An ongoing list of my favorite spots to visit in Paris (all of course food related ;-))
Paris Pastry Shops:
Fou de Patisserie – pastry shop on rue Montorgueil that carries pastries from lots of different chefs around Paris. This is a great one stop shop to sample all the greats! They also have a fantastic bi-monthly Pastry Magazine.
Stohrer– the oldest pastry shop in Paris, also on rue Montorgueil, I get their eclairs!! They are just classic and good!
Jacques Genin– known for caramels and chocolates, he also does fantastic pastries including Mille Feuille to order, you can sit down inside and have a coffee or tea which is really nice because you can’t do that at most pastry shops.
Aux Merveilleux de Fred – they have several locations around Paris and do little meringue treats that are covered in cream and then rolled in different things like chocolate shavings.
Pierre Hermé for macarons! He also has a couple of locations which have his pastries- which are fantastic! Think vanilla tart with… 4 kinds of vanilla.
Angelina – Known for its hot chocolate with freshly whipped cream, but also a don’t miss for the Mont Blanc- a chestnut dessert with meringue at the center. Fantastic! It’s a little lady’s who lunch and definitely touristy but I still like it.
Yann Couvreur – my friend’s pretend boyfriend. Visit his shop for beautiful pastries, cute fox print paper bags for treats and placemats for eating in, and maybe a peek of the chef himself.
Sadaharu Aoki – the same friend mentioned above, recommended the caramel tart to me from this chef, and it is life-changing. I’ve had it only once and still remember the intensity and finesse. Visit here for pastries with an Asian inspiration too.
Karamel – I’m an admitted caramel feign and this place is my dream. Caramel is in everything! (even the lemon tart!) Tea Salon and by the beautiful Rodin museum in the 7th.
Du Pain et Des Idees – This is the can’t be missed boulangerie that is everything you’ve wished for and more. Get an escargot. Trust me. oh! And the Pain d’Amie (ordered weight).
Boulangerie Utopie – Asian-vibe pastry shop. Think black sesame eclairs and matcha tarts! A winner of many awards for their breads as well. Fantastic.
Ice Cream Places in Paris:
Berthillon – the CLASSIC ice cream place. The main shop is located on Ile Saint Louis at the end of the main street down the center. There you can find an ice cream parlor and also a lovely inside eating area. If the line is super long, head to one of the many other places on the island that sell Berthillon ice cream- just look for the name on the sign! My favorite is the classic vanilla where you can see the vanilla beans! A great place to eat it is on the bridge that leads to Ile de la Cite and the Notre Dame. Usually you’ll find musicians there.
Pozzetto – Italian gelato in Paris- si si!! SO delicious and a great stop after doing some shopping in the Marais. The staff is Italian so have fun practicing your pronunciations of the classic stracciatella!
Une Glace à Paris – Ready to get fancy, shmancy? This place was opened by the top craftsman of ice cream in France in 2000 and boasts some pretty interesting flavors- like smoked vanilla (with vanilla beans from India), Baba au Rhum, and avocado! While you’re there check out the beautiful ice cream pastries- or you know, get one to eat- that works too! They also do milkshakes and mille feuille (with ice cream in between the layers).
Lunch Places in Paris:
Marcelle – Healthy vibes, airy interior, and right by all the cookware shops.
Buvette – a bit hipster, but essentially what we’re loving right now.. beautiful interior, casual, great food that’s a bit more international than it is French, but that’s a-ok. Great for brunch!
Breizh Cafe – Crepes straight from Brittany! Go for a savory buckwheat galette and then a sweet crepe for dessert! Just plain butter and sugar is fantastic but I like to add a little salted butter caramel sauce.
Miss Banh Mi – I know I know – it’s not French. But! The seriously to die for Vietnamese sandwiches are made on fresh baguettes! Get your choice of sandwich plus either a sesame chocolate chip cookie and a ginger lemon iced tea, or both! And… the first Wednesday of each month is vegetarian day!
Miznon – Israeli chef, hip-atmosphere, and fresh pita bread. This place is the branch of the Tel Aviv location and it is fabulous! The best ingredients, fresh, healthy, and delicious – you leave feeling good and come back wanting more. You’ll feel in the know too- down a side street off the famous Rue de Rosier with L’As du Falafel, only people who have heard about this place are the ones that usually find it.
Natives – poke bowls! This place is small, but if it’s a nice day, choose “emporter” and take it to eat by the Canal St-Martin.
Trieze 13 A Baker’s Dozen – moving to a new location soon! Southern American comfort food with a healthy twist. Go here for brunch too!
General Tip: For a cheap and easy lunch, stop by the closest boulangerie for a baguette sandwich, salads, and more. You might get strange looks if you’re eating on the street, so do like the Parisians do and go to the nearest parc and take a seat on one of the benches in the sun.
Comme Chez Maman – a bit off the beaten path, but another reason why it’s oh so good. A neighborhood spot with classic French food – you won’t mind the trip and will leave with a smiling belly. I’ve had many a memorable meal here. Wholesome, friendly, and just plain fantastic.
Paul Bert – a staple with American tourists, but that’s not a bad thing! This spot is good, classic French food.
Chez Janou – located in the middle of a neighborhood, a classic bistro, where each dish revolves around a different piece of meat and the vegetable accompaniments. Don’t miss the unlimited chocolate mousse for dessert!
Azteca – for someone who LOVES Mexican this was a gem of a find because I feel like I’ve tried them all! In the heart of Paris by Les Halles, it is probably the only legit Mexican food that brings me back home to Texas. Open more than 30 years (by the same guy!), it’s like stepping back in time and place to Mexico City.
Mamma Primi/Ober Mamma (The Mamma Chain in Paris) – Delicious Italian food! Get there early (about 6:30pm) to get in for the first seating as this place doesn’t take reservations.
Le Bouillon Chartier – might be a bit touristy but it’s still a classic spot to go (and you’ll certainly see some locals). Get ready for full-on French penguin suit waiters and classical style when you pass into this spot. Casual dress. Don’t mind the line- it moves fast.
Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie – a good French place to go if you might feel a little uncomfortable with your French but want a good meal in a classic environment. Cozy, super French, and very good for those dishes you come to France for. Specializes in South-west food, think duck and foie gras. You’ll definitely see tourists here and the odd-local or two (but usually only earlier in the day).
Cocktail Bars in Paris:
Baton Rouge – a 20s-30s vibe with great drinks and a fun slightly kitschy interior. It actually feels like you’re in an apartment with the close comfy chairs and fairy lights. Great fun, good cocktails.
Candelaria – A taqueria with legit (but super expensive!) tacos. Be warned that they are small- and you’ll definitely eat at least three. Once you’ve done that though… walk past the people seated at the bar and through the white door. It will feel like you’re going to the kitchen or a back room, but instead, you’ll find yourself in one of the coolest hidden bars in Paris with crazy good cocktails. Low lighting, cool music, and clusters of seats.
The Ballroom – Another hidden cocktail bar that will make you feel like your back in the 20s Prohibition era! Along rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, look for an unmarked black door with spiral staircase leading down. It will be by the Beefclub and usually, there’s a candle lit by the door. Fun! Lots of seating, great cocktails.
Jefrey’s Cocktail Bar – Another little speakeasy. This one is charming! Small and feels like a neighborhood joint.
Tiger Bar – on the left bank! Cool vibe with creative cocktails and beautiful hip-modern interior. It’s known for its gin but has other options too.
The Hood – Great casual vibe with fantastic coffee, brunch, and lunch. The staff is fabulous, you’ll feel like you’ve made a new friend! They’re starting to open up in the evening too with Banh Mi and Beer! Don’t miss the live jam sessions on Sunday afternoons with the artist changing weekly. The food is great and usually has an Asian-twist.
O Coffeeshop – warm, friendly, and of course delicious. Colorful surfer-vibe interior with the friendliest staff. The lunches rotate each day. If you’re sure you want one, ask to reserve your meal because they only make a certain amount. Breakfast options are classic with an Aussie-American vibe, from yogurt granola fruit bowls to avocado toast to French toast. All are very good.
Terroirs d’Avenir – this was my local coffee spot where I’d get my coffee beans. I don’t know how many choices they have but their coffee is d*** good! This is one of my favorite streets too as it’s a little ecosystem between Frenchie restaurant, wine bar, and Frenchie’s cafe, and Terroir d’Avenir’s fruit and veg stand, butcher, fish spot, wine shop, and coffee bar. Rue de Nil.
You’ll find a lot in Paris, but my favorite for the essential cliche “What You Come to Paris For” is the MiniPalais, a restaurant inside the Grand Palais. Go outside and sit amongst the towering white columns, palm trees, whicker Parisian cafe-style chairs, and pristine white tablecloths, and sip a chilled glass of white wine.
Cookery Shops & More:
E.Dehillerin – almost 200-years-old, it feels like a hardware store for cooking equipment, with something stored in every spare space. Head to the basement for pots so big you can sit in them. Grab some tart molds, knives, whisks, a crepe pan… everything is wrapped in brown paper and secured with their yellow labeled packaging tape. To check out, go first to the table where each item is written down- old school- by it’s code, the price looked up, and checked off. With this receipt, head to the counter just behind to pay. Return to the table with your receipt marked paid to pick up your goodies. Closed for lunch.
G.Detou – a cook and bakers dream for ingredients but also a great spot to grab food souvenirs to bring home like bags of caramels, nougatine, and jars of mustard. The checkout process is similar to the above at E.Dehillerin. Locals: go here for a brown sugar substitute, Muscovado, and high-quality puff pastry. Visitors: Pick up chestnut paste, bags of good chocolate, **gelatin sheets! (these are so hard to find in the States), and pink candied almonds, praline.
Mora – I usually go in between E.Dehillerin and this shop when I’m shopping for equipment. Plus, they’re right down the street from each other! More modern than E.Dehillerin in set up, but! actually 6 years older than E.Dehillerin, it has a great selection and! a whole room full of decorating materials- including small jars of pistachio paste, powdered food coloring, and more!
Deco Relief – When I don’t find it at Mora or E.Dehillerin, I go here. Not to say that it isn’t bad, there’s just a wider selection at the other two. The benefit of this shop though is that they sell pastry boxes individually. Useful for us at home pastry chefs that need to transport a cake or two to a friend’s place.
Librarie Gourmande – Down the street from the cookware shops, this store is dedicated to just cookbooks! Upstairs is an English section.
Sezane – Also just down the street from all of the above, this is one of my favorite French clothing and homeware brands. There’s a movie theater in the basement! and coffee shop around the corner.
Merci – Clothing, homeware, linen sheets/aprons/more! An eclectic collection, French-made and super cute! Three coffee shops/cafes inside the store.