Italian DJ, founder of Dusk Dawn Studio, and dream Paris transplant Fiona Zanetti shares her favorite French spots in honor of our Paris-inspired Rue St. Honoré Fragrance. Discover the best gluten-free eateries, dancing clubs, and divine spas in Fiona's Paris insider's guide, ahead.
Some of us can perceive it, fall in love with it and never forget it. For others the architectural prowess is ruined by the signature arrogance the French are worthy heirs of. But the thing about Paris is that no one can be insensitive to it.
As a non-French myself, I’ve had to experience the good and the bad, but here’s my receipt: It’s all about positioning yourself as an interested witness of what it is living in a city that inherited a past where the most successful artists danced with the greatest poets, smoked with rotten politicians while talking about some of the greatest work of art hanging in sumptuous buildings such as Le Louvre. So sumptuous that they became works of art themselves and their architects’ names are as famous as Picasso or Da Vinci.
Paris is beauty hiding beauty surrounded by beauty for me, with a sprinkle of arrogance and revolutionary state of mind that only the French manage to make quite charming, somehow. But what I can credit them for the most is that they know how to enjoy life. From food to beauty to decadent parties. I’m really excited to share with you my best finds after living in the City of Lights for a year and a half.
Let’s talk about food first. I had been living in LA for two years prior so it was important for me to find anything that tasted like a kale salad or a spirulina protein shake. And as crazy as it seems it actually does exist is the city that is all about red wine and bread and butter. Wild & The Moon, 55 Rue Charlot, 75003 serves amazing juices and vegan/healthy options. On the same page we have Seasons, 1 Rue Charles-François Dupuis, 75003 and probably my favorite find of them all: Jah Jah by Le Tricyle, 11 Rue des Petites Écuries, 75010 that proposed a vegan and gluten-free rasta kitchen, super good and different than your boring, classic avocado toast. These are definitely my three favourite spots for healthy, vegan, gluten-free options in France.
I’m going to avoid the basic Ferdi, Hotel Costes…those spots you’ve heard about over and over again. But here are some other spots where you can actually eat really good and see cooler “more local” Parisians. I love hanging in the 9th Arrondissement, and I go to Hotel Amour really often for drinks or dinner, they have the prettiest terrace. Rose Bakery is really close and it’s great for lunch. My favorite Japanese place is named Cod House, it’s like Nobu but cheaper and a bit more low-key. For Italian food, try Marcello in the 6th Arrondissement, it’s really good! And I’m Italian so I’m picky about finding good Italian.
For a more chic dinner date, I love La Société, in the 6th as well. There’s also this new trend in Paris with restaurants having live music that turns into a “get really drunk and dance on the table” kinda party, for which my favourite place is Le Piaf. Make sure to book in advance. I really enjoy late dinners with friends more than clubbing in general, but when I go hard, I have two go-to places. You can usually find me at Hotel Bourbon, that’s where me and my friends always hang out. It’s not a hotel, but it’s on two floors, and features a very cozy, ‘70s interior design. I also love hip hop so my favorite club for hip hop is Le Rouge in Pigalle.
There’s this new place that opened in the 9th called Blanche. Absolutely gorgeous, it’s a gym club that also has a restaurant. I used to go to Klay to work out, but I discovered so many good places lately like Le Labo Club (private session) or La Montgoflière. Now I’m going to share my best-kept secret place where I’ve gotten the best massages ever—LADDA. When you arrive, the building looks nothing like a peaceful place but when you enter the apartment, you gasp for air because it’s so, so beautiful. For the treatment, ask for Ladda herself.
I’ve had my best facials at the Dior Institut of the Plaza Athénée, I recently tried the Quintessence 10 and it was absolutely amazing, mixing massages and cares. Another very special place is Martine De Richeville, who developed a technique for very deep massages capable of dismissing cellulite in an effective way. I try to go before a photoshoot or important event.
And even despite all these fun places to see, my favorite things to do in Paris are wandering the streets, going to the museums, and having a glass of red wine with my loved ones while talking about life. I hope this was useful and interesting and gave you the envy to write some of your own memories in this special city.
WILD & THE MOON: 55 rue Charlot, 75003 Paris, France
SEASON: 1 Rue Charles-François Dupuis, 75003 Paris, France
JAH JAH BY LE TRICYLE: 11 Rue des Petites Écuries, 75010 Paris, France
HOTEL AMOUR: 8 Rue de Navarin, 75009 Paris, France
ROSE BAKERY: 46 Rue des Martyrs, 75009 Paris, France
COD HOUSE: 1 Rue de Condé, 75006 Paris, France
MARCELLO: 8 Rue Mabillon, 75006 Paris, France
LA SOCIETE: 4 Place Saint-Germain des Prés, 75006 Paris, France
LE PIAF: 38 Rue Jean Mermoz, 75008 Paris, France
HOTEL BOURBON: 39 Rue des Petites Écuries, 75010 Paris, France
LE ROUGE: 77 Rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, 75009 Paris, France
BLANCHE: 21 Rue Blanche, 75009 Paris, France
KLAY: 4Bis Rue Saint-Sauveur, 75002 Paris, France
LE LABO CLUB: 45 Rue de la Chaussée d'Antin, 75009 Paris, France
LA MONTGOLFIERE: 25 Rue Yves Toudic, 75010 Paris, France
LADDA: 32 Rue de Paradis, 75010 Paris, France
DIOR INSTITUT: 25 Avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris, France
MARTINE DE RICHEVILLE: 13 Boulevard Malesherbes, 75008 Paris, France