Top 10 Paris Foodie Must-Dos
If one thing is certain, it’s that visiting Paris and living in Paris are two different endeavors when you’re a foodie. When you live here, you have to retain some modicum of restraint, for the sake of both your waistband and your wallet. But as a visitor, you can take full advantage of the top 10 Paris offerings.
10. Make Reservations
Before visiting Paris, do some research and find those can’t-miss restaurants… and reserve. Many Parisian restaurants require reservations, like two of my favorites: Le Restaurant à l’Hôtel and Chapeau Melon in Belleville. It would be unfortunate to miss out due to poor planning!
9. Eat in a Local Café
Bear in mind when reserving, however, that it’s important to keep a few meal slots opened. You never know what gems you might stumble upon, especially if you’ve ventured out of the city center. At lunchtime, look for a place where old men are eating alone; old men, I have found, are excellent judges of cuisine.
8. Wait in Line for Steak
Be sure to find time to visit Le Relais de l’Entrecôte. This steak restaurant is a Paris institution, and while it doesn’t take reservations, it does take the guesswork out of ordering: the only thing on the menu is a simple frisée salad with walnuts followed by steak topped with the famous secret house sauce and accompanied by fries. You will be served seconds.
7. Visit Pierre Hermé
You’ll probably spend quite a bit of your time in Paris eating pastries; be sure to make at least one visit to Pierre Hermé, home of some of the most delicious and unique macarons in the city.
6. Eat a Hot Croissant
Often, even fresh croissants are not sold hot. But try to get your hands on a hot croissant when you see one, even if you’ve just finished eating. You’ll understand the way a croissant was meant to taste when you’ve got the hot, buttery layers of dough melting on your tongue.
5. Eat Falafel
Paris is not merely home to French food. In the Marais, you’ll discover several falafel joints; everyone is loyal to a favorite. I’m partial to L’As du Fallafel; get a sandwich to go, and enjoy it at the nearby park: Clos des Blancs Manteaux.
4. Pull Up A Seat at a Wine Bar
To taste some of the really great wines that Paris has to offer, bypass touristic wine tastings and take a seat at a wine bar. Natural wine bar le Garde-Robe and anglo-friendly Verjus are both favorites in the city center.
3. Eat Duck
Try a magret, which is usually served with some sort of sweet accompaniment like orange, honey or cherry, and be sure to get your hands on some confit, which, when prepared correctly, will have perfectly crackly skin and a side of duck fat potatoes.
2. Eat Cheese
Avoid cheese plates in restaurants; instead, get a baguette de tradition at any bakery and buy a selection of cheeses from a cheese shop. Montmartre is home to the fantastic Fromagerie Lepic, where fromager Nicolas is happy to offer advice.
1. Visit a Market
Every neighborhood has a weekly market and usually more; you should have no trouble tracking one down on your stay. Markets usually open at 8 or 9 and stay opened until noon or 1, perfect to get your fill of beautiful food… and pick up some snacks for lunch!