Ohhhh the 7ième arrondissement! Arguably Paris’ chicest and most chèr neighborhood, this glitzy quartier is home to some of the most luxurious shopping, dining, and cultural experiences. At just a stone’s throw from the Eiffel Tower, Musee D’Orsay, and les Invalides, it’s easy to see why the 7th attracts so many tourists and Parisian aficionados. The neighborhood’s architecture and feel represent a timeless and old world elegance that has been passed on through years of aristocratic influence. When I walk through the 7th, I am distinctly reminded of Hemingway’s remark that Paris is a “moveable feast.” There is something captivating about walking along the Seine and then sneaking into a smoky bar or restaurant for a late night get together with friends.
The dining selection in the 7th is nothing short of divine. In keeping with the pricey 75007 zip code, the Restaurant Jean-Francois Piege (79 rue Saint-Dominique) offers a high end dining experience complete with limitless wine selections. For a classic old school café, we recommend La Fontaine de Mars (129 Rue Saint-Dominique). The restaurant is cozy and offers delicious French cuisine without stuffiness or pomp. This friendly bistro even counts President Obama as one of its loyal customers! If you’re looking to satisfy a seafood craving, La Table d’Aki (49 rue Vaneau) is the place for you. There is the choice between a petite or grande menu, but after that the choice of dish is up to chef Akihiro Horikoshi, who uses his expertise to cater to intimate group settings. If you aren’t quite ready to break the bank while dining in the 7th, Le Café du Marché (38 rue Cler) is a great option for combining cost and quality. With dishes starting at 10€, typical French dishes such as the duck confit, beef tartare, and foie gras are cooked to perfection. It doesn’t hurt that the Le Café du Marché sits at the corner of Rue Cler, providing plenty of people watching opportunities!
So what about places to meet for cocktails and drinks? The 7th offers plenty of bars that cater to everyone from prestigious diplomats to Science Po students. For a café-bar serving cocktails we recommend L’Eclair (32 rue Cler à Paris). In addition to the unique cocktail names, Green Beast in a Cage for example, this bar offers trendy new drinks as well as the classics. This is the place to duck into after some shopping or sightseeing on Rue Cler as it offers a very cozy and hip atmosphere. In keeping with trendy cocktail stops, another Savoir Faire favorite is The Club (24 Rue Surcouf). The eclectic mix of cups and glasses give this speak easy style bar plenty of flair reminiscent of New York’s Lower East Side. Cool décor aside, this is the place serves a mean old fashioned! Did we mention their sandwiches and cheesecake are to die for?! If you happen to be perusing the Bon Marché and need a quick post shopping pick me up, it’s definitely worth popping into Au Sauvignon (80, rue des Saints Peres) right by the famous department store. A classic French wine bar, Au Sauvignon knows a thing or two about its reds and whites (and the most complimentary cheese plates!)
If you’re wondering what to wear to all the fabulous wining and dining you’ll be doing in the 7th, fear not! This neighborhood is brimming with impeccably dressed inhabitants. Sure there are the big department stores and designer stores, but we’ve sought out some lesser known gems in the area. First up: Brand Bazaar (33 rue de Sèvres)! As it’s name suggests, this store is an endless trove of the best in clothes and shoes (Manoush, See By Chloé, Nolita, Ella Luna, Alice by Temperley, I love my T’s, Twenty8Twelve, French Connection, etc). Fashionistas flock to this shopping hot spot because of its designer brands and discounted prices. Plan on spending a good amount of time here as there are many a bargain to be found.
Aoshida Black and Aoshida White (76 Rue Saint Dominique) are two stores that offer excellent quality clothes that get you out of your H&M or Zara rut. Aoshida promises to help you put together classic and unique looks that you won’t find elsewhere. This store goes against the grain and caters to each woman’s distinctive style. Non-conformity is the name of their game! If you’re in the market for a market, the 7th arrondissement has one of the most varied in the city. Open weekdays, all day Saturday, and Sunday mornings, the Rue Cler market offers everything from fresh veggies to home décor. Halles Bosquet is great for fresh produce, Droguerie offers everything imaginable in the home good department, and La FermetteFromagerie caters to cheese connoisseurs and lovers alike. When it comes to Rue Cler, remember: this is a marathon, not a sprint. Enjoy the sights, scents, and scintillating steals this street has to offer!
One of the best things about the 7th arrondisement is that it is rich in culture offerings. This quartier is saturated with some of Paris’s most famous museums including the Musée D’Orsay and the Musée du quai Branly. One of the lesser known, and equally visit worthy stops is the Maillol Museum (61, rue de Grenelle). This museum offers a permanent collection of pieces by Aristide Maillol and range of temporary exhibits that have included Matisse, Bonnard, Picasso, Rodin, and Duchamps. The art is displayed in a beautiful 18th century hôtel and because it’s a bit off the beaten path, you won’t have to wait in line! If you’re looking to take a break from being on your feet, the 7th offers a great cinematic experience at La Pagode (57 bis, rue de Babylone). The theatre is très old Hollywood inside, and has a beautiful oriental garden for those waiting to be seated. With it’s Japanese pagoda architecture, this building is both stunning and a perfect place to catch the classics. If you’re looking to explore some of the more traditional architecture in the 7th, starting at Hotel Matignon isn’t a bad idea. The home of France’s prime minister, this mansion has the grandeur and ornate details that define this elegant quartier.
Let us know what your favorite spots are in the 7ieme arrondissement! Happy exploring!