10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris

Pain aux ceriales
How about a pain aux céréales?





Here’s my list of Ten Great Things To Eat in Paris – things that I think you shouldn’t miss!

1. Dinner at Les Papilles

This is one of my favorite restaurants, serving delicious well-presented food, at very reasonable prices. Doubling as a wine bar, you pick a wine from the rack on the wall (ask for help, the staff will guide you if necessary) then enjoy your dinner. The menu is fixed, but they’ll make substitutions for vegetarians and the like. Let them know when you make your reservation.

2. Have a falafel.

If you want to see Parisians eating something messy on the street, with far more flair that I can muster, head over to the rue de Rosiers in the Marais. Order at the window, and be sure to ask for extra sauce piquante, if you know what’s good for you. Then retreat with your sandwich to some doorway to chow down. The classic is L’As du Fallafel, which is one of liveliest place on the street. Lately, however, I’ve been more inclined to head over to Maoz on the Left Bank, which lacks the name recognition, but the falafel is really great and the help-yourself condiment bar means you can pile on the pickled vegetables and hot sauce as much as you’d like.

French Butter
Le Beurre d’Isigny


3. Jean-Yves Bordier Butter

In a country where 97% of the butter is pretty terrific (even the stuff you buy in the supermarché) after I tasted this handmade butter from Brittany, I’m spoiled for life and won’t spread any other butter on my morning toast.

M. Bordier makes a few different butters, including one with smoked salt that I’m told is great on fish, and another with seaweed which I’m told is great for making brownies.

Ok. Just kidding on that last one. But I cannot tell a lie: The beurre I’m partial to is the salted butter with delicate flakes of salt strewn throughout, which are delightfully crunchy when smeared on a toasted baguette and a drizzle of dark chestnut or buckwheat honey.

Bordier butter is available at various fromageries around Paris, and they generally keep it in stock at Le Bon Marché and da rosa. (This butter is also exceptional as well.)

4. Duck Confit at Chez Dumonet

A Parisian friend asked, “Why do Americans all want cassoulet when they come to France?“, and he made a grimace suggesting it was too rich. I thought about it, and deduced that since it’s not something one finds easily in the states, like duck confit, it’s one of the things we seek out when crossing the Atlantic.

There’s nothing worse than bad duck confit. Being presented with an greasy, grey slab of meat with flabby skin…is there anything less-appealing? (Well, maybe going to see a double-bill of Carrot Top and Gallagher.) I rarely order it out unless I can get a look at another table’s order before making my decision. The version at Au Trou Gascon is a crispy wonder, but its out-of-the-way location and slightly upscale-ness makes it less-accessible than Chez Dumonet, where I’ve never, ever been disappointed.

Be sure to finish your meal with dessert if you go; the Grand Marnier Soufflé must be ordered in advance. I also urge folks to try the mille-feuille too, which is a wonder of puff pastry magic. The exceptional taste of pure French butter magically is trapped between ultra-light layers of pastry dough with a vanilla-scented cream filling is threatening to slide out from beneath. Neither are ‘nail-in-the-coffin’ rich desserts, so not to worry. And either (or both!) makes the perfect ending to dinner in this classic Parisian bistro.

CBS
Salted Butter Caramels from my hero, Henri Le Roux

5. Butter Caramels

Buttery caramels have been haunting me for years, and the two best ones in Paris at the Henri Le Roux caramels at A l’Etoile d’Or, my favorite candy shop in Paris, and the uber-rich caramels at Jacques Genin. You can’t imagine how they can go so much butter into one little sweet bite, but both are worthy of your attention.

(UPDATE: A l’Etoile d’Or has closed, yet you can get Le Roux caramels at one of their two shops in Paris.)

Jacques makes his caramels daily in various flavors; my favorite is the nature (plain) but I’m also smitten with his mango-passion fruit caramels, which need to be refrigerated, so you’ll have to eat them right away. Which is pretty easy to do.

kouglof

6. Kouglof at Vandermeersch

One bite of the yeasty kouglof at Vandermeersch will make you forget the long métro ride out here. Available only on weekends. The best.

7. Eric Kayser’s Pain aux Cereales

You don’t need me to tell you there are tons of bread in Paris. Everywhere you look is a boulangerie, and new ones are opening all the time; some good some not-so-good. But Eric Kayser, which seems to be opening them as fast as he can, manages to keep the quality as high as possible in all of them. I’ve never had a bread from him I didn’t love, including the slender baguette Monge or his hearty, coarse pain au levain.

Always on the lookout for a good loaf of hearty, grainy bread in Paris, the pain aux cereales here can’t be topped—except maybe by a slab of Cantal or a smear of ripe, pungent brie de Meaux. Light and crunchy, and riddled with lots of millet and sesame seeds, it goes equally well with cheese after dinner as it does for breakfast with some homemade confiture.

Macarons
Macarons in the workshop of Gérard Mulot


8. The Toasted Rice Salad at Lao-Lane Xang

Most people don’t come to Paris for the Asian food. But for those of us living here, it’s a nice break from rich Parisian cuisine. Perhaps once a week I head down to the 13th for Vietnamese or Chinese food.

This Laotian joint at 105, Avenue d’Ivry, is always packed and most people are feasting on the Toasted Rice Salad, served in a lettuce leaf which is filled with crunchy rice and little bits of meat. Even if you’re not a fan of unusual Asian desserts, the combination of coconut milk-based treats, served warm on a banana leaf, are lovely and delicate.

Chocolate-Covered Marshmallows
J’adore!


9. Chocolate-Covered Marshmallows

Did you know you shouldn’t fly with chocolate-covered marshmallows? The change in air pressure can cause them to inflate and deflate, cracking the dark chocolate shell. So you should eat them while you’re here. They have them at Pierre Marcolini and also they’re made on the premises at Fouquet, one of my favorite candy and sweet shops in Paris. At Fouquet, pick up a little bag of croquants, chocolate-covered spice cookies, which are one of my addictions and would make this list, but I was trying to limit this to ten things.

La Maison du Chocolat
La Maison du Chocolat


10. Four Way Tie Between Jean-Charles Rochoux’s Dark Chocolate Bar with Caramelized Hazelnuts, Michel Chaudun’s Peanut-Filled Chocolates, La Maison du Chocolat’s Rigoletto Noir, and Patrick Roger’s Feuilleuntine

These are four of my favorite chocolates in Paris. How does one choose? Luckily, you don’t have to. And if you visit Paris, c’est obligatoire to stop in at each one.

M. Rochoux’s bar is a slab of dark chocolate riddled with hazelnut, each individually-caramelized, and embedded within. At Chaudun, he daringly introduces the locals to peanuts in a chocolate-filling, which he told me was a tough sell to ground peanut-averse Parisians…but not to me. I can’t get enough of them. And be sure to get a box of his mini-sized chocolate pavés too.

What’s not to like about caramelized butter mousse, whipped up until light and fluffy, then enrobed in chocolate? At La Maison du Chocolat, they don’t both wow-ing the public with new or trendy. Which is a good thing, since if they ever discontinued any of their truly sublime chocolates, I’d stage a one-man strike out front. (And next month strike season starts again…so if you see me soon out there on the sidewalk, I’m supporting the cause.)

And at Patrick Roger, I never know what I want when I walk in the door. Except that’s a lie: I know that I do want at least one bite of feuillantines, crackly praline cut in a neat square then covered in a thin coating of dark chocolate. But there’s so many other things to try, I know I should branch out a bit more. And I promise I will.



There’s a few other things that you shouldn’t miss in Paris, but the list was getting out-of-control….

  • Lap up authentic Italian gelato at Pozzetto or Grom. The coffee gelato is particularly good at Grom, as is the Crema di Grom, with bits of polenta cookies studded in the ice cream.

  • Try a double cornet of chocolate and caramel ice cream, or any sorbet, at Berthillon.

  • Elbow the bobo crowds for pizza with roquette and bresaola at Amici Miei pizzeria.

  • Pick up for a picnic a salty, crackly-skin Poulet crapaudine from the chicken lady at the Sunday Bastille market.

  • Tear into a slender ficelle apéritif from Moisan bakery.

  • Dive into un petit sac of glazed madeleines and a great croissant from Blé Sucré.

  • Dig into Chokaria, a slab-like mélange of chocolate and caramel, at L’Atelier du Chocolat.

  • My favorite ham-and-cheese filled buckwheat galette are at Crêperie Bretonne, West Country Girl, and Breizh Café.

  • Order #42 at Le Bambou.

  • Get a handful of tiny chocolate and nature financiers at any Kayser bakery.

  • Check out Dorie Greenspan’s Top Ten List of things to eat in Paris.

  • Cut into a superb steak with excellent fries at Le Sévero

  • Have my favorite lamb mechoui couscous at Chez Omar


    And if you love pastries and chocolates, check out my Paris Pastry app, filled with over 300 of my favorite addresses for hot chocolate, éclairs, buttery croissants, ice cream, from all the sweetest shops in town. The app features location maps, my Top 25 List, opening hours, and lots more!

  • 115 comments

    • Brilliant post! My favorites were the chocolate macarons from Maison Du Chocolat (so much so that I stole my mother’s before it could go stale and ate it without telling her), definitely the falafel (sooooo good!) and the steak frites at that restaurant you took us to that I can’t recall the name of (blast!), maybe as much for my Dad’s huge smile when they gave him seconds. I will be dreaming of Paris tonight! Thank you!

    • How about the Lemon and Rosemary tartlettes at Pain de Sucre on Rue Rambuteau? I don’t think I could ever get tired of them!!

    • David, you should write a new food guide to Paris. I’m sure people say so all the time, but I don’t think Ms. Wells could possibly be irked when you have recommendations like this up your sleeve.
      By the way, a contest where the readers compete to send the blogger to an exotic destination of his choosing is the best idea I’ve heard in a long time. Hehe.

    • Annie: You should be ashamed for snitching your mom’s macaron, although you do get points for the dad-pleasing steak story. L’Entrecote is a great place for steak frites and I’m glad you like it as much as I do. xx

      Vicky: Next time you’re in there, try the Chocolate-Coconut Marshmallows. They’re fabulous!

      Figs Olives Wine: I did propose a pastry and chocolate guidebook to Paris but it got turned down by several publishers citing that guidebooks aren’t big sellers. (Patricia Wells’ book is out-of-print, so maybe they’re right, but Clotlide‘s coming out with an edible guide to Paris that I’m sure is going to knock out everyone…I can’t wait to see it.)

      So instead of using all the loads of cash that I would have made from the guide to use for travel to exotic destinations, I stay home eating Chocolate-Coconut Marshmallows and put all the info here on the site instead.

      Bonne chance for my readers!

    • Saving this! Someday I am coming, and I will completely abandon my South Beach principles while I’m there, no question about it!

    • Great post, but just to pick nits, with the value of the dollar plunging your few euros would buy you even more dollars.

    • Solid cheat sheet for Paris.
      I might go next year, and this will be immensely informative.

    • this rules.

    • This is great — I’m definitely adding this to my Paris travel tips. We’ve checked out a few of your suggestions in the last few years — we love walking and stay in the 13th, so we were starting to wonder if the Creperie Bretonne was really worth it and as you get close to the place, it doesn’t look like much, but the crepes were great (love the one with the oeuf mollet on top).

      And we’ve had the mechoui at Chez Omar — so much food. Go there hungry, for sure.

      As for L’As du Falafel, my husband is still raving about it and he’s not so much of a veggie guy. There was a huge long lineup the day we went, and we weren’t sure if it would be worth waiting, but we’d walked forever to get there so we waited. They had someone come along the line, take orders, and get your money. Paul gave our order, took a piece of paper, paid, saw the guy do a few more in the line and then leave. Just as he started to wonder if he’d fallen for some “dumb tourist” scam, the fellow returned with his change. (As a scam, it obviously could work quite well, no?) Paul was really impressed with how quickly they moved putting together the falafels in production line efficiency so that the large crowd got fed quickly. (I was only impressed secondhand ’cause I was shopping in the nearby fab shops). It started to pour with accents of thunder and lightening and we huddled in a doorway happily munching on our dripping falafel.

      All because you wrote a great post and I followed your advice!

    • I think I might have to fly out there and kick your ass for posting this. The last thing this pregnant lady needs is to see those gorgeous chocolate covered marshmallows knowing she can’t have any. It’s a good thing I love you so.

    • Joy: Now there’s an image for my readers…getting my butt kicked by a pregnant woman!

    • What a great list! I love it that L’As was #2. That is always our first meal in Paris. Something about jetlag and falafel (and so much of the hot sauce we used all of ours and had to steal some from the table to next to us!). I just heard that Damman’s has closed and was replaced by a yucky crepe shop. How sad. Their cerise sorbet is also on my must list.

      Also on my list, but not really related to food, is all kinds of office and school supplies from Monoprix. The little notebooks that are the right size for a handbag, and the cool folders that are a bit oversize due to the paper size difference and that fold over your work and then have an elastic closure. Why Office Depot doesn’t have them, I don’t know. But I always bring some back.

      The new must have for me from you list is the marshmallow. MMMMM. Fluffy wonder….

    • That’s it! I need to get back to Paris. I feel like I barely got to anything last time I was there but I suppose I will always feel like that about Paris.

    • Thank you for another great list – I am most definitely going to find some of those caramels!

      My next trip through Paris is a three hour stop between trains for lunch and I shall be racing off to Chez Michel. I pray they have the kouign aman on the lunch menu!

      A memorable venue I went to on my last trip was Chez l’Ami Jean (27 rue Malar, 7e). Tiny tables meant that we dined shoulder to shoulder with our neighbours, but the food made up for any unintentional intimacy with strangers! Braised belly, cheek and fillet of pork on lentils was amazing but this paled next to the riz au lait which followed. A tray (longer than the table was wide!) arrived with three bowls on it, one with confiture de lait lightened with whipped cream, another with more thinned down milk jam for drizzling and a GIANT bowl of velvety rice pudding with just a hint of caramel to it in the centre. All eaten with the supplied wooden spoon. Unforgettable!

    • David, I am printing this out so I can visit these places the next time I am in town. Thank you!

    • Materfamilias: Yes, Creperie Bretonne is a sleeper. I love the guy who makes the crêpes…he looks like he just stepped out of a Breton lighthouse!

      btw: There’s a new-ish creperie in the Marais, Breiz Café (109, rue Vieille de Temple) which is supposed to be quite good and convenient for people that don’t want to venture out too far.

      Lucy: And you’re the first person I’m going to when I visit Lyon.

      Val: That’s funny, because I always bring back notebooks from America since I don’t like the grids in French books. They don’t have those great folders in America since people don’t have to deal with the amount of paperwork that we have to deal with in France ; )

      Lisa: I guess it’s just wishful thinking…

      Lewis: L’Ami Jean is great and recently I went with someone who loved the Basque linen napkins…so they gave them to her!

    • Oh, my God, l’As at Rue des Roisiers… Now, I’ve only been in Paris twice, for less than a week both times, during the last years. But I stumbled on the place early on one of my first visits and to me it’s already more Paris than the Louvre!

    • Mar: What’s the Louvre? Sounds delicious.
      Is it a bakery I missed??

    • Those macarons in Gerard Mulot’s workshop are so colorful! Thanks for always taking the time to answer these questions we all have! Much appreciated! A friend of mine just came back from Paris, she just missed your great list!

    • I’m just about struck dumb with all these goodies!
      I can add that the plate of “sauteed” chicken livers (not chopped) and onions with all the chopped veggies at L’As du Falafel is to die for.

      I do love Pierre Herme’s Kouign Amman, but then you told me about that…

    • David..great list…I’m taking my parents to Paris for the first time this October…I have forwarded them this list (although they seem a tad more interested in the non-food related “sights” in Paris (for shame)).

      Chez Dumonet is a fantastic bistro. We were there on our last trip to Paris..during game season (I had the wild boar, hubby had the “wild ‘air” (bunny)). As an aside, Princess Caroline, her hubby and friends were at the table beside ours…they ordered 2 (!!) 1963 magnums of Bordeaux..and proceeded to share the leftovers with bar. So soufflee and 1963 Bordeaux for dessert!!

      Love you and the site!!

    • Patricia Wells’ “The Foodlover’s Guide to Paris” is out of print? I love that book! I even have it indexed with little tabs that stick out the sides of the pages. And the book has recipes. It’s a great book, but the edition I have was printed in 1999, so certainly some things have changed. Maybe it’s time now for your version of the Foodlover’s Guide?

    • Butter? Salted Caramels!!?? Chocolate-covered marshmallows?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

      If only I could cancel my weekend plans and fly over for a few days to indulge……. ah, that would be bliss!

    • Excellent, excellent! I was already starting to raid your archives, but this is exactly what I would have been looking for :)

      PS> I think Bloglines is having trouble with your feed – it shows last updated Aug. 5th.

    • I will remember to try all of these things when I go to Paris one day… sigh a girl can dream. The macarons are so colorful, they almost look like little trinkets.

    • Oh David, you remain (as always!) my hero. What a fab list and lots of new stuff for me to try, despite having been to Paris 7 times.

      I’m with you on the Berthillon caramel ice cream – my favourite sorbet is definitely the orange sanguine. Sublime. I have to disagree on the Pierre Herme macarons though – the olive and vanilla blew me away and still does (even though the Arabesque is yummy too ;-)). And everyone should buy one Isphahan just to learn what attention to detail really is. I had the best sandwich I have ever eaten from a nondescript little boulangerie near the Jardin de Luxembourg 2 years ago. It was a fresh baguette with a slick of good mayo instead of butter (or, blech, margarine – why does that stuff even still exist??), excellent RIPE vine tomatoes, slices of feta cheese and fresh mint. Incredibly good and I wish I could remember where the place was. They also did fantastic individual tartes au citron and au chocolat. Sigh.

      I have been tempted by the Pierre Marcolini marshmallows but never gave in – now I know I should have. Love the trivia about what air pressure does to the coating! And that photo of macarons at Gerard Mulot is sheer macaron poetry.

    • perfect timing david, i’ve just booked a long weekend trip! i’ll look in the left panel for other tips too ;)

    • Dude, they are so dumb not to have you write that book. How about the NYtimes or Gourmet, special foodie section? You have the best addresses and know how and taste buds. Makes me want to jump on a plane right now.

      ps That macaron shot is fabulous!

    • —sorry for calling you dude— that old californian in me rises up out of nowhere sometimes.

    • In the 7th, on the Rue Amelie, there’s a restaurant called Chez Pierrot which is incongruously filled with tourists on a regular basis, often a bad sign – but in this case, rightly so. Order the confit de canard there; I beg of you. It is writhe-in-naked-good duck.

      Oh, and of course – Christian Parra’s Boudin Noir, fried up with a little oil and spread liberally on the finest baguettes in Paris.

    • Perfect timing–and much appreciated–this offers a checklist for an upcoming visit. I’ll be staying a few doors up from l’Etoile d’Or and now I see that that could be a very expensive thing. (If you want someone to buy your falafel at the ‘other’ place and bring it to you while you hide round the corner let me know.)

    • David, I must admit I was sooo close to asking exactly this question from you before making it to Paris for the first time in May 2006! However, even back then your blog was most informative – we did try to check out L’As du Falafel (on a Saturday, stupidly:), and followed your advice on markets. But we obviously need to come again, as most of the things on the list we didn’t manage to do.
      I understand you’re available for hire as a personal chocolate tour guide in Paris? As long as we pay for your all-expenses-covered trip to Tahiti? No?
      Great post:)

    • Relax, David, I can save you the worry that you might be missing something at the place across the street from l’As du Falafel…you’re not! Having also heard the rumors, we tried it a couple of months ago and it was nowhere near as good…dry, not enough sauce, altogether much less appealing. Stick to the Ace.

      And thanks for the reminder about A l’Etoile d’Or, pigtailed ladies and caramel beurre salé…great reasons to go. By the way, I’m trying to get that baguette Monge to leap from the screen to my mouth…fabulous!

    • I’m confused! My boss and wife travel to Paris twice annually and rave about Lemon Tartlets. I was certain the big, glorious photo above meant the tarts were mentioned on your Top 10 list, but alas, I can’t see that they are. Am I overlooking this item on the list? I even did a “Control F – Find” for the bakery or tart, and nope! Hmmm.

    • Oh my Lord, what a slice of heaven. Especially the salted caramels – I’m in love with the Fran’s sea salt caramels we have in Seattle, but they can’t possibly compare.

      Also, I feel sick and dirty and ashamed that I ate at the Champs-Elysees McDonalds on my sole trip to Paris in 1996. I was young, and stupid. Very, very, stupid. I my defense, I didn’t have this delectable list to help me!

    • Laduree: I can’t get past the salted-butter-caramel macaron. It is every time my gateway taste of Paris (which my husband tolerates only because he has already had a banana-Nutella crepe from the creperie around the corner…).

    • Mmmm. :-) Things I like to have when in Paris include a liquorice macaron from Ladurée, not only because it tastes very good, but also because a black macaron looks cool, and a tartelette Ispahan from Hermé, because one can never have too much rose-flavoured pastry. Lucky they’re on the same street, and close to the Jardin du Luxembourg.
      (Pssssttt, David: I think Bordier is in Saint-Malo, which is in Bretagne, albeit not so far from Normandy. Don’t know where the milk he uses comes from though.)

    • the sandwich shop attached to the cafe de la place, just across from the edgar quinet station – it’s owned by joseph and he makes the best sandwiches i had in the city. he made me one with chicken and figs that was spectacular, but it’s not on the menu.

      to be honest, i was not that impressed with the duck confit at chez dumonet. maybe that was just because i was alone and american and they turned their noses way WAY up at me.

      you left off a cheese plate at fromagerie 31; perhaps not the most exciting place to eat but always friendly and a great place to try new cheeses and actually remember what they are.

      do you know, david, do any of the chocolate places ship things? I was traveling in spain after paris so all the chocolate would have melted, but o! i so miss rouchaux!

    • What a timely post! I’m taking my first ever trip to Paris in a week and I am glad to take ALL of your recommendations. Merci.

    • Great googly moogly…this entry almost made me cry tears of happiness and joy and joyful happiness.

      This will be my guide next time I go to Paris. Thanks! :)

    • I’m totally craving duck confit right now. … Superb photo of the macaroons.

    • At Laduree the fruit tart is amazing. Framboises, fraises, et bluets! Amazing!

      The only thing I REFUSE to share food-wise.

    • Caramel Eclairs at Maison du Chocolate. I’m not usually one who goes for the eclair, but being a caramel freak I decided to try it. Seriously one of the best pastries EVER! Such great burnt sugar flavour, not soggy, just perfect.

    • I am at the tail end of a week in Paris, staying in the 6th. I have eaten my way through several tablettes du chocolat, many croissants, tartes and all manner of sweeties and breads. The highlight, I must say, was the Laduree macaron made with orange flower water. It beat out the other seven flavors I tried and even the half dozen assorted pastries I got at Gerard Mulot on pas de la Mule. The other highlight of the trip was seeing Juliette Binoche buying mini quiches at the marche biologiques on Blvd Raspail on Sunday morning.

      Oh yes, I found this insanely delicious yogurt at the Bon Marche. It comes in a little glass pot and is called La Ferme du Manege. Try the hazelnut (noisette). Crazeee!!

    • I just made your caramel ice cream and it was outstanding. However, my new Cuisinart ICE-50BC ice cream maker was a disappointment. I know you said you have good results. After 60 minutes I just had a soup mixture with no chill. I think I have a machine that is not working. This was my first use of the machine so I thought I would check with you regarding the response I should expect from this machine.

      Sorry for posting this comment here but I could not figure out how to post it with the original article.

    • David,

      What a wonderful site!! I wanted to surprise my wife and children next week when we are zipping around Paris, by scheduling a context chocolate tour with you, but wanted to check with you first if you would be okay (and thought it okay) for a tour with an 11 yo girl, 9 yo boy, and 6 yo girl. They are sort of typical precocious little jewish new york kids, and all (especially my wife) LOVE all things chocolate. But before I jumped in, I wanted to check with you.

    • Now do you think it’s fair to post about Paris
      when we are stuck in America?

    • thks david for the exhaustive list but how does a vegetarian(no fish too!) eat in Paris? i have endured 5 courses of just different coloured salad leaves; a terrible meal in a well recommended veg french restaurant; a plate of small portions of various boiled lentils arranged in a nice circle(if that made it any better)..the list is long

      i would love to hear your recommendations and i prefer not eating indian while in Paris; i like to experiment with various cuisines even fusion-that would be great actually!

      i dread my yearly sept trip to Paris foodwise…

    • dhruti: Paris isn’t exactly, um…vegetarian-friendly. I sometimes eat at a vegetarian Chinese place on rue Chemin Vert so I might suggest searching for Asian options like the place I mentioned in the 13th.

      Murry: I hope the suggestions I emailed to you help you out.

      Nellie: French yogurt is great, isn’t it. I’m a ‘plain’ kinda guy, but your description may convert me!

      TamiM: Anything at La Maison du Chocolat is excellent, and next time I stop by, I’m getting an eclair for sure!

      (SamMoi:I don’t share anything! Is that wrong??)

      Sarah: I’m pretty sure Patrick Roger ships (as does La Maison du Chocolat and Henri Le Roux).

      Véronique: Merci! They’re so close, but thanks for the correction. And I’ve even been to St. Malo.

      Megan: I love Fran’s sea salt caramels too! Don’t worry about going to the McDo’s on the Champs-Elysées—you were probably surrounded by Parisians!

      And thanks for reminding me about Fromagerie 31 (31, rue de Seine). I do recommend them to a lot of visitors, since it’s one of the few places you can just get plates of cheese (and wine, bien sûr!) to taste. And they’re really nice too : )

    • I have to admit, I didn’t find Pozzetto worth the trip all the way across the city last summer, not with Amorino stores being far more prevalent. And Amorino’s yoghurt is my favorite — couple that with their dark chocolate or l’initimable (Nutella, I think) and it’s a real winner.

    • Le sigh … But you forgot to mention the additionally yummy item at L’As — les hommes! What a bunch of cuties at that place, at least the day we were there.

    • When in Paris, I eat gorgeous, delicious, and not-too-sweet pastries from Sadaharu Aoki. I think they should be on your list, too!

    • I love this list! I’ll add a réligieuse for my husband’s sake. He loves those and always gets one straight off the plane. Of course, I always get one, too, and the rest of the patisseries in the shop while I’m at it. It’s that reaction of the famished.

      He loves Kouign Aman, too, but I am less of a fan. If you have any tips on where to find a really good one of those in Paris, please let me know!

    • hi David,

      I have really enjoyed reading about Paris. I have never been. I am adding it to wish list.(well a girl’s gotta dream)

      I have also put your blog on my food blogroll.
      If you get a minute, have a look at my UK blog.

      love linda x

    • I’ve had similar trouble to Murray with my refurbished Cuisinart ICE-50BC from amazon…

      It does pretty well if I halve ice cream recipes, but it I try to make a whole quart it usually doesn’t freeze all the way through. I know something can’t be right as we have the same model at work and it makes perfect ice cream every time…

      On another note, can anyone recommend a decent place to stay if you’re traveling alone, a student, and speak very rudimentary french? I keep fantasizing about a trip to Paris, but I keep worrying I’ll get off the plane and feel totally lost.

    • Hi Lisa: You can find a great list of tips for the first-time visitor to Paris here.

      In spite of their reputation, most Parisians are helpful and friendly, and even the smallest budget hotels, the desk clerks almost invariably speak English since it’s either the first or second language to a lot of visitors. (Still, it’s nice to learn a couple of words in French to be polite, bien sûr…)

      Sean: I haven’t forgotten about them at all— I was keeping them a secret…didn’t want there to be a stampede on the rue des Rosiers!

      Blame it On Paris: Although not authentic, the one at Pierre Hermé and Ladurée isn’t bad. I’ve heard at some of the outdoor markets there are Breton people selling them (don’t buy a pre-packaged one, though) but I don’t know which market. If anyone knows, let me know too!

      Fr Chris: Pozzetto now has 3 locations, although they aren’t as convenient as Amorino. There’s a new gelato shop in the rue des Martyrs called Caramella that’s worth checking out.
      (They’re listed in my Paris Ice Cream round-up.)

    • Hi David,
      I just found your site and love it! I’m so jealous wishing i was in Paris. I’ll just have to eat vicariously! I think my one of the best things I had in Paris was a warm brioche with orange marmalade and foie gras…Heavenly

    • I’m going to be in Paris for five days at the end of September, staying at the Agora Saint-Germain.
      On my previous visit to Paris, about half a doz years ago, I visited Berthillon, had falafel and raided too many patisseries for me to actually remember what the hell I *ate* because of being in a catatonic sugar state, but this time, I will go armed with your list and be somewhat more selective! : )

    • A Nutella-banana crepe from a street vendor. (Sorry if someone’s already mentioned it — I didn’t want to torture myself by reading all the comments — I have an empty pantry right now.)

    • I was so excited to read the article about you in The Boston Globe. In May 2008 I’ll be spending two weeks in Provence and four days in Paris. This will be my second time in Paris. I’m so excited to discover your blog. Any suggestions about Provence? Every time I see or hear anything about Paris I get goose bumps. I love it!

    • My husband and I dined at Chez Dumonet last night and we have to say “C’est Magnifique!” What an incredible way to spend our last night in Paris (although we may return after running the Marathon du Medoc this Saturday).

      The duck confit was sublime, the seared foie gras was spectacular. However, we thought we were being Punk’d when the herring arrived. Granted, you DID warn that the dish was enormous, but seriously — I couldn’t imagine ordering it with fewer than 4-6 people. I’m not as enamored of smoked fish (other than the salmon we get in the Pacific Northwest), but my husband — who’s of Norwegian descent — managed to make the best of it. However, he called “uncle” after eating about 6 of the fillets (I swear there were at least 12 of them!).

      And the souffle? Again, incredible, but it was definitely one to be shared. We ordered a bottle of Barsac to go along with our desserts (my husband ordered the millfeuille), but after one bite of the souffle I questioned our decision — one could easily get drunk off of the dessert!

      If the walk back to our hotel in the 5th didn’t work off the calories, I’m sure the marathon will. Thank you again for your suggestions! (In addition to Chez Dumonet, we also got to try the falafel at L’as).

    • Just read yours for the first time. It’s going to be another fun one. Wherever did I find it? Thanks.

    • David,
      A dear friend with a major sweet tooth will be spending a couple of weeks in Paris I believe in October. We were talking the other day about canales (I never can remember how to spell it…) Could you give us some suggestions on where the best version of these delicious morsels might be found?

      Thanks so much for your blog and newsletter. I feel like I can just about taste the goodies you write about and I love “The Perfect Scoop” – first try was the Vietnamese Coffee ice cream – in my cheapie Cuisinart ice cream maker – it came out perfect and didn’t get icy even after several days!
      Best regards,
      Karen

    • Hi Karen: The most authentic cannelés in Paris are at the Gare Montparnasse (yes, the train station.) There’s a kiosk that sells them from a place in Bordeaux called ‘Ballardain’ (my spelling may be off.) Other places like Laduree and Pierre Hermé have respectable ones as well, but many places in Paris have them. Just go for the darkest ones—they’re the best!

    • We just came back from France last week. Spent a few days in Paris then went to Nice and Provence. We went to Chez Dumonet one evening. My wife tried the duck confit and felt that it was a little too crispy… I had the beef bourguignon which was fantastic. The souffle was great and so was the millefeuille that my wife had. We also ate at Le Bambou which was a nice break from all the french cooking…

      But we felt our best meal in Paris was at Le Timbre. It’s a very small restaurant run by an English guy. The lone waitress was friendly and helpful. The meal was great especially the millefeuille for the dessert…. it was unbelievable. We didn’t have one bad meal while in France, but if we had to pick our favourite, it was our lunch at La Reserve in Nice. If you’re in that neighbourhood, you have to go. The view and the food was spectacular. My wife had an amazing seafood risotto and I had a fantastic nicoise salad and some grilled shrimps….

    • Thanks a lot for your blog. It is extraordinary. I just came back from a low fat yoghurt+figue cone at Pozzetto in rue de Roi du Sicile. The figue tasted soooo gooood!. I asked and they will probably not have them on the menu for too long. You’d better check it out before it is too late….I actually had a small figue cup after that, just in case

    • Hi David!
      I found your blog about a week before I left to spend five weeks here in the amazing city of Paris, and needless to say, I would love to get my hands on any of this, but I just need to find the time. Just stopping in to say thanks! :)

    • It’s been TOO LONG since I was in Paris, but I remember the most luscious flourless almond pound cake at Calixte on Isle-St-Louis.

      Is it still there???

    • Pierre Herme’s passion fruit/chocolate macaroon is my favorite, but I can’t leave without one of their croissants. The almond croissant is just like Julia describes. The last time I had a raspberry croissant that was to die for.

      Boulangerie Gana in the 20th takes my breath away every time I enter the shop. It just oozes traditional French charm and baking.

      I missed you at the Bastille market last weekend, hopefully I’ll get to say hi in a couple weeks at the creamery in San Francisco.

      p.s. i like your anti-spam challenge question. it’s much nicer than trying to copy a bizarre image of letters.

    • Chouquettes! On my recent trip, I saw them in the first of many bakeries I stepped into — remembered them from your blog and bought a little bag. Ohhhh! Many more baggies were bought that week from many more bakeries… began to forego the metro in favor of walking. Besides being delicious, you can easily sneak one into your mouth on the street quickly without being noticed.. so I think. They are divine.

    • Stumbled upon your site while sitting in an apartment in the Marais looking for a US source for preserved Moroccan lemons so as to decide whether to cram some into my already over-stuffed suitcase or order them when I get home. Your recipe for making them at home is welcome. I’ll probably do both. But I enjoyed perusing your website. I have been coming to Paris on and off for 32 years, and since my very first afternoon in Paris in 1976 when I stumbled upon Berthillon quite by accident, I have been collecting favorite food tips and locations. Not living here, I tend to focus more on my neighborhood (almost always the Marais). I could not agree more about the As du Fellafel, and was quite interested to see how they’ve fixed it up (a bit) since my last visit three years ago. I wonder if you’ve considered adding Les Philosophes tarte tatin a la tomate to the list of foods not to miss. The recipe is on their website, but it’s much nicer to have them make it and serve it to you (especially as it can be so easily followed by their confit de canard aux épices et miel. The best confit would be a tough contest, but certainly theirs should be in the running). I haven’t finished making my way through your site, but I haven’t yet seen any suggestions about where to find the best cheeses. I’m probably outside the norm in this regard, but I’d give up chocolate for cheese any day. Of course, the best cheeses are less difficult to find than the best bread, but since the demise of La Ferme St. Hubert about 5 years ago, and the closing of Androuet, one has to feast on cheese at home (or al fresco). And Androuet’s shop in the rue Mouffetard market is small but well stocked and if a bit expensive, everything is superior in quality.

      Thanks for a very interesting site.

    • hi Barry: There’s so many great cheese shops here, that’s it’s hard to name any one in particular that’s better than the others. Some have great mountain cheeses while others specialize in goat or other cheeses.

      There are a few famous ones (I do like Quatrehomme, 62 rue de Sèvres, quite a bit, since they have a great selection and they’re really helpful, too) but I generally go to the trusty fromager at my market in the Bastille or the march d’Aligre, and get my cheese from them.

    • David, the next time you are at Eric Kayser, and they have it, try their tarte aux framboises. I had some time to kill of an afternoon, and sat in the branch at Rue de L’Ancienne Comedie with a pot of tea and a tarte. It was so good, I got tears in my eyes.

      Thank you for the tip on flying with chocolate covered marshmallows. Did you also know the humidity on the typical plane is only 18%? My secret is to keep a glass of water on the tray table at all times; it evaporates and you get a slightly better humidity level.

    • Oh I wish I had your list when we went to Paris. My husband and I were only there for a few days, but managed to sample the obvious things. Croissants, cheese, baguettes, etc… We also tried out this cute little Italian place across from our hotel called Pizza Tina. Awesome ham and mushroom pizza! I’ll bring your list next time we go. Merci!

    • There is an amazing, authentic Senegalese food in the 16th arrondissement off the Metro Chateau Rouge. It’s called Le Nioumre, and I really recommend Thiéboudienne (fish) and Yassa (chicken)…they’re not too exotic or anything, but just so well cooked you just keep eating them until you’re sick.
      Anywhoo, i do recommend this place.

    • I don’t know who you are (I happened upon you googling what to do in Paris on Sunday) but you are absolutely the most inspiring thing (or person) I’ve ever read on the internet and I’m surfing all the time! Thank you so very much for these yummy ideas.

      I have one question though. Where and what is #1 on this list. It doesn’t come up for me.

      Thank you,

      N

    • Hi Nancy:

      #1 had closed, so I added a favorite restaurant-Les Papilles in their place. Enjoy!

    • Just want to add- try the millefeulle at Le Dome de Montparnasse. Amazing!

    • I’ve lurked for awhile admiring your site and the food pictures hopelessly but figured I would crawl out to thank you for all your Paris recommendations. I don’t know what I’ll do when I leave Paris at the end of my semester and return to a world that isn’t bursting at the seams with patisseries and boulangeries and cheese shops :\

    • David-

      I love the blog, but while I’m sure l’As du falafel is good, the best shwarma/falafel I’ve had in Paris (and I’ve tried Israeli, Lebanese, etc..) was definitely at Shwarma King. Weird name, but they make pita shwarma loaded high with meat, delicious veggies (especially perfect eggplant on top) and plenty of tahini.

      When I was in Paris last I made sure to stop by. When I told the chef that their shwarma was better than anything I had in Israel, he gave a coy smile and replied, “I know”. You should check it out.

    • I tried the link to Pierre Marcolini but it didn’t lead to anything. Where else can I get the marshmallows? I’ll be in Roanne at L’ecole de Trois Ponts (for French immersion and pastry course, have you heard of it?) from 6/28 through 7/4 and then Paris from 7/4-6….so I’ll have some time to find them.

    • Joanna: I updated the link, so you can contact them to find out where else they’re available. Enjoy!

    • Just a heads up for anyone making a list of places to visit: Ballardain, the kiosk selling cannelés in Gare Montparnasse train station, has closed. Went by there yesterday and the new shop in their place said they were no longer there. Don’t know if they have moved anywhere, or are gone forever. This unexpected vacancy has only intrigued me more, and I am now on the hunt for a delicious example of a caramel-crunchy custardy cannelé. Say that five times fast.

    • Julie: Yes, I heard they’d closed down the kiosk. Well, since you were there, the train to Bordeaux is only 3+ hours away ; )

    • An excellent place to sit, drink delicious wine and eat too much Aligot Saucisse is La Butte Aveyronnaise (12 rue de la Butte aux Cailles, 13th arrondissement).
      Decorated in red and white “vichy”, the restaurant has very friendly staff and a terrasse that is just perfect for an apéro. Seeing the owner dexterously plate the aligot table-side is sure to make you want to stay for dinner. And a digestif…
      By far, one of my favorites.

    • You know recommending specific restaurants in Paris is a bit silly because you can close your eyes, spin around three times and open them to find 10 really great ones. Having said that though I have my favorite restaurants, boulangeries and patisseries too. My favorite boulangerie is in the 7th at the end of Rue Cler on Del la Motte Picquet. It’s so non-distinct that it actually doesn’t seems to have a visible name, just boulangerie (you’ll notice it by the line out the door). Note that this is NOT the one on Rue Cler that Rick Steves goes on about which is staffed by all English speaking people that are a bit terse and bake mediocre breads.

      One day when my boulangerie was closed I made a loop through the neighborhood to try the others and I can say that “mine” is the best but even having said that I’d take the worst over what I have in Seattle.

    • I loved the crepes from the St. Germain des pres crepe stand, yes they were street food, but soooo incredible.
      Also there’s a souffle restaurant in a quiet spot that is almost exclusive to Parisians across from Arny’s (forgot the name of the restaurant or area) that is exquisite: food, service, and atmosphere. I’d recommend the asparagus souffle and the caramel salt souffle.
      Orient Express on rue du Dragon was a fine dining experience with cordial staff and wonderful food. I would go there for the best Asian food in Paris any day, even for the price. Try to sit at a table downstairs, where the waiter knows everyone and makes you feel like a star.

    • David, thank you for this wonderful list of food items to seek out in the stunning city of Paris. My husband and are planning a late honeymoon in this city and since he has been but I have not, I continue to research all I can about food and places to stay.

      Any suggestions for a couple looking for a look at the real Paris, not the typical tourist view, for a cozy budget-friendly place to stay?

      Looking forward to more info from you in the future.

      Ciao,
      Annette

    • had the most wonderful sausage crepe today @ boulevard de clichy – just outside the metro Blanche! can’t remeber the name of the store, but it’s the left most store selling panini and crepes (in a row of 3 consecutive stores selling almost the same thing).

      i had NEVER had such wonderful crepe! the cheese was FABULOUS (generally i dont’ fancy cheese cos’ its too heavy, but this was warm, chewy and had the most pleasant subtle cheese taste!). coupled with the warm sausage ooozzzing with its own oils…i can say – that is THE BEST crepe i had ever had in my whole life! (then again, we don’t have tt many crepe stores in asia).

      and…another must try – Amorino gelato! the pistascho ice cream is seriously HEAVENLY! really warm nutty flavor, speckled with more delicious pistachos! and they even present your ice cream as a flower (and i was wondering why they didn’t just make a big scoop…when i saw the ice cream, then i know..)

      gosh, i’m not a foodie, and eat just to fill my stomach…this trip to paris is gonna convert me into one!!

    • David,
      Thanks so much for your suggestions and restaurant recommendations. I was in Paris last week, and my friend was teasing me for carrying around a printout of your web site and checking off places/foods as we tried them! Loved the Bordier butter. Got it demi-sel, and I’ve been dreaming about it since I’ve been back. Also loved the Patrick Roger Feuilleuntine — absolute perfection. And Cuisine de Bar was delightful! I introduced it to my friend, who lives just around the corner from it but hadn’t heard of it; he was very impressed that I was in the know. :) One day I will have to return to try the rest of the items/places on your list!

      Best,
      Catherine

    • I recently moved to Paris to attend culinary school and your blog has been the most wonderful foodie guide to my new home. I want to sincerely thank you for your delightful and insightful blogs.

    • David, we brought some of those chocolate covered marshmallows back to Toronto and they survived! I kept them in a Lock n’ Lock container and put them in my checkin luggage. I figured even if they get all cracked and not pretty, I still love to eat them all! Thanks for recommending Pierre Marcolini , the store is so cool. I can’t wait to try the chocolate with spices that we brought back too.

    • You’re close about Berthillon, but my favorite combination there is semisweet chocolate and pear. The pear tastes more like a pear than a pear does.

    • My first Parisian bread was Eric Kayser’s Pain aux Cereales.
      Bliss!

      I have been going through his entire selection and recommend all.

      I was living in Montmartre and recommend Le Grenier à Pain as well.

      It is lovely with a September tomato and basil mustard.

      Merci, Randy a San Franciscan.

    • David – you are the best because you share your knowledge with others with such generosity. You’re so inspiring. Thank you so much.

      What I crave today is a Salade du Sud-Ouest . . .

      Tomorrow, it will be something else . . .

    • Suis d’accord. Went to the fallafel place across the street from L’As du fallafel last week, the fries were great, but the fallafel not so. Now if we can get these two to merge, wouldn’t that be fallafel heaven!

    • Dear David

      Thank you for your great efforts at making this blog so amazing. When I went to Paris last year, your blog was my guide to Paris. All I had to do was to get your list and compile other foodie places that you have been raving about. You should totally do a guide to Paris’ food scene! You can tell that publisher that someone will buy it (I promise I will). OH! And while I was waiting in line to get into a restaurant, I saw people clutching food guidebooks waiting in line as well. It shows that your recommendations are good (if not better) than a guidebook!

      The food I had were simply amazing and it seemed as if I didn’t have enough room for all that I wanted to try! I went to A l’Etoile de’Or but it was closed citing vacation for the shop or something. I did so want to try the caramels you were and are always raving about.

      Anyway, I digress. Sadaharu Aoki is an amazing patissier and he has two stores in Paris. His pastries are amazing. I especially like his sesame eclair which is unique and delicious. I love Pierre Herme and I could marry him if I could eat his macaroons and Ispahans everyday. 5 days was not enough for me to get my fill of Paris. I do envy you that you get to live in Paris everyday. Just as well, as a student, I do not have bottomless wealth. I was lucky that I saved up money during my Europe trip for Paris considering that I spent most of my spending money (close to 400 euros) on chocolates and sweets thanks to your recommendations!

      I saw your video blog about your new book and I have placed my order immediately after. I wish I can get it immediately and I wonder when on earth I will get it! Thank you for being so wonderful.

      Your avid reader
      Annsley

    • Thank you thank you everyone for all your great ideas… and I just discovered David’s book and I am soo excited to read it…. I am going to Paris in 3 weeks May 17th and then will also spend a week in Spain. I am soo excited….and I have even found a bakery and a restaurant that I can have some bread at since I have a gluten intolerance….. and I have been told that all the Macaroons are made with Almond flour so I am hoping that is true!!!!!!!!! Cant wait to read the Macroon book….. I love to cook… One question: Will the butter travel home… I love Brittany sea salt so I can only imagine the butter is soooo tasty…
      Thanks.
      Lisa Torres

    • May I add: a slice of Fleur de Chine from Christian Constant (how can anything that light taste so intense?) and the multi-grain, seed-crusted ficelle (?) from Bread & Roses, both in the 6th near Jardin Luxembourg… oh yes I’m in Paris RIGHT NOW and having the time of my life. In fact I may never leave.

    • david – i got those marshmallows last week from the pierre marcolini store in kuwait. luckily they’d just had a new shipment as they’d been sold out earlier. great tip. they were delicious along with a shot of espresso =)