City Guide: Paris with Jonathan Grant

A Paris City Guide with Jonathan Grant | The Fresh Exchange

Image via: Bradley Leach 

As we enter a time of very little travel we hated the idea that our city guides and travel stories would end so we have been in touch with some of our favorite travelers to share guides to their cities from their perspective and even with some others to share their travel stories. We have to itch our own travel bug during this transitional time in our lives and we knew you would all miss the travel stories as well, so we hope these posts will help get us all get a little of our itch scratched. 

A Paris City Guide with Jonathan Grant | The Fresh Exchange

Image via: Bradley Leach 

We are kicking off these guides with our good friend Jonathan Grant from Culture Keeper. Jonathan has been traveling and partially or fully living in Paris on and off for years. The first time we went to Paris was spent our four weeks there with him. He showed us his own view of the city and since has left us longing to return. He currently is living in the city, working for a university, hosting artists for collaborations, and freelancing as a stylist and writer. We cannot wait to have a chance to get back to the city and catch up with him. Till then, we wanted him to share his favorite spots in the city and any tips he had to make it one magical trip for yourself. 

A Paris City Guide with Jonathan Grant | The Fresh Exchange

Image via: Jill Devries

With that intro I am going to hand over the rest of the post to Jonathan:

One is tempted when creating a city guide, to list every single cool place of which everyone is talking. Rather than doing this, I am giving you a workable list of the spots I and my friends frequent. They are all weird and wonderful, and not to be missed.

A Paris City Guide with Jonathan Grant | The Fresh Exchange

Image via: Bradley Leach 

BRUNCHTREIZE BAKERY
This St. Germain spot might be the coziest in Paris. When you make your way through the courtyard off the rue St. Pere, The owner greets you kindly and offers fresh biscuits (those are rare in Paris)… she will probably chat with you for a bit, and then scurry off to help her staff make you a mind-blowing meal.

TO SEE ARTPALAIS DE TOKYO
Fave museum. Always filled with mind and heart altering exhibitions. The Palais features contemporary installations from around the world. There is also a great restaurant / cafe / bookstore / club. I try to go once or twice a month.

A Paris City Guide with Jonathan Grant | The Fresh Exchange

Image via: Bradley Leach 

GOOD COFFEELE PELATON
I could go on all day about all of the cool new coffee places sprouting up in Paris, but this one is my current fave. Friendly, adorable, simple… The vibe is unpretentious, and their back courtyard will be opening late next Spring. (Also, they have WIFI, so double win)

A Paris City Guide with Jonathan Grant | The Fresh Exchange

A Paris City Guide with Jonathan Grant | The Fresh Exchange

Images above via: Jill Devries

FIND VINTAGEKILO SHOP
I pop by once a week to see what is new in this massive shop. Pricing is by weight, and while it is not the cheapest vintage in the world, it is the go-to location for vintage clothing in Paris. Check out the location near the BHV.

A Paris City Guide with Jonathan Grant | The Fresh Exchange

Images above via: Jill Devries

SPEND YOUR CASHMERCI
Part concept store, part department store… Merci is a haven for everything simple and well-curated. They have a few cafes, the best linens in Paris, and all the little objects for your home that you didn’t know you needed. (If you can’t find it here, try the BHV)

A Paris City Guide with Jonathan Grant | The Fresh Exchange

Image via: Bradley Leach 

A Paris City Guide with Jonathan Grant | The Fresh Exchange

Images via: Jill Devries

A Paris City Guide with Jonathan Grant | The Fresh Exchange

Images via: Jill Devries

LOOK AT MAGAZINESOFR
OFR is a magical shop near Temple. Stacks and stacks of magazines and art books await your perusal. They even stock old editions, and little prints and treasures, and sell vegetables out front on weeknights.

A Paris City Guide with Jonathan Grant | The Fresh Exchange

A Paris City Guide with Jonathan Grant | The Fresh Exchange

Images above via: Jill Devries

REST A WHILESEYMOUR +
This is the coolest new thing in Paris. It is a technology-free quiet-zone. For 7 euros you can explore the different peaceful and well-designed rooms. In each there is a writing prompt, or cozy chair, and a few tactile objects. i spent a peaceful afternoon at Seymour + last week, and I am dying to get back. There is something sensual and sacred about the environment there.

A Paris City Guide with Jonathan Grant | The Fresh Exchange

Images via: Jill Devries

A Paris City Guide with Jonathan Grant | The Fresh Exchange

Image via: Bradley Leach 

CATCH A DRINK WITH FRIENDS – RUE MONTORGUEIL
This is a great place to see and be seen and is becoming a regular haunt of mine for this reason… when you meet up with friends at a cafe space is limited… and on a usual street there are only two or three acceptable cafes. So a street like Montreuguil is always handy to know of, because there are many, many cafes to choose from. So you can perhaps meet a larger group, or not worry about your favorite cafe not having space. Also note- no one sits inside, even if it is cold. Get a prime spot on the front of the terrace (even if you don’t smoke) and watch the world go by.

Rules for Terrace-watching: Keep your phone hidden, watch how much space you are using, don’t be too loud, a drink buys you 2-3 hours, flirt with your eyes not with your smile.

A Paris City Guide with Jonathan Grant | The Fresh Exchange

Image via: Bradley Leach 

A Paris City Guide with Jonathan Grant | The Fresh Exchange

Images via: Jill Devries

DINNERCafe de L’Industrie
When I say that l’Industrie is my favorite cafe, I actually mean that it is really the ONLY cafe to which I return on a regular basis. I am not a creature of habit, but the decor and vibes at this place make me feel at home. The staff is always lovely, and it is cozy on a cold day. There are locations on both sides of the street. GO TO THE BROWN ONE. Trust me.

HEAR SOME TUNESLa Flèche D’or
Built in an old metro station, Flèche d’Or is a great spot to catch music of every genre. It is small enough that you will be able to keep track of your friends, and big enough that you can hear musicians of whom you already know. (I once saw Cat Power play here for free)

A Paris City Guide with Jonathan Grant | The Fresh Exchange

Image via: Bradley Leach 

A Paris City Guide with Jonathan Grant | The Fresh Exchange

Image via: Bradley Leach 

Need other recommendations? Be sure to check out:

The Jardin Du Luxembourg (the best spot to stroll)
Candelaria (Best Tacos)
Deyrolle (Dead Animals)
Rue De Buci (cool market street)
Jardin du Palais Royal (peaceful and quiet)
Jardin du Musee Rodin (even more peaceful and quiet)
Foundation (for coffee near OFR / Enfants Rouge)
Coutume (amazing coffee)
Cafeotheque (amazing coffee, no wifi)
PUCES ST. OUEN (Paris flea market)
St. Thomas d’Aquin (my fave church in Paris)
Christophe Lemaire (the most beautiful place to touch clothes)
Chez Louisette (the craziest place you have ever been in your life. Go for lunch on Saturday)
Le Voltigeur (my go-to spot for drinks with friends)

Feel free to add any suggestions you have as well! We know all of you have amazing suggestions especially in cities like Paris.

Leave a comment

  1. how i miss Paris! such an amazing and so so beautiful city .. so easy to fall in love with. i was there this last summer and one of my favourite findings was a bookshop, called artazart. it is the paradise of magazine, design and photography books. i’m sure you guys would love it! also, one of our top spots to eat was ‘frenchie to go’, a little bistro with delicious food and decoration.

    happy holidays for you guys,
    kisses from this fan from portugal

    joana
    https://www.instagram.com/joana_afonso

  2. My absolute favourite stop on our latest trip to Paris was L’avant comptoir, a standing-room-only tapas & wine bar near the Odeon metro. They serve up an assortment of small plates alongside a beautiful selection of wines. The space is narrow. You walk through a plastic curtain to find people standing around a zinc bar, ordering from a friendly barman. The open kitchen allows you to watch staff scurry back & forth with different orders. Sharing some appies & a few glasses of wine is one of my favourite memories of Paris.

    I’ve also been following Holly Belly for a long time. They were unfortunately closed during our visit (august in Paris!), but their brunch looks so awesome & they frequent some pretty cool looking spots in the city. Definitely worth a follow.

    I also loved le Mary Celeste. Great cocktails, a lovely Canadian waitress, & awesome small plates (I’m clearly into sharing!). I’m definitely craving another visit to Paris.

    Happy Holidays!
    alanna

  3. I am a long time follower of your blog (perhaps lurker because a never comment) but Jonathan has been a friend since I was in high school. I try to follow all of his adventures and love when he is featured on your blog. Jonathan is one of the most wonderful and authentic people I know and I am always happy to see what he is up to. Thank you for featuring him today

  4. What a great city guide, it is so nice to read about my dear city so far away from home (I am living in Boston now). And The pictures are gorgeous.

    Oh and I love the way you spell “rue de Montorgueuil” ahah 🙂

    Marie

  5. Oh Paris! <3 My husband and I spent a month in Paris this June / July while Dave was doing a summer course on type design and these were some of our highlights of the trip:

    – Musee d'Orsay
    – Walking the high line (Promenade Plantee) – like the High Line in New York, but in Paris.
    – Rue mouffetard – much less touristy than other areas. If you visit this street, make sure you visit au p'tit grec, which did the best crepes
    – Montparnasse tower – go up to the bar not the lookout section. The lookout section is 15€ but the bar is free (but you have to buy a drink which is about 8€ for a rosé). It has beautiful views over all of Paris and of the Eiffel Tower.
    – art store called Sennelier where Picasso and monet bought all their art supplies.
    – Cafes: le Cordonnerie (in an old cobblers shop), Coutume (there are two Coutume cafes – one on the left bank, one on the right). Strada also does amazing coffee, and fresh food (think melon salad & summer gazpacho), which can be so refreshing after a lot of heavy three course french meals!
    – Transport: see the city with Velib! The bike system is cheap and amazing, especially because Paris is such a flat city.

    If you need any suggestions for Spain, New York or Savannah (heck even Sydney and Australia) let me know. We have compiled so many lists of amazing places to see / eat!

  6. Love love love this guide! I’m headed to live in paris for four months so i am in need of all the reccomendations i can get! this is such a great list! Especially looking for coffee spots.