A Guide to Paris Flea Markets

A Guide to Paris Flea Markets

Where better to find chic hidden treasures than in a Parisian flea market! You'll soon find yourself carefully sieving through the heaps of antiques and kitchenware – often on your hands and knees! Here is a guide to all the famous flea markets in Paris that you should definitely patronize on one of your trips to Paris. Afterall, one man's junk is another man's treasure. 

Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen (Clignancourt) 

Marche Aux Puces de St-Ouen, otherwise known as Porte de Clignancourt, is one of the largest antique markets in the world covering 7 hectares, it is also the most famous flea market in Paris. Open only on the weekends, this flea market welcomes 180,000 visitors each weekend.

It consists of a total of 14 markets. Tiny, cramped shops are positioned face-to-face and line the whole street. They offer a wide range of items from antiques (of course) to real Chanel jewellery and Birkins at upwards of 6000 euros. Clignancourt is not the place to go to if you are looking for very cheap deals! However, it is a beautiful place and there are cafes along the streets for you to sit, enjoy the cool breeze and sip on some coffee. Definitely come to experience the life here at Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen.

Things to take note of: 
1. It would be best to start your day early at the markets as by lunch it tends to get very crowded.  
2. Or you can visit on a Monday morning or when it is wet or snowy. You will be more likely to pick up a bargain then. 
3. Do not be afraid to bargain 
4. Bargaining is a skill and is something that needs to be cultivated. If you like something, do not touch it or do not pick it up. Showing signs that you are interested, the seller will be less willing to cut down the prices for you. If you really want it, also be prepared to walk away and hope that they will call you back to close the deal. 
5. This is where irony sets in, I would also advise you, if you really like the item, to get it because if you do not get it now and after walking down the blocks and coming back later, the item could have already been bought by another customer. 
6. Bring cash with you but in small change. If you were to haggle down a particular 
7. Always think about logistics before buying something big and hard to handle 
8. Try to whip out your best French accent when haggling with the store owners

Marché aux puces de la Porte de Vanves 

This next Flea market, la Porte de Vanves, is a world away form Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen. The flea market is a lot smaller, more friendly, more open to bargains and slightly cheaper than at Saint-Ouen. Walking through this serene market you will chance upon vendors selling stuff such as dresses, perfume bottles, vintage toys (my personal favourite), vinyls of the best classics, gorgeous French Linens and much more. Make sure you get there early so that you will be able to pick out the best buys from the vendors!

Les Puces de Montreuil
Founded in 1860s, Les Puces de Montreuil is less famous and charismatic as St-Ouen or Vanves. Despite that, everything that you could possibly need can be found at Montreuil from spices, books, sporting goods, hardware to vintage leather jackets and sixties shirts (also another one of my personal favourites). Montreuil is a gold mine that I can afford!

If looking at antiques all day hasn’t tired you out yet, I recommend trying out Florences food for dinner on our social dining platform to complete the day perfectly. Florence’s home, located in the heart of Paris, is decorated with 19th century woodworks, paintings and furniture that complement one another perfectly, making you feel as though you have just stepped into a historical museum but with a slight touch of home. 

Any other tips to recommend and flea markets I missed out? Leave a comment below! 

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14 Best Must-Visit Cafes All Around Paris

14 Best Cafes All Around Paris.

With a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, street markets and food trucks in Paris, it is sometimes hard to narrow down to the few restaurants that you should without a doubt taste and see while in the City of Light.

So..where are you heading to? Let’s check out the following neighbourhoods. 😉


Bastille, formally known as Bastille Saint-Antoine, a neighbourhood that played an undeniable role in the history of France. It has been used, for most of its existence, as a prison by the King of France. Though the original prison is now long gone, it still serves as a historical landmark, imbued with political symbolism for Parisians. Despite its dark past, Bastille has evolved into a neighbourhood lined with small private galleries for art lovers, grungy record stores for music lovers, and mouthwatering restaurants for foodies! Here are a few you have to try:


La Fée Verte

La Fée Verte (which means the Green Fairy) is a fascinating absinthe bar and café near the Bastille. In the day, it is a great place for a cup of coffee and lunch (think: burgers and beef bourguignon), at night it is the place to hang out and unwind with a drink. They have a great range of absinthe and it is still served in the traditional way, with a special absinthe spoon and cubes of sugar. Definitely a place to add to your list of must-visits.

This photo of Merci is courtesy of TripAdvisor

La Cantine Merci

La Cantine Merci, located in the trendy fairtrade concept store Merci, is all about healthy, balanced and nutritious lunches. Take your pick from their fresh and colourful salads, soup, risotto, vegetable tarts and much more. There is also a selection of vitamin-packed fruit cocktails – Merci does strike a good balance between plate and cup. Homemade deserts here are also delightful: “light” cheesecake and gluten-free chocolate sponge cake anyone? The dining space opens up into a garden, and the greens just brightens up the day, making it is a wonderful place to while the afternoon away.


Used Books Cafe

An ideal place for a spot of coffee or afternoon tea (Darjeeling, sencha, herbal teas, you names it) where you will find yummy bites such as organic soft-boiled eggs and rosemary scones. You may also choose a book from the 10,000 books in their library collection. The chance of discovering a new story is part of the thrill of the hunt in this unique bookstore-themed cafe. The cafe is also connected to La Cantine Merci.


Montmartre, otherwise known as The Mountain of Martyrs, is a culturally rich neighbourhood with picturesque bohemian architect lining the streets. Being 130 metres high, Montmartre is known as the 2nd highest point in Paris besides the Eiffel tower. Primarily known for the white-dome Basilica of the Sacre- Coeur and as a nightclub district, there are several highly-acclaimed restaurants that you should add to your must-visit list when going to Montmartre.

Le Coq Rico

Le Coq Rico, also called the bistro of beautiful birds, as perhaps you can tell, known for its flavour infused and succulent roasted chicken. Antoine Westermann serves his gourmet poultry dishes in an elegant and polished white-walled space with sleek black marble-top banquettes. There are different birds to choose from on the menu — chickens of different breeds from the various provinces of France, duck and guinea fowl. It generally takes about 45 minutes of waiting time if you order the chicken, and it arrives sizzling and roasted to perfection. There are very tasty appetisers to fill the time until the main event (the roasted chicken) arrives, which includes the soft boiled egg served with salmon egg & sea weed butter finger bread, and duck liver roasted with poppy seeds crumb and served with arugula salad, green apple & chicken jus vinaigrette.



Soul Kitchen

Tucked away on the corner of a street, upon entering Soul Kitchen, you are greeted with warm smiles and the whimsical interior design. You can tell almost immediately that there is good hospitality and food here just by looking at how so much attention is being paid to the decor of the cafe, such as the installation of paper butterflies, the vintage touch with old wine crates, a big bay window, trays overflowing with food, pretty coloured furniture and a huge chalkboard menu at the counter, giving the place a real homely atmosphere. It is helmed by three affable lady chefs who presents a selection of wholesome dishes from their ever-changing menu of homemade recipes prepared with organic local produce. A charming cafe with even more delicious food, Soul Kitchen is one place you would not want to miss.


Saint-Germain-des-Prés is one of the four administrative quarters and the quarter has a large number of bookstores, publishing houses and several famous cafes that you have to visit.

Les Deux Magots

The name of the restaurant is actually dervied from two chinese figurines. Founded in 1812 and later expanded to its current location, the two statues that adorn the cafe now stand as witnesses to that era. In 1885, the cafe started serving alcohol and acted as a hotspot for many intellectual elites such as Earnest Hemmingway, Arthur Rimbaud, and Paul Verlaine. Then in 1933 with creation of the Prix des Deux Magots, the cafe asserted its literacy vocation that lead to many famed artists to visit such, as Elsa Triolet, Louis Aragon, André Gide, Jean Giraudoux, Pablo Picasso, and others. As one of the oldest cafes in Paris, it attracts people from different background from the world of politics to the world of fashion, arts and literature and not forgetting you travelers as well.

City Crepes Cafe

If you come to Paris and do not eat a crepe, it will have been a wasted trip. At the City Crepes Cafe, you can build your own crepe or order one straight off the menu! If you are interested to find out where you can go to learn how to make other french pastries, you can check out this crepe making class with locals in their homes in Paris!

Boulangeries Paul

Looking for bite in Paris? Paul is the place to go! Serving your everyday Parisian pastries, baguettes and cakes that are price friendly and waiting for tourists like yourself to snap them up! After collecting your snack, head over to the banks of Seine or the Luxembourg Gardens and enjoy your breakfast or lunch with a view 😉

Pere Lachaise & Menilmontant

There are countless of ways in which you could possibly soak up the Parisian culture. One of them would be visiting the Pere Lachaise cemetery. This neighborhood is tucked away in a little-known stretch of Paris, protected from the hullabaloo of the city but at the same time close enough to all the major attractions, this is where you can get a taste of the real Paris.


Decorated with soft orange light, bright, clean wooden floors and tables with cushioned chairs, this cafe is designed to promote an intimate and cosy dining experience, as well as absolutely sublime brewed coffee. Your Parisian coffee-break should indeed be spent here. Clint is also known for its excellent service, where you will witness baristas and waiters coming up to you, talking to you and at the same time allowing for visitors to have their own private time, making tourists feel like a local in a foreign land.

L’ Artiste

Walking along the pavements of the 11th arrondissement and you will come across a restaurant that has colourful beach umbrellas and rattan chairs fanned out inviting you to come in to enjoy a cup of coffee. L’ Artiste offers a myraid of options at their brunch buffet, from croissants to chicken drumsticks! Everything that you could possibly hope for to eat during brunch. For tourists that cannot speak French, have no fear for the staff here at L’Artiste are fluent in english and service is fast and efficient.

La Bellevilloise

Imagine a huge warehouse, air-conditoned, with a transparent roof that allows light to pour in at any time of the day- now you should be picturing la Bellevilloise! There are huge trees planted around the warehouse, with their leaves out on display and the scent filling the warehouse mixed with the delicious mix of sweet and savoury food cooking in the kitchen. This unique place, the la Bellevilloise, used to be a building to house the capital’s first workers, but has since turned into a bar, restaurant, club, exhibition space and a place to host regular film and music festivals. Food, service, atmosphere and people, La Bellevilloise has got it all right.

Champ Elysses

Champ Elysses  is known for its theatres, cafés and luxury shops, and for the military parade that takes place each year on the avenue on 14 July to celebrate Bastille Day.

Cafe Kousmichoff

Cafe Kousmichoff is the famous house of tea that sells Kusmi tea, which are Russian-styled teas and tea blends. You can come here for an afternoon tea or coffee as they offer a wide range of Kusmi aromatic teas along with a selection of cakes. The design of the cafe invokes a sense of serenity and freshness, a good place for lunch, afternoon tea as well as dinner. When you eat you will be on the upper level and you can eat and sip your tea whilst peering out of the window and looking at people go by on the Champs Elysees!

11 Carpaccio – La Royal Monceau

A one Michelin-star Italian restaurant in Paris. Its design of beige curtains, tall glass windows and soothing coloured furniture gives off a Silician baroque style that opens onto a lovely glass conservatory drenched in light. The II Carpaccio celebrates the intricate flavours of mouth-watering and sophisticated dishes crafted from the freshest seasonal products, and the chef gives a very personal interpretation of traditional family recipes from many of Italy’s regions. Here tourists and travelers alike can eat and enjoy the Italian flavours.


A French luxury bakery established in 1862. Laduree is known for its double decker macarons, of which fifteen thousand of them are sold everyday. You can also head down to the cafe and enjoy some snacks and afternoon high tea! Its light blue painted walls and classic design will take you back to that era, including all their cutlery and plates!

In addition to eating macarons and other lovely treats, you may also want to experience macaron making and learn about other French pastries with local home chefs, and take the Paris experience home with you.

Know of any other cafes in Paris that are unique and have great food? Leave a comment below! 🙂

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Top 5 Must-Try Food Trucks in Paris

Top 5 Must-Try Food Trucks in Paris

Food trucks have never been popular in central Paris, however there has been an increased liking for such food. I believe it owes its success to the authentic, fresh and high-quality products that each food truck tries to offer to its consumers. Packed in a small truck, shouting across heads to get the order to the cook and most importantly how it is cooked freshly on the spot.


Food trucks have been gaining so much traction that the Paris Authority agreed to allocate 40 food truck spots located in different arrondissements of Paris. With so many food trucks to try, here are some of the most famous food trucks in Paris that have amazing reviews and long queues to prove the quality of their food. 

1. Le Camion qui fume

In 2009, Californian Chef Kristin Fredrick went to a well-regarded French culinary school and after she graduated launched Le Camion qui fume, which was one of the food trucks that started off the trend across the globe of gourmet food truck burgers. You don’t need to see long winding lines of salivating Parisians to know that this is one of the best food trucks in Paris. The truck acts a nomad, travelling from spot to spot everyday, to places such as la Madeleine, Porte Maillot, Canal St-Martin, MK2 Bibliothèque, and in front of the Musée d’Orsay! Before you go looking for the truck be sure to confirm on their website and Facebook pages! 

2. Cantine California

Is anything worth standing up queuing for 40 minutes and paying €11 for? The short answer is definitely yes when it comes to Cantine California! They serve a slice of America on four wheels and the local Parisians are hungry for it!!! Catine California’s menus include burgers (we reccommend the unmissable Tex-Mex option!) and tacos. A bite into the juice-filled beef patty and buttered buns is sure to induce a foodgasm indeed. Of course, they not only excel in the department of mouthwatering food, but service as well. This cosmopolitan food truck team will serve you an ultimate spot-on, unforgettable experience. There are a just a few things to note:the long queues, waiting time as well as the little amount of standing tables for you to eat on! But take this opportunity to stroll around paris, for all you know you might find a hidden gem 😉 

3. Le Réfectoire 

Being in Paris, you should definitely want to soak in the Parisian culture. Le Réfectoire provides you with the opportunity to do just that. Burgers prepared by them are served with the most French flair in Paris. Their food includes typical French cheeses like comté, raclette, homemade mayo and grilled goat's cheese with honey to Frenchify your burger. Standing in line waiting for your turn to order your burger can be dehydrating to some and Le Refectoire  understands, so they have concocted a deliciously rehydrating drink called the ‘’rehab lemonade’’ to satisfy your needs! 

4. Classico Argentino 

A little piece of Argentina on wheels as they would call it. Serving you fresh ingredients straight out of a truck that goes beyond the simple ingredients of steak and ceviche and instead serve superior, delicious empanadas. Constantly in competition with tapas as a choice of snack in Paris, the Classico Argentina has come up with countless of creative ways to stay relevant and be one of the best food trucks! So you must try to decide for yourself! Tapas or Classico Argentino?  

5. Glaces Glazed 

Heard enough about savoury food trucks? Here is one that finally can satisfy your sweet tooth and offer an escape from the heat during summer! What makes this so special is that it does not just serve you the normal vanilla, chocolate, pistachio etc…if you want to try something new, this is the exact truck you should hunt down!! Flavours that will stun and wow your taste buds from the colour, the soft texture and even the names such as ‘Highway to Ale’ (flavoured with beer!) or even the ‘Black sugar Sex Magic’ which is a well-mixed sorbet made with dark chocolate, wasabi and ginger, and what better ice cream to try in the city of love than the ‘Tunnel of love’, infused with wood strawberries and topped with sancho berries, it's definitely a sight to see. They not only serve ice cream, they sell ice lollies too, with a more grown-up twist, such as absinthe and an apple liqueur flavour named ‘’Smells like Teen Spirit’’. All these unorthodox flavours and ice cream names are bound to instil some form of uncertainty, but give it a try! It's so popular for a reason! It's well blended, delicious and simple ice cream art that you’ve got to try! 

Thats all for now! If you have tried any other food trucks in Paris that I didn't mention above, leave a comment below! I would love to hear about them 🙂 

image credits: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8  

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The Little Sparrow: Walk in the Footsteps of Edith Piaf

The Little Sparrow: Walk in the Footsteps of Edith Piaf


When Edith Piaf comes to mind, I think about her passion, her determination, the carefree spirit of her younger days, and this undying spirit of constantly seeking greatness. Her life story is no doubt one of the most classical rags to riches stories out there! But yet, it is also one that I hold so close to my heart.

Read on to find out where you can go to relive The Little Sparrow's journey to stardom. To discover more about Edith's home and district in Paris join local Allison who is an expert on Paris' 20th district, after following in Edith's footsteps you can eat some must try french food in Allison's home based restaurant in Paris!

For all the global fame she achieved – that distinctive potent voice, soused in 3am smokiness; ballads like “La Vie En Rose” and “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” – she was very much a figure whose tale was pinned to the French capital.

Edith was born in a doorway at 72 rue de Belleville in the 20th arrondissement on the 19th of December 1915 , 7 days before christmas! She might have just been the gift sent down from heaven! Above the worn out marble doorstep is a plague that reads, ''dont la voix, plus tard, devait bouleverser le monde'' which says how her voice would go on to move the world. Edith did not just go on to move the world with her voice, but brought inspiration to many and continues to do so even today. 

How her singing career started was when she was touring the country with her father. He was a contortionist working for the circus that later went on to street performance. The story goes that one day Edith’s dad pushed his young daughter, Edith, to the front of the crowd and said ‘PERFORM’ and that was when she started singing as the audience looked at her in awe. At that moment, Edith found within her this immediate passion for singing not just for survival but because her voice was being heard. 

Hold me close
and hold me fast 
this magic spell you cast 
this is La Vie En Rose 
— Edith Piaf – La Vien En Rose 

One of the first few cafes that Edith sang in was the Aux Folies, which is still around today! She sang at Aux Folies in between performing as a street musician with her father. You can head over there for a breakfast and sit on their terrace soaking in the morning Paris air.

Here is the address: 8 rue de Belleville, 75020, +33 6 14 17 91 33, Open daily 7am-2am

As she started singing, Edith and her best friend Simone ‘’Momone’’ Berteaut, earned enough to take a room at the Grand Hotel de Clermont, at 18 Rue Veron on Montmartre’s lower slopes which is still there today. It was a place where the both of them stayed for four years in cramped conditions! It should really be a sight to see for it is one of those structures that still retains remanents of the old gritty Paris – low ceilings and walls covered with fresco, paintings on ageless walls and jazz bars just around the corners. 

"I was hungry. I was cold. But I was also free. Free not to get up in the morning, not to go to bed at night, free to get drunk if I liked, to dream… to hope." — Edith Piaf 

But her career really took off when Edith was singing along the street one day and Louis Leplée' found her (1935). He then invited her to take singing classes and after which put her on stage to sing to rooms full of people. Edith then obtained her famous moniker: The Little Sparrow. Visit what used to be Louis Leplée's cabaret, Le Gerny's, at 54, rue pierre charron, in the 8th arrondissement

The next place to visit would be the Metro Porte de Bagnolet, a square that was named after Edith in 1978. It was redeveloped in 2003, to mark the fortieth anniversary of her death, and now you can see a statue of Edith which was erected in the square. 

To sing is to bring to life; impossible if the words are mediocre, however good the music — Edith Piaf

After which make your way down to the Edith Piaf Museum. It used to be a tiny flat where she once lived in and was turned into a museum run by Bernard Marchois who has been a longtime fan of Edith. It is only open three days a week (Monday to Wednesday) from 1pm to 6pm and you need to call before you come! The museum is marked only by a small plaque: Les Amis d’Edith Piaf, with the advisory that it’s only by appointment; the telephone number is below.  The walls of the museum are dressed with photos and portraits of the singer and there are life sized cut outs of the diminutive singer, the boxing gloves of the famous Marcel and many more! It is definitely a must visit! 

Next up, is the Moulin Rougue where in 1944, Edith met Ivo Livi who turned out to be one of her great lovers and used to sing at her shows. (he was also romantically involved with other high profile celebrities such as Simone Signoret and Marilyn Monroe). The Mounlin Rouge is known as a cabaret that was founded and built in 1889 and ever since then it has been coined the modern birthplace of can-can which is a seductive dance which then later turned into a form of entertainment. Today, it still retains its antiquity and atmosphere for a place of entertainment for guest all of over the world. This is an absolute must-see and must-go… book a reservation and be ready to be blown off your feet. 

My troubles, my pleasures
I don't need them anymore
Swept away my past loves
With their tremors
Swept away for always
I start again from zero
— Edith Piaf – Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien

By now, you should be feeling hungry! Opposite the Moulin Rougue between the supermarket and the steakhouse restaurant take the rue Pierre-Fontaine, until you get to the rue Mansart. You will be able to see A la Cloche D’Or. This was the restaurant where Edith used to dine with Marcel Cerdan. 

For those of you who have watched the movie La Vien En Rose, Edith Piaf's biopic starring Marion Cotillard (who received an oscar award for her performance), this next destination should strike a cord with you. The scene where Edith wrote a song for her lover, Marcel after getting the news of his tragic plane crash and wanted to so badly sing it for everyone to hear but did not make it to the end of the song and collapsed on the stage. L’Olympia, the legendary concert hall built in 1893 and has since then served as a theatre, cinema and concert hall that was launched in 1954, was where Edith was invited to sing on the stage. 

When he takes me in his arms, and speaks to me softly, I see the world through rose-colored glasses. — Edith Piaf 

 After Marcel's death, Edith went spiralling into a hole of alcohol and drugs. The last placed where she lived was at 67 boulevard Lannes, the 16th arrondissement. It was in that exact house, on the first floor where she wrote the song Je ne regrette rien in 1960. 

Last but not least, her resting place. Edith passed away on the 10th October 1963 in Grasse at the age of 47, but her death was officially announced on 11 October 1963 in Paris. She was buried a few days later, on the 14th of October together with her cuddly toy rabbit in the cemetary Père Lachaise, situated in the 20th arrondissement (the same arrondissement she was born in). Other "residents" of this feted Paris cemetery include – of course – Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison. Piaf lies in a plot which reads "Famille Gassion-Piaf" – alongside her infant daughter, her father and her second husband Theo Sarapo. The tomb is found in the south-east corner of the cemetery, on Transversale 3 – between Avenue Circulaire and Avenue Pacthod.

I want to make people cry even when they don't understand my words — Edith Piaf 

Image credits: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10

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