There’s no point beating around the bush. You want to flirt with some sexy Frenchies when you come to Paris, don’t you? And if they call it the city of romance, you’d damn well better be able to meet potential lovers round the clock, at breakfast, lunch and dinner, right? Well let me narrow it down for you since it’s Valentine’s Day.
This guide is based upon various tried & tested locations around Paris this winter with notably high concentrations of attractive people, generally low consolidations of douchebags and ideal conditions for flirtatious activity. I give no guarantees however that you will land a sexy Parisian in your bed.
Be aware that Parisians practice something called ‘smirting‘: smoking + flirting.
Whether you’re a new arrival in Paris or simply visiting, these are all extremely agreeable places to try out whether you’re single or not.
EGGS & CO
Not just for brunch on Sundays, this eaterie attracts a savvy clientele that knows how they like their eggs– and that can only be a good thing. Tucked away just behind the Boulevard Saint Germain and favored by solo diners on weekdays, there is something extremely charming about the decor and communal layout of Eggs & Co that makes it idyllic to strike a conversation with your neighbor. Perhaps they like their eggs the same way as you …
11 Rue Bernard Palissy, 75006 Paris, France
01 45 44 02 52
BOULANGER DES INVALIDES
I call it a gastro-bakery because it’s not just your typical boulangerie. This quirky secret of the 7th arrondissement also serves wine, and that means a mid-morning tartine au beurre can easily turn into a naughty glass of rosé when the clock strikes midday. Get cosy on a corner bench and wait for a charming local to ask if you’re done with that newspaper.
14 avenue de Villars
LE LOIR DANS LE THEIRE
Sometimes you need more than one encounter to lure in the object of your desires. This quaint tea room has a loyal clientele of creative locals that come to write, read and sip tea over long mornings. If someone catches your eye here (it is after all, smack in the middle of the trendy Marais), you will more than likely have several chances to make a move. Try seductively yet pensively eating the lemon tart with a spoon– apparently the best in town.
3 Rue des Rosiers, 75004
THE LOCAL FOOD MARKETS
We’re all looking for someone who likes to cook– male or female. So where better to start that the local outdoor food markets of Paris? You’ll always find attractive young Parisians waiting in line to buy their fresh produce. Get in line behind them and flash a smile….
MessyNessy’s local market: Marché Ave du Président Wilson, 75008, (Iéna metro).
The Parisian intellectual jeunesse gathers here en masse at lunchtimes. In between lectures, effortlessly beautiful students come from the grande école university across the road to scoff croque monsieurs and clink beers. Beauty and brains.
34 rue de Grenelle, Paris 75007
Come rain, shine or snow, this friendly diner’s terrace is bustling with life, particularly for Sunday lunch (outdoor heaters included). The waitresses are all very attractive and thus an attractive male clientele follows suit. We all win.
90 Boulevard Saint-Germain
LA MAISON MèRE
Doing ‘cuisine newyorkais’ perfectly, La Maison Mere is nestled next to the trendy Hotel Amour in the 9th arrondissement, catering to a bohemian bourgeoisie (“Bobo”) following. Try to concentrate on your food but you’ll find yourself gawking at the ridiculously good-looking people around you. Luckily, the tables are pretty close together so lean over and ask to borrow their ketchup.
4 rue de Navarin, 75009 Paris
You cannot ignore the beautiful people sitting at every table as you walk past the enormous terrasse of Le Tourville, dominating Ecole Militaire. There’s a lot of flirting with the eyes going on here but if you don’t succeed in exchanging numbers, the Oreo Milkshake will make up for it.
16 Avenue de Tourville, 75007
COOKING & DATING
Okay this is the only organized dating I’m suggesting because it’s still beneficial should the romance part fail. For a more subtle approach to seduction than online dating, try combining it with bettering your culinary skills. During “Cook dating” at L’Atelier de Fred in the heart of Le Marais, a class of six singles usually in their 30s are brought together to share their passion for gastronomy with the possibility of an amorous adventure. What could be more French?
223, Rue Saint Martin, 75003 (www.cook-dating.com)
A grand and trendy French brasserie where Parisian diners roam the aisles and play musical chairs as the evening roars on. An inconspicuous staircase in the centre leads to an underground cave which turns into a nightclub after midnight where anything goes….
12 rue de la Fidélité, 75010 (www.lafidelite.com)
Combining a delicious pizza kitchen with the artistry of cocktail-making– Grazie holds the key to a trendy young clientele’s heart.
The combination of dead sexy dark interior, heavily tattooed barkeeps, loud music and extensive cocktail selection makes this place a very hot ticket for the Parisian singletons.
1 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003
Quite possibly the city’s most eccentric restaurant, the idea is you’re supposed to feel as if you’re in a shabby chic, boho Parisian apartment. Guests dine, drink and flirt in various bedrooms, around a ping pong table or in the smoking room through an antique armoire trapdoor.
69, rue des Gravilliers, 75003 Paris (www.derriere-resto.com).
LE CHERCHE MIDI
In my humble opinion, this is the best Italian in Paris– order the black squid ink spaghetti. The sophisticated and trendy local crowd of Saint Germain squeezes in here at dinner. And when I say they squeeze, I mean they squeeeeeze. There is no separation in between tables, you are eating with your neighboring table whether you like it or not. In this case you will most probably like it. Communal dining at its most chic.
22 rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006
CHEZ JEANETTE → LE POMPON
Take an apéro drink at the most notorious and vibrant single’s scene in Paris at Chez Jeannette, where beautiful bohemians both behind and in front of the counter schmooze and smirt (smoke + flirt) as they spill out onto the pavement. Then make your way down the road to Le Pompon at midnight.
Most of the time when going out, we have to choose between letting loose in a dive bar or dealing with snobbish attitudes at the latest hotspots. This is where Le PomPon comes in and saves the day for Parisians that like the “in places” but care more about having a good time than popping bottles of Crystal. The bar is a beautiful, vintage institution with friendly barmen who keep it old school with their impressive mastery of bottle tossing. Downstairs, the club and smoking room radiate a ‘let loose’ ambiance, with a dancefloor chock-full of swinging Parisians. On its way to becoming a classic.
Le Pompon: 39 Rue des Petites Écuries, 75010 / Chez Jeanette: Rue Faubourg 47, 75010
Very much a single’s scene with a sexy & sophisticated dress code and a killer cocktails list. Intimate conversations in dark corners with strong drinks in hand is the name of the game.
23 rue Mazarine, 75006
Cosy up next to someone at the seemingly shabby but delicious Taco bar and then head through an unmarked door at the back into another world. Cocktails laced with chilli, 50s and 60s rock’n’roll, beautiful and eclectic people in every nook. The most enjoyable of the speakeasy bars in Paris but still a very well-kept secret.
52 Rue de Saintonge, 75003
In the heart of Pigalle, the Carmen is one of the hottest addresses in town with the international ex-pats. Set in a sumptuous mansion that was once the home of Georges Bizet, this bar brings in an indecent amount of beautiful people. It should be one of the snobbiest places in Paris but it couldn’t be more easy-going.
Find out about the buzzing book club (conversation starters handed to you on a platter) with cocktails and dancing all night hosted at Le Carmen.
34 Rue Duperré, 75009
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