Ahhh Paris! In my mind Paris is the New York City of Europe. Though I am no longer a New Yorker, I will forever consider NYC one of my homes, therefore Paris feels like home in a way as well. That said, all I wanted to do during our trip was escape tourism and live like the locals. Following recommendations from Parisian friends and a few other people ‘in the know,’ we strayed from the beaten path and experience what I would assume Parisian’s consider ‘the real Paris.’ It is in these places that I found my healthy favorites.
Where to eat:
Hotel du Nord – this cute little gem is situated on Canal de Saint Martin in the 10th quarter. It’s named after the famous French film Hotel du Nord directed by Marcel Carne. we stopped by for a late lunch and absolutely fell in love with the authentic French food with a light and healthy twist. I opted for a bowl of butternut squash gazpacho and an eggplant salad that was to die for! Make sure to give yourself some time before or after your meal to walk around and explore this quaint little neighborhood.
Le Derrier – aka ‘the ass’ in French! My family and I love love love this place so much we ate there twice. Situated behind an nondescript door in an alleyway, this restaurant is a whole heap of amazing surprises. The beautiful courtyard is shared by a bar called Andy Wahloo and another South African restaurant (I didn’t manage to grab the name). If the weather is nice definitely wait for a table in the courtyard, but make sure to check out the indoor spaces. I challenge you to find the hidden room behind the wardrobe upstairs! If the restaurant itself isn’t cool enough, the food raises the bar with anything and everything you could ever want including nightly specials. I chowed down on a salmon and bok choy dish the first night that was not long for it’s plate! Finally, make sure to leave time to visit Andy Wahloo before or after your meal, they make a phenomenal dirty martini with an extremely creative presentation!
Cafe Kitsune – hidden along the gallery of the Palais Royal, this is without doubt my favorite coffee shop in Paris. Offering gluten free snacks as well as fresh pressed juices amongst the traditional coffee choices, I promise Cafe Kitsune will not disappoint. Make sure to sit outside in the courtyards for some great relaxation and people watching.
What to do:
Walk the stairs in the Eiffel Tower – when I said the stairs to the top of Our Saviors Church in Copenhagen were no joke I spoke too soon, these Tower stairs are legit no joke. According to my FitBit, exactly 50 flights straight up the Eiffel Tower. Mind you, you can opt to wait in line and take the elevator all the way to the top (the stairs only take you to the second of three platforms), but my fear of heights and I were completely ok with only ascending to platform two!
Run Canal de Saint Martin or Jardin du Champ de Mars – As I mentioned, Canal de Saint Martin is home to Hotel du Nord. Depending on where you are staying make a day of exploring the 10th quarter and get your workout on before or after visiting Hotel du Nord. The Jardin du Champ de Mars is likely the most iconic park in Paris, situated below the Eiffel Tower. For all of you early birds, get your sweat on before the flocking tourists and enjoy one of the most breathtaking runs in all of Paris. As the actual park is not huge, veer off and explore side streets to add mileage and get to know Paris.
Workout outside at Palais Royal or Jardin de Tuileries – working out outside in foreign countries gets me going. Spending the morning, sweating, enjoying beautiful weather and brand new scenery, sets the stage for an energized remainder of my day. Just like Canal de Saint Martin is home to Hotel du Nord, Palais Royal is home to Cafe Kitsune. I don’t know if there is anything better than a morning workout in the courtyard followed by a juice or coffee and some gluten free goods in the gallery from Cafe Kitsune. Jardin de Tuileries runs between Le Louvre and Musee de l’Orangerie. If you want to enjoy fine art and ample space during your workout, this is the place for you. Check back soon, I’ll be posting my favorite outdoor workouts once I get back to the States.