If you’ve read this blog for a while you know that I have a deep love for France and all things French. Paris is my favorite place in the whole world and a place I feel very much at home. The city inspires me so much and when I haven’t returned in a while I swear I think I go through withdrawals!
A few fun facts about me as it relates to France…I minored in French, studied abroad in Paris and first visited France when I was an infant as my dad was doing a program in the South of France so we lived their temporarily!
I often joke I think I was born French in another life so I’m sure you can understand why I regularly need to get my French fix whenever I can! Therefore I have made it a mission to explore the best of France situated right here in my home city. Today I’m excited to share the best French spots in Manhattan and Brooklyn!
Where to Eat:
- Laduree: Of course no trip to Paris is complete without picking up macarons from this institution so whenever I truly want to transport myself back to the city of light, I pop down to Soho and treat myself to a pastry and the incredible hot chocolate! It’s so cute inside as you can see from these photos and such a fun place to go with your girlfriends.
- Arcade Bakery: I finally got to this spot last week and thank god I did as I found what may be the best baguette in New York! Also do not miss the hazelnut brioche. O.M.G. That’s all you need to know.
- Lafayette Grand Cafe & Bakery: I actually find this spot to be rather over hyped and over priced (skip the croissants – they aren’t good enough to warrant the calories) but I do love it for the ambiance and breakfast menu. It’s also a huge space so you rarely have to worry about getting a table.
- Buvette: Oh how I love this place! I’ve been coming here since I moved to New York and have so many fond memories of late nights at the bar with visitors, breakfasts with coworkers and girlfriends, solo lunches…I could go on but this charming spot will transport you to France with its perfectly made lattes, croissants with butter and jam and steamed eggs. Note: I much prefer breakfast and brunch to dinner here.
- Le District: This Tribeca spot is newer on the scene and is remincint of France’s version of Eataly. My favorite part of this spot that combines multiple restaurants and wine bar options is actually their little grocery store that has many favorites from my days spent studying abroad and doing my weekly shopping trip.
- Maison Keyser: This spot is great when you have a sweet tooth and want to get a little tart or croissant. A lovely reader on Instagram recommended their almond croissant to me last weekend so I guess I’ll just have to go do some in-person research ;).
- Almondine: This spot knows good croissants. And in search of a traditional French pastry for your next dinner party? This spot delivers. I love that it opens at 7AM during the week. I like to swing by during a morning walk down to DUMBO. Be warned though: They have a $10 credit card minimum.
- Bar Tabac: This spot will transport you straight to Paris with their traditional French dishes and decor.
- Bien Cuit: A neighbor to Bar Tabac, this spot has arguably my favorite croissants in New York. I make a weekend pilgrimage here for coffee and pain au chocolate.
- Cafe Cluny: Well loved by New Yorkers this spot is cute and cozy and perfectly situated on a cobblestone street in the West Village. I love pretty much everything on the menu and is a go-to breakfast spot when I have friends fly in from the West Coast on red-eyes. After a filling meal and espresso, they are always ready to explore after this meal!
- La Mercerie: One of the newest French spots on New York’s scene this spot is Instagram gold and the food is delicious, too. I loved the chicken + crepe au sucre at dinner but it also happens to one of my favorite spots for a breakfast meeting to enjoy a coffee and croissant.
- Maman: To say I adore this place would be an understatement. I actually look for excuses to go to meetings at the Soho location as it is a lovely 20 minute walk from my apartment and home to the cutest cups ever. Not to mention their pastries which are delicious! If you are looking for a good spot to work from, the newer Tribeca location is a good size and has wifi with loads of natural light!
And of course there is no shortage of shopping French brands that have made their way West to the streets of New York but I do have a few favorites that I preference time and time again.
Where to Shop:
- Repetto: Conveniently located next to Laduree in Soho, you’ll find the perfect ballet flats always seen on the feet of French women in this shop.
- Maje: I love practically everything Maje (and sister brand Sandro) puts out and love looking at this store in Nolita whenever I need a party dress.
- Diptyque: I love the Mott Street location of this French parfumerie famous for their candles.
- Maison Kitsune: I love visiting this store in Paris so when it opened an outpost at The Nomad hotel north of the Flatiron neighborhood I was so happy! Window shop here and then swing by Chalait for pb & j toast (it is incredible…trust.)
- APC: My favorite location of this store is the West 4th outpost where you can visit to instantly up your chic quota with a cool bag, tailored pants or a cozy sweater.
- Saint James: For stripe lovers everywhere, swing by the Bleecker Street shop to get your fix.
Any other fellow francophiles out there? If so any spots you love that I may not know about yet?