Food · Travel

Eating in Paris

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

Blé Sucré

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.

Blé Sucré is a tiny little shop. Prepare for a wait.
Blé Sucré is a tiny little shop. Prepare for a wait.

 

Two perfect Blé Sucré croissants
Two perfect Blé Sucré croissants

 

Pain au chocolat. Delicious, but the croissant is better.
Pain au chocolat. Delicious, but the croissant is better.

 

Their Kouign-Amann. Good, but not my fav (best I've had is at Dominique Ansel Bakery in NYC). Not pictured are their acclaimed Madeleines which I wasn't a fan of either.
Their Kouign-Amann. Good, but not my fav (best I’ve had is at Dominique Ansel Bakery in NYC). Not pictured are Blé Sucré’s acclaimed Madeleines which I wasn’t a fan of either.

 

Croissant, Canelé (just ok), and seasonal fig dessert
Croissant, Canelé (just ok), and seasonal fig dessert

 

Seasonal pastry: Pomelos. Very yummy, but ultimately prettier to look at than eat.
Seasonal pastry: Pomelos. Very yummy, but ultimately prettier to look at than eat.

 

Pomelos guts. The top part was a lot better than the bottom.
Pomelos guts. The top part was a lot better than the bottom.

 

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.

Inside the shop. Look at all those beautiful meringues!
Inside the shop. Look at all those beautiful meringues!

 

Aux Merveilleux de Fred cherry meringue
Aux Merveilleux de Fred cherry meringue

 

Incredibly light and fluffy meringues.
Incredibly light and fluffy meringues.

 

Buy a box as a gift (to yourself).
Buy a box as a gift (to yourself).

 

This is what their Brioche Au Chocolat looks like. It looked so soft and delicious.
This is their Brioche Au Chocolat. It looked so soft and delicious.

 

Pierre Hermé

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.

Mogador (milk chocolate and passion fruit) and Rose
Mogador (milk chocolate and passion fruit) and Rose

 

Foie Gras Chocolat, Earl Gray, Rose, Mogador
Foie Gras Chocolat, Earl Gray, Rose, Mogador

 

Mogador, Ispahan, Truffle, Caviar Petrossian, Infiniment Rose, Infiniment Pistache
Mogador, Ispahan, Truffle, Caviar Petrossian, Infiniment Rose, Infiniment Pistache

 

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.

N°22 Passion Crispy Framboise
N°22 Passion Crispy Framboise

 

Barlette praliné amande, Citron meringué, Tainori Chocolat noir 64%, Caramel beurre salé, Passion crispy framboise, Chouchou caramel. The first one (tart) is my fav.
Barlette praliné amande, Citron meringué, Tainori Chocolat noir 64%, Caramel beurre salé, Passion crispy framboise, Chouchou caramel. The first one (tart) is my fav.

 

McDonald’s McCafé

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.

Not all the Mickey D's in Paris have McCafés. The one is near The Louvre.
Not all the Mickey D’s in Paris have McCafés. This one is near The Louvre.

 

A little messy and not as fancy, but still good macarons.
A little messy and not as fancy, but still good macarons.

 

I'm Louvre'ing it.
I’m Louvre’ing it.

 

I Think I Canelé.. also from McCafé
I Think I Canelé.. also from McCafé. This was kinda terrible lol.

 

Glace Bachir

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.

Inside the cup: mango, rose, lemon, and strawberry
Inside the cup: mango, rose, lemon, and strawberry

 

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.

Are you looking at the tart or the room?
Are you looking at the tart or the room?

 

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.

Matcha eyegasm
Matcha eyegasm

 

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).

BERTRAND'S Big ass meringues
BERTRAND’S Big ass meringues

 

Meringues from Maison Georges Larnicol, 3€
Meringues from Maison Georges Larnicol, 4 for 3€.

 

Odette Paris

We stumbled upon this pastry shop selling les choux on our walk home after dinner. Got the pistache and passion cream puffs.

Pistachio and Passion Fruit
Pistachio and Passion Fruit

 

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.

Random croissant down the street from our hotel. Delicious.
Random croissant down the street from our hotel. Delicious.

 

Lunch

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.

Monte Nevado Iberico and Serrano 24 ham sandwiches
Monte Nevado Iberico and Serrano 24 ham sandwiches

 

Monte Nevado - A perfect takeaway snack
Monte Nevado – A perfect takeaway snack

 

24 Karat Gold Lemonade
24 Karat Gold Lemonade

Pastries galore! You can find a lot of fresh or packaged pastries and sweets throughout the store
Pastries galore! You can find a lot of fresh or packaged pastries and sweets throughout the store

Street food

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!

Egg, ham and cheese (very generous with the cheese) crêpe. So delicious!
Egg, ham, cheese (very generous with the cheese), and germs crêpe. So delicious!

 

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.

Falafel balls to go. 10 for 3,5€
Falafel balls to go. 10 for 3,5€.

 

Falafel dine-in for a little more €.
Falafel dine-in for a little more €.

 

Les Papilles

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.

Les Papilles is a cute and cozy restaurant.
Les Papilles is a cute and cozy restaurant.

 

Velouté with two celery, cream quenelle with olive oil curry chutney, bacon, parsley fried croutons and chives
Velouté with two celery, cream quenelle with olive oil curry chutney, bacon, parsley fried croutons and chives (this is pre- soup pour)

 

Braised beef cheek with red wine, charlotte potatoes, bacon, mushrooms, grilled onions, carrots, thyme
Braised beef cheek with red wine, Charlotte potatoes, bacon, mushrooms, grilled onions, carrots, thyme. One large pot for 2. Couldn’t finish everything, but we made sure there was no beef cheek left behind.

 

The beef cheeks were so tender.
The beef cheeks were so tender.

 

Fourme d'Ambert (French blue cheese), prune with red wine
Fourme d’Ambert (French blue cheese), prune with red wine

 

Mmm look at all that mold
Mmm look at all that mold

 

Panacotta pear, caramel emulsion
Panacotta pear, caramel emulsion

 

Le Cinq

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.

Le Cinq is a gorgeous restaurant inside the Four Seasons George V Hotel off the Champs-Élysées
Le Cinq is a gorgeous restaurant inside the Four Seasons George V Hotel off the Champs-Élysées

 

Bread service: this buckwheat roll was amazing with its layers. We finished the salted butter tower in the back.
Bread service: this buckwheat roll was amazing with its layers. We ate as much of the salted butter tower as we could.

 

Mises en bouche - Bite sized air bubble: one bite and this popped in your mouth with orange scented liquid and air; Tangerine flavored liquid enclosed in a hard shell; "Pizza bread" with mushroom and mozzarella
Mises en bouche – Bite sized air bubble: one bite and this popped in your mouth with orange scented liquid and air; Tangerine flavored liquid enclosed in a hard shell; “Pizza bread” with mushroom and mozzarella

 

Grilled artichoke, capers, and dried artichoke chips
Grilled artichoke, capers, and dried artichoke chips

 

Sea urchin, cauliflower, foam
Sea urchin, cauliflower, foam

 

My favorite. Wish it was more than a couple bites!
My favorite. Wish it was more than a couple bites!

 

Gratinated onions, contemporary Parisian style. Spherified onion soup, black truffle emulsion, croutons, demi, on a bed of melted cheese
Gratinated onions, contemporary Parisian style. Spherified onion soup (those little onion balls exploded with onion soup), black truffle emulsion, croutons, demi, on a bed of melted cheese

 

Rib of venison roasted with charcoal, horseradish and mustard, gnocchi.
Rib of venison roasted with charcoal, horseradish and mustard, gnocchi.

 

Pre-dessert palate cleansers: lemon curd, rum, honey brittle
Pre-dessert palate cleansers: lemon curd, rum, honey brittle

 

Pre-dessert palate cleansers: raspberry meringue tart, tarragon passion fruit tart, chocolate tart
Pre-dessert palate cleansers: raspberry meringue tart, tarragon passion fruit tart, chocolate tart

 

Crunchy coffee mousse, blackberries cooked in juice, creamy caramel and whisky flavors.
Crunchy coffee mousse, blackberries cooked in juice, creamy caramel and whisky flavors.

 

Slightly candied banana, passion fruit and coffee foam, glass brittle
Slightly candied banana, passion fruit and coffee foam, glass brittle

 

Cheese tart with nuts
Cheese tart with nuts

 

Kouign amann, candied almonds, chocolates, caramels, nougat, absinthe marshmallow. They kept feeding us these from their dessert cart. I ate until I could feel the food stacked up to the top of my throat.
Kouign amann, candied almonds, chocolates, caramels, nougat, absinthe marshmallow. They kept feeding us these from their dessert cart. I ate until I could feel food stacked up to the top of my throat. They also gave us take home treats of more kouign amanns, chocolates, and caramels.

 

Dinner

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.

Foie gras, beets, smoked eels and horseradish
Foie gras, beets, smoked eels and horseradish

 

Pappardelle, lamb ragu, Kalamata olives and lemon confit
Pappardelle, lamb ragu, Kalamata olives and lemon confit

 

Duck leg confit and slow braised red cabbage
Duck leg confit and slow braised red cabbage

 

Roasted lamb leg, Merguez, butternut squash, smoked yogurt and pomegranate
Roasted lamb leg, Merguez, butternut squash, smoked yogurt and pomegranate

 

Seared gnocchi, salsify and smoked Westcombe cheddar sauce
Seared gnocchi, salsify and smoked Westcombe cheddar sauce

 

Fresh white truffle tagliatelle
Fresh white truffle tagliatelle. My favorite dish. Would have ordered more but the plate was 40€

 

Pollack, roasted parsnip, Serrano and pickled mustard seeds
Pollack, roasted parsnip, Serrano and pickled mustard seeds

 

Milk chocolate popsicle, banana, pecan brittle and vanilla ice cream
Milk chocolate popsicle, banana, pecan brittle and vanilla ice cream

 

Caramelized apple, Calvados sabayon and cinnamon toast ice cream
Caramelized apple, Calvados sabayon and cinnamon toast ice cream

 

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.

Pasta filled with Mediterranean vegetables, watercress sauce, caramelized pineapple, soft chocolate cake and small pot of crème anglaise
Pasta filled with Mediterranean vegetables, watercress sauce, caramelized pineapple, soft chocolate cake and small pot of crème anglaise. The white tablecloth (traycloth?) service was impeccable.

 

15-hour lamb, fig and mustard sauce, crispy polenta with olives and cashew nuts
15-hour lamb, fig and mustard sauce, crispy polenta with olives and cashew nuts

 

Nut, raisin and chocolate square, fruits of the forest compote, apricot and pistachio financier cake, ice creams and sorbets, fruit salad
Nut, raisin and chocolate square, fruits of the forest compote, apricot and pistachio financier cake, ice creams and sorbets, fruit salad

 

Foie gras with slivered hazelnuts and port jelly, potato salad with truffles, and Zac Efron
Foie gras with slivered hazelnuts and port jelly, potato salad with truffles, and Zac Efron doing what he does best.

 

Merci beaucoup, Paris, pour un temps magnifique!

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