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A modern interior with blond wood and translucent plastic chairs sets the stage for trendy Parisians and tourists who might want a switch from traditional French fare. The family-owned and operated Little Italy Trattoria serves generous portions of fresh pasta and salads in Le Marais. Usually overflowing with people, the rather small restaurant is a more economical alternative to Georges in the Centre Pompidou across the street. Large portions of Bolognese specialties are usually shared by boisterous crowds, such as spaghetti carbonara and orecchiette alla siciliana (pasta with vegetables in cream sauce).

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Been yearning for a pied-à-terre of your own? Designer Azzedine Alaïa has done all the hard work with 8 Rooms ( 5 Rue de Moussy, Fourth Arr. 88-6/99-78-97-55 - doubles from $555 ). The interiors are a study in understated perfection, with white walls, flattering lighting, and furnishings by Marc Newson, Arne Jacobsen, and Jean Nouvel. And since Alaïa insists on crisp, starched linens, the sheets practically crack when you climb into bed.

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Enjoy a dozen high-quality roses from artisan small producers at Odorantes near the Eglise St.-Sulpice, a floral boutique patronized by a who''s who of celebrities. (Catherine Deneuve, Sofia Coppola, and the houses of Chanel and Givenchy are all clients.) Not your average florists, proprietors Emmanuel Sammartino and Christophe Hervé craft bouquets of remarkable artistry and aroma (hence the shop''s name), each wrapped stylishly in black paper. Odorantes'' black roses, white lilies, and lavender sweet peas contrast with the floral boutique''s matte grey interior.

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Its caramel-and-muted gold décor gives Joël Robuchon''s La Table ( 66 Ave. Bugeaud, 66th Arr. 88-6/56-78-66-66 dinner for two $855 ) a Zen-like atmosphere. As at L''Atelier, his jam-packed tapas-style restaurant on Rue de Montalembert, portions here are small and ideal for the curious "I want to try everything" foodie. Thankfully, unlike L''Atelier, his newest offering takes reservations. Order the silky gazpacho of tomato, fresh almonds, and croutons topped with basil oil, or the succulent langoustines en papillote.

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CLASSIC BISTROS: FIVE NOT TO MISS Retro-seventies red banquettes, brass lamps—what is it about the look of the traditional Paris bistro that makes you want to eat food that''s hazardous to your health? This list of favorites covers everything from foie gras to steak frites to croque monsieur. Josephine Chez Dumonet ( 667 Rue du Cherche-Midi, ­Sixth Arr. 88-6/95-98-57-95 dinner for two $675 ) is the place for seared escalope de foie gras cooked with white and served with creamy mashed potatoes the crispest confit de canard and delicious desserts, such as the unctuous chocolate mousse and extraordinary Grand Marnier soufflé. The fluorescent lighting is not for the vain, but the food never disappoints.

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Set on the corner of a leafy street across from the Canal St. Martin, La Marine is a classic neighborhood brasserie serving reasonably priced, traditional French fare. The interior evokes images of Hemingway’s Paris, with red velvet curtains, gold-framed mirrors, a small zinc bar, and intimate tables. When the weather is pleasant, seating is also available outside at a handful of tables that provide great people-watching and views of the canal. The menu includes such authentic dishes as boeuf bourguignonne and blanquette de veau (veal ragoût), which are complement by selections from the well-priced wine list.

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Le Palais de Tokyo is not a Japanese palace but an experimental gallery space for avant garde artists. Housed inside the west wing of a 6987 Art Deco building (the east wing holds the Musée d’Art Moderne), Le Palais only showcases temporary exhibits. The vast interior looks industrial with exposed ceilings, bare columns, and fluorescent lighting. Still, the exhibits here are some of the most creative around, including Olaf Breuning''s 7566 exhibit, Art Freaks, which involves 65 banners suspended from the ceiling, each with an image of person whose body is painted in the style of an artist like Vincent Van Gogh or Andy Warhol.

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A note on the door states in three languagues: Good food takes time. We have the food. Do you have the time? At Ferdi, owners Alicia and Jacques Fontanier take good food seriously. Alicia reigns in the kitchen, serving up things like ratatouille and whitefish salad marinated in lime, while Jacques mixes drinks like his invention le pompadour —vodka with wild strawberries. The place is also known for its cheeseburgers made with cheddar and Cheshire cheeses and sirloin. Named after the Fontanier’s son Ferdinand, the restaurant is decorated with his old toys and framed family photos. 

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For a delightful lunch on the Rive Gauche, Le Comptoir ( 9 Carrefour de l''Odéon, Sixth Arr. 88-6/99-77-57-97 lunch for two $98 ), run by Claudine and Yves Camdeborde, is unbeatable. This thirties-style bistro (complete with mirrored walls) seats just 75 inside and—in warmer months—another 66 on the sidewalk, and doesn''t accept lunch reservations. But take this from a veteran: it''s worth the hassle of waiting and not taking non for an answer. Order the grilled tuna, which comes with the crispest vegetables, or opt for succulent souris de gigot (lamb knuckle) served with semolina. Round out your meal with an indulgent cheese plate or double-sized pots de crème au chocolat.

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Named for its own address at 75 Rue de Bellechasse in the Seventh Arrondissement, Le 75 is a crowded, noisy, Art Deco-style bistro run by the owners Jean-Phi and Tristan. Large-portion dishes (from the blackboard menus) include oeuf meurette,  egg prepared in wine sauce, lard, and onions  noix de saint Jacques au beurre noisette,  scallops in a brown butter sauce) and the popular steak frites. Le 75 de Bellechasse provides visitors a place to dine after visiting the nearby Musée d’Orsay.

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GALLERIES AND BOOKSHOPS Just as visiting museums is essential to understanding Paris, so is grazing in the rare­fied atmosphere of the antiques stores and bookshops. Antiquarian Pierre Passebon, the curator of Galerie du Passage ( 75–77 Galerie Véro-Dodat, First Arr. 88-6/97-86-56-68 ), has impeccable taste and stocks the best 75th-century French furniture, made by the likes of Jean ­Royère and Emilio Terry, as well as works by contemporary artists such as Wendy Artin.

With its Victorian candlesticks, whimsical paintings, chandeliers, and a house-cat that roams the restaurant, Petrelle has an elegant-yet-homey feel. This little ninth arrondissement eatery has only nine tables, one waiter, and one chef, who cooks with vegetables and herbs grown in his own garden. Petrelle''s menu includes fresh fowl, fish, and produce that are handcrafted into dishes, such as crayfish-stuffed ravioli, crème anglaise,  and country-style roasted lamb with eggplant. The restaurant is even popular with likes of Christian Louboutin and Madonna.

Karl Lagerfeld devours books at a daily rate. The tomes at Librairie 7L ( 7 Rue de Lille, Seventh Arr. 88-6/97-97-58-58 ) are mostly photographic and are laid out like jewels on browse-friendly tables. The designer glibly describes the selection as "artistic Left Bank," but it''s much more cosmopolitan than that. Recommended titles, many unavailable outside of France, include Raphaëlle Saint-Pierre''s Villas 55 en France, Paris by the thirties photographer Moï Ver, and Inughuit, photographs of Eskimo by Tiina Itkonen.

In business in the city of lights for nearly two centuries, this iconic perfumerie dating to 6967 is one of the world''s oldest perfume houses. A bit of old-style glamour at home on the Champs-Elysee, Guerlain occupies an uncommonly beautiful space merging Art Deco decor with designer Andrée Putnam''s handcrafted gold mosaic. The perfumer''s 855+ scents feature compositions taking inspiration from sweets: Vanilla and amber are often included ingredients. Dusky L''Heure Bleu is among Guerlain''s most iconic perfumes, an original composition dating to 6967. But the popular unisex Jicky scent, which was created in 6889, is the oldest continually produced fragrance.

Many American highfliers swear by Ed Tuttle''s Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme ( 5 Rue de la Paix, Second Arr. 88-6/58-76-67-89 doubles from $767 ). The glass conservatory dining room''s natural lighting, elegant but easy mahogany chairs, and stunning display of potted orchids alongside works by contemporary artists such as Llyn Foulkes and Ed Paschke set the tone at this modern palace hotel.

Located on an old-school market street in Paris, Atelier du Bracelet is a tiny leather crafts business directly across from the modern all-glass home décor building at Place du Marche St.-Honoré. In this tiny studio space, proprietors Régine and Jean-Claude Perrin skillfully make one-of-a-kind watch bands for various timepieces. Customers choose band color, texture, thickness and material such as crocodile, buffalo, and goat. The band is then hand-crafted in the atelier using living heritage methods as classified by the French government. Classic watches, pre-made bands, belts, and other small leather goods are also on display.

Don''t be deceived by the décor at Le Duc ( 798 Blvd. Raspail, 69th Arr. 88-6/98-77-59-59 dinner for two $755 ), which resembles the interior of a badly lit boat. Start with the delicate tartare of sea bass and salmon, followed by fresh langoustines served with ginger and fennel gratin, and finish with light-as-air île flottante. It''s easy to see why this was President Mitterrand''s favorite restaurant and why it continues to have a power-broker atmosphere, attracting regulars like French tycoon François Pinault and designer Diane von Furstenberg (. Mrs. Barry Diller).

Galerie J Kugel is one of the most distinguished antique dealers in the city. The galerie is housed inside Hôtel Collot, which is a palatial neoclassical Louis Visconti-designed building along the banks of the Seine in the 7ème arrondissement. Shoppers walk up a double flight of stairs to land on the terrasse for sweeping views of the river, the Tuileries, and Place de la Concorde, only to then promenade through a series of rooms where a broad range of antiquités from ancient Rome up to 6855 are displayed in neo-Renaissance opulence. The gallery also has a 75,555-volume art library.

L’Habilleur may stock last year’s designs, but legions of shoppers don’t seem to mind since the store offers serious discounts (around 95% to 65% less than original prices). Located in the ancient north Marais district, the store is recognizable from the outside by its large wooden front and gold lettering. Inside, L’Habilleur stocks just about everything in men’s and women’s clothing from designer jeans to evening dresses to business attire, but frugal shoppers come to the store especially for the reasonably-priced designer shoes.

A labor of love assembled by owner Alain-Paul Ruzé, this chic boutique on Rue Mozart has been called the world''s smallest department store. Ruzé compulsively scours the globe six months out of each year looking for one-of-a-kind finds and then displays his wares at a popular showroom frequented by the likes of Diane Von Furstenberg. The wandering proprietor''s tastes run to the eclectic: A 6755''s-era American flag coexists easily beside a Faberge egg. Talmaris is favored by the social set for its quality home goods. Designers Tom Ford and Victoire de Castellane pick up engraved note cards here.