La Felicità: wild, fun atmosphere & good Italian fare in Paris

by Gigi Griffis
pizza in Paris

Did you know that cafeterias are the newest big thing in Paris?

I didn’t. Until, that is, I arrived in Paris and went to meet my fabulous foodie friend, Dani, for a girl’s night out.

She gave me three options, but since I’d already been to the first two, even though I love them both, I chose the unknown option. Because Dani has great taste and it’s my life mission to tick every place she recommends off my list.

This place? It’s something fun and special – a collection of Italian eateries housed in a former train station.

It’s called La Felicità. The station itself is full of scattered tables, colorful lights, beautiful boards advertising the food, plants hanging off and growing around the eating areas, and a collection of mismatched rugs.

Each section of the large, open-air space serves up something different. Outside, you’ll find a traditional pizza oven a good Naples-style pizzas. At the front of the building, a cafe with the best coffee I’ve had in Paris and a spread of pastries that assures you you are in the right place. In the back, Italian cheeses and meats are on display. Not to mention the cocktail bars and big bowls train that serves up the only non-Italian fare I saw in the place.

Dani said she loves the place for casual nights out. You can bring your kids and no one cares if they’re running around or playing loudly. The place is lively and fun and laid back. And her daughter has fallen in love with their goofy bathroom doors, which feature Barbie dolls pinned up in rows.

I liked it, too. Casual. Fun. Entertaining. I could see stopping by to work on some art over a coffee or catch up with friends over some pizza. And if you need a break from French food, this is the place.

The one last thing you need to know? Go early unless you want to wait in line. They only allow a certain number of people inside, so if you get there too late, you’ll be hanging out until someone leaves.

Address: 5 Parvis Alan Turing

Reservations: Nope! You just show up.

Accessible: Yep!

What (else) to do in Paris

Have an elegant lunch or dinner at Restaurant Philippe Excoffier near the Eiffel Tower and a more laid-back, though equally as delicious dinner at my favorite wine bar: Frenchie Bar a Vins.

My favorite spot for breakfast is Colorova. My favorite sorbets are at Mariage Freres. And if food tours are your jam, Paris by Mouth does a great one.

Of course, anything Danielle Perrin suggests is worth checking out. She’s the one who brought me to this fab new Paris hang-out.

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