DEAR FRENCH FAM…

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I’m going to be out in Paris for about 8 days in early August. Any recommendations for either 1) places to eat (on a relative budget) and 2) record stores where my utter lack of French skills won’t get me thrown out?

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9 comments to DEAR FRENCH FAM…

  • 20-100

    Hi, when I go to Paris, I like to go to superfly records shop, lot of rare african, tropical,jazz stuff.
    For food, the favela chic is good for food and music.
    Have a nice holiday in Paris.

  • olivier

    Hi Oliver,

    for eating and drinking there’s so much…

    one of my tip at the moment for rural product (cheese, ham…) and very good wine (bio)
    Restaurant Sauvage
    60, rue du Cherche-Midi
    Paris (75006)
    TÉL : +33 6 88 88 48 23

    you might ask from Sebastien on behalf of Olivier Michelon (a great tall guy but he might be in Holliday)

    for record, yes Superfly, that’s the place at the moment
    http://www.superflyrecords.com

    the “godfather” (still there from late 90’s) for black oriented music (afro, soul, hip hop, house…) ;
    Betino http://www.betinos.com

    sorry that i’ll miss you but i’m now based in Toulouse

  • Justin

    I don’t know every restaurant or record store, but here’s a few that I’ve been to on my visits to Paris…

    1) Places to eat
    – Léon de Bruxelles: a pretty reliable chain of mussels & fries (moules et frites) restaurants from Brussels, Belgium. Several locations, including on the Champs Élysées.

    – Le Potager du Père Thierry: beloved and tiny little restaurant in Montmartre neighborhood. Fantastic classic French country-style cooking, I think. Really cramped inside, usually has wait times, but I read that they take reservations. Our waitress was able to serve us in English.

    – Le Petit Célestin: fantastic bistro-café, at south edge of the Marais neighbourhood. I had a really good pork chop, and cepes (= porcini) mushroom appetizer.

    – Le Central: unremarkable, but good example of a local bistro-café. This one’s in the 2nd Arrondissement (Paris neighbourhood/zone). There’s many many restaurants in Paris just like this one, I’m just posting this as a good example.

    2) Record shopping
    – Crocodisc: pretty great record store on Left Bank near La Sorbonne university. Has a sister store for jazz, called Crocojazz, about 5 mins walk away. NOTE that their website says they’re closed from July 28 – August 19.

    – Marché Aux Puces: giant weekend flea market / antiques fair that borders the Clingnancourt and Saint Ouen neighbourhoods. In a somewhat rough-looking working class immigrants neighbourhood (ie. African / N. African people and not white people as portrayed in Paris postcards or something), but I didn’t see any reason to feel different or scared. I only found 2 or 3 record vendors, but they all had interesting selection (to my N. American eyes). Lots of French ye ye and pop chanson artists (like France Gall, Claude François, you name it), but also non-French disco, house, African funk, etc. I also picked up a Washington go-go 12″. Market is only open saturday, sunday, monday. And one website I saw said that hours are reduced during August (Europeans take their summer vacations seriously). Check their hours online before you go, or ask your hotel concierge or host.

  • Justin

    Oliver, will it be your first time in Paris? If so, some general tips for Paris….

    When it comes to cuisine, get ready for some amazing bread, pastries, cheese, and ham. Much better than what we (or at least I) am accustomed to in the U.S. Worth visiting a local bakery (‘boulangerie’), and pastry shop (‘pâtisserie’), and supermarket (Monoprix is a common chain). A farmers’ market should be similarly awesome, though I can’t vouch personally for one as I didn’t get around to visiting any.

    Regarding lack of French skills, I don’t know if that will be a deal-breaker everywhere – several restaurants I went to, I remember the wait-person kindly swinging to English once they heard my bad French – but I also think it will be worth it to learn at least some basic tourist-level French. For repeatable things like asking where the restroom is, (“Où est le W.C.”), saying you’d like to order the soup of the day (“Je voudrais le soupe du jour”), etc. Just bone up on the phrases section at the back of a tourist book, or a language tape or website, or Google Translate, etc. I think it will be worthwhile, as the locals will probably appreciate that you’re making an attempt at their language. Just channel your inner Serge!

    (BTW the French examples I gave above may be imperfect, or laughably simple – my French is pretty terrible, but I think those examples are good enough to get the point across and avoid scorn, ha)

  • xtophe

    (great and cheap) lunch

    – L’orillon bar
    – Les pères populaires

    Dinner

    – au passage (tapas style)

    Records (i’m no expert, but it’s probably a good place to start and ask for a few
    other places to go to)

    – l’international records

    dinner & dancing & vibe

    – comptoir général

    With these, and all other places, check in advance if they’re open. August is heavy vacation time and much of the city shuts down…

    Enjoy!

  • Gérard

    Hi,
    There is a nice records shop in my street : Superfly Records , 53 rue Notre Dame de Nazareth 75003 Paris (http://www.superflyrecords.com/). I hope it will be open in august.
    You can have a look in the flea market (http://www.marcheauxpuces-saintouen.com/), there are some records sellers, and in the same time, there are different kind of markets, nice place to visit if you like antiques.
    I can also recommand some restaurants, but I don’t know what kind of places (and food) you are looking for. Le me know if you want, and I will make some suggestions. Whatever, this website http://lefooding.com/en/restaurants (well done) can help you to find ones.
    Enjoy your holidays.

  • Graig boogaloo

    Hi !
    Obviously “Superfly records” 53 rue Notre dame de nazareth…..
    Bestrecord store in France.
    Say my recommandation to Manu…. Enjoy !!!

  • Matt

    Hi,

    Best Records shop
    Betinos (32, rue Saint-Sébastien 75011 Paris)

    HeartbeatVinyl (26 rue Godefroy Cavaignac 75011 Paris)
    in the same street Waly-Fay restaurant (Great african food)

    Best from Paris!

  • Alex Robinson

    Graig is right: Superfly is the best! A must for African records and lots of jazz too. But the flea market at Clignancourt as mentioned above is essential. You need to find your way to the upstairs section with the kiosks (past the vintage hifi shops). It’s fantastic. Have a good time!

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