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I had known about Bob’s Juice Bar and Bob’s Kitchen from when I first arrived in Paris. It was sort of staple of something I knew was American. I will admit I never went often as whenever I randomly passed it or planned to go, it was always closed for some reason. Bref. When Bob’s Bake Shop opened, this was a whole new ball game in my book. Expats in Paris sure know how exciting it is when Thanksgiving rolls around because many shops sell their pies for Turkey Day celebrations. I for one was just excited to be able to get pie all the time.

Aside from the pie thing, I was also excited about it being somewhere NOT in the 11th. All of my favorite things I find group in one area. It’s not a BAD thing it’s just something I’ve noticed. I like when peeps get risky and open outside of the trendy spots of the time – cough – the Canal Saint Martin or Oberkampf area. Bob’s chose to open up north in one of my favorite places to stroll since my Lamarck Caulaincourt days, by the Marx Dormoy metro stop. North of my Indian cantine Chettinadu, the Esplanade Nathalie Sarraute is up against the tracks of Gare de l’Est, sandwiched between those also of Gare du Nord. It’s one of those randomly modern areas that is sort of becoming a new sort of trendy thanks to some snazzy restaurants and a youth hostel, but is definitely like a small pocket of trendy in a rather unique part of Paris that is the La Chapelle quartier. Bob’s Bake Shop graces us with its presence here.

A diner in the true sense of the term, Bob’s Bake Shop offers quality food without giving too much of a shit about the overdone awesomeness of the interior. So many places look the same these days. What I love about Bob’s is that it is what it is, and it is wonderful. No subway tiles and wood finishings and inconvenient table arrangements, like in so many other restaurant or cafés popping up around the city. It is spacious, comfy and feels just right – is that my inner American? Table booths line up the window, and the cafeteria-like set up displays everything they’ve got to offer: homemade bagels, cakes, pies, cookies, salads…. the works.

Stop in for a coffee or juice and a treat, or for a sane lunch with a delicious lemonade with a pal (like I did, with my homegirl Ylenia). We went with a open faced bagel sandwich with hummus and pickled veggies on top. Long story short: friendly staff and delicious food. An authentic American spot in the city. I will admit though, I am secretly awaiting some banana cream pie.

Bob’s Bake Shop
Halle Pajol – 12 esplanade Nathalie Sarraute, 75018
Métro: Marx Dormoy (12)
Tél: 09 84 46 25 26

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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.

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

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Breakfast out is one of my favorite things. In Paris if it’s the weekend, no matter what time your breakfast out happens, it’s a brunch, apparently. Lauren, Carin and I chose to have some grub at Holybelly, as I had never had bfast grub there – only coffee or afternoon tea.

I usually am not the type of person to wait in line for a new trendy place as all the cool peeps in Paris are at the same places every Saturday and Sunday at noon, but I was pleasantly surprised and how quick the time went by, and I must say Holybelly is an exception. Our 20 minute wait was the perfect opp to head to the other side of the canal to grab an espresso to go at one Paris’s renowned specialty coffee shops, Ten Belles.

We had wandered back just in time to sit down. I must say, restaurants with menus that aren’t fixed for a weekend brunch really is a luxury in Paris. The fixed menu brunches are often so overpriced and I can never even finish them (not to mention many places pile on pastries which are the cheapest thing possible, ugh). Holybelley’s simple and somewhat american style “eggs any style and 2 sides” really hit home for me (€11,50). I was in a savory breakfast paradise, with quality food and friendly service. Carin’s pancakes were photogenic as hell, and just as tasty as they were adorable. Topped with a flat white with quality Belleville Brûlerie beans, we found ourselves in heaven.

They’ve got a little something extra going on in that café, I tell ya… everyone is always so friendly, and with the changing menu you’re always in for a surprise each time you pop in. If you follow Holybelly on social media, you’ll know that the duo that runs the place, Nico + Sarah, communicate not only about the latest HB happenings, but also support other spots on the block and culinary adventures. By having shared their story – and continuing to do so – their café is really a staple of the neighborhood.

Thanks, Holybelly, for being so awesome.

My first time at Holybelly was for a Pinterest party, discover the photos here.

Read more lovely things about Holybelly.

Holybelly
19 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010
Métro: Jacques Bonsergent (5)
Closed Tues/Weds

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Anne and I went for Sunday brunch at the new hoppin’ Pavillon des Canaux yesterday, and I must say the exterior and interior really caught my eye. We also had the pleasure of surprising the beautiful Lauren, rocking her barista skills.

The canalkeeper’s house was taken over recently by Sinny & Ooko, the mastermind’s behind La REcyclerie, and made into a local hangout with drinks + simple grub. Situated on the quai de Loire, just on the Bassin de la Villette, le Pavillon des Canaux is a fully decorated and magical house with tables inside and out, perfect for events or just your brunch, lunch or coffee in the afternoon with dear ones.

Each of the rooms is decorated with colorful patterns, wallpapers and light fixtures, artwork on the walls, flowers in contrasting vases and perfect wooden tables… each with its own flare. The door to the hustly bustly kitchen upstairs is wide open – with checkered tiling on the floor might I add – with formica tables covered with the daily specials on mix and match plates. Every one of the living rooms caught my fancy, with the pops of color and flea market-like trinkets on shelves and tables left and right. It’s a cozy DIY haven and you’ll feel like you’re in a country home far far away from Paris when you pay a visit.

The 24 euro brunch includes : bottomless warm bevvies, juice and tartines, with a big plate filled with salad, homefries and an english muffin topped with a fried egg & bacon. Oh, and bottomless cake!

If you’re going for brunch on the weekend, I suggest arriving before 1pm, as they can be quite busy and even potentially run out of brunch grub. A stroll down the canal afterwards is a must, especially if the sun is shining.

Le Pavillon des Canaux
39 quai de Loire, 75019
Métro: Laumière (5)

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I do love the coffee scene in Paris that has popped up over the past few years, however I think I’ll always have a spot in my heart for the art deco classics of the city.

I always loved the lights of Le Select and it’s neighbor La Coupole. The bright pastel lights and perfectly retro font always caught my eye, so with mom we popped by for an espresso & café crème en terrasse on our way over to the Luxembourg Gardens.

Le Select
99 Boulevard du Montparnasse, 75006
Métro: Vavin (4)