Travel 3 minutes 29 February 2024

Dominique Crenn’s Favourite Spots in Paris

In our 'One Chef, One City' series, The MICHELIN Guide shows major French cities through the eyes of the country’s greatest chefs. Chefs with close ties to the city where they were born, or with a passion for their adopted city, share original tips on the best restaurants, producers, suppliers and more. Dominique Crenn holder of Three MICHELIN Stars for Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, reveals her favourite haunts in Paris.

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Born in Versailles, Dominique Crenn packed her bags for San Francisco in 1988. Her arrival coincided with the early stages of the farm-to-table movement, when she worked with with Jeremiah Tower and Alice Waters. Around 20 years later, Dominique launched her first restaurant, Atelier Crenn, in which ideas abound and the tasting menu is presented in the form of a poem. Three MICHELIN Stars later, she opened her first restaurant in Paris, Golden Poppy, housed inside the magnificent La Fantaisie Hotel.

For a feeling of being among friends: L’Ami Jean
"Going to Stéphane Jégo’s restaurant reminds me a little of being in my grandmother’s house in Brittany; there’s a simplicity, a conviviality to the place. It’s also delicious – cooking that comes from the heart but is carefully considered at the same time. I have lots of friends from all over the world who love eating there."

A Basque bistro dating back to the 1930s, L’Ami Jean is considered to be one of the pioneers of bistronomy thanks to its talented and media-savvy Chef, Stéphane Jégo. With a proven track record (he spent 10 years at La Régalade alongside Yves Camdeborde), this innovative, incisive and generous devotee of high-quality seasonal produce has been the driving force behind this place’s uninterrupted success for over 20 years.

27 rue Malar, 75007 Paris

&SENS/L'ami Jean
&SENS/L'ami Jean

For a quick bite to eat: Ten Belles
"There are lots of other places… but I really like coming here for coffee. Sometimes I order a salad and the breads are good, too. In fact, I love this kind of organic café that you find in France, where you can run into friends and have a quick chat over a coffee at the counter. It’s the antithesis of Starbucks!"

The largest of the café’s three popular locations has a relaxed, open and friendly atmosphere, both inside and out on the terrace. Although there are inevitably queues at breakfast, lunch and teatime, people also flock here during off-peak hours for the excellent bread (freshly baked every day) or a cup of responsibly sourced coffee made with house-roasted beans.

17-19 rue Bréguet, 75011 Paris

For an explosive cocktail: Combat
"I discovered this tiny bar a year ago thanks to a friend who lives in the neighbourhood, and immediately fell in love with it! It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the cocktails are exceptional."

In this decidedly hip locale with an informal and spontaneous ambience – see the handful of tables hastily assembled on the sloping rue de Belleville on sunny days – Margot Lecarpentier and her team of mixologists are dusting off and reimagining the cocktail bar, one creative idea and shaken drink at a time.

63 rue de Belleville, 75019 Paris

© Combat
© Combat

For sharing small plates with friends: Bouche
"I love their creative everyday cooking. People talk about sharing plates as if it’s a recent trend, but I think it’s been around for a long time. You take one or two mouthfuls of a dish, you get to try lots of different things and it works really well!"

In a neighbourhood teeming with trendy restaurants, Bouche doesn’t take itself too seriously: rough stone walls, a concrete counter and plates to share – in an atmosphere that is as vibrant as the wines served here. Florent Peinaud (formerly of Gare au Gorille) is clearly living his best life here, mixing culinary styles to his heart’s content.

85 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 Paris

For Asian flavours: Yam’Tcha
"Adeline is amazing. Her cuisine is very well thought out, and both unique and creative. Let’s just say that her way of cooking speaks to me; I feel at home here. If you’re ever in Paris, you have to try Yam’Tcha."

The name ('to drink tea' in Cantonese) hints at the Chinese influence behind this place. After training with one of France’s top chefs (Pascal Barbot at Astrance), Adeline Grattard lived in Hong Kong, where she met her future husband Chi Wah Chan, a tea sommelier. Together, they returned to France, and opened the free-spirited and inspired Yam’Tcha in 2009. A year later, they were awarded their first MICHELIN Star.

121 rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris

© Annabelle Schachmes/L'Ecailler du Bistrot
© Annabelle Schachmes/L'Ecailler du Bistrot

For a shellfish extravaganza: L’Écailler du Bistrot 
"Ah, this takes me back to my Breton roots! I come here for the really good fish and the incredible oysters, preferably with a glass of Sancerre or Burgundy. I love natural wines; I often go to L’Étiquette on the Île Saint-Louis. In California, 80% of the wines aren’t organic or natural."

Seafood and natural wines abound here, at the seafood version of Bistrot Paul Bert; it's a restaurant which prides itself on the freshness of its produce. Day after day, season after season, it serves up fish and shellfish caught along the coasts of Normandy and Brittany: langoustines from Guilvinec, flat Belon oysters, sea urchins from the Glénan archipelago, raw scallops from Erquy with trout roe, blue lobster with Kari Gosse spices and house fries.

22 rue Paul Bert, 75011 Paris

For a romantic getaway: Hôtel Particulier Montmartre
"This property secluded in its garden is incredibly romantic. I even thought about getting married there, which just goes to show! In the end, we chose Mexico."

This hotel is described by many as 'a country house in the heart of Paris', thanks to its lush garden and the care lavished on it by Oscar Comtet, the current Manager and a landscape gardener by training. It provides an exceptional location (10 minutes’ walk from the Sacré Cœur), five suites reminiscent of the cabinets of curiosity of yesteryear and the feeling of being in on a well-kept secret – with the added bonus of an outstanding cocktail bar thrown in.

23 avenue Junot, 75018 Paris

For devouring books and cakes: Shakespeare and Company
“My partner (American actress Maria Bello) is crazy about this place, and so am I! It has an incredible history. We love unearthing rare books, and occasionally tucking into a slice of cake too."

This legendary independent English bookshop has been in existence for over a century and has seen some of the world’s greatest authors browse its shelves: Hemingway, Joyce, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gide. Having relocated to 37 rue de la Bûcherie in 1965 (coinciding with Shakespeare’s 400th birthday), it's a popular hangout for English speakers. In 2015, a café was opened in the adjoining premises, in partnership with the celebrated Marc Grossman of Bob’s Bake Shop (12 esplanade Nathalie Sarraute, 75018). Here you can find indulgent gluten-free English/American cakes, as well as vegetarian and vegan dishes.

35 rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris

Hugo Clair Torregrosa © Shakespeare & Co
Hugo Clair Torregrosa © Shakespeare & Co
Image Illustration : Golden Poppy


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