Paris is a wonderful city to visit, but it’s also a city that foodie dreams are made of. From flakey croissants, buttery baguettes and chocolate filled desserts, to creamy pate, cheese and confit duck. My list of places to visit when I come here is almost always made up of restaurants, cafes and bakeries, so inevitably I spend most of my days in Paris eating and drinking – which is never a bad thing.
As it’s my favourite thing to do, at any time, I thought I would make up a list of places to visit for different times of day. It’s not an exhaustive list of everywhere you can visit, they’re just a selection of places that I have enjoyed thoroughly during my several visits to Paris over the years. Quite a few of them are locations where you’ll take your food with you, as I like to take some of my meals to go to enjoy en route to visit somewhere else, for a picnic, or just to savour for later. You could visit all of these in one day – if you have a stomach as big as your eyes – although I wouldn’t recommend it! It’s a good little list to look back on, when you’re in need of a dinner or somewhere to get that extra special croissant for breakfast, or when you just need to fill a gap in your day with something delicious.
For breakfast I recommend picking up something baked from a Parisian bakery. Grab a loaf of bread from Poilane or a baguette from almost anywhere and eat it with cheese, jam, pâté or make a jambon beurre (ham and butter sandwich). If you prefer something sweeter, then a croissant from Eric Kayser is one of the best places to go, or you could pick up some madeleines from Blé Sucré if you fancy something a little more cake-y!
Elevenses has to be one of the best meals of the day, because it means you get to eat dessert in the morning. Head to L’Eclair de Genie for an out of this world eclair experience (including eclair shaped tartlets), to La Patisserie de Reves for a delicious Paris Brest, to Eric Kayser for a pistachio financier, or to La Maison du Chocolat for a decadent slice of chocolate cake happiness. These could also be enjoyed in the afternoon, but who’s going to say no to a post-breakfast cake or pastry.
If you just can’t decide then you could head to the food halls of Galeries Lafayette or La Grande Epicerie to find a selection of delicious treats all under one roof.
My favourite place to visit for lunch (although I actually prefer going outside of peak hours to get the place to yourself) is Bistrot Victoires. The food here is outstanding but affordable and it has a true, traditional Parisian bistro ambiance, which I absolutely adore. Order yourself a glass of wine, a steak tartar and finish with their ice cream filled profiteroles and you will be more than satisfied! I love this place so much that I wrote a post devoted to it which you can see here. Oh, and if you fancy a tartine (open faced sandwich), they use bread from Polaine, so you know it’s going to be good! My advice – get the one smothered in cheese and potatoes.
If you prefer to sit outside then pop into a bakery, a market, a supermarket and/or a deli and pack a picnic and sit in a park somewhere to enjoy your wares. Some bread, cheese, pâté, and fresh fruit. Happy days.
You could always go to one of the delectable dessert locations I mentioned in the elevenses section, or if it’s a nice sunny day try Berthillon for their incredible ice creams and sorbets. The last time I visited here I decided on a scoop of the Raspberry Rose sorbet, and it was just as delightful as it sounds. If it’s not the perfect weather for ice cream then I’ve heard that Angelina does one of the best hot chocolates in Paris, although I still haven’t had the chance to visit unfortunately.
One of the best dinners I’ve ever had in Paris was at Joséphine Chez Dumonet. If you go, you will leave bursting at the seams (the portions are generous if you’re planning on eating 3 courses), but it will all be worth it. Just make sure you get the duck confit and the Grand Marnier soufflé, although you may need to share the dessert by the time you get there. You do have to order the soufflé in advance so make sure to let the waiter know at the start of your meal if you’ll definitely be having it. It was a fabulous meal in an intimate setting with really lovely staff. I highly recommend this place for when you want a nice, quiet meal of extremely delicious traditional French food.