What do you need to eat in Paris? and where to find it!
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It's a marvel to start your day by just sniffing the smell of fresh baguettes and croissants, but there is so much more to try! Below is a list of the essentials I prepared to help you for your next trip to Paris or just to tease you!
1. Croissant & Café
Much more than a simple pastry, the croissant, in all its buttery splendor, is recognized as a symbol of France. While many outside the country have tried to replicate it, there's no better place to enjoy the classic treat than from a Parisian boulangerie.
🇫🇷 The croissant by Maison d’Isabelle Leday
Recognized as the best Parisian croissant of 2018, Isabelle Leday's (formerly of Maison Pichard) classic confection could easily snag the prize for a second time. Situated in place Maubert, in the heart of the Latin Quarter, Maison Isabelle is where you go to find a classic version of a croissant. Generously buttered, and delightfully crispy, her unique recipe uses flour from Moulins de Brasseuil and butter from Pamplie dairy farmers.
47ter Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75005 Paris
2. Pain au chocolat
This chocolate croissant, as it’s often referred to in English, is generally served as breakfast or a snack. À mon avis (in my opinion), they are best served warm. You can go to la boulangerie (bakery) and buy one.
3. Croque Monsieur
I will be frank, it’s a French version of the American grill cheese! Really! Oui! A toasted ham and cheese sandwich that is one of the true staples of simple French cuisine
The title Croque Monsieur comes from “croquer”, to bite and “monsieur” meaning mister. It's literally a gentleman's sandwich. It first appears in literature in a Proust book, In Search of Lost Time in 1918,
The first records of the Croque Monsieur date back to 1910, when the sandwich appeared on Parisian café menus. Two cafés, Le Trou dans le Mur (The Hole in the Wall) and the Café de la Paix, situated across from each other along the lively Boulevard des Capucines, both claimed to be the first to serve the sandwich.
🇫🇷 Here’s where to find the best Croque-Monsieur in Paris: les Deux Margots
I try to stay away from tourist-swarmed locations but for historical reasons this one is quite busy with visitors, and rightfully so! Their croque-Monsieur is properly traditional and the most classic version of this dish.
4. Croque Madame
The title Croque Madame comes from “croquer”, to bite and “Madame”. It's literally a woman’s sandwich and there is an addition of an egg on the top unlike the Croque-Monsieur.
🇫🇷 Here’s where to find a good Croque-Monsieur in Paris: le Café Du Marché des Enfants Rouges
This is my favorite place to go for breakfast or lunch when I stay in the Marais.
You are few steps away from the oldest food market called Les Enfants Rouges ... On Sunday, local brunch fans head to L'Estaminet, a restaurant tucked away in the heart of the market, or to La Petite Fabrique.
It's not just a ham baguette with butter – it's an institution!
Crusty bread, salty ham, lashings of butter – that's it. Every Parisian's heart has a special place for this humble lunch, which can be bought almost anywhere in the city. Just stop at a café and order one like a true Parisian, or you can find it in many corner bakeries
Paris street food, the cheapest option and most eaten by Frenchies.
6. Soupe à l'oignon
The French onion soup history dates back to the 17th century. Legend has it that the soup was invented by King Louis XV. Late at night, at his hunting lodge, he was very hungry and he only found onions, butter, and champagne. He cooked the three ingredients and made the first French onion soup.
🇫🇷 Here’s where to find the best Soupe à l’oignon in Paris: Café de Flore
Robert de Niro’s favorite. He always order from Café de Flore to be delivered at his hotel!
Moules-frites (French pronunciation: [mool freat]); is a main dish of mussels and French fries originating in Belgium.
And yes French fries is an hoax for French people. French fries = Les Frites, are a Belgium speciality and not French! Désolée, sorry for this news!
8. Confit de Canard - Duck Confit (my absolute favorite!)
Steak and fries is one the most common dishes found in traditional French and Belgian Brasseries and bistros, where a glass of fine Belgian beer or French wine acts as an irreplaceable accompaniment.
🇫🇷 Here’s where to find the best Steak Frites in Paris: La Vache et Le Cuisinier
If you go to Paris, don’t miss this restaurant in the art of Montmartre. I visited here after a recommendation from a Parisian friend and the food was brilliant. Magnifique! By far the best local Parisian comfort food. Indulge in every bite. Cozy ambiance and you will be well taking care of here.
11. Steak Tartare
Steak Tartare is one of those dishes you love and even crave — or something you would never consider eating (comme
Moi = like me). Many of us love all things raw in sushi but find the idea of eating raw red meat unappealing, not to mention the raw egg yolk. Like many unique recipes, Steak Tartare has a complex history. One tragic, The New York Times informs us that beef was scarce in France during the 1870 Franco-Prussian war and that horse meat was popular because it has fewer parasites. So yes Steak Tartare used and uses also horse meat!
12. Coq au Vin
Various legends trace coq au vin to ancient Gaul and Julius Caesar, but the recipe was not documented until the early 20th century; it is generally accepted that it existed as a rustic dish long before that. A somewhat similar recipe, poulet au vin blanc, appeared in an 1864 cookbook.
13. Cheese plate = plateau de fromage
I probably don’t have to tell you that crêpe culture is taken very, very seriously in the French capital.
Lurking near every pâtisserie, is a crêperie. Ready and waiting to serve you a piping hot buckwheat pancake with the sweet or savory filling of your choice
Nothing beats the satisfaction you derive from taking a bite of the delicious, cute macaron. Of course, a bite is not enough. You have to indulge and get some more bites or even more pieces of the delicious cookies.
🇫🇷 Here’s where to find the best Macarons in Paris: Ladurée
Of course, no discussion about some of the best sweets in Paris would be complete without mentioning Ladurée, which is also known for having some of the best macarons in Paris and some of the best puff pastry in Paris.
Ladurée has several spots across the city, including notably on rue de La Bretagne Le Marais (time your visit so you can visit one of the every-few-month brocantes that take place on the road), as well as on the Champs Élysées (a visit to this branch can be combined with other highlights of the 8th arrondissement, including the Arc de Triomphe).
Ladurée Paris sells over 4,000,000 macarons per year.
The most expensive macaron of the world was sold $7,414 in an auction.
16. Choux à la crème (Puff Pastry)
If there’s one French dessert that’s sure to delight any visitor to the city, it’s the cream puff. This little sweet is typically a small round choux case (known as pâte à choux in French) filled with cream and topped with a little icing.
🇫🇷 Here’s where to find the best choux pastry in Paris: Chez Odette
The store is in my favorite Paris location: L'ile St Louis, 77 rue Galande. Delightful with outdoor seating and an upstairs area, which if you get a chance to sit near the window, will give you a great view of Notre Dame cathedral.
I can’t wait to guide you!
🇫🇷 For French Online Lessons to prepare you for your trip, contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Be safe, be well, et Carpediem!