Eat Around the Clock: A 24-hour Guide to Dining in Paris

Now that your appetite has been whetted with that delicious gougeres recipe, we continue our stint in Paris with a little more for all you foodies, from Ms. Erin Brown.

I remember my first night out with friends after moving to Paris: we gathered in a little Bistro on Rue du Commerce in the 15th, full of smoke and the chinking of wine glasses, and a menu of entirely unpronounceable cuisine on a blackboard placed next to our table. After staring blankly at the menu for 5 minutes, I asked my friend Jean-Edouard to order something for me—something good and typical French. When my food arrived, I found a perfectly molded mound of precisely sliced raw beef on a little bed of greens—steak tartare. He had ordered me the steak tartare. Raw beef, do you understand? This is not sushi-sized bites, but a whole pile of it! Not wanting to be ungrateful, wasteful, or hungry, I crossed my fingers, gave myself a little pep talk, and dug in.

It. Was. Blissful.

Each bite melted in my mouth, bursting with flavor and tender, juiciness. I was sure I would never eat another thing again in my life that would be so delicious…. until we went out again the next weekend.

Paris is a city of awe-inspiring cuisine. Whether you're sitting down to a seven course tasting menu at the finest of restaurants or simply grabbing a crepe on the street, you're sure to be delighted and inspired. In our 24-hour guide to Paris for the foodie, we'll take you to a few choice places for inspired cuisine, fresh produce, and impeccable comestibles of all sorts.

So, off we go!

Start the morning off right: head to the closest Boulangerie early and buy a fresh baguette or croissant. You don't need to hunt down the "best in the city" for these fresh delights. Everyone will tell you the best place to buy a baguette is the place closest to home. Indulge in the perfectly raised, perfectly crisped, crunchy on the outside, light and chewy on the inside texture of a french baguette and you'll never be the same again.

Next, make a stop at Rue Mouffetard, where you can shop one of dozens of little cheese shops, fresh produce stands, and shops hawking specialty goods. Oliviers & Co. is an absolute must—try the combination of their mint-infused olive oil with the white wine vinegar with honey and ginger. It's to die for. They sell a wide assortment of rare foods as well (white truffle salt, anyone?), which make lovely and impressive hostess gifts. (GOOD NEWS: you can also shop Oliviers & co. online!)

For lunch, take a trip across the river to the Marais for lunch at L'As du Fallafel (34 rue des Rosiers), a decidedly unrefined kosher butcher with the best falafel sandwiches and lamb shwarma in town.

Much of modern Paris' cuisine is influenced by the many immigrants from North and West Africa and the Middle East, and L'As du Fallafel is one of many eating establishments that have become cultural centers in the city. Be prepared for cafeteria style seating, electric overhead lights, and a permeating smell of frying oil—it's worth it once you sink your teeth into a perfectly prepared, piping hot ball of chick-pea goodness.

Spend the afternoon exploring the 180 square foot Barthelemy(51 rue de Grenelle)—arguably the best cheese shop in Paris.

Every inch of the shoebox-sized shop is used to display their collection of more than 200 cheeses, most of which are produced locally in France. Expertly curated by one of the preeminent experts on French cheeses, Barthelemy touts particularly pungent camemberts, bitty buttons of creamy chevre rolled in tarragon or rosemary and an astounding assortment of bloomy-rind beauties.

Be sure to stop by Laduree, the place for the best Macarons in town. Crisp on the outside, and perfectly moist on the inside, Laduree's macarons have been delighting Parisians on the Champs-Elysees for close to 150 years.

For dinner (are you stuffed yet?) plop yourself down in a local bistro and order a cup of onion soup. No, I'm not joking. Though there are hundreds of restaurants with extravagant menus, nothing beats classic, perfectly prepared, perfectly authentic french bistro food. If the soup isn't enough for you, order the steak tartare… You'll be glad you did.


Post a Comment

Back to top!