What would you pick if you could only choose one when traveling? Exploring the sights or savoring the food? I’m not sure if I could choose, and thank goodness I don’t have to. Paris is a lovely city with so many beautiful places, but where would it be without some of the finest cuisine in the world?
You can wander through neighborhood after neighborhood and find delicious dining at every corner. With so many options, where do you start? If you are going to make reservations, what are the absolute top picks? All the place we visited had amazing food, but the ones listed below were absolutely life changing.
Frenchie plated the best dishes I’ve ever encountered. French cuisine wins the advantage with their sauces. Sauces can elevate a dish to something familiar to a dish boldly proclaiming flavor and freshness. Frenchie has a restaurant, a wine bar, and a to-go shop. The restaurant is booked months in advance, so try to book early. If you can’t score a reservation, try Frenchie Wine Bar across the street where reservations are not taken. Go early for a better chance at securing a seat. You can also stop in Frenchie Restaurant (across the street from Frenchie Wine Bar) as soon as they open for the evening and ask to be put on the waitlist in case of a cancellation or no-show. Read more about Frenchie in this post.
Septime is a close second to Frenchie. The restaurant is upscale without being stuffy. The service is everything you would expect from a fine French restaurant. The gorgeously plated dishes are every bit as delectable as they appear. Septime opens website reservations 3 weeks in advance at midnight Paris time. I only found lunch reservations open for 1-2 minutes before they were filled for that day.
Patrick Rogers Chocolate concocts unique and exotic flavor combinations. Every chocolate from here is sublime, but my favorite is the AMAZONE (lime and caramel). Patrick Rogers holds the title, MOF Chocolatier (Meilleur Ouvrier de France), the highest award given to a professional in France. This master chocolatier also creates life size chocolate sculptures.
Boulangerie & Patisserie (Bakery and Pastry)
La Pâtisserie des Rêves changed my mind about pastry. I’ve never been a huge fan of cream filled pastries. Give me a decadent chocolate dessert any day and the richer the better. The Paris-Brest pastry forever changed that opinion. I dream of going back to Paris, booking a room next to La Pâtisserie des Rêves and visiting the shop every day to sample all the pastries. Don’t disappoint yourself by trying Paris-Brest at a French Bakery in America. You will be sorely disappointed.
Eric Kayser, Artisan Boulanger, has many locations and everything you want from a boulangerie and patisserie. While the pain au chocolat, croissants and baguettes were phenomenal, the chocolate chip cookies and espresso stood out as sublime.
Ladurée has many locations throughout Paris. Their macarons are famous for a reason, and it’s worth stopping in a shop for a sweet bite. Salted caramel, coffee, and pistachio are worth trying as well as fruity flavors like lemon, passionfruit, and raspberry.
Paris is a city with endless food possibilities. Assemble a meal like a local and gather ingredients as you stroll down a market street such as Rue Cler. Stop at a Fromagerie and ask the shopkeeper for recommendations on cheese. Take home Le Beurre Bordier butter to add to your baguette from the Boulangerie. A Charcuterie will be your stop for high quality meat, and don’t forget to add something fresh from a produce stand to balance out your meal.
Before traveling to Paris, I researched a lot of websites to learn about the restaurant scene. I found Wendy Lyn’s The Paris Kitchen and David Lebovitz’s Living The Sweet Life in Paris to be the most helpful for narrowing down the options.