Headed to new territory for work? Our City Guides bring you tips from resident WeWork members and employees to help you do business lunches, coffee breaks, and culture like a local.
WeWork in Paris
WeWork has 11 open locations in Paris, with five more opening this year.
For mystery and innovation: Japanese chefs continue to make a mark on Paris’s modern gastronomy scene, but two chefs, in particular, stand out for their mystery menus. Katsuaki Okiyama plates the likes of kiwi-topped crudo and leek-stuffed crevette at his perpetually-hard-to-book Abri, in the 10th arrondissement. Meanwhile, over on a quiet street in the 11th, chef Sota Atsumi (who popularized Clown Bar) opened Maison in fall 2019, where he serves mains like monkfish in a mussels emulsion. Tip: Both restaurants offer set degustation menus that change often, so picky eaters should seek sustenance elsewhere.
For Seine-side eats: If you’re looking to snack on more than a plate of charcuterie while hanging by the river, head to Maison Maison. In the summer, its large outdoor terrace is the place to enjoy burrata drizzled in EVO, washed down with locally brewed Deck and Donahue beer. Inside the quai that leads up to Pont Neuf, you can dine on more elevated fare, like herb-roasted rabbit or bergamot crumble (for dessert).
For a crazy-good lunch deal: The prix fixe or formule, as it’s known in France, is not only an excellent way to save money on an upscale dining experience but also a chance to experience the creativity of local bistro chefs who change their lunch menus daily. La Vierge, in the 20th, and Les Arlots, in the 10th, offer three-course midday meals (€20–€23) that highlight seasonal produce and lesser-used cuts of meat or fish.
For classic steak frites: Don’t be shy—we know you want a plate of perfectly cooked beef with a side of fries while you’re in town. Surprisingly, many bistros and brasseries get this simple combo wrong, but not Le Bon Georges, in the 9th arrondissement. Satisfying steak frites plus quintessential non-fussy decor (wooden tables, chalkboard menu, etc.) equals you dining in the Paris-set movie of your dreams.
For when you feel like pizza: Nathalie Palud, community associate at WeWork 20 Rue la Fayette in Paris, recommends Pink Mamma in the heart of the Pigalle district—“one of the best Italian restaurants in Paris,” she says. Its fresh homemade pastas and pizzas are served in a four-story building that is “one of the most Instagrammable establishments in town.” Post meal, head to No Entry, a secret bar hidden inside the restaurant, for classic cocktails made from ancient bottles of Italian liquors.
For high-end tipple: Hotel bars have upped their game to keep up with the demand for speakeasies and other stand-alone cocktail joints. Case in point: Les Ambassadeurs, inside the revamped Rosewood Hotel de Crillon. Sip on your choice of more than 100 bottles of champagne in an impressively opulent setting (think marble walls and crystal chandeliers that hang from a sky-painted ceiling).
For Sunday morning hair of the dog: No one does a Bloody Mary like Divine Bar. Pair it with chilaquiles or chicken and waffles, followed by the funnel cake with ricotta ice cream. In the evenings, try to choose just one drink from the illustrated and descriptive menu that boasts options dubbed Umami and Bananarama.
For all the natural wine: Head to the always-packed Chambre Noire to mingle with les bobos who prefer their wine stanky, cloudy, and unfiltered. There are plenty of options by the glass, although ordering a bottle gives you access to exclusive funky sips. If you’re hungry, order up a few shared plates presented by various visiting chefs.
Coffee and snacks
For jazzy tunes and a buzz: Not all corner cafés are equal, which is why you should know that the best terrace for relaxing in a rattan chair while sipping a noisette is La Fontaine de Belleville. In addition to serving truly tasty coffee (made with locally roasted beans), the café also has free live jazz on Saturdays starting at 4:30 p.m.
For a croissant alternative: It’s hard to get tired of croissants—but when you do, you have options. Babka Zana, just off rue des Martyrs in the 9th, makes the famed Jewish pastry in not one, but four different flavors: pistachio orange blossom, cinnamon sugar, chocolate hazelnut, and halva lemon. Over on the Left Bank, Circus is churning out 6€ cinnamon buns by the trayful every 20 minutes. They’re gooey, delicious, and worth every euro.
For when you need it iced: Unless you go to Starbucks (why would you do that? You’re in Paris!), it’s next to impossible to find proper iced coffee in this city. But over at Dreamin’ Man on rue Amelot, barista Yuichiro Sugiyama blends a perfect latté poured over giant ice cubes. Insider tip: It’s best consumed sur place (on the spot) in a tall etched glass alongside a dish of creamy, caramelly Japanese pudding, which is available only on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
For the ultimate pick-me-up: Palud recommends Peonies, a small café on rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis that offers beverages ranging from the classic espresso to a decadent pink matcha latte. Round out a drink with one of their homemade cakes, or try avocado toast for brunch. Peonies’s other speciality? “Flowers,” she says. You can purchase dry or fresh blooms on the way out, or register for one of the café’s workshops to create your own perfect bouquet.
For viewing art in peace: Instead of following the masses to crowded museums like the Louvre and the d’Orsay, head to the Musée de Montmartre for a more secretive slice of art history. Located on a small, cobblestone street behind Sacre Coeur, it’s a former atelier and meeting place for artists like Auguste Renoir. Today it pays homage to Paris’s Butte, as this quartier on the hill is known, with posters that reflect the cabarets of the Lapin Agile and the Moulin Rouge. Don’t miss the vineyards out back.
For ogling modern architecture: “Is it a museum?” “Is it worth going all the way there?” The answers to these oft-asked questions about the Frank Gehry–designed Fondation Louis Vuitton, which opened in 2014, are yes and yes. It’s definitely worth venturing to the outer edges of the city just to marvel at the incredibly designed structure itself. But you’ll also be rewarded with one of many temporary exhibits—from Egon Schiele to Basquiat to the upcoming Cindy Sherman—at this modern art museum. Plus, the roof offers incredible views of the Eiffel Tower and the entire city.
For picnics in a fairy-tale setting: The 60 acres that make up Buttes Chaumont park, in the 19th arrondissement, feature a variety of wonders, including a waterfall, castle, cave, suspension bridge, and the ideal grassy knoll for a sunny-day picnic. Built on quarries, this is the green space where local Parisians go to run, meditate, and escape the everyday hustle.
For art that’s not hung on a wall: Street artists have been blasting the city’s public spaces and buildings—legally and illegally—for years now, whether with mosaic (courtesy of the masked artist Invader) or spray paint (from graffiti artist Miss.Tic). But the 13th arrondissement, with its unusually tall buildings, definitely has the most commissioned murals in any one area. Thanks to Galerie Itinerrance (who reps a handful of urban artists, from Shepard Fairey to D*Face) and the local city hall, there’s a self-guided walk to discover them all.
For exquisite decor and service: Tucked away behind the Champs-Élysées and adjacent to the U.S. Embassy, La Reserve Hotel & Spa is a 26-suite mansion that reopened 160 years after its original construction. From marble fireplaces and Corinthian columns to mirrored hallways, brocade drapes, and herringbone oak parquet floors, La Reserve is elegant with a side of swank. It also has a 52-meter indoor pool, a garden for afternoon tea, and a Michelin-starred restaurant.
For businesses-friendly beds: No detail is forgotten at Le Grand Quartier, which opened near the Canal Saint-Martin in fall 2019. No time for breakfast? They’ll deliver a bag with fresh juice and a power bar to your room before your first meeting. Forgot your body lotion or have a hankering for chocolate at midnight? There’s a “mini market” (a trendy gift-shop-slash-convenience-store) located in the lobby. Each of the 83 modern rooms features pops of gemstone colors against raw wood, and the communal spaces—including an inner courtyard and a rooftop terrace—make socializing easy.
For couples looking for romance: Designed by French interior architect Tristan Auer (who also helped give the Rosewood Hotel de Crillon a makeover), the new 43-room hotel Sinner, in the Haute Marais, is très sexy. Candlelit common spaces feature pink- and red-hued couches, while the hallways are dark, mysterious, and church-like, brightened up only from the light filtering through colorful stained-glass panels.
Sara Lieberman is a Paris-based travel and lifestyle journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, AFAR, Condé Nast Traveler, Hemispheres, and more. When she’s not writing or practicing yoga, she’s eating, thinking about eating, or helping others eat via her street food biz, Cup o’ Cockles.