Where to Find California in Paris

Photo Credit: Café Pinson Facebook Page

Parisians love all things Californian (Los Angeles in particular). And as the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence (and because sometimes taking a pause from baguettes and croissants does a body good), one can now find California-inspired options when it comes to cafés and bakeries in Paris.

It is tempting to consider these laid-back phenomena simply as curations for American tourists and American Parisians. However, Los Angeles’ ability to inspire the French may just rival Paris’ ability to inspire Americans. We need not look further than the California love-infused French brand Lola James Harper to understand this Los Angeles-colored glasses effect on the French. It’s officiel: Parisians love Los Angeles.

So what is it about L.A. that Parisians love so much? For the French, this has become a serious question (as evident from Le Bon Marché’s recent pop-up exhibition, Los Angeles Rive Gauche). It is, indeed, a vibe, un certain je ne sais quoi, and the below places in Paris have captured it. Whether through a specific offering or a general ambiance, if you are looking for California in Paris, you will find it here.

Wild and the Moon:

It will have you at bonjour with its welcome sign: Installez-vous / Grab a seat and chill. While the jury is definitely still out on their translation, “grabbing a seat and chilling” is certainly something done best by Angelenos. Wild and the Moon boasts their own variety of cold-pressed juices and almond milk, gluten-free and vegan sweets, turmeric, matcha and lavender (oui) lattes and warm plates. — Favorite location? 55, rue Charlot in the 3rd arrondissement. Other locations throughout Paris in the 1st, 4th, 7th, 9th, 11th and 12th arrondissements; at Le Tigre Yoga (another Cali vibes portal in Paris) in the 16th arrondissement and in Neuilly.

Juice Lab:

The best place to take a break from your balade (stroll) through the Place des Vosges, around the Louvre or through Saint Germain when preferring cold-pressed green juice or a plant-based snack to an espresso and a pain au chocolat. If you’re an Angeleno, you will feel like you are back at the Brentwood Country Mart. — Favorite location? 11, rue Jacob in the 6th arrondissement. Other locations throughout Paris in the 1st and 3rd arrondissements.

Café Pinson:

Where to go for a sit-down, cozy, healthy and organic meal with plant-based and gluten-free options, or to simply warm-up with a lait d’or (a turmeric latte) and a gluten-free madeleine. Sunday brunch at the Marais location is a must — and you must reserve in advance. — Favorite location? 6, rue du Forez in the 3rd arrondissement. Other location in the 10th arrondissement.

Hôtel Amour & Hôtel Grand Amour:

For an L.A.-vibed nightlife experience in Paris, the (heated) terrasses at both locations do not disappoint. They capture that L.A. je ne sais quoi, attracting the similarly artsy, sauvage and chic crowd that you would find at Château Marmont in West Hollywood. This is sans doute the result of artist André’s French touch. — 8, rue de Navarin, 9th arrondissement; 18, rue de la Fidélité, 10th arrondissement.

Café de Flore:

You may be surprised to see this classically Parisian institution (French for “a legendary establishment”) on this list. Should you find yourself feeling a French vibe, but craving a Los Angeles lunch, enjoy their Le Club Rykiel – a club sandwich tout nu (completely naked), as described in their own words. And by ‘completely naked’, they mean sans pain (without bread). Thank you, Madame Rykiel. — 172, boulevard Saint-Germain, 6th arrondissement

Pain Poilâne:

Another French classic that you may be surprised to see on this list, their 100% corn flour bread is a magical find in Paris. A gluten-free bread made with an artisanal French touch passed down through generations that you can only find at this legendary French boulangerie, it will quickly become your favorite in Paris. (Kindly note, however, that it is made in the same ovens as their traditional breads; as such, this lovely creation may contain traces of gluten.) — Locations throughout Paris in the 3rd, 6th and 15th arrondissements.

BigLove Caffè:

In the mood for one of those personal pizzas that Europe does best, but without the post-gluten lethargy? Perhaps with a glass of Montepulciano (for those who love bold California reds)? This is your place — and the place to take your friends who consistently complain about gluten-free anything. They won’t know the difference, it will be our little secret. From the beloved Big Mamma team. — 30, rue Debelleyme, 3rd arrondissement.

Boulangerie Chambelland Paris:

A gluten-fee, certified organic bakery in Paris created for those seeking a completely gluten-free experience of breads, pastries and sandwiches. Their rice, buckwheat, sorghum and millet flours are produced in their own mill. Un rêve (a dream) for the gluten-intolerant or gluten-averse Parisian, they offer a beautiful California twist on the French goûter. — 14, rue Ternaux in the 11th arrondissement.