scout paris 
Secco is located at 20, Rue Jean-Nicot. Metro: La Tour Maubourg
A boulangerie can be found on almost every block in Paris. One in particular sets the bar very high-- Stéphane Secco in the 7th Arrondissement. 

Secco—sometimes referred to as the pink bakery for its brightly painted storefront—offers freshly baked breads, desserts, pizza, quiches, salads, and sandwiches. 

This classic Parisian bakery has it all—a beautiful space, delicious offerings, and a friendly staff.  

Just a warning: You will find yourself coming back for more to try Secco's oversized macarons, a pain au lait, and a raspberry tart. 

If you stop by to pick-up lunch, try the poppy seed baguette with mozzarella, fresh basil, and tomato (about $6) or the Niçoise salad (About $9). All salads include Secco's divine bread of the day.

It's so refreshing to be living in a city where bread is considered an essential part of the diet. Bread is considered a bad thing to eat by many Americans. In Paris, it's common to see most people walking home with a baguette. I am happily now one of them. And, a loyal Secco customer.

Just a note: there is always a line during breakfast and lunch. But, it's definitely worth the wait. 

"Paris is always a good idea." -- From the movie Sabrina.

Freshly baked breads, desserts, sandwiches, and salads at Secco.
  • Secco is located at 20, Rue Jean-Nicot in the 7th Arrondissement. Closed on Monday.
  • Metro: Line 8; La Tour Maubourg or École Militaire.
  • Sandwiches and pastries start at about $6 and salads from $8. A croissant or brioche costs $4 each. 
  • Tips: Pick up a couple of sandwiches and pastries and have lunch along the Seine (only a few blocks away) or have a picnic at the Invalides. 
  • There is a line at lunchtime, but the wait is worth it. Trust me!

Artisanal macarons at Pierre Herme
Pastry shops in Paris put New York bakeries to shame. Plan a visit to Pierre Hermé and you will understand why.

A good friend introduced me to the artisanal pastry shop and I will be forever grateful. The pastries are beautiful works of art and absolutely delicious.

You can tell when you walk into the shop that presentation is everything. The store's modern and minimal space is the perfect setting for Hermé's delectable chocolates, cakes, petit fours, jams, biscuits, and macarons. 

The shop's signature pastry is the macaron--a traditional French confection that is absolutely the best stuff on earth. What can be better than two meringue cookies nestled together with heavenly buttercream, jam, or ganache filling? 

Choose from a huge selection of rich flavors like rose, citron, pistachio, caramel vanilla, and chocolate. A box of 12 costs $35. The macarons are  wrapped up in one of Pierre Hermé's pretty boxes. 

Perfection in a box: Pierre Hermé's macarons.

Visit these maps to find both Pierre Herme's locations. 

I can't take credit for these images. They can all be found on Pierre Herme's website. Bon Apetit!
McDonald's has seriously come a long way since I was a child. All of my childhood birthday parties were held at McDonald's and it was pretty much a kid's dream come true--Endless chicken McNuggets, salty fries, soda, and cake.

It has only been two weeks since I arrived in Paris and the internet has not been installed in my apartment. So, I have been relying on the generosity of McDonald’s free Wi-Fi. Thank you, McDonald’s. 

In 1954, Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald's, set out to create an empire that featured “quality, service, cleanliness, and value." Today, as we all know, the fast food chain can be found all over the world. But, it's not the McDonald's we all remember. Most of the menu options may be the same, but the decor has changed quite a bit. In Paris, McDonald’s is quite chic for fast food. 

The modern lounge space resembles a boutique hotel lobby rather than a typical fast food restaurant where the ultimate goal is to eat-and-run. 

McDonald’s lounge area is designed with wide leather chairs and sleek low tables. The space encourages long chats with friends over coffee and dessert. 

Autumnal browns, creams, and rusts is the consistent color theme, while the design concept stays consistent and fresh throughout the whole dining space with sleek communal tables, bar areas, and larger corner booths. I was happy to order a latte and sit down to check email.  

While you are there, the cafe has a full menu of decadent petite deserts--a muffin chocolat, crumble pom fruits rouges, and a mousse aux 3 chocolats. They even offer a healthy selection of macaroons--a personal favorite of mine. 

The fast food chain can be a bit noisy, but who can resist the free Wi-Fi, classic chicken McNuggets (a personal favorite of mine from childhood) and decadent desserts. 

I have to admit, the McDonald’s team makes a pretty decent café au lait. 

My local slice of Americana with a dash of modern European design is located on Ave. Emile Zola in the 15th Arrondissment, but you can find a McDonald’s in just about every area of Paris. 

A few locations around Paris: 
  • Paris Sud, 82 Avenue Italie.
  • McDonald's Champs Elysées, 140 Avenue Champs Elysées. 
  • McDonald's  Montmartre, 20 Boulevard Montmartre.