Choosing a perfectly golden Sunday morning brioche. Sipping coffee at a sidewalk café, followed by a shopping trip for that effortlessly chic tunic to round out your wardrobe. Sounds like a quintessentially Parisian day, but we’re actually describing the Upper West Side, whose affinity with the City of Lights is stronger than ever. French culture has blossomed west of Central Park, from classic bistros and patisseries to the plethora of Paris-based fashion brands that have found their home on Columbus Avenue. Here’s your French guide to the Upper West Side.
It’s easy to eat comme les français on the Upper West Side. Taste classics like pâté du chef or canard roti at the family-owned La Boîte en Bois. You’ll feel like you’re in France at eateries Nice Matin, Bistro Cassis, or Bistro Citron. Discovering good French food on the Upper West Side doesn’t stop with restaurants. Sip fine teas from Palais des Thes, or spice it up with La Maison Maille, New York’s only mustard boutique.
“Let them eat cake”
Marie Antoinette never recommended cake to the peasants, but rather “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche! ” referring to the enriched egg-based bread that’s a standby at French bakeries. You can fulfill Marie Antoinette’s wishes at Levain Bakery, which also does a cinnamon or chocolate chip version of the classic brioche parisienne. For more French pastries that could calm a revolution, stop by Mille-Feuille bakery, a shop run by a Paris-trained pastry chef.
French fashion abounds on the Upper West Side. Paris-based label Iro recently joined the ranks of French boutiques on Columbus Avenue, which include Sandro, Maje, and Comptoir des Cotonniers. Round out your look with jewelry from Gas Bijoux, a slice of St. Tropez uptown. For the rest of your beauty needs, L’Occitane en Provence is a tried-and-true for natural products from the south of France.
Ready to start speaking like a Parisian? Take a short trip across Central Park to the French Institute Alliance Française New York’s home for all things French. You’ll master everyday conversation skills in immersive classes led by native French-speaking teachers – equipping you for your next trip to France, or a trip to your own petit Paris down the street.
Photos by Sasha Arutyunova.
Leave a Comment
Your email address will not be published. Please limit comments to 100 words and keep them civil. We delete comments that don’t adhere to community guidelines.