Gift Guide: 10 Perfect Souvenirs from Paris
I always want to give friends and family the perfect souvenir. Eiffel Tower keychains and magnets are so boring. They don’t really share your memory or experience of a trip. Souvenir in French means to remember (v) or a memory (n). So if you are visiting Paris or if you live here buy a few postcards to use as gift cards and buy gifts that truly share your experience. Real souvenirs.
- The Parisianer posters are imaginary magazine covers inspired by the New Yorker by different Parisian artists. You can grab a print when you visit the uber cool store Merci on the edge of the Marais or Artazart on the Canal St Martin.
- Have afternoon tea at Mariage Frères, founded in 1854, and buy a tin of your favorite tea to share with a friend. My personal fav is the Marco Polo.
- After a stroll in the Jardin des Tuileries, Angelina’s, on the rue de Rivoli, is the perfect stop to sip world-famous chocolate chaud. It might seem a bit touristy, but it’s well worth the trip to devour a Mont Blanc dessert, buy a tin of hot chocolate powder, and Instagram a pic from the gorgeous gilded tea salon.
- Who wouldn’t love local honey harvested on the roof of the Musée d’Orsay, the gardens of the l’Hôtel National des Invalides, the grounds of the École Militaire, and in front of the Eiffel Tower. That’s if you can get your hands on some. The production is small and each jar is numbered and labeled with the date the honey was collected.
- One of my favorite gifts is macarons from Ladurée. You can stop at one of the locations across Paris or grab a box on the way out at the airport. Macarons only last for two days so make sure it’s the last thing you pick up before heading home. (At the Charles De Gaulle Airport Terminal 1, 2E, 2F and Orly Terminal Sud, Ouest)
- Buly 1803 might be one of the most beautiful stores on the left bank. The store is designed after a 17th century dispensary with soaps, lotions, and perfumes. The scents are simple but the packaging and product design are anything but. You might even find yourself buying gifts for yourself.
- Caramel au beurre salé (caramel with salted butter) can be found the world over, but a little pot and spoon from chocolatier George Larnicol in Paris is a sweet souvenir.
- One of my go-to baby presents for non-French friends are striped onesies from Petit Bateau. There is nothing cuter for a baby than a marinière from Paris and it is always a hit!
- You might not think of mustard. But when you live here or are visiting, chances are you will have tasted Dijon roasted chicken with carrots, and had some Dijon with your steak or duck. French cooks love mustard. The Maison Maille, founded in 1747, offers 50 different flavors of mustard “on tap”. You can choose from a range of glass jars bien sûr but why do that when you can give someone mustard in a stoneware pot. The next time they visit Paris they can take it back to the boutique for a refill.
- If you’re looking for Karl Lagerfeld and fashionable folks there is no other place than Café de Flore. I guess the Café got fed up with people stealing coffee cups and glasses, so everything is for sale now. A Café de Flore cup and saucer is much chicer than the Eiffel Tower coffee cups from the airport duty-free.