Paris has an unfortunate reputation for abrupt and often downright rude service in restaurants and shops.  Tourists encounter the “attitude” a fair bit, and even the natives get their fair dose.  But poor service isn’t always the rule here.  Every so often someone surprises me, and despite my non-native French, goes above and beyond to make me feel welcome.  I think of this page as my own little community service project, a tribute to those who make daily life in Paris more warm and fuzzy, in the hopes that others will be encouraged to follow suit.

This is a running list of “friendly” Paris establishments.  I’m not necessarily recommending the food or the product they have to sell (though sometimes I will elsewhere on this site!)  These are just the restaurants, shops and other businesses I personally have visited recently and left with a smile on my face, thinking “You know, they were really nice!”

  • Au Vieux Comptoir (17 Rue des Lavandières Sainte-Opportune, 75001, Tel. 01 45 08 53 08): it’s always a pleasure to visit this little bistro.  Anne, the wife of the husband-wife owner team, in particular makes you immediately feel welcome.
  • Il Sorrentino (4 Rue de Monttessuy, 75007, Tel. 01 45 55 12 50): another husband-wife owner duo, they always welcome me with sincerity and warmth, and still they have a very professional way about them.
  • Coopérativa Latte Cisternin (37, rue Godot-de-Mauroy, 75009, Tel. 06 74 91 66 58): yes, it’s my favorite burrata shop again.  If you can get over being forced to speak Italian (even if you don’t speak Italian), Sebastiano’s energy and love for signing will definitely make you laugh.
  • Cosi (54, rue de Seine in the 6th, Tel: 01 46 33 35 36).  The Cosi crew deserves a special thank you for always appearing delighted to see us again despite the fact that my running buddy and I probably turn away other potential customers when we show up twice a week stinky and sweaty, straight from an hour-long run.
  • Kiehl’s at 156 Boulevard Saint Germain (75006). The representative met me with a beaming smile and was helpful without being too pushy.
  • Starbucks at 27 Boulevard des Italiens (75002). This Starbucks is a joy to visit for the atmosphere – I’m not joking, this is a Starbucks like no other, with high painted ceilings, moldings, chandeliers and everything else you would expect at Versailles. But I was especially surprised by the efficiency and friendliness of the service.
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