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10 Places in America That Feel Like France

March 02, 2021

Design fans and Francophiles will love these restaurants, cities and shops that feel as if you're in Paris.

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Photo: The Paris Market


Love French design but not able to travel to France? You don’t need a passport or long transatlantic flight to find authentic, French culture. There are so many spots right here in the U.S., from très chic hotels to fresh, buttery croissants to a shop in Savannah, Georgia, that feels magically plucked straight from Les Puces. Located on the bustling, boutique-lined Broughton Street, The Paris Market features two levels of shopping, from the first floor of new homewares, gifts and bath and body products to a basement brocante of antiques. The organized clutter of vignettes downstairs is something you really want to take your time with as there are so many incredibly rare vintage gems, from Napoleonic footstools to Venetian sconces. And after all that treasure hunting, don’t miss the market’s charming little cafe to the side. Modeled after owner Paula Danyluk’s favorite spot in Paris, the cafe features an ornate wooden bar with a case full of freshly baked patisserie. If you can, snag one of the marble bistro tables and chairs outside for people-watching while enjoying a glass of champagne or a cafe au lait.

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Photo: Albertine

Book Shop

New York City is full of noteworthy bookstores, but none is as beautiful as Albertine. Tucked inside the Cultural Services of the French Embassy building, the famous French bookshop features more than 14,000 titles from 30 French-speaking countries and has earned quite the following on Instagram for its impressive reading room inspired by the cosmos. The upstairs ceiling features a hand-painted mural of the zodiac and the corresponding constellations as well as gilded stars and planets. Designed by celebrated French designer Jacques Garcia, the shop also features busts crafted by the ateliers of the Musée du Louvre.

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Photo: Ladurée USA


A true French macaron is almost impossible to recreate. There’s a delicate, finicky balance of crunch and chew that many American cafes try to emulate, but it’s just not the real thing. Fortunately, you can get the real thing — from France — without leaving the states. The iconic Parisian macaron brand Ladurée has nearly a dozen outposts across the U.S. now, from Los Angeles to Miami Beach, with macarons freshly-made using the company's 100-plus secret recipes from the Ladurée vault. The glowing case of pastel cookies can be overwhelming for a macaron newbie, so, if you’re torn on which flavors to choose, you can’t go wrong with pistachio or classic raspberry. Many of Ladurée’s shops in the U.S. feature traditional tea rooms for afternoon tea service (with a three-tier serving platter of macarons!) and the most ornate room of all is at the Madison Avenue Ladurée in New York. The lavish space features gilded tables and chairs and plush, velvet banquettes fit for an aristocrat.

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If you want to visit New York City for Albertine and Ladurée, complete your French-themed trip with a stay at The Plaza. The famed hotel overlooking Central Park may be synonymous with the Big Apple, but in design it is distinctly French. Designed by architect Henry Janeway Hardenbergh in 1907, the hotel riffs off of the stately chateaus of French nobility with a dramatic mansard roof, balustrades and that iconic minty green terra-cotta tile work. Inspired by the French Renaissance, the lobby features ornate arches, pillars and luxe marble flooring. Many of the elegant guest rooms and suites have private terraces for a morning coffee, and all rooms feature a bathroom that looks like it belongs in a fairy tale palace, with gilded floral walls, 24-carat gold fixtures and a hand-carved marble vanity. If money is no object, book a night in the Tower Room. The suite is located in one of the corner turrets of the hotel and the master bedroom features a 23-foot exposed brick turret ceiling. And even if you can’t swing the room rate, pop in for a drink at The Champagne Bar or book a treatment at The Guerlain Spa, where technicians are exclusively trained in the Guerlain facial massage technique in Paris.

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