Paris…who hasn’t daydreamed of Paris? There are many reasons why this city, the City of Lights, gets under people’s skin. For me, Paris has the perfect blend of beauty, food, art, architecture, and an appreciation of the finer things in life.
I don’t claim to know Paris well. I’ve been there a number of times but only twice recently – so I’m no expert. But thankfully, I don’t need to be, as there are many experts out there sharing info with us. Whilst I was researching our trip, I came across many blogs, articles, and books written about Paris so we ended up with quite an ambitious list of food stops for our limited time in the French capital.
The streets of Paris
If you don’t enjoy spending hours researching and cross-referencing your list, like I do, then you are in luck! Below, I am sharing my list of places that I had hoped to visit on our trip. I can’t vouch for most of them as we simply did not have the time to visit them all but I’ve put a star next to the ones that we actually made it to. As you can see, there are lots left for us to try next time we go. In the meantime, I will continue to daydream about our next trip to Paris…
Restaurants & Bistros:
Verjus - 52 Rue de Richelieu, 75001 – LOVED this place! I highly recommend a visit. Very quaint and romantic and the food was incredible.*
L’Atelier Saint-Germain de Joel Robuchon – 5 Rue de Montalembert, 75007 – Whilst our overall experience wasn’t what I had hoped it to be, there was no denying that the food was flawless.*
Le Chateaubriand – 129 Avenue de Parmentier, 75011 – Although the Le Chateaubriand menu was a little adventurous for this dull foodie, it is highly rated on the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant List (#18).*
Septime - 80 Rue de Charonne, 75011 – I really wanted to visit as it is ranked 49th on the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant List and has a lot of buzz, but we missed out – book in advance!
L’Ami Jean – 27 Rue Malar, 75007 – I like that these guys don’t take themselves too seriously but the food is highly rated. The rice pudding dessert is a speciality.
L’auberge du 15 – 15 Rue de la Sante, 75013 – Disappointed to have not made it to this one. Reviews are extremely positive and the food sounds and looks incredible, albeit pricey.
Le Grand Vefour – 17 Rue de Beaujolas, 75001 – This would only be for a splurge as prices start at about €80! I’ve heard that the lunch special (€98) is better value for money and, with its opulent decor, it would make a perfect location for a romantic dinner. This post should whet your appetite – look at that cheese plate!!
Les Ombres – At the top of the Quai Branly museum – I was more keen to visit for the spectacular views of the Eiffel Tower than the food, which got pretty average reviews.
Le Timbre – 3 Rue Sainte Beuve, 75006. Lots of great reviews about this small bistro. Open for lunch and dinner.
Chez Paul – 13 Rue de Charonne, 75011 – Recommended by resident Paris foodie, David Lebovitz. Popular with locals for its well-made bistro fare.
Bistrot Paul-Bert – 18 Rue Paul Bert, 75011 – Another traditional bistrot. The steak frites and the desserts come highly recommended by David Lebovitz. This review, with pictures, should get you interested.
Cafe Constant: 135 Rue Saint-Dominique, 75007 – No reservations accepted, looks cute and very reasonably priced at €23 for a 3 course dinner.
Septime Cave – 3 Rue Basfroi, 75011 – A wine bar brought to you by the same people that run well-known and popular, Septime (restaurant).
Verjus - 47 Rue Montpensier, 75001 – If you can’t get into Verjus the restaurant, try their bar instead. Apparently the fried chicken is a must-order (not very French, but who cares?! It is fried chicken!!
O Chateau – If you are new to French wines and would like to sample some different varieties, or maybe you’d like to partake in a wine course, perhaps try this place. Their wine bar has over 40 wines by the glass, which allows for a lot of sampling.
Patisseries, Chocolatiers & Boulangeries:
Gerard Mulot – multiple locations – Our hotel was charging €15 pp for breakfast, we said screw that, and walked to Gerard and picked up freshly baked buttery croissants with coffees for about €7 for the two of us. Gerard’s cabinets are lined with food porn (see pic below). I challenge you to walk out with just one thing! You can also pick up some supplies for picnics here (salads, quiches, sandwiches, fresh bread, pastries). Yum! *
Eric Kayser – multiple locations – A popular chain of boulangerie that makes bread worth lining up for. Stock up here for supplies for picnics (breads and pastries). *
Pierre Herme - 72 Rue Bonaparte, 75006 – If it is macarons that you want, then this is one of the places you should try whilst in Paris. Expect to queue but also expect incredibly interesting flavours, such as white truffle with hazelnut. *
Jean-Paul Hévin – multiple locations – Perhaps pastries and breads don’t float your boat? If you are a chocolate fiend, get your butt to Jean-Paul Hévin. Everything is exquisitely presented like only the French can do.*
Le Grenier a Pain – 38 Rue des Abbesses, 75018 – Gourmet Fury, another passionate foodie, highly recommends Le Grenier as the best croissant in Paris. I didn’t make it out that far but I must admit it looks pretty good. Certainly on my list for next time.
Gerard Mulot – Loved this place!
Telescope – 5 Rue Villedo, 75001 – We really liked this place. Cute, small, tucked away on a side street – definitely worth the trek for the fabulous coffee.*
La Cafeotheque – 52 Rue de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, 75004
Coutume Café – 47 Rue de Babylone, 75007
Telescope coffee – worth hunting down
Cheese & Markets:
Rue Mouffetard Market - an open air market in the 5th arrondissement.
Fromagerie Sanders: 4 Rue Lobineau, 75006(inside Marche Saint Germain)
If you are too intimidated to go to an actual cheese store, try to find a small supermarket (we stumbled upon them every now and then) and raid their cheese fridges. These aren’t the same pitiful cheese selections that you’ll find in your North American supermarket. We walked out with huge wedges of cheese, and bottles of wine and Champagne for a fraction of what it would cost in the restaurants (and back home).
Great sources of information:
www.godiloveparis.blogspot.ca - This blog and the author’s book “Paris, My Sweet” are must-reads for those travellers with a sweet tooth.
www.davidlebovitz.com/paris/ - David is a wealth of knowledge on the Paris food scene and he shares it all on his blog. I found this post of his particularly helpful at building anticipation for the trip.
www.smokysweet.com/roaming/paris/ – Vancouver-based foodie who has some great suggestions for Paris foodie experiences.
Article by Mark Bittman of the New York Times