Bonjour, mes amis! I got back from a wonderful weekend in Paris on Monday. Since it was a very generous gift from my parents for graduating first of my class, I had the chance to eat at some new places and visit a few old favorites. I’d like to do a short guide and upload it as a PDF file sometime in the near(ish) future, but for now, I’ll tell you about my top-ten things to do in Paris. Warning: almost all of them are about food. What can I say, it was my fifth visit so I no longer have to go see the Eiffel Tower.
So here’s my list, in no particular order:
- Un Dimanche A Paris
- Les Papilles
- Raspail Food Market
- Eric Kayser
- Georges Larnicol
- Nina Kendosa
- Luxembourg Gardens
- La Grande Epicerie – Le Bon Marche
This ”concept store”, restaurant and chocolate salon revolves around… you guessed it, chocolate. It opened about three months ago and it’s already packed with people, especially for brunch on Sunday. The owner is Pierre Cluizel, son of the famous chocolate artisan Michel Cluizel. We went there on Friday for lunch and had the Menu du Dejeuner (a fixed price lunch menu). There are three options: an appetizer + entreé for 25€, an entreé + patisserie (dessert) for 25€, or appetizer + entreé + patisserie for 33€. You get to choose among 2-3 appetizers and entreés, and 7-8 patisseries. I had the third option because I wanted to try the appetizer, a cauliflower soup with salmon on the side. And obviously I wanted dessert, it is a chocolate concept store after all! Everything was delicious, but I found out later that it’s cheaper to order the appetizer + entreé at the restaurant and have your patisserie at the chocolate store, so that’s a good option if you want to save a few euros. Bonus: they give you a platter with two chocolates for each person at the table when you pay.
It’s a restaurant near the Luxembourg Gardens. Also a fixed price lunch menu, we went there on Saturday (it’s closed on Sundays). The menu is fixed (33€) and includes:
- A soup or cream with croutons, etc. They present you the dish with the croutons, bacon bits; and the soup is apart in a big bowl, you help yourself to the soup. Ours was a leek soup with croutons, bacon bits, curry, and something else I don’t remember. Delicious.
- A meat based dish, also served on a big pot and you help yourself to it. We had braised beef cheeks with baby potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and mini scallions. I also liked this a lot, but the portions were huge!
- Cheese, in our case blue cheese with prune.
- Dessert, normally some type of panna cotta. We had banana panna cotta with toffee. I don’t normally like banana on my desserts, but this one was pretty good. I liked the toffee part better though.
You can ask for tap water and it includes bread, plus you don’t have to leave a tip (it’s included).
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays, 7AM-2.30PM. On Sundays it’s an organic food market. There’s a bakery type of stand that sells savory quiches and tartalettes; we had a couple of tartalettes (2.50€ each) for lunch on Sunday. We tried the following: cheese, leeks, onions, and zucchini; my favorites were leeks and zucchini. I think they also had ones with tomatoes and mushrooms, plus some sweet ones. It’s a good plan for Sunday mornings, since most places (even bakeries) close on Sundays.
Very famous bread baker, it has several stores around Paris and one of them was next to our apartment. Some of them (like the one next to us) close on Sundays, so you should be careful with that. Otherwise you might find yourself with no bread to eat your cheese for dinner. Not that it happened to us or anything… Anyway, we bought our breakfasts there since it was so close, and I really liked their baguette and their chocolate plié (better than the pain au chocolat).
It’s right next to Un Dimanche A Paris, and you should definitely check it out even if it’s just for the gorgeous the window shop display. The macarons are really cheap compared to other places (45€/kg, I think; we bought 8 and paid 4.50€); although I have to say I liked others better. Except for the praliné flavored one, that was one of the best macarons I’ve ever had. Disclosure: the macarons were smashed on our way to the airport, so that might have something to do with why I didn’t like them so much. Also, I only tried the coffee, chocolate, praliné and raspberry, so maybe other flavors were tastier, I don’t know.
But if you go to Georges Larnicol, what you should be buying is the Kouign Amann. It’s a mix between a pastry and a pie, and they recommend warming it for a bit in the oven before eating it. I think I like it even more than croissants! They sell it as pies (7.50€) or in individual muffin sized portions in different flavors (chocolate, coconut, salted caramel, raspberry…). I tried the salted caramel and the chocolate ones, and they were both amazing.
A home decor shop next to the Louvre, they sell mostly accesories such as throw pillow covers (for about 20€ each), lamp shades, curtains; and small furnitures like nightstands. I bought a small wooden platter that I want to use as a centerpiece with candles for 9.60€. The best part: the bag they place your purchase in is gorgeous! I almost said no to the bag since I had another one, but when I saw it I was glad I kept my mouth shut. It’s a bright red felt bag with white flowers.
A small store in Rue Mouffetard that sells stylish clothes for really reasonable prices. I bought a dress for 28€; most of the dresses are under 50€. I also tried on a grey sweater that was 35€.
These gardens are huge and they have a lot of different areas you can explore. We got a couple of chairs and ate our tartalettes there on Sunday. A great place to relax if the weather’s good. Downside: they close way too early! This last Sunday, for example, they closed at 6PM.
It’s a great kitchen supply store next to Les Halles that specializes in baking, founded in 1814. I bought silicone molds for mini baked donuts; I don’t like fried sweets in general, so I thought the reason why I don’t really like donuts might be that. That’s why I want to try to bake them instead. I also bought a silicone mold to make ice shot glasses! Can’t wait to try that one. Other than that, I also got a couple of molds to bake my grandmother’s birthday this weekend, since I didn’t have the right size at home. Next to Mora there are several other kitchen related stores you can pop into, like E. Dehillerin and La Bovida.
Like a gourmet supermarket, classified by ingredients (salts, vinegars, oils, …) and type of cuisine (japanese, italian, mexican…). There’s also an assortment of (semi) prepared food, a bakery and a patisserie. The macarons are moderately priced at 1€ a piece, and they are really good. They definitely make a great gift.