Paris. Historical, cultural, artistic, romantic, modern, … and a lot of things. While the city looks almost exactly what it had been hundreds of years ago, it transforms and progresses itself with its own unique, glorious tradition.
If you want to get a good view of the beautiful city, check out some of the best viewpoints all around Paris that will take your breath away; Or, hop on a bike to visit some of the most popular and iconic landmarks, museums, and heritage in the city; To take it further and beyond, go on a day trip to visit Versailles or Fontainebleau, two of the most beautiful and extravagant palaces that you will find in the country. When I think about an afternoon in Paris, I always imagine myself sipping a cup of coffee, eating a croissant, and reading a book while sitting by the street in an outdoor café… but the Paris food scene is more than that – it goes from affordable baguettes and croissants to a really luxurious dining extravaganza.
This time, my fellow travel bloggers and foodies have shared some refreshing ideas that might inspire you about experiencing the diverse and delicate French cuisine. These are places with a rich history and star-studded clientele.
Comté at a Fromagerie Androuet
A beloved cheese that has a mild and sweet flavor
Stephanie from The Unknown Enthusiast
Comté is a very popular and beloved French cheese that comes from the mountainous region of the western French alps. This cow cheese is hard and salty and has a mild and somewhat sweet flavor.
While you can find comté at the grocery store, for a real French experience during your stay in Paris, stop by a fromagerie (cheese shop) and to get the highest quality cheese. Here, you can sample a little bit of the cheese and then have the fromager cut a wedge of just exactly the amount that you want, which they will then wrap in paper for you.
I like going to Fromagerie Androuet or La Fromagerie on Rue Cler, but there are a lot of good fromageries in Paris – just search “fromagerie” in Maps and a selection will pop up.
Comté pairs extremely well with a fresh baguette – stop by any corner boulangerie in Paris for a baguette and enjoy your bread and cheese at a park like a true Parisian!
French Toast from Ladurée or Bistrotters
A classic dessert and brunch meal that can be easily made at home too!
Helene from Masala Herb
The French toast is a classic dessert and brunch meal typical to France. Stale bread is left to soak in a flavored sweet milk and egg mixture. It is then fried in a pan golden in butter on all sides. This simple stovetop dish is still a favorite in most french homes as it helps one to reuse leftover stale bread. In French, it is better known as “pain perdu”, which literally translated means “lost bread”. Yet, bread isn’t lost if it can be reused and turned into a delicious sweet treat. Only stale bread makes for a perfect French toast because it won’t fall apart during the frying process. Therefore, homemade French toast can be easily made from scratch! When in Paris look out for the best French toast at Ladurée, an upscale bakery, or the Bistrotters, where they serve it with a salted caramel sauce.
Cream puff pastries at Odette
“Affordable” and new pâtissierie which specialized in cream puff pastries
Lena from Salut from Paris
While you may want to try the savory haute cuisine, you should not ignore the excellent pâtisserie that Paris has to offer. While you can certainly get the one or other treat from some of the best pâtissiers like Yann Couvreur or Cyril Lygnac, you don’t even need to go that far. And spend that much!
One of the best bakeries in Paris, that is even one of the more affordable ones, is Odette. The rather new bakery is specialized in cream puff pastries, called choux and are a perfect mix between vintage baked goods and modern tastes like salted caramel fillings. The light and fluffy pastries are melting in your mouth, and the delicious cream filling is making it almost impossible to resist the temptation to try each and every flavor.
Salad Niçoise at Le Café de Paris
From Nice, but it is one of the must-try in Paris
Jenifer from The Evolista
If you’re looking for a truly authentic French dining experience, you can’t go wrong with a classic salad Niçoise. The traditional peasant dish originates from the city of Nice – hence the name niçoise, meaning ‘in the style of Nice.’ Nowadays the dish can be found in all of the best cities in France, including Paris.
It was a dish created by farmers typically using tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, olives, olive oil, and then either anchovies or canned tuna. To make the salad more of a hearty meal potatoes, string beans, olives and capers became common ingredients. These days, many modern renditions also incorporate fresh tuna or seared Ahi tuna.
When it comes to must-try local Foods in Paris, a salad Niçoise is definitely up there – and you’ll find plenty of restaurants in Paris serving up wonderful versions of this dish. Le Café de Paris by the Arc de Triomphe is a great option if you’re looking for seared tuna, or try Restaurant Amour at Hôtel Amour for perfectly flaky pieces of fresh tuna. Bon appétit!
The Mont Blanc dessert at Angelina’s
Rumor has it… that Proust, Coco Chanel, and Karl Lagerfeld were guests
Gillian from Bucket List France
If you’re planning a trip to Paris, be sure to include a stop-off at the iconic Angelina’s patisserie and tea room. Angelina’s is located on Rue Rivoli just across the street from Les Tuileries Gardens and a stone’s throw from the Louvre. The tearoom, which was founded in 1903 and named after the owner’s daughter-in-law, is so quintessentially Parisian with its Belle Epoque décor, you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into a film set. Rumour has it that the tearoom attracted the likes of Proust, Coco Chanel, and Karl Lagerfeld. During my last visit to Paris, I indulged in their signature pastry, the famous Mont Blanc cake, and can confirm that you may wish to skip lunch! I couldn’t resist having one of their decadent, creamy, hot chocolate’s to accompany my pastry and would highly recommend you do the same (and definitely skip lunch!). The Mont Blanc cake is made of crème de marron vermicelli, light whipped cream, and meringue and has been Angelina’s trademark pastry since 1903. You can also buy a takeaway Mont Blanc cake from their delicatessen which has an incredible array of intricately designed pastries. Apparently, they sell 600 of these cakes a day… This is definitely something for your Paris bucket list!
Mashed Potatoes at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
The best potatoes in the world, period.
Sherrie from Travel by a Sherrie Affair
Paris has everything you can imagine in food. They are also of course known for having some of the best and most renowned chefs in the world. However, one of these chefs is credited for how we experience food. His name is Joël Robuchon.
Chef Joël Robuchon is the owner of L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon at Hôtel du Pont Royal, 5 Rue Montalembert, 75007 Paris, France. He developed this restaurant with the concept of experiencing food should be fun and interesting, hence the open-air restaurant. Sleek, black, and red decor, clean and well organized. You will need to make a reservation way ahead to be able to take a seat at the “bar-like” area to observe these professionals. As you watch the magic of all the chefs working, for the ones who know, you are waiting for this one particular dish. The mashed potatoes.
Chef Joël Robuchon has mastered potatoes that once you try his, none compare. They are the richest, creamiest, most butter-induced mashed potatoes you will ever experience. Be prepared your cholesterol will go up a couple of notches. But this won’t stop you from asking for more…I did.
Specialties at Au Pied de Cochon
The legendary brasserie opens 24 /7 and has never closed since 1947, with a legendary clientele: Salvador Dali, Alfred Hitchcock, and Brigitte Bardot…
Elena from Traveling Bytes
Recently, I had an overnight layover in Paris. What a remarkable opportunity to walk around the city of lights under the dark skies enjoying fabulous illumination! The only downside was that by 3 in the morning, a plate of food was the only thing I could think about. The Au Pied de Cochon was one of a few restaurants in Paris that were open 24 hours. Frankly, I just wanted to bite something without caring much about my surroundings. To my surprise, I was treated to a fantastic dinner in what turned out to be one of the iconic restaurants of the French capital.
The Au Pied de Cochon is a legendary brasserie in Paris that has never closed its doors since 1947. As the story goes, back in the day the owner Clément Blanc, had an innovative idea of opening the eatery round the clock. With this, the Au Pied de Cochon became the first Parisian restaurant to be open 365 days a year, with its lights always lit.
In seventy-plus years, the restaurant became a hit among the surprisingly diverse clientele. Both Parisians and out-of-towners enjoy coming there. Over time, it was a favorite spot for a host of famous personalities. To name a few, General Charles de Gaulle, Salvador Dali, Alfred Hitchcock, Grace Kelly, and Brigitte Bardot dined there. When Francois Mitterand was elected President in 1981, he celebrated his victory at the Au Pied de Cochon.
The ambiance of an old-school brasserie brings back la Belle Epoque. Multi-colored lamps and paintings, white tablecloths, and waiters in penguin suits are stylish and offset by a few lighthearted, humorous touches from golden pig’s foot handles to pink meringue piglets served with coffee.
As the name implies, the restaurant specializes in everything pig. From snout to tail, every part is put on the menu. The famed house specialty is the Temptation of Saint Anthony. This saint happened to be the patron of all charcuteries. The dish carrying his name is the fried and breaded tail, ear, snout, and half a trotter with chips. Of course, I had to try it. Considering that I never tasted either of those, I have to admit I was surprised at how enjoyable the whole plate was.
The menu highlights traditional brasserie cooking – onion soup au gratin, escargot, crêpes flambées – but the star of the show, if you will, is the celebration of the pig. Stuffed trotters, head cassoulet, smoked belly, tail, ears… The “porkiness” can become overwhelming. Do not worry. The Au Pied de Cochon has a fantastic selection of seafood. And, of course, wines.
Galettes Bretonnes at Breizh Cafe
Rumor has it… that Proust, Coco Chanel, and Karl Lagerfeld were guests
Eloise from My Favourite Escapes
Although they’re from Britanny, France’s most western region, the Galettes Bretonnes are a must-try dish in Paris. French people go to a crêperie to eat them, and you’ll find many crêperies in Paris. Breizh Café is the most popular one.
Galettes Bretonnes look like crepes and are sometimes called crepes. But they are different from the traditional French crepes you probably know. First, they’re often savory to make a meal (but you’ll find sweet ones too for dessert). And the biggest difference comes from the dough. The Galettes Bretonnes recipe has buckwheat flour, water, and salt; that’s it! No milk, no egg, a different flour… The dough is vegan and gluten-free!
You can add many different types of fillings into your Galettes Bretonnes. The traditional ones simply have a sausage (but you’ll rarely find this at the creperie, it’s street food at festivals or sports games in Brittany), or the traditional complète comes with ham, egg, and cheese. But what’s on the menu depends on the chef’s inspiration. I’ve tried some with scallops and asparagus or with goat cheese and walnuts. It’s always delicious.
Don’t forget to ask for a glass of cider from Brittany (or lait ribot – buttermilk – if you really want to follow traditions) to drink with your galette.