Paris is such a charming city with so many different faces. A quick stroll down the Champs Élysées, the Champs de Marche and the Rue de Rivoli exemplify why this city is amongst the worlds most visited. However, stray further from the city centre into areas like Bastille, Oberkampf and Le Marais and you’ll find fewer tourists and more hidden gems!
I’ve been to Paris twice and have eaten more than I can remember, so here’s is an exceptionally brief list of my recommendations;
In general, stay away from the tourist areas and go where the locals eat. Also where possible, visit your local patisserie for a fresh baked baguette before hitting up the local market to grab yourself some fromage to make the best cheese sandwich ever!
Le Mary Celeste – my favourite tapas bar!
This was probably one of my favourite places in Paris. A relatively new venture, this wine bar is renown for French tapas with a modern twist. I had the salmon tartare, the grilled zucchini and the broccoli which were all outstanding and reasonably priced. The bar has such a wonderful vibe, modern but also very laid back. Don’t be afraid to sit at the bar if you forget to book, but the bartenders are delightful and attentive, and make for great conversation!
L’Estament – cheap and cheerful!
I found these guys along Rue Oberkampf on my first night in Paris on my most recent trip and had such a wonderful meal, particularly after a long day of travelling. A huge slab of foie gras with house made onion relish and toasted brioche, followed by scallops and zucchini left me happily satisfied and wondering what the French translation of “food coma” was…..
L’Eclair de Genin – the best eclairs in Paris
One of the single most glorious things you will ever eat in your lifetime, these mouthfuls of heaven are worth every eurocent of their €5-6 price tag. I chose one filled with salted caramel creme patissiere and topped with chocolate praline, and it literally stopped me in my tracks as I walked down the street enjoying this wonderful creation. A must try for sure!
Don’t forget the macarons at Pierre Herme and the cakes from Faucon while in Paris too! I’ve spoked about them on my London page, but also be sure to check out Maitre Choux, Paul patisserie, Laduree and Le Patisserie des Reves!
Le Grand Epicerie – a very fun food hall
This is another food hall like those found in Selfridges and Harrods in the uk. A huge variety of produce with more eat-in options than London, including bars dedicated to truffles, charcuterie and champagne with seafood. The take away salads, baked treats, proteins, fruit cups, yogurt pots, bagels, international cuisine and grocery tidbits are endless! They even have an entire wall dedicated to bottled water…..
La Cuisine Paris – because why just eat like a Parisian, when you can cook like one!
This is not actually a restaurant or cafe, but the two days I spent at this cooking school produced some of my fondest memories of Paris. I believe you can learn a significant amount about a culture from learning to cook its cuisine! From making dozens of croissants and grand mariner soufflé to scourging the markets for ingredients, the breakfast pastry and market class courses were an absolute blast from start to finish, and lead by a team of talented and highly qualified chefs.
Monop – a supermarket with a twist!
A supermarket chain much like Waitrose, with similarly fantastic ready to eat salads, yogurts, fresh fruit and juices which can make traveling infinitely easier! Their carrot salad with Dijon dressing is very simple but strangely addictive, as is their huge arrange of pot-set yogurts (of which, you MUST try the hazelnut variety!).
My ever expanding ‘to do list’ for my next visit, based mainly on suggestions by fellow foodies and Time Out Paris;
– Aux Deux Amis for small plates
– Bistro Volnay
– Jacques Genin for the best hot chocolate!
– The restaurant IN the Tour Eiffel….because it’s IN the Tour Eiffel…..
– Le Reparte
– Chez L’Ami Jean
– Breizh Cafe for the most wonderful crepes
– Tuck shop
– Peleton Cafe
– The broken arm
– L’Ilot for seafood
– Claus for breakfast
– La Rollange for tapas