For many travelers, Paris is the best city for food in all of Europe. From sidewalk cafes to quaint bistros, from brasseries to patisseries to fine restaurants, the City of Light has something delectable to eat around every corner.
Unique Cuisine and Tempting Tastes
France is known for its classic cuisine and dishes that are uniquely regional, like coq au vin (chicken braised with wine), bouillabaisse (fish stew), duck l’orange (roasted duck served with orange sauce), and blanquette de veau (veal served in cream sauce).
French pastries are also iconic, with delights like mille-feuille (layers of puff pastry and pastry cream), pain au chocolat (a flaky croissant with a dark chocolate center), macarons (almond meringue cookies sandwiched with buttercream), and profiteroles (cream puffs) to tempt the taste-buds.
With such exceptional morsels to be found, as well as an abundance of classically-trained chefs who attended legendary cooking schools, it’s no wonder Paris is a center for fine dining. Truly, one of the joys of visiting this historic, vibrant city is tasting the cuisine. With that said, here are some food establishments that you must visit on your next trip to Paris.
Patisseries (Pastry Shops) for Sweets and Treats
- Pierre Hermé – This legendary pastry shop is known for its rainbow-colored macarons, but it also offers truffles, nougats, and other delicious bite-sized morsels.
- Arnaud Delmontel – Famous for bread as well as cakes, this is the place to get a perfect baguette. Other choices include truffle breadsticks and honey rye loaves.
- Gâteaux Thoumieux – Inside a mint-colored jewelry box-sized shop, you’ll find the most delicious cakes (gateaux) as well as viennoiserie (sweet bread and rolls, like brioches and croissants) and fruit tarts.
Bistros and Brasseries (Casual Eateries) for Lunch, Snacks, or Happy Hour
- Restaurant Champeaux – For an elegant lunch, this brasserie hits the spot. The dessert menu alone boasts soufflés in tantalizing flavors, like pistachio and chocolate with Cointreau.
- Breizh Café – Creperies are a must-try when you visit Paris. This little café has both sweet and savory crepes along with a selection of galettes (a kind of rustic tart with a sweet or savory filling).
- Chez Michel – A rustic bistro with a menu that features Breton dishes. Lots of them are baked in a cavernous oven right in view of the dining room.
Fine Dining for a Romantic Evening for Two
- Le Jules Verne – This fantastical restaurant, located high within the Eiffel Tower, offers twists on classic French dishes from an inventive chef.
- Le Grand Véfour – For a truly romantic meal, this beautiful, elegant restaurant that dates back to the 18th century offers intimate tables for two. Stunning, gourmet dishes include options like blue lobster with eggplant, garden snails with pureed white carrots, and filet of sole with cabbage and radishes.
- Drouant – Enjoy this restaurant’s signature pot-au-feu (a warm, comforting dish of beef simmered in its own juices with root vegetables) in a classically elegant atmosphere.
Your stomach is guaranteed to be happy if you visit any of these spots and taste the signature dishes, desserts, or pastries. Don’t forget to wash down your meals with a glass of regional wine or champagne, and enjoy your food journey through one of the world’s most exceptional culinary centers.