Overview: In a huge city that is renowned for spectacular food, it can be hard to know where to start, especially for those of us who cannot... more »
Overview: In a huge city that is renowned for spectacular food, it can be hard to know where to start, especially for those of us who cannot... more » afford the Michelin three-star restaurants. You cannot see it all, but this tour helps highlight how France got its reputation as a culinary capital. Many of the destinations are places where you can buy things to enjoy later, with plenty of opportunities to indulge on the spot. This tour sticks to the western side of central Paris, starting on the Rive Gauche with a visit to some markets and works its way north across the Seine to taste everything from a divine hot chocolate to a peppery steak frites. less «
Tips: This tour is designed for Tuesdays and Fridays when the Raspail Market is up and running. Though the organic market only runs Sundays,... more » many of the other stops on this tour are closed on Sundays. Plan out what you want to do before leaving for this trip: the restaurant, the cooking class and the guided wine tasting all require reservations. Wear comfortable shoes for walking. less «
This outdoor food market is widely considered the most chic in Paris. It is also the most expensive. Offering a wide variety of high-quality produce, breads, cheeses and meats, Sunday mornings it becomes an all-organic market. On the end closest to the Rue Cherche-Midi is a stand that sells spectacular potato pancakes filled with grilled onions... More and cheese. They come hot off the griddle and still melty inside. The market is popular so do not be surprised to find crowds. As unpleasant as it is to navigate strollers and little old ladies with their grocery carts, it's a part of the Paris experience.
Accessible from Metro Rennes on the 12 line.
Boulevard Raspail between Rue de Rennes and Rue de Cherche-Midi
Tuesdays, Fridays 7am-2:30pm
Sunday's organic market 9am-2pm
A branch of the Bon Marché, one of the first and most famous department stores in Paris, this extensive grocery store is likely to have the largest selection of gourmet products that you have ever seen. While lacking the charm of the street markets or the small independent bakeries and butcher shops that France is known for, it is... More interesting to see the French take on a supermarket.
The place has all the cheese, confections, meats and wine that you could ever want and offers many French products that you may have otherwise missed. If you are not interested in buying anything to take with you, it is at least worth perusing the aisles to see what sorts of things are carried.
Address: 38 Rue de Sevres
Phone: 01 44 39 81 00
Hours: Monday-Saturday 8:30am-9pm
If you are curious about the French breadmaking process, you will want to swing this way. This bakery has a big glass window into the oven area that offers an open view of the baguette rolling and baking. If hungry, grab a pain au chocolat for the road.
Address: 40 Rue Bourgogne
Phone: 01 45 51 24 29
Another bakery en route, this is a popular breakfast spot offering classic French pastries and confections. There are actually two on Rue Bourgogne alone.
Address: 6 and 32 rue Bourgogne
Phone: 01 47 05 77 08
If you are Julia Child fan or have seen Meryl Streep play her in the film "Julie & Julia," then you may be interested to see where the American chef famous for introducing the United States to gourmet fare lived with her husband, Paul, during her stay in Paris.
81 Rue de l'Université
This macaroon boutique is one of the newest to the Pierre Hermé empire. It is dedicated to the macaroon, the Parisian specialty, not to be confused with the American coconut cookie of the same name. Macaroons are infamous among the French for being near impossible to make well and Pierre Hermé is known as the master.
Here find a... More huge variety of flavors, from simple like raspberry to exotic combinations like olive oil and vanilla. They are delicate, so be careful where you place them in your luggage, but they make great gifts for people back home.
Address: 4 Rue Cambon
Phone: (0)1 43 54 47 77
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-7:30pm
This famous old café gained its popularity thanks to its sinfully rich hot chocolate. Though many of the offerings are overpriced, this is a must stop for chocolate lovers. A pot of the chocolat chaud is 7 Euros, and appears to be purely melted chocolate. The rest of the menu is easily found for better prices in other spots around Paris.
... More If you do not want a hot chocolate, you can just stop in for look and poke around the boutique. Established at the turn of the 20th century, the ornate interior and the delicate food presentation are good demonstrations of the all-around aesthetic typical of Paris.
Address: 226 Rue de Rivoli
Phone: 01 42.60.82.00
Hours: Daily 9am-7pmLess
This is the legendary luxury hotel "where fashion sits," according the famous Irving Berlin song. Since opening at the turn of the 20th century, the Ritz has hosted numerous international celebrities including Lady Diana and Charlie Chaplin. It was a favorite hang out for writer Ernest Hemingway, who has a bar there named after him.
The... More lavish two-star restaurant L'Espadon (the Swordfish) opened in 1956. Go in and look around but do not bother sitting down for a meal; the lunch menu alone costs 80 Euros. If you want to try experiencing the Ritz as a customer on a budget, you can go and just order a coffee (though be warned that the coffee alone will cost you 11 Euros and the waiter may not be pleased).
There's a French gastronomy school attached to the restaurant that works right next to the L'Espadon kitchen. It's possible to take introductory cooking classes for a fee there. For example:
55 Euros for a one-hour cuisine lesson
75 Euros for a two-hour pastry course
More offers are available on the website. You have to sign up in advance.
Address: 15 Place Vendôme
Phone: (33) (0) 1 43 16 30 80
Open every day
Breakfast : from 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Exclusively for guests
Lunch : from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Jacket strongly requested
Dinner : from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
This is an extensive wine bar in a wine cellar near the Louvre that offers 40 or more wines by the glass and hundreds by the bottle. It offers wine tastings with little courses on French wines (in English). A one-hour tasting is offered at 3pm daily for 30 Euros, this includes three glasses of wine. You can sign up for tastings or look at more... More tour options on the website.
Address: 68 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Phone: 01 44 739 780
This park sits where the old central marketplace in Paris sat for centuries. Merchants used to come from all over to sell their products, including as wholesale to restaurants. In the 1970s, the city decided to destroy it and in its place built a park and constructed a terribly confusing underground mall and subway station. There is still a number... More of cooking stores around the area and famous brasseries that used to cater to the vendors who wanted a drink before they started working the market.Less
This huge kitchen store was Julia Child's utensil source. It offers a wide variety of tools for professionals and people who just love to cook.
Address: 18-20 Rue Coquilliére
Phone: +33 1 42 36 53 13
Monday 9am-12:30pm, 2-6pm
This narrow, brightly colored restaurant serves up a delectable steak au poivre, a peppery twist on the classic French steak frites. The fries might change your life. Inside, the ambiance is warm and comfortable. Patrice, the owner, is as bright as the chairs, often engaging customers in French and English.
Address: 12 Rue Vivienne
Phone: 01 ... More42 60 08 83
Hours: Monday-Friday Noon-3pm, 7-10pmLess