May 17th, 2012
Paris, to the Moon
Of course you can’t skip the Louvre and Ladurée, but these insider spots will have you feeling like a Parisian.
Avoid the crowds of Champs-Élysées and be a flâneur in Paris’s chicest neighborhood, Le Marais. Here you’ll find the city’s hidden gems, from Jewish bakeries to art galleries to independent designer shops, including the elusive Azzedine Alaïa. Keep an eye out for style-savvy Parisians as they stroll away on these cobblestone streets. Métro: Saint-Paul (M1).
Our fashion editor—a former Parisienne—recommended Didier Ludot, a high-end vintage and consignment store. It’s truly spectacular, with finds ranging from $200 costume earrings by Dior to several-thousand dollar Givenchy couture. Tip: if it looks closed, ring the doorbell. Didier Ludot, 24 Galerie Montpensier - Jardin du Palais Royal, 01 42 96 06 56, www.didierludot.fr
The French chef Pierre Jancou of Vivant is a trailblazer. This tiny 20-something seat spot serves traditional French fare, the greatest selection of natural wines, foie gras out of this world, and perhaps the finest bread in the right bank. Hip Parisians love this spot, so reservations are a must. Vivant, 43 rue des Petites Ecuries, 01 42 46 43 55.
People often skip Le Café de Flore, deeming it too touristy. But the truth is that this legendary café, once visited by the likes of Sartre and de Beauvoir, is just as beloved by locals. Its fashionable clientele includes Sofia Coppola and Inès de la Fressange. We spotted the illustrious Yohji Yamamoto enjoying his afternoon espresso! Le Café de Flore, 172 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 01 45 48 55 26, www.cafedeflore.fr
In the city where one could go to the Louvre and Palais de Tokyo, it might sound silly—bordering on crazy—to be recommending a public toilet. If I tell you that the Toilettes de la Madeleine is the world’s most beautiful bathroom, we wouldn’t be lying. A throwback to the dreamy Belle Epoque era, its carved wood panels and stained glass windows will transport you to a different time, Midnight In Paris style. —Anya Georgijevic
Toilettes de la Madeleine, Place de la Madeleine
Check out our Parisian Street Style pics in our Editors’ Diary.