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This date was a special one, with mom when she was in town. I had seen so many dreamy photos of Blue Valentine and heard nothing but good things so I knew it was the perfect place to reserve a meal out with mom.

To be completely honest, everything on the menu looked tempting, but we both went with the chicken dish. The entrée included for lunch was absolutely to die for and I’m not sure I could really say what it is but it was a purée with an egg yolk baked at a very specific temperature or something and it was just unbelievable and gooey and magical. All of the dishes were presented beautifully, so gourmet. Mom was really impressed with the wine list, but I stuck with a beer. The space was perfect and modern and tasteful, with bricks and artwork and beautiful tables and chairs.

Blue Valentine
13 Rue de la Pierre Levée, 75011
Métro: Parmentier (3) ou Oberkampf (5/9)
Tél: 01 43 38 34 72 (Reservations needed)

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One of the areas I’m quite fond of lately is the lower 11th, from Voltaire to Bastille. Rue Keller is filled with little gems, and its seems as though my list of places to go in this hood keeps getting longer and longer. I had my eye on CheZ Aline for quite some time as the story behind it sure was cute (Sandwich shop and epic lunch spot inside an old horsemeat butcher shop. They replaced the “V” of Chevaline to a Z to make it CheZ Aline).

A variety of delicious sandwiches made to order with quality products: Paris ham, Milan veal, tortilla and chorizo, pickled things, homemade terrines and pickles…. there’s something for everyone and it’s all under 10 euros. Great to grab on the go, or sur place if you get there before the crowd.

Chez Aline
85 rue de la Roquette, 75011
Métro: Voltaire (9) or Bréguet Sabin (5)
Open weekdays from 11am to 7pm

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For my bestie’s last weekend in Paris before she moved to Munich for the next chapter in her professional life, we planned a little dinner date à deux at Soya, which I had been dying to try. I couldn’t think of anyone better to give this place a whirl with. This gal and I have made Paris our stomping ground, and have grown up so much since our arrival at the same Uni in 2008. It’s pretty crazy how time flies. I must say, the hard thing about expat life is that people leaving for new horizons becomes a common thing. I’ve been the one that’s left before – as I’m sure other expats totally get this feeling, too – so it’s a bittersweet goodbye, that is filled with so much excitement. Now I’ve gotta get my ass to Munich cos I miss her too much.

Soya is a magical vegetarian canteen that serves quality organic food (finding spots with a not as easy as you may think to come by in Paris). The deco has got that earthy yet industrial feel, big beautiful wooden doors, lit candles, some artwork, on the walls, wooden benches and a chalk board where they jot down what’s on the menu. It’s that “less is more” déco that is just perfect in my book. We kicked off the evening with Soya’s mezze plate which was yummy as. For the main dish I went with the lasagna, which I just loved every bite of. My date had the epic quinoa salad with falafel and a sort of veggie tajine with some hot sauce.

Ana Clara, the Brazilian bombshell photographed above, has always been someone I admire for many reasons. One of these one hundred reasons being that this girl truly cares about her body what she puts in it food-wise, which is actually pretty hard in this day and age (or at least I find). I’m not a vegetarian, but eating meals with no meat now and again comes more often than not in my house, and trying some colorfully crafted quality meals without meat is always fine by me.

20, rue de la Pierre-Levée, 75011
Tél: 01 48 06 33 02 (reservations recommended)
Métro: Goncourt (11), République (3, 5, 8, 9, 11)









Funny enough, when I went to Chambelland for the first time when my mom was in town (she prefers to eat gluten free when she can), I realized it is literally across the streets from one of my first Parisian apartments in 2008. The neighborhood has certainly gotten some spunky places and it never seems to stop. Chambelland has a precious little patio, and when you walk in, it’s a breath of fresh air, with sweet and savory treats and adorable deco.

I adored their brownies, that are moist and delicious. We also gave the cookie and lemon tart a whirl which were equally as yummy. I’m thinking next time I’m going to have to give their sandwiches a try. If you’re staying in at Chambelland, top your order off with a cuppa filter coffee for an afternoon pick me up (I seem to always need one of those).

A new staple to the neighborhood, and one of the somewhat small handful of gluten free friendly places in Paris.

14 Rue Ternaux, 75011
Métro: Parmentier (3), Oberkampf (5/9)

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A special thanks to the Pinterest France team for organizing such a margical soirée, everything about it was photo worthy.

Check out my Paris Guide on Pinterest here.