Wedged between Soho, Chinatown and Nolita, Centre Street from Broome and Grande St. is now considered Manhattan’s “Little Paris”. A very much up-and-coming neighborhood, the newly dubbed district (with its own signage) offers a place to get authentic croissants, champagne, artisan scents, shop French brands and even learn the language. I recently explored the area, enjoying a fluffy slice of quiche and receiving a personalized fragrance.
Coucou French Classes, a school offering French language courses, is the heart of “Little Paris”. In fact, the founders of Coucou petitioned to have the street named “Little Paris” and are hoping more of Nolita will become part of the neighborhood, according to the New York Post. Whether having novice or advanced knowledge of the language, adult students can take classes and workshops. The school hosts events and even yoga in French.
Next to Coucou, La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels provides a variety of French champagnes and wines along with a brief, yet intentional food menu. This wine bar has a subtly refined atmosphere for sampling the extensive drink menu. Santé!
Maman is the place to go for a bit of café culture. This original shop, part a business that now has multiple locations in New York and Canada, sells coffee, tea, baked goods and lunch. I enjoyed the rustic, simple ambiance and traditional dinnerware.
Clic, a shop at the corner of the street ushering visitors into “Little Paris” with eccentric and modern window displays, offers home décor, art and a large selection of coffee table books.
Unofficially, “Little Paris” extends beyond Centre Street. A short walk north on Lafayette Street (appropriately), sits urban fashion line Maison Kitsune.
East from Lafayette, on Elizabeth Street between Prince St. and E. Houston, French brands have taken over. Here, you’ll find a few perfumeries and candle shops like Le Labo, Atelier Cologne and Cire Trudon…
…Parisian clothing brands Sézane and Ba&sh also have stores on Elizabeth St..
Finally, before you conclude your tour of “Little Paris”, visit Elizabeth Street Garden. Though not technically French, this community garden’s stone statues, columns and bistro tables among vibrant flora certainly fit the vibe.