Musée Dupuytren


Parisian Chinatown

Palais de Tokyo

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Deyrolle is a must. Claude Nature a few doors down from Diptique is good too. If you like great furniture head to the flea markets at Port De Clignacourt on the weekend. Ralph Lauren has his car collection etc on display at the Decorative Arts museum (with tie in clothing and pieces at both Colette and the RL store). The Ralph Lauren and Hermes stores in the 6th are incredible spaces worth checking even if you aren;t into the clothing. Lots of interesting small shops in the Marais area including French Trotters (www.frenchtrotters.fr) for clothing on the Inventory Magazine tip. If you haven't been to Paris before the bateaubus is a lovely scenic way of getting around (several day tickets are a good deal). Head to Mulot near St Sulpice/St Germain market for great snacks. Laduree for macaroons or save some money and get the pick and mix at the chocolate store next to the Odeon cafe on Bvd St Germain.

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  • 2 weeks later...

decided to go to paris solo in july

has anyone flown aer lingus from JFK to CDG?

how reliable is it compared to american airlines like delta?

any decent hotels around 100 bucks per night?

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A friend and I want to live in Paris for a month this summer. Was wondering what are your opinions on where we should stay and how to go about organizing this? We are both in our mid 20's and would love a cool place to stay at. Thanks for your help guys.

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  • 1 month later...

Need some help on SIM cards.

I have an unlocked smart phone and need a SIM card with a data plan for approximately a week.

I will be spending four days in Paris, one day in Belgium, and one day in Holland.

Ideally, I want a card that has coverage for the three countries and would like to purchase one in the US before leaving i.e. online.

My first destination is Paris. Where should I get a SIM card if I were to get one there.

Any help is appreciated.

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