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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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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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Sometimes the cherry on top to a weekend is a girly brunch with snazzy chicks. I had been meaning to try Pamela Popo for quite some time, and the day finally came when we set a date in stone and made our way to the city’s Marais neighborhood one morning for some girly giggles and grub. First of all, Pamela Popo takes reservations, which if you’re a Paris bruncher, you probably know is a rare find in the city where brunch actually just means food served on Sunday. They were already winning in my book.

Another brownie point for Pamela Popo was the bottomless bevvies with the brunch (yes, this means you can have a coffee, then a tea, then a hot cocoa, then another hot cocoa…). On the menu are a few choices for an entrée, plat and dessert. I went with the scrambled eggs (I find that in restaurants they’re always a million times better than when I make them at home), a bagel sandwich and carrot cake. It was just divine.

The deco has a chic homey feel – weirdly retro and modern at the same time – with seating on the terrace, main level and upstairs. Highly recommended for brunch with lovely ladies. Average price for brunching in Paris, and I quite liked the atmosphere. Paris is getting a bit too trendy though, my “to try” list just keeps getting longer and longer.

Pamela Popo
15 Rue François Miron, 75004
Métro: Saint Paul (1)

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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

deux-abeilles-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-06deux-abeilles-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-05deux-abeilles-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-01 deux-abeilles-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-02 deux-abeilles-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-04deux-abeilles-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-12deux-abeilles-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-10 deux-abeilles-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-07 deux-abeilles-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-08 deux-abeilles-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-09deux-abeilles-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-11deux-abeilles-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-13 deux-abeilles-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-15Les Deux Abeilles is a precious little restaurant and tea room in the 7th arrondissement, right around the corner from the Eiffel Tower. It’s got that homey- grandma feel… the floral wallpaper, the wooden shelves and furniture with the cakes all sliced perfectly and placed nicely on cake plates, the white tablecloths and greenery indoors…. It’s cozy and girly but elegant, and has everything you could hope for on  the savory menu, from salads to quiches to pasta . The dessert menu offers all of the classic tarts, lemon, apple, rhubarb, chocolate, crumbles of all sorts…

I discovered this place through a colleague, despite having studied all four years of my Bachelor’s degree only 5 minutes away. Lunches are crowded and reservations most certainly needed, but pop by a late afternoon after a stroll along the Seine and have a high tea if they’ve got open tables. You’ll feel as if you’re in a farm house paradise far away from the hustle bustle of Paris. The hometown feel screams ladies who lunch, and they’ve got a killer hot chocolate to lure you in in the winter months.

It’s open from 9am to 7pm, best for lunch and high tea. The back room is like an indoor courtyard, with heaps of light and the perfect ambiance for a slice of tart with your favorite tea.

Les Deux Abeilles
189 Rue de l’Université, 75007
Tél: 01 45 55 64 04
Métro: Alma Marceau (9)
Reservations needed