Paris– the city of love, lights, and damn good eats. A great thing about food in Paris is you can eat all your stomach can handle and not feel too guilty because of all the walking you’ll be doing (I averaged between 8-11 miles each day). Just remember to wash all that food (and wine) down with water to stay hydrated!
Bakeries and sweets
I think about the croissants at Blé Sucré nonstop. They’re just so perfect– crispy, soft, buttery, flaky, delicious. It’s tempting to order one for a snack later, but they are best when consumed immediately.
Au Merveilleux de Fred
Au Merveilleux de Fred sells more than just meringues, but all I got were the meringues. I wanted to try their brioche au chocolate, but it was too ginormous, and my belly was already carrying food baby triplets from lunch.
My favorite macarons ever. I wasn’t a huge macaron fan until I had them from Pierre Hermé. They are so pillowy soft, and the flavors are unique and vibrant.
L’Éclair de Génie
Also was not much of an éclair fan until I had L’Éclair de Génie. The creme filling is what makes them so good. Not surprising, my favorite éclair was more of a tart.
Yep, McDonald’s McCafé sells macarons in Europe, and they’re pretty good (not terrible). They definitely are not the best quality (mine were still thawing from being frozen overnight), but they’re cheap and make great souvenir gifts.
Glace Bachir makes some good organic Lebanese ice cream. Top it with pistachios and their homemade whipped cream. They have lots of ice cream flavors to choose from.. my large cup held four scoops. My favorite flavor was rose. The taste as very soft and delicate and not overly floral.
Restaurant du Musee d’Orsay
The restaurant inside the Orsay is beautiful. The food was good for museum food standards. My lemon meringue tart was nice and lemony and tarty. But don’t come here for the food, come here to dine in the majestic hall.
Pâtisserie Sadaharu AOKI
I regret not getting anything at Sadaharu AOKI. Their pastries looked so amazing, but I was dumb and left only with a photo of what I wanted. If you ever come across this shop, please buy something and let me know what I missed out on.
Bertrand’s and Maison Georges Larnicol
Big ass meringues. Not that great to eat, but fun to take photos of and gift as a souvenir. I didn’t buy the ones from Bertrand’s, but I did get some from Maison Georges Larnicol (who also sells great chocolates and caramels).
We stumbled upon this pastry shop selling les choux on our walk home after dinner. Got the pistache and passion cream puffs.
Any bakery in Paris
If you can’t make it to any of the above places I mentioned, it’s all good. I feel like you could walk into any bakery in Paris and find something you’ll love.
La Grande Epicerie Paris
A fantastic food hall located inside Le Bon Marché, La Grande Epicerie Paris is your one-stop shop for something sweet, something savory, a hot meal, take away, any and all kinds of beverages, or just about anything you could snack on. They have food imported from all over the world (including American cereal if you’re missing home). My favorite meal/snack came from the Monte Nevado kitchen near the middle of the food hall.
Crêpes. Just about any crêpe stand you find along the street can make you something delicious. Granted, it might not be the most sanitary (one of the guys making mine handled cash and his phone while he poked my crêpe as he made it), but just think about how you’re building your immune system with all those new germs!
L’as Du Fallafel
Lenny Kravitz’s favorite falafel place– it’s written on all their signs because they really want you to know this just in case you confuse it with the other falafel spots in the area, but it’s pretty obvious which shop is the famous one by the size of the queue.
One of my favorite spots for lunch, Les Papilles is a set menu that usually comes with a starter, a main, a cheese plate, and dessert. If you plan on eating lunch here, you should cancel your dinner plans because you might not be able move afterwards.
This restaurant has been on my list for awhile, but I could not justify paying 330€ per person for dinner. Lunch was our best option at 145€ for the four course tasting, and it was well worth it. For a three Michelin-Star restaurant you’d expect the atmosphere to be stuffy and snooty, but lunch was relaxing and quite cheerful. Our server was the bubbliest French man I’ve ever met. He reminded me of Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast.. tall, thin, French accent (duh), upbeat, positive, and extremely likable.
Frenchie Bar à Vins
We ate a lot of dinners in Paris, but this was by far my favorite. Frenchie Bar à Vins is the walk-in/no reservations counterpart to their Restaurant Frenchie (which we couldn’t get a reservation for). We got in line for Bar à Vins 20 minutes before opening and were in with the first seating.
Some fun eating tips:
- If you don’t want to queue for a meal, eat early like an American. You might embarrassingly be the only ones in the restaurant for a while, but you’ll have the whole place to yourselves.
- Many restaurants have set menus, so you might not be able to choose what you want to eat.
- When asking for water, make sure you say ‘tap’ or they’ll bring you expensive bottled water.
- Paris doesn’t do salads well. If you are craving something green, healthy, and light.. good luck.
- Most restaurants have guest wifi (“weefee”), ask your waiter for the password.
- If you’re going to split a check, make sure you calculate how much you want on each card before handing it to the waiter.
- If you see something you want, get it or you’ll regret it.
I left Paris with a happy belly, some portable sweets to eat on the plane, and very tired feet. I didn’t get to eat my edible souvenirs in the sky though; there were too many goodies served during our flight home. We used our credit card points (thanks, Chase Reserve!) and purchased two business class seats from CDG to IAH. Watching a Zac Efron movie while lounging in my lay flat and eating foie gras is kind of the perfect ending to a Paris trip.
Merci beaucoup, Paris, pour un temps magnifique!