Of the numerous shopping arcades throughout Paris, Galerie Vivienne in the 2nd arrondissement is still my favorite. Tucked between the rue des Petits Champs and rue Vivienne, just north of the Jardin du Palais Royal, this arcade is a gem for shoppers, foodies, admirers of architecture and photographers alike. From the intricate mosaic floor to the translucent glass ceiling, every detail has been meticulously chosen and reflects the vibrancy of this shopping arcade’s beginnings and its contribution to the neighborhood today.
Galerie Vivienne opened to the public in 1826 and has been a center of commercial activity and a meeting place for Parisians ever since. For more information on the history of Galerie Vivienne as well as the current shops and restaurants in residence and upcoming events, see the arcade’s official brochure.
When you visit Galerie Vivienne, don’t forget to bring your camera and don’t forget to bring your appetite. This arcade is home to one of my favorite brunch spots, A Priori Thé, a restaurant and tea room with a cozy atmosphere, fresh ingredients, innovative dishes and mouthwatering desserts. (I cannot resist their cheesecake!) You even have the option to order a “half” dessert for just a taste of the tempting sweets; most would call the “half” dessert a full portion. Reserve ahead, especially on weekends, and unless it’s the dead of winter, be sure to ask for a table “outside” in the shopping arcade (you’ll have a roof overhead but no heating.)
A Priori Thé
35 Galerie Vivienne
01 42 97 48 75
Open Monday – Friday 9am – 6pm
Saturday 9am – 6:30pm
Sunday 12pm – 6:30pm