À la Mère de Famille
35 Rue du Faubourg, 9th
The exterior of À la Mère de Famille—an emerald-green storefront with more windows than walls—looks like a jewelry box, or rather, a chocolate box; you can see the cakes and chocolates and towers of beautifully packaged bars from down the block. Open since 1761, one of the many pleasures of this particular confectioner is the breadth of old-world caramels, nougat, boiled sweets, and marshmallows. And nothing much has changed inside, either. Taking in the old tile floor, the floor-to-ceiling shelves stacked with preserves and syrups, and the elaborate table displays as you make your way to the ice cream counter (go for the chocolate) is an exercise in both nostalgic pleasure and calorie control.
226 Rue de Rivoli, 1st Arrondissement
Paris is one of those special cities that enthusiastically clings on to the more traditional, elegant remnants of the past—Angelina is an embodiment of this (delightful) policy. A classic tearoom that first opened in 1903, the over-the-top Belle Epoque interiors create the ambiance for a truly decadent hour (or two) of sweet indulgence. The sculptural cakes and classic patisserie that line the glass cases are the perfect accompaniment to the main event: Angelina's world-renowned hot chocolate. Choosing from the extensive chocolat chaud menu is no easy feat—we recommend the African hot chocolate, made from a blend of cocoa from Niger, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast whipped into hot milk and cream for the smoothest, slightly sweet, slightly bitter cup. Aside from sweet treats, Angelina serves up well-executed classic French dishes like croque-madame and quiche Lorraine but really it's the chocolate—and the people-watching—that makes this Paris institution a favorite with locals and tourists alike.
51 Rue de Grenelle, 7th
Literally packed to the rafters with cheese, this is one of those tiny little spots you'll smell before you see. Owner Nicole Barthélemy and her team of cheese mongers will always let you sample before you buy—though the recommendations tend to be so spot-on, you arguably won't have to test many. For whatever reason, they don't tolerate photos in the shop—should you whip out your camera, you'll get scolded.
18 Rue Jean Nicot, 7th
This cozy little Spanish shop and restaurant serves up great tapas and solid selection of Spanish wine, but their real specialty is the store’s namesake charcuterie. Jamón Ibérico de Bellota, which comes from acorn-finished hogs, is the crème de la crème of cured meats. Their gift baskets, with include a few different varieties, make great gifts for fellow foodies.
31 Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île, 4th
Operating out of a little window stand on the Isle St. Louis, the ice creams and sorbets here justify the sometimes long lines. After all, it’s arguably the best in Paris. Enough said.
Bob’s Bake Shop
12 Esplanade Nathalie Sarraute, 18th
It's all baked on-site at this latest venture from Bob, from the hand-rolled bagels to the lattice-topped pies. While the menu channels America, the prices are a bit higher than what you'd expect to pay in the states for a shmear. It's still delicious, and fulfills that very specific only-a-bagel-will-do desire.
Bob’s Juice Bar
15 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 10th
Whether you want a green juice to kick off what will otherwise be a day of gluttony, or need a palate-cleanser after a string of rich French meals, this tiny space offers a respite. Besides cold-pressed juice (Paris’s first foray into that space), you’ll find locals feasting on quinoa salads and veggie-laden muffins at the communal table.
109 Rue Vieille du Temple, 3rd
We like to take a detour here while shopping on rue Vieille du Temple. Though the buckwheat crepes are the main draw, there’s a small shop attached to the café that sells jams, ciders, and delicious cheeses.
Café de Flore
172 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 6th
This classic Parisian Art Deco café on the corner of Boulevard Saint-Germain has played host to everyone from Sartre to Picasso. They came for the coffee and the people-watching, as should you: When the weather's nice, find a spot on the outdoor patio.
51 Galerie Montpensier, 1st Arrondissement
The cult music and clothing label has a knack for café culture too, as evidenced by their perfectly petite first Parisian coffee bar hidden near the gardens of the Palais Royale. White-washed, with just a few select, own-brand knick-knacks on display, along with paintings by local artists Andre Saraiva and Jean-Philippe Delhomme, the shop exudes a totally chilled out, friendly vibe, making it a peaceful coffee or juice pick-me-up between museums and window shopping.
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