While in Paris it's important to immerse yourself in the local culture. But certain English-language places are so iconic they've become downright Parisian, and you shouldn't feel guilty (or lazy) about connecting with a bit of home.
Drink Up & Chow Down
France is known for its cuisine but, if you've been on the road for a while, you might get a hankering for a hot dog or feel homesick on Thanksgiving.
Harry's New York Bar, (5 Rue Daunou; 9th arrondissement; tel. 01-42-61-71-14; www.harrys-bar.fr)
The interior was brought over lock, stock and barrel from New York City in 1911 and the bar opened on Thanksgiving Day. Worth stopping in just to say you've been there. It's home to some famous cocktails such as the Bloody Mary and it's said that Gershwin composed An American in Paris downstairs in the piano bar.
Joe Allen Restaurant (30 rue Pierre Lescot, 1st arrondissement; tel. 01-42-36-70-13; www.joeallenparis.com)
The Paris version of New York's famed theater district saloon. If you're craving a burger or want to show your Parisian friends what New York cheesecake really tastes like, this is your place. Special events held on Superbowl Sunday, July 4th, Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Some recent additions: Breakfast in America (2 locations; www.breakfast-in-america.com), an American diner; Coffee Parisien (2 locations: 7 rue Gustave Courbet & 4 rue Princesse), a French interpretation of a New York diner; Scoop (154 rue Saint Honoré, 1st arrondissement; tel. 01-42-60-31-84; www.scoopcafe.com), homemade ice cream and New York-style brunch.
Shakespeare and Company (37 rue de la Bûcherie, 5th arrondissement; tel. 01-43-25-40-93; www.shakespeareandcompany.com)
The granddaddy of English-language bookstores in Paris. Now a venerable institution, it was started in 1919 by Sylvia Beach (who first published James Joyce) and continued by George Whitman in 1951. Popular with the "Lost Generation" writers (Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, etc.), the "Beat Generation" (Alan Ginsberg, William Burroughs, etc.), and with every English-speaking reader and writer who has ever wandered into Paris.
San Francisco Book Co. (17 Monsieur Le Prince, 6th arrondissement; tel. 01-43-29-15-70; www.sanfranciscobooksparis.com)
This English-language used bookstore has very reasonable prices.
Village Voice Bookshop (6 rue Princesse, 6th arrondissement; tel. 01-46-33-36-47; www.villagevoicebookshop.com)
Around for over 25 years, this Anglo-American bookstore is open 7 days a week, carries the New York Times Sunday edition, has around 18,000 titles, and offers readings and lectures.
Say A Prayer
The American Church in Paris (65 Quai d'Orsay, 7th arrondissement; tel. 01-45-56-09-50; www.acparis.org)
Established in 1814, this is the first American church started outside the United States. In addition to services, it's known as a "clearing house" for the American community in Paris. The church's famed bulletin boards list housing and jobs.
The American Cathedral (23 Avenue George V, 8th arrondissement; tel. 01-53-23-84-00; www.americancathedral.org)
Consecrated in 1886 as a place of worship with services in English, the Gothic Revival cathedral has American state flags in the nave and state flowers on the kneelers. The Memorial Cloister commemorates Americans who died in Europe during the World Wars.
In the Footsteps of Expatriate American Writers
So many people come to Paris inspired by tales of the expatriate American writers who living here in the 1920s and '30s -- Gertrude Stein, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Henry Miller, etc. Oh, to be beamed back into one of those literary salons!
Paris When It Sizzled tour (Paris Through Expatriate Eyes,
tel. 06-70-98-13-68; www.paris-expat.com; Duration: 2+ hrs; Cost: €175 per person)
Walk through the literary heart of Paris with author, bon vivant and raconteur par excellence John Baker. Get an idea of what the Left bank was like during les années folles (the crazy years) when Hemingway was drinking at La Coupole, Sylvia Beach was publishing books and William Faulkner was out for a stroll.
African-American History in Paris
In the 1920s, jazz musicians, writers and entertainers from the Harlem Renaissance came to Paris -- Josephine Baker, Sidney Bechet, Ada "Bricktop" Smith; writers Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen. Another generation of talented artists arrived in the 1950s -- writers James Baldwin, Chester Himes and Richard Wright and jazzmen Bud Powell and Dexter Gordon. The influence of those African-American writers and musicians can still be experienced in Paris today.
Walking The Spirit Tours (tel. 519/497-0933; www.walkingthespirit.com; Duration: 2+ hrs; Cost: $60 per person)
"Writers, Artists & Intellectuals in the Latin Quarter/St.Germain-des-Prés" highlights the homes and hangouts of notable African-Americans. "The Entertainers" showcases the jazz scene in Montmartre of the 1920s and former clubs such as Chez Bricktop, Le Grand Duc and Chez Josephine.
Discover Paris! Tours (tel. 212/658-9351; www.discoverparis.net/african_americans.html; Duration: 2+ hrs; Cost: $300 per group or Self-guided with Itinerary Binder, $150)
"Black Paris after World War II" features the stomping grounds of writers such as Richard Wright, James Baldwin and Chester Himes. "Richard Wright's Paris" focuses on Wright's haunts and activities. (This tour is also downloadable for $25.)
Talk with fellow Frommer's travelers in our France Forum today.