A Foodie’s Guide To Paris: What Not To Miss

Paris presents an enticing range of gastronomic delights to be sampled by the discerning traveller in the know. Allow its eclectic mix of traditional and chic eateries to intoxicate your taste buds and draw you into new culinary experiences.

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From Traditional To Edgy

The Café Beaubourg (43 rue St-Merri) is perfect for breakfast on a sunny day. Relax with croissants and a delicious hot chocolate whilst sitting outside watching the world go by and taking in the view of the Pompidou Centre. For a lunchtime place with a more funky, edgier charm in the same area, head to Restaurant Loustic (40, rue Chapon). Try their delicious tarte salée with a giant homemade muffin.

Discover Your New Favourite Haunts

There is a selection of great places to eat in the lively quarter of le Marais. Check out Le Petit Marché (9, rue de Béarn).  Its small but delightful menu features great starters, such as crab salad and shrimps, as well as tasty mains of duck, lamb and fish. These are complemented by a selection of staple French desserts, including chocolate tart and raspberry charlotte. The prices are quite reasonable for the location.

For a more down to earth local eating experience in the same area, try a falafel with extra sauce piquante from L’As du Falafel (Rue de Rosiers).  This raucous street joint is a great place to watch the local characters going about their business.

Also close by is La Cidrerie du Marais (4 Rue de Sévigné) with its extraordinarily good selection of specialist crepes and cider.  Try the Galette du Jour with bleu cheese, walnuts, ham, and pears. Or for those with a stronger pallet there’s a crepe from Brittany with black pudding and apple sauce. Wash these down with a wide range of ‘cidres’ for a unique Parisian experience.

Fine Dining in France

For a more upmarket and truly elegant venue, head to Marius et Janette (4 Avenue George V). Located just off the Champs-Élysées in the 8th district, this fine seafood restaurant is renowned in Paris. Here you will get to sample fish and seafood of the highest quality and specialities such as a fine selection of rare oysters.

For something completely different, go to Le Wagon Bleu (7 Rue Boursault), a decadent and truly unique restaurant set inside an old Orient Express carriage. The menu is French and Corsican, and you will feel as if you have been transported back in time away from the hustle and bustle of the capital city.  Try the steak with whiskey sauce; you definitely won’t be disappointed by the hearty portions.

For a restaurant that is truly popular with difficult to impress Parisians, check out Le Comptoir du Relais (5 Carrefour de l’Odéon). From the outside it appears to be just another unassuming brasserie but inside top chef Yves Camdeborde’s sophisticated menu features foie gras, truffles, coquilles St Jacques, roast pork and tarte tatin. This place is extremely popular and there are guaranteed to be queues around the block for a table every evening.

Meanwhile duck, veal and risotto are among the very well-presented dishes on the menu at L’Opera restaurant (Place Jacques Rouché).  Refreshingly for Paris, the waiters here are very friendly and anxious to please. Michelin-starred chef Christophe Aribert has created a menu which blends traditional and modern dishes, whilst the venue is the beautifully restored opera house.

Coffee On The Side

Finally, discover what could be the best coffee in Paris at the intimate Cafeotheque (52 Rue de l’Hôtel de Ville). Decent coffee can be hard to find in the city but here they serve bold, rich, and delicious coffee from a wide range of countries including Guatemala, Colombia, Peru, Nicaragua, and Brazil. Your drink comes with a little piece of luxury chocolate from different parts of the world, and the attentive staff are genuinely enthusiastic about the coffee they make.

There is an endless array of off-the-beaten-track eateries in Paris and discovering them can be a real pleasure and a highlight of your visit.  Keep an eye out for hidden gems, and go with an open mind and the desire to sample something different, as well as the well tested and much loved staples.

Can you recommend good places to eat in Paris? Is there a particular type of food you associate with the city?

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Rebecca is a writer, avid traveller and all-round super enthusiastic food lover.  When visiting new cities she just loves discovering their best-kept foodie secrets and culinary gems. She recommends Hotelopia.