It is impossible to visit Paris and not have it cast a spell on you. It dazzles you with its frenetic rhythm, restless lifestyle, splendid preserved culture and glorious architecture. But something is changing. A revolution has been happening for the past two years. There is a community of intelligent and innovative entrepreneurs and young creatives at the start of an adventure who are transforming districts such as Le Marais, République, and Bastille into modern havens.
There are coffee specialists and chefs replacing overpriced old-school cafes and restaurants with farm-fresh gastronomy and specialty coffee; Local, talented designers and fashion curators opening up fresh concept stores and boutiques.
We travelled to French capital to meet these young talents and show you our favorite spots in Paris.
A local’s favorite, Kunitoraya is a Japanese udon bar tucked away in a quiet spot near the Louvre, away from the eyes of wandering tourists. The interior of the small restaurant is a mix of modern and authentic Japanese décor. Charming brick walls and Japanese banners are a heavenly match to the Parisian mosaic floors. The tasty udons are of course, made by the talented owner Masafumi Nomoto himself and come in many different variations. Kunitoraya is the perfect spot for a bowl of comfort food on colder days. Just be sure to arrive early as this popular joint does not accept reservations and gets filled quite fast.
Located in the gorgeous neighborhood of Montparnasse, this wonderful small museum is a collection of the works of sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, a one-time student of Rodin. Besides the astonishing sculptures, the space itself is also breathtaking. The green, obscure gardens full of heroic sculptures of the 19th century give out the most magical vibe, and what was once a Parisian home and atelier transforms you in time. This little gem is usually only crowded by a few locals in the know rather than tourists, adding to the gratifying experience.
Award winner chef and entrepreneur Gregory Marchant’s third establishment proves to be yet another hit with foodies of Paris. Located on the charming Rue Du Nil, Frenchie To Go is a bustling deli-diner inspired by New York delis. The small space is cramped up with both seated and lined up enthusiasts for one simple reason: undeniably delicious food. They serve sandwiches, hot dogs, and fish and chips. They also have a cool selection of beers. If you ever have the pleasure of visiting Frenchie To Go make sure to try the pastrami on rye.
New fashion label Harmony had us gushing all over their lookbook back in August with their minimal chic high street garments, styled gorgeously with Adidas superstars. David Obadia, the talented designer and founder behind the label has been throwing nice surprises our way ever since. With their online shop opening only about a month later followed by the opening of an actual physical store in October, we visited the store only to be vowed again by refinement of the minimal design. The beautiful color palette of the garments themselves accents the optical white space. The garments feel amazing to the touch and are incredibly affordable for such high quality.
Balls is a hip restaurant located on one of the happening rues of the 11th arrondissement of Paris. The conceptually perfect establishment specializes in… you guessed it: meatballs. We were greeted by chummy owner Jérémie Kanza, an app developer who came up with the concept and menu with his partner Salomé Vidal, a photographer. The simple interior dazzles you with its New York meets Paris charm. The star of the restaurant is of course the menu. You can choose from 5 different balls (beef, lamb, chicken, pork, and vegetarian), two sauces (yogurt or tomato) and 5 sides (creamy polenta, mushroom risotto, sweet potato puree, salad, or lentil and feta). The meatballs taste fantastic and go beautifully with the sides and sauces. Balls makes you wish there were more people like Jérémie and Salomé out there doing different things and doing it with passion.