At first glance, Shakespeare and Company is nothing more than another English bookstore. But just a few steps inside the door, you start to see why the storefront is just as much a museum as it is a legendary bookshop. Between the books stacked to the ceiling, there are notes, announcements and fliers left from visitors all over the world. Since 1919, the name Shakespeare and Company has been a refuge to writers. The original bookstore was the stomping grounds of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Joyce and others. Today, writers from all over the world come to share their work. Unknown writers have a place here, too; Shakespeare and Company lends sleeping space in exchange for a couple of hours of work in the store.
At E. Dehillerin, it's not hard to imagine what the store was like when it began selling cooking utensils in 1820. The shop is dim and dusty with extremely narrow aisles and towering rows of shelves, groaning with cookware. But you don't go to E. Dehillerin for aesthetics; you go for the abundance of copper pots and pans, the variety of professional-grade knives, and because you can find fun items like serving dishes for oysters and copper crème brulée ramekins. The knowledgeable staff and reasonable prices won't turn you off either. This store will delight anyone who loves to cook.
Passage Jouffroy is your one stop shop. Though this stop is just a passage, it is a mini shopping paradise offering everything from the most elite jewelry to the simplest of clothes. A multitude of brand names have their products on offer here. A number of quaint shops offering interesting and ethnic wares promise to attract the keen eye. Cozy cafes and bookshops are where you can pick up a steaming hot cup of coffee and a good book to make your day. A very famous haunt at Jouffroy is the Estaminet Lyrique. Even if you are not planning on buying something, a walk around this passage is highly rejuvenating and refreshing.
Stella Cadente stands apart from other boutiques by virtue of its unusual decor, and everything it houses is equally appealing. Walking into this boutique can be a little disorienting; it is like walking into a large golden tunnel filled with stylish clothes and accessories for men and women. Perfumes are also on offer.
This is a friendly bookstore in the heart of the Latin Quarter that specializes in Canadian (French and English) as well as Anglo-American authors. Down in the vaulted cellar is the Canadian Club, a place for everyone interested in Canadian literature and culture to meet over a cup of tea and conversation. Keep an eye out for the cockleshell relief above the door that marks this spot as part of the Pilgrim's Way. This shell, a symbol of Saint James, once lined the path of the faithful, all the way to Santiago de Compostela in Northern Spain. Ask for a calendar of author's signings and readings.
WHSmith is an absolute gift for non-French-speaking tourists to Paris. W.H. Smith has crossed the Channel (it's a chain in the UK), and now sits on the famous rue de Rivoli alongside the Tuileries gardens. Most of the English-language magazines and daily papers can be found here, even on Sundays, as well as travel guides, paperbacks, videos, gifts, children's books, and a large greeting card section. Book signings and other such events are regularly organized.
L'Ecritoire is a tiny boutique that specializes in all things writing. A rainbow of colors and styles of paper, envelopes, notebooks, and the like stock the shelves. Scrapbookers might find a thing or two of interest, but most of L'Ecritoire's goods are designed for those who take pleasure in writing letters or notes. Since almost everything in the store is created and packaged by the owners, every single sheet of paper, pen and bottle of ink has a personal touch. If you're looking for a good souvenir or gift idea, check out L'Ecritoire's wall of writing kits. Each comes with a combination of matching inks, pens, stickers and papers. - Betsy Mikel
Fleux' is the venture of Gaétan Aucher and Luc Moulin. It is an eclectic store for interior designers, shoppers and home decorators. You will find decorative elements and designer pieces that are fancy, unusual and creative that are suitable for every budget. Its easier to feel that you are in a treasure trove of beautiful things which includes everything from tableware, objects, wall deco, gadgets, wallpaper to furniture and lighting.
Located in the city of Love, Paris, Laurent Dheilly Artisan Boulanger is a pastry shop that shouldn't be missed while in the city. Baguette, croissants and pastries are freshly prepared daily with other bakery items. Items on the menu consists of baguettes, pain au chocolate, pain aux raisins, pastries of various flavors, pizza and a breakfast menu.
Simon Thillou saw that Paris stores sold beers from all over the world. But no one was selling French beers. And so, in 2006, he opened La Cave à Bulles, where he offers an alternative to Europe s mass-produced beers. The Marais-area store sells more than 100 strictly authentic French beers. The bottles on the shelves are diverse, from their colors, to the region where they were produced, to the art on their labels. Since French beer is not well known, Thillou makes recommendations based on customers tastes for other beers. A 33cl bottle is cheap and can make an unusual souvenir gift for friends back home. - Betsy Mikel
More for perusal than serious book-buying, Les Bouquinistes (book peddlers), with their characteristic green metal lockers and sit-around-all-day attitude, form a vital part of Parisian folklore. Most vendors are out along the banks of the Seine come rain or shine, selling an array of antique and not-so-antique books, manuscripts, prints, and postcards. Don't miss them, having no legal status, they may disappear one of these days.