Paris—in the midst of an energetic transformation

This article was excerpted from The Wall Street Journal’s Insider’s Guide to Paris.

There’s a new energy in the air in Paris, a city long known for resisting change. Gastronomic creativity and new talent fused with a movement to breathe fresh life into forgotten buildings and dormant institutions has brought about much tranformation. The 11th Arrondissement is now a foodie hotbed, thanks to new addresses such as the prix-fixe Rino, a buzzing green market–driven modern French bistro, and Le Dauphin, designed by white-hot chef Inaki Aizpitarte’s Rem Koolhaas.

Forgotten buildings are getting second acts—you can now have tea in the Louis XVI-style Salon de Musique at the restaurant/gallery 1728, and the city’s Neoclassical iconic landmark, the 18th-century Hôtel de la Monnaie—once Paris’s official currency maker—now boasts chef Guy Savoy’s world renowned eatery. The soaring salons of the 19th-century landmark, Georges Bizet’s former home, reopened as Carmen, the “hype” spot for nouveau mixology and dancing.


Shangri-La. After a half-century of acting as a government building, a “hôtel particulier” commissioned by Napoleon’s grand-nephew Roland has been reopened as this sumptuous hotel. 10 Avenue d’Iéna, Paris, 75116.

Royal Monceau Hotel. The Philippe Starck-renovated hotel offers amenities like an in-house art library where guests can browse rare tomes and follow live art auctions. Breakfast is by star pastry chef Pierre Hermé.

Spring. One of the most coveted tables in Paris since 2006 with acclaimed American chef, Daniel Rose. Open kitchen upstairs and a casual food-and-wine bar below. 6, Rue Bailleul 75001, Paris.

Prunier. The stunning Art Deco interior is by architect Louis Hippolyte Boileau. Try the eggs in aspic with caviar. 16, Ave. Victor Hugo, 16th,

Le Bar Hemingway at the Ritz Paris. The mythical hangout of James Joyce, Coco Chanel and “Papa” himself. 15, Place Vendôme, 1st,

L’Avant Comptoir. Wonderful natural wines and splendid aperitifs are served at the unique, diner-like counter. 9, carrefour de l’Odéon, 6th, 33-8-2610-1087

image: L’Avant Comptoir (Forest Collins)

Blé Sucré. Fabrice Le Bourdat’s sweets emporium tops “best pastry” lists yearly. Try the orange-glazed Madeleines. 7, rue Antoine Vollon, 12th, 33-9-61-36-09-01

La Chocolaterie de Jacques Genin. The most seductive chocolate shop in Paris, if not the world. 133, rue de Turenne.

Maison des Trois Thés. Inhale the 100-percent natural aromas of some of the world’s finest teas. 1, rue Saint Medard, 5th,

Jardin des Tuileries. Proust’s favorite place to walk—chestnut tree-lined paths and 17th-century formal garden bridges. Ave. du General Lemonnier, 1st, 33-1-40-20-90-43


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