AS THE SAYING GOES, “PARIS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA.” INDEED. BUT JUST BECAUSE THE CITY OF CROISSANTS, CROQUES MONSIEURS AND LES CIGARETTES BECKONS, IT’S NO REASON TO QUITTEZ YOUR HEALTHY REGIME. Au contraire. We recently visited the City of Lights and discovered amidst the bustling bistros and fashionable cafes lies a burgeoning community of health-focused joints that are trailblazing a movement replete with raw granola, and yes, kale. To help us dig up Paris’ best fit secrets, we’ve enlisted Paris resident and fashion stylist/event planner Lucas Somoza who whether conceptualizing grand scale fetes from a Manhattan loft to the George V or sitting front-row at Paris Fashion Week is constantly mining his environment for the best of the best. “When I moved to Paris a decade ago, I quickly realized that finding healthy resources in the land of the effortlessly slim, anti-gym Frenchies would be a struggle,” says Somoza, a former New Yorker who was raised in Houston, Texas. “While I’m too unathletic to enjoy a strenuous workout schedule, I am also far too vain to give in to the tempting pastry-lined abyss of obesity. So, over the years, I have navigated my way through all twenty of Paris’ arrondissements in search of slimming solutions that met my American standards. Having endured the stench of the world’s least hygienic Bikram yoga studios, the sacrilege of aerobics classes in a gothic cathedral and the streakiest of spray tans, I’ve slowly culled an enviable list of reliable addresses I’m pleased to share with bonberi readers. While I don’t think I’ll ever see a French woman sashay into a café wearing Lululemon, the upcoming release of Chanel running shoes is a sign that we’re certainly taking a well-heeled step in the right direction, n’est-ce pas?” Read on for Somoza’s top Parisian picks, and trust us, he’s a pro.
Zumba by Arianne
This is Zumba on steroids. Of all the cardio classes I’ve taken in Paris, Arianne’s classes are among the most fun and the most challenging. She always makes sure to update her choreography and mix in the latest hip hop, and her American background means she also speaks English. The locations are Frenchie (Read: stinky), but you get a good sweat on. The best class she gives is on Saturday.
It’s the biggest fitness trend right now in Paris. All the skinny bitches are doing it.
Personal Trainer Thierry at George V
One of Paris’ most highly sought-after personal trainers. An hour-long session with him will set you back 130 Euros but his expertise and the results he delivers are worth the cost.
Best juice delivery. Swanky and delish.
Bob’s Juice Bar
Hard-core funky cold-pressed juices.
The newest location is set inside the swanky department store in Saint Germain, Le Bon Marché. The cuisine could be described as organic comfort food. With their daily array of delicious vegetarian salads, submitting to the temptation of their famous carrot cake seems perfectly reasonable.
When you simply cannot stomach the idea of any more foie gras or glistening roasted chicken, the well known Costes restaurants inevitably provide respite from heavy French fare with an all-day menu of waistline-conscious cuisine without having to sacrifice ambiance or excellent people watching. I’m a regular and even though I’ve eaten their grilled chicken paillard and steamed green beans a thousand times, lunching here never gets old.
Marius et Janette
One of the things the French cook best is fish, and the salt-crusted seabass (“bar en croûte de sel”) is particularly tantalizing at Marius et Janette. Paired with steamed spinach, fresh olive oil and a glass of chilled Meursault, this specialty is my idea of summer on a plate and the best way to experience a romantic and elegant evening in Paris without feeling guilty afterwards.
Four Seasons Hôtel George V
Easily one of the most luxurious experiences you can gift yourself, an afternoon spent here will erase any jet lag and relieve any city stress. I indulge in deep tissue massages with Eric about twice a month, and Janna is the well trained aesthetician who – armed with a spray gun – will airbrush your skin to the perfect shade of bronze.
I prefer the facials at the grande dame of Paris beauty temples, the Institut Guerlain on the Champs-Elysées. Guerlain was, in fact, the first spa to open in Paris in 1939. Since then, the brand’s commitment to anti-aging innovation keep this legend at the top of the skincare game. The flagship spa in Paris has been recently redesigned by “starchitect” Peter Marino, so – like your skin after an Orchidée Impériale facial – it’s never looked better.
Claude Maxime Salon
So many of my American girlfriends arrive in Paris and expect to find nail salons on every street corner should a manicure emergency arise. Unlike the world’s other big cities, manicures and pedicures in Paris require an appointment and the name of a great manicurist if you don’t want to leave with bubbly polish or spend hours in the salon chair. In my opinion, the best manicurist in Paris is Sabine at Claude Maxime. While she doesn’t speak a word of English, she does speak the international language of Essie.
–Written By Lucas Somoza
OTHER BONBERI-APPROVED SPOTS TO CHECK OUT:
Chic vegan fare.
Sushi delivery by Joel Robuchon
The Broken Arm
New Marais concept shop that serves fresh salads and juices.
Kaiseki-inspired Japanese. Unparalleled veggie plate. Request the vegetarian omakase.
DIY Shabu Shabu with conveyor belts. Multitude of vegetarian options plus a goji berry-infused broth.
Best Israeli vegetarian plate in the Marais. A strong contender for best falalel too.
Chic French joint serving Japanese-inspired bento boxes with organic and seasonal veggies.
Fresh, healthy Korean fare including vegan Bibimbap.
Quaint jewel box cafe serving fresh Thai fare with a French flair.
Opened by an expat couple (one of which is a former SoCal surfer), this is hot yoga at its best. The facilities are fairly new so expect showers, lockers and a clean, airy practice room with a glass atrium. Everyday at 11am, classes are taught in English.