Before heading to Paris last fall I asked my friend Julia who has EXCELLENT taste in food and travel where I needed to go and she came THRU y’all! Here’s her list of recommendations along with my commentary and my recommendations in italics:
COLOROVA – our first lunch in Paris, which consisted of 3 courses all delicious and artfully presented (we were super impressed!) for appetizer, it was a poached egg atop greens beens sautéed in a butter sauce, the plat du jour – which was herb stuffed chicken breast crispy roasted and served on mashed potatoes, for the last – and best!!! – course, we had a house made pastry which was being made on site, delicate, beautiful and delicious. The prominent flavours were caramel and agrume (citrus). 3 courses for €20. The courses menus were super popular in Paris and depending on the time you might not have the option to order a la carte. If you happen to be in the 6th arrondissement – which you should because it’s awesome for patisseries, bakeries, etc and contains the world’s first department store (Le Bon Marche) which is now super chic and Harrod’s esque – I would definitely recommend to stop in to Colorova for a pastry at the very least.
LA PATISSERIE DES REVES – super fancy pastry shop. We made the mistake of getting a brioche and pan au chocolate from them (brioche was alright, pan au chocolate super tasty, so not truly a mistake ;-p). The mistake is that we were ordering bakery/boulangerie items – at a patisserie. We should have gone for fancy pastries instead which are their specialty. Only boulangerie’s by name have to make their dough on site, so those are the places you want to target for your baked goods.
MAISON DU CHOCOLATE – super delicious and rich chocolates. Highly recommend! I kept thinking I would go here because they were all over the place, but never ended up going 🙁
LADUREE – highly regarded macarons, we only liked the chocolate one. I passed by this one on the Champs-Élysées and it looked pretty, but since Julia wasn’t feeling it I knew I didn’t need to waste my time!
More highly regarded macarons, only we thought these tasted way better! Haha Yas yas 100 times YAZZZ!!! I loved the area this place was in it reminds me of Beverly Hills. Pierre Hermes has some really fancy pants chocolates and macarons and they were TASTY.
After picking up our macarons we found which had an outdoor patio to drink rose and people watch at in the same area.
After drinking a bottle or 2 of rose Molly and I wandered around Saint-Germain and saw some interesting shops.
AUX ARTISTES ***
Our favourite dinner spot where you can try all sorts of delicious French specialties and get a bottle of tasty Merlot for €10. Amazing! ***Our favorite too!! OMG SO GOOD! Such great prices, so much amazing wine LOVEEE this one Juilia found a damn hidden gem here.
Ridiculously good hot chocolate that is actually melted chocolate haha She wasn’t lying! This hot chocolate is super famous and this place is so wonderful and fancy and indulgent LOVED it. A heads up: we did have to wait about 20-30 minutes for a table here and it is $$$. Angelina is VERY close to The Louvre.
Annoyingly touristy as you could imagine. the good part about that is, say you want to go souvenir/alcohol/selfie stick shopping from the comfort of your picnic, many vendors will be offering them to you non-stop. Something to look forward to 😜 a must though obviously. We didn’t go up it (we already went up Sacre Coeur, which had a nice view of the Eiffel Tower). I suggest choosing one vantage point and avoiding the cost/line time of the others. We didn’t go up the Eiffel Tower, but it was so awesome seeing it as the sun set then watching the light show. Check out more pics on this Paris post.
Another could vantage point would be Tower Montparnasse, which I only learned about after Sacre Coeur, but would give you a closer view of the Eiffel Tower and is super high!
Pretty overwhelming if you don’t have a game plan going in (which we didn’t of course ;-p) Luckily a friend pointed us towards Napoleon’s apartments, and those were really cool. We also did the obligatory selfie and wandered a bit, but then headed along realizing we could be in the Louvre all day without “finishing” all there is to see. Check out my Louvre post here. I went on a free museum day and had to hurry before they closed so I don’t think I made it to Napoleon’s apartments. I didn’t make it to Tour Montparnasse, but it looks awesome.
One of the most impressive buildings we saw walking around, and is very close proximity to the Seine and Grand Palis/Champs de Elyse area, worth crossing the bridge to see. So for some reason I thought this literally was a Hotel… at least there was a cute French guard there to inform me there was no hotel and it was closed… it’s an army museum FYI.
Arch du Triumph
Impressive and a tourist must. Another place you can go up if you want, we didn’t, but it could have good views too. We didn’t go up it, just took pictures in the median with the rest of the tourists, but it was great you can read more about it in this post.
We shopped all the way up the hill to Sacre Couer and hit lots of cute little boutiques in the area. On our way we stopped at delicious Pain Pain for fuel.
Very beautiful and funky little tourist area. Great for photos, buying artsy souvenirs/having your picture drawn/eating crepes. Watch your stuff and don’t talk to the people trying to get you to sign petitions – they’re robbing gypsies. All of Paris forces you to be cautious with your things and not walk alone. Money belt and you’re good! Scare Couer was awesome! I used a Longchamp Le Pliage backpack while traveling.
Montmartre Village just outside of Sacre Couer has some little shops too.
I found my favorite souvenir at Starbucks- my Paris coffee mug.
I love all the art everywhere in Paris.
Just like in Spain the cemeteries are something else.
While wandering around Montmartre we saw the sign… the Michelin sign and found our own hidden gem, Jeanne B.
LUXEMBOURG GARDENS – Great park!!! Loved watching the kids sail sailboats in the centre fountain/the park in general. Well maintained and beautiful. We went to Tuileries instead.
Versailles – Pretty cool if you have the time, especially on a sunny day to walk by the large fountains. Not a must in my opinion if you are already doing the Louvre and pressed for time. Didn’t have time on this trip 🙁
All in all, stop at Boulengeries as much as you possibly can, pack warm clothes, be mindful of the pickpockets, and you’ll have a blast!!! Eat quiche, creme brûlée, lots of croissants, pastries, Nutella treats, and whatever else you can that comes your way! Haha You will love it! Oh, and eat Comte cheese and cheese with truffles! We had a Gouda cheese with truffles that was unreal! A cheese shop is never a bad stop.
Fantastic advice. Here’s a few Molly & I chose:
Crêperie des Arts
After a bottle or 2 of rose in Saint Germain we found ourselves at this little walk-up spot where I’m shocked I didn’t take a crepe pic. It was heavenly.
Trip Advisor came THRU when we were trying to think of where to go for a late night bite and glass of wine around the corner from our Hotel Maxim Follies. This charcuterie platter was everything.
Another place close to our hotel that was in a random alleyway and had beautiful desserts in the windowwhere we had a very late breakfast at one day was Le Valentin.
My greatest culinary regret in Paris was not trying the Mojito I saw on a sign at a KFC: