11.45am // Maison Kitsuné
Continue to walk down Rue Saint-Honoré and then turn left into Rue de Richelieu. On the other side of the buildings is the famous Palais Royal with its many old-school shops and fancy modern boutiques. So if you prefer a bit more of the luxury shopping, go there.
If you're like us and in need of something a bit more down to earth, continue to Maison Kitsuné. Casual fashion doesn't get more Parisian than the designs of this label with a friendly polar fox in the logo (Kitsune is the Japanese word for the animal). Kitsuné is not only a fashion brand, but also an ultra cool electronic music label. Their compilations give you a great taste of contemporary French music.
But back to the clothes sold here. The fashion you see on the streets of Paris tends to be understated and simple, with a strong focus on quality and timelessness. The designs of Kitsuné are exactly that. A quite hefty price tag is attached to them, too. But if you want to invest in some classic clothes that will stand the test of time, this is your place.
Once you leave either Palais Royal or Maison Kitsuné, find the Bourse Metro station and take the M3 to Republique. There, switch to the M5 for just one stop, Jacques Bonsergent. You could walk this last part, but since we are on a tight schedule today, the Metro might be better.
Maison Kitsuné // 52 Rue de Richelieu // Mon-Sat 11am-7.30pm // website
12.15pm // Tuck Shop
We've really earned us some lunch! Tuck Shop is one of our favorite spots to eat during the day. And we are not the only ones that think that, so you might have to wait a bit to get a table at this tiny place. Service and turnover are fast, though, so don't worry.
Opened by three Australians living in Paris, this cafe has quickly become a neighborhood staple. And what neighborhood it is! We are very close to the Canal Saint-Martin, a waterway that stretches through the 10th, 11th, 12th and 19th arrondissement (sometimes under the ground). But if locals refer to the canal, they most definitely talk about the part of town we are in right now. A bit off the Place de la République, this area has become a hotspot for young creatives. Great cafés have opened left and right, we'll point you to a few more of them later on. But now, back to lunch.
Tuck Shop is a vegetarian cafe and has a few vegan options on the menu every day as well. The lunch menu changes every day and might include homemade sandwiches, soups and salads. Of course, there's also coffee and some sweets. But you might want to hold off on that for just a moment…
Tuck Shop // 13 Rue Lucien Sampaix // Tue-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat/Sun 11am-6pm // Facebook
12.45pm // 10 Belles
Just a few years ago, it was really hard to get a good cup of coffee in Paris. This city with all its amazing restaurants and century old food culture somehow had forgotten the coffee. And what you got in most of the bistros and cafes was a bitter, watery concoction that wasn't worth the steep price tag.
Fast forward to today, and all that has changed. A few passionate coffee lovers are shaking up the scene. Many of them have traveled a lot and learned to love the third wave coffee culture that holds a grip over lots of big cities around the world. Since early this year, there is even a roastery in Belleville.
A lot of Parisian coffee lovers would probably say that all this started at 10 Belles. And since this cafe is only a very short walk from Tuck Shop, let's have a delicious coffee there. Many of the people that open new coffee shops all over town have trained as baristas here.
10 Belles // 10 Rue de la Grange aux Belles // Mon-Fri 8am-6pm, Sat/Sun 9am-7pm // website
1.30pm // A walk to République
The subway system is Paris is one of the oldest and most efficient in the world. Buy a pack of 10 Metro tickets at a machine at one of the stops to get through the turnstiles fast. The Metro shuts down around 1am on weekdays and 2am on weekends.
WHAT TO ORDER
Food: Baguette and paté. Onion soup. A piece of marvelous pastry from one of the many bakeries.
Drinks: Wine or Pastis, an anis-flavored liqueur.
Before you make your way to the Place de la République and, ultimately, to the Marais, consider exploring the area around Canal Saint-Martin a bit more. There are some great stores and cafes here, and new places pop up on the map every month.
Some of our favorites in this area are Holybelly, another Australian-run cafe with great food and a super relaxed atmosphere; Craft, a design-heavy co-working space; Artazart, an almost legendary design and art book shop; and Liberté, the super stylish new bakery and pastry shop by famous pastry chef Benoît Casel with its giant white marble counter.
After exploring the streets along the canal, find your way back to the Place de la République. From there, head in the Marais. See you there!
Holybelly // 19 Rue Lucien Sampaix // Mon & Thu/Fri 9am-6pm, Sat/Sun 10am-6pm // website
Craft // 24 Rue des Vinaigriers // Mon-Sat 9am-7pm, Sun 10am-7pm // website
Artazart // 83 Quai de Valmy // Mon-Fri 10.30am-7.30pm, Sat 11am-7.30pm, Sun 2pm-8pm // website
Liberté // 39 Rue des Vinagriers // Mon-Sat 7.30am-8.30pm // website
1.45pm // Ra
Le Marais has always been a favorite part of Paris for us. And we are certainly not alone with this opinion. Small streets are winding through this historic part of town. Here is where the aristocracy lived for centuries, something that is still very evident when you discover all the beautiful town palaces and their gardens.
When the nobles eventually moved on, the Marais became one of the centers of Jewish life in Paris. To this day, the Rue des Rosiers is lively proof for that. We'll stop by over there later. For now, let's focus on another one of the main characteristics of the area: the fashion.
Other than around Rue Sain-Honoré, the brands that have their home here tend to be younger, edgier, and also much more affordable. This is a meeting point for the Jeunesse Dorée, the 'golden youth'. Rich kids, affluent creatives, but also those that aspire to be part of the crowd. But no worry, it's only half as posh here as it sounds. Le Marais has many amazing shops and cafes to discover, so let's dive right in.
Ra is an offshoot of the Antwerp concept store of the same name. (To read more about that, check out our 12hrs in Antwerp guide). The Paris store is much in the same vein as the mother ship, focusing on avant-garde fashion, rather unusual, still unknown designers and a very carefully curated selection of high-end vintage pieces. The massive door in the front looks like you might be entering an Egyptian tomb.
Ra // 14 Rue de la Corderie // Tue-Sat 11am-7pm // website
2pm // The Broken Arm
One of our very favorite shops in the whole city is The Broken Arm. It's also a concept store, but one with a very different approach than Colette. The atmosphere in the beautiful old building is much more relaxed, the staff happily chats with you about their latest offerings, and the selection of items, while still very fashionable, is a bit more down to earth.
The Broken Arm sells younger brands like Carven, Christophe Lemaire and Kenzo and offers a great selection of accessories like bags, shoes and sunglasses for both women and men. They also regularly stock the latest hyped Nike sneakers, so if you're looking for a specific pair, have a look.
The cafe in the front of the shop is one of the most beautiful hangouts we know, and it is almost always very crowded. Their coffee and cake are fantastic!
The Broken Arm // 12 Rue Perrée // Mon 2pm-7pm, Tue-Sat 9am-7pm // website
2.15pm // Café Charlot
DRESSING THE PART
Want to dress like a Parisian? Go for simple and elegant clothes. Girls can do no wrong with a men's shirt and red lipstick, boys should put on jeans and a beard.
Comment te dire adieu – Francoise Hardy
Streets of Paris – The Teenagers
Ni**as in Paris – Kanye West & Jay-Z
Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain
Cross the square with its beautiful old buildings and head over to Rue de Bretagne. On your way, you're passing by Nanashi, another favorite spot for lunch that sells the best Bento boxes in town. Continue down the street to Café Charlot.
This place is famous among the fashion crowd, and when art events happen in the city or during fashion weeks you'll be hard-pressed to get a seat anywhere on the terrace. Maybe you can spot somebody famous in there? This place is quite expensive and offers traditional bistro fare without a lot of variation, but it's still worth seeing. Let's continue on.
Café Charlot // 38 Rue de Bretagne // Mon-Sun 7am-2am // website
2.20pm // Le Marché des Enfants Rouge
Directly opposite of Café Charlot lays the entrance to Le Marché des Enfants Rouge ('The market of the red children'). The name might sound creepy, but it's actually just a reference to an orphanage that used to be located here that dressed the children living there in red coats.
This is Paris' oldest covered food market still operating (it was opened in 1628!). The vendors sell everything from wonderfully smelly French cheeses to Moroccan Tagine dishes, and during lunchtime it's a popular spot for people working nearby.
Walk through the aisles and get a taste of French food culture. Then, exit on the other side.
Le Marché des Enfants Rouge // 39 Rue de Bretagne // Tue-Sat 9am-8pm, Sun 9am-3pm
2.35pm // Rose Bakery // FrenchTrotters
We've visited Rose Bakery when we spend 12hrs in London, and just like its British sister, this cafe is super popular. Run by an Anglo-French couple, Rose bakery is famous for its amazing cakes, salads and some decidedly British fare like Porridge. Still, Parisians line up here to get a taste Rose Carrarini's dishes. We can't blame them…
Just a minute away is the Marais location of FrenchTrotters, one of Paris' most-loved local brands. They do sell other brands in their stores (and even have their own children's wear shop close to Bastille), but the main draw here is definitely FrenchTrotter's own collection of the same name. Both the clothes for women and men could function as kind of a Parisian uniform. You'll spot their blouses, leather jackets and boots on folks all around town.
Their selection of accessories and design objects is equally well thought out. There is Mast Brothers chocolate imported from Brooklyn, Byredo perfumes and the latest editions of magazines like Kinfolk and Monocle. The shop is really beautiful (and smells so good!), so don't miss it.
Rose Bakery // 30 Rue Debelleyme // Di-Sun 9am-4pm
FrenchTrotters // 128 Rue Vieille du Temple // Mon 2.30pm-7.30pm, Tue-Sat 11.30am-8pm, Sun 2pm-7pm // website
2.45pm // Cuisse de Grenouille
Not far from here lies Cuisse de Grenouille, a shop catering to 'the gentleman surfer' according to their charming mission statement.
We love the wooden interior that reminds us of surfboards lined up on the walls (there are some actual ones in the corner, as well) and the cheeky men's clothes. Their sweatshirts with the slogan 'Surf in Paris' make great souvenirs.
Next door is the beautiful Acne flagship store. So if your heart beats for this Swedish brand, head in there instead.
Cuisse de Grenouille // 5 Rue Froissart // Mon 2pm-7pm, Tue-Sat 11am-7.30pm // website