Food is such a big part of why I love Paris and definitely something I look forward to when planning a getaway to the city of light. On my first visit to Paris 6 years ago, the only place I wanted to eat was Ladurée. (They have the most divine french toast on the whole planet.) Other than that, I just stumbled on places to eat and every meal was the best ever. On my second trip, I planned nothing and had the most delicious croissant ever. This time, I planned my whole trip around food!! Between the croissant, the cheese, and the array of fresh ingredients, there isn’t much I don’t like about the food in France.
A food tour, a five course tasting menu, street falafel, and a pop-up pastry shop that’s worth waiting in line for, I’d have to name this one of my favorite foodie trips to date. I’ll give you a taste of all of my favorite places to eat in Paris and why you should go there. Warning: don’t read while hungry!!
Good for: Lunch or Dinner
Carbón Paris. Since this was the first Easter I would be spending away from my family, I wanted to make sure it was still a special day with an extra special meal. Carbon did not disappoint. Upon arriving a few minutes early for our reservation (You must reserve a table here, you won’t be seated otherwise, even if you see tables that are free) the waitress told us that the kitchen would be open soon, but would we like a drink first? Mais, bien sur!
We went with the 2017 Judith Beck Koreaa, a great white to pair with the scallop and cauliflower appetizer. It was easy to drink with light fruit notes. A perfect Easter wine from Austria. All of the wines they serve are organic and they only have about 7 bottles to choose from. They only advertise by the bottle, but you can get certain wines by the glass. Just ask!
We had the greatest server, who was very accommodating and helpful with choosing our wine and food. I’d go back here just for the great service. The ambience is très bien aussi. It’s cozy, not pretentious (as some may think restaurants in France to be) and just beautiful to look at. And is located right in the heart of Le Marais.
The food is super fresh made with seasonal and mostly local ingredients. All of their dishes are cooked over fire, no gas or electric is used. Just like Francis Mallman’s Los Fuegos in Miami. The menu offers about 6 different appetizers, 5 mains, and 2 desserts with specials du jour.
What to order
For a party of 2, I’d recommend you share two starters. We ordered the scallops. They were perfect texture and served with a cauliflower puree which was one of my favorite tastes of the meal. Then, we shared two mains which were the halibut and the lamb. Both delicious and perfectly cooked. The menu is constantly changing based on what’s in season, so don’t go looking for these dishes. Just know that no matter what you order, Carbón will do it right.
Good for: Dinner
My top pick for a full gastronomical experience in Paris that won’t break the bank is Verjus. After reading several reviews and recommendations for this restaurant, I was convinced I had to try it!
Verjus serves a tasting menu so each item is selected for you. Ingredients are sourced locally and seasonally. The restaurant is small and reservations book up quickly so I recommend booking a few weeks before your visit. Plan to stay for a few hours as you will be savoring every bite and enjoying the experience. This isn’t a quick dinner.
If it’s a special occasion (when is Paris not a special occasion?!) do the wine pairing. It’s worth it to discover some new wines and have a fresh glass with every course.
You’ll start with a few finger foods that are sure to satiate your sophisticated palette. So simple, yet so delicious. This is followed by 2 veggie courses- ours were asparagus and morels (mushrooms). The main course was a lamb tartare. You’ll end with 2 separate dessert courses. Save room because you won’t want to pass this up!
Paris by Mouth Food Tour
Good for: Tasting/ Cheese &Wine/ Desserts
After stumbling upon the Paris by mouth blog I was convinced that I had to hop on one of their food tours during my trip. This was such a special treat. Being guided to the best croissants, baguettes, cheeses, wines and chocolates by an insider and French food expert was a priceless experience. Not only will you get the best of the best when it comes to food, but you’ll get a history of the neighborhood where you choose to take your tour and a lot of the food history as well.
I won’t give away all of Paris by Mouth’s secrets, but I encourage you to take one of these tours. If you really want to know some of these spots, and can’t get on a tour, just email me! Tours last about 3 hours, all tastings are included, and you will have a chance to sit and enjoy a wine tasting with your food.
Here are some highlights from the tour…
We kicked off the tour with bread, baguette de tradition to be exact! Shouldn’t every day start that way?! I learned so much about the history of baguettes and how you can tell the good from the bad! If you want more info on how to find a great baguette in Paris check out this article.
We went to a local fromagerie and a charcutier traiteur (Butcher) to grab some meat and cheese to pair with our wine from La Cave de Turenne. Here we enjoyed six cheeses, a variety of meats, and three wines. We learned about where and how our wine and cheese was made- a delicious education!
The grand finale was only the best chocolate! Don’t leave without trying the mint ganache in dark chocolate. It’s tastes like a mojito!!!
Great for: Lunch/ A shopping snack break/Views of the city/Cheese/Artisanal French products
I highly recommend you check out Printemps du gout- located on the 8th floor of the Printemps Haussmann- Homme. If for nothing else, go here for a great view of the city!
Enjoy a perfect french onion soup and croque monsieur du jour with la tour eiffel.
Cedric Grolet’s pop-up shop at Le Meurice
Good for: Pastries
This pop-up pastry shop located at 6 Rue Castiglione is brought to you by Cédric Grolet, Chef Pâtissier at the restaurant Le Meurice Alain Ducasse. He was elected World’s Best Restaurant Pastry Chef 2017 by the Association Les Grandes tables du Monde. Don’t miss this, because it won’t be here for long. Otherwise you’ll have to spend a pretty penny to taste his creations at Restaurant Le Meurice.
Mi Va Mi
Good for: Falafel/late night snack
After a long day this just hit the spot in every way. Located in the Jewish Quarter in Le Marais, this authentic and fresh made falafel was totally worth waiting in line for!
Although there are many more to mention, these were my top picks and what I thought worth sharing! Have you tried any of these? Chime in in the comments below.