It’s hard out there for an American. As fabulous as steak frites and a glass of Bordeaux can be, sometimes you just want a burger and a Bud. Especially around Thanksgiving season, it’s normal to get a little homesick for our creature comforts, as lowbrow as they often are. The map below singles out some of the best businesses in Paris where you can go when you need a fix.
15 Rue Montalivet 75008 Paris, France 01 42 68 18 44
Not too far off the Champs-Elysees, Bugsy’s has an old-time feel and a chill atmosphere; more importantly, they make a great cocktail. My French-American friend Roger has … been living in Paris for over 10 years and still thinks their burger is the best in the city. Bugsy’s is also a good spot to catch an Anglo sports match.
Harry’s New York Bar
5 Rue Daunou 75002 Paris, France 01 42 61 71 14
Harry’s bar is an old classic, with its vintage American university banners upstairs and deep red piano bar downstairs. It may be super touristy, but the Bloody Marys are … still the best in Europe. In fact, legend has it that the iconic hangover cure was invented there in the 1920s and was a Hemingway favorite. Harry’s is open all day if you need some hair of the dog. Charmingly, the only food they serve is hot dogs.
Little Italy Caffe
92 Rue Montorgueil 75002 Paris, France 01 42 36 36 25
Yes, Little Italy may be a great Italian restaurant, but as a New Yorker, I can speak from experience that you can’t get good Italian food everywhere, and many of us grew up with Italian as our ultimate comfort food. Little Italy has a lively atmosphere right on Rue Montorgueil’s busy, cobblestone market street and serves up reasonably priced al dente pasta and meat dishes. Great appetizers too. You will probably have to wait for a table (no reservations), but it’s worth it.
Rue Saint-Denis 75001 Paris, France 01 42 21 37 24
Dogs Cafe is a hot dog restaurant. They serve different types of sausage with various toppings, although they don’t quite master the art of the bun. While it might not be … the finest culinary experience you’ll have in Paris, it’s fun to sit outside in the middle of Les Halles, eating a hot dog (with a knife and fork?!) and drinking a Corona. It’s almost ironic hipstery.
23 Rue Rambuteau 75004 Paris, France 01 40 29 02 44
Cupcakes are one of the more recent American dessert crazes, but you can find some great ones right in the heart of the Marais. Berko does a nice job recreating American … classics and inventing French ones. The red velvet, cheesecake, peanut butter, and carrot cake cupcakes are all good, but I would indulge in the caramel au beurre salé. You can sit in and have a coffee with your treat. They sell mini cupcakes as well.
3 Rue des Haudriettes 75003 Paris, France 01 42 77 69 80
Miller’s Bar is perhaps the only proper American bar in Paris. Serving classic American cocktails, Millers is your best bet to catch any playoff games and the Superbowl … — they stay open way late for these special events.
N 48° 51.41180 E 2° 21.30441
111 Rue Saint-Maur 75011 Paris, France 01 43 55 87 21
There’s a bowling alley in central Paris. La Quille features bowling, billiards, and cocktails. The bowling may be a little hokey, but hey, no shoe rental necessary.
Breakfast in America
4 Rue Malher 75004 Paris, France 01 42 72 40 21
You can take this cafe’s name quite literally. Opened by Connecticut native Craig Carlson in 2003, Breakfast in America was conceived as a real American diner where you … can get pancakes (even blueberry pancakes!), bacon and eggs, and donuts. If you are thinking lunch or dinner, they serve club sandwiches and cheesecake. But breakfast is served all day.
20 Rue Saint-Paul 75004 Paris, France 01 42 77 68 29
Thanksgiving is the best and friendliest place in Paris to buy American products. On my recent trip there to stock up for the Thanksgiving holiday, I found canned … Cranberry jelly, yams, and pumpkin. It’s not cheap, but after all, they do import everything. Thanksgiving is my go-to place to buy jello when I find myself with an excess of vodka. The location also boasts a Cajun restaurant on-site, a rarity in Paris.
La Grande Epicerie de Paris
38 Rue de SÃ¨vres 75007 Paris, France 01 44 39 81 00
Bon Marche is the ultimate shop for French gourmet products, but I find it also comes in handy when you are looking for fancy North American items that you just can’t get … your hands on. More importantly, the very large epicerie has perhaps the most extensive liquor selection in Paris and sells a variety of American standards like tequila.
Sugarplum Cake Shop
68 Rue du Cardinal Lemoine 75005 Paris, France 01 46 34 07 43
Sugar Plum is run by two American and one Canadian — girls who know their cake. For weddings and parties, they make custom cakes with artistic flair and yummy, sugary … buttercream. Sugar Plum also runs a “genuine, bona-fide, authentic American Coffee Shop” that features treats like banana bread and muffins.
Baseball(!) at Bois de Vincennes
Bois de Vincennes, Avenue de Paris 94300 Vincennes, France
That’s right, Paris has a baseball team; there’s a professional French league that pits teams from the major cities against each other. It’s not an everyday thing like in … America; the teams meet once a week or so during the spring, summer and fall. There certainly won’t be a packed house, but there is free admission to sit on the rickety bleachers and shout, “Allez!”. BYOB. (Don’t expect greatness. The time I went, Rouen stomped Paris 11-0.)