Paris is not only the most romantic city but also bustling with a very optimistic local and international culinary scene. Yes, we go to France to indulge in the rich cuisine and extra cheese but trust that at some point the metabolism screams for diversity before your last date with a french meal.
This food guide covers a great variety of French and international dishes offering a culinary voyage with a romantic city setting. I love to emphasize on the fact that locals are truly the best guides to every city. This time I was also able to bring my favorite locals to some new food hubs. It was great team work and the same mission statement: eat your fancy face off and date only your food in Paris! Luckily, I had all the love I needed as my bestie Marissa flew in from California to celebrate her 30’s in the city where she spent her childhood summers. She was an outstanding guide and has the greatest taste in anything hotelier and fancy, check her out! Me and Marissa also took over the LA food scene when she was a local gal there so, click here for the article for an extra handy LA food guide and surroundings.
Back to the romance, please note that Paris is just as romantic as they say it is and that no matter where you go it is in your face. I think there should be a bit of balance so let’s focus on the food guide and appreciate the romance that comes along with connecting you soul to a delish meal. In my opinion way more fullfilling. Ok let’s be honest here, you can run but you can’t hide from love it is so contagious! In Paris it leaves you wondering if the next time you cross a bridge you will lock eyes with the one who has the next best food recommendation.
This food guide starts off just like my adventure did completely French and with the indigestion of your dreams. I thought I would be kind enough to also include the arrondissements so that you have less work to do and more time to cheese.
1. The frenchiest meal with an art deco setting at Bouillon Chartier (9th arrondissement)
Firstly I must explain the “Bouillon” concept as they date back to the 1860’s, I know it’s insanely cool. Butchers with great clients decided to open a space where they could use leftover meats to sell at very friendly prices. The trend blew up and Paris once had about 250 Bouillon. All good things come to and end don’t they, until the lovers fight for a comeback. Paris is now bringing back these amazing places with art deco features in every single corner. The best thing is that the prices are extremely friendly, think half a bottle of wine for about €6. The menu is more traditional than the French. On that note please make Chartier Bouillon your first view of Paris.
2. A market trip to Marché des Enfants Rouges ( 3rd Arr.)
My only regret about this market is that I went alone. There are quite a few food options to choose from vegetarian to African you name it. Because I hardly ever have the chance to have Moroccan food, what a better place than France to ensure a fine traditional meal. So in Moroccan i trust and had a delicious Marguez with vegetables in a sizzling clay pot. The options were infinite at this stand, almost overwhelming so be sure you know what you are craving before the kind lady asks.
3. Get out of your comfort zone and head to the local rendez-vous at Comestibles (18th Arr.)
The locals took my hand on this journey and like most Parisians do after work they access the most delicious charcuterie board and pair it with some natural wines. My lovely friend Carla took the reins and ordered a dark spread, but appetising looking bruschetta. She told me to try before I knew what it was, that’s always a bad sign, said the mind, but the gut she is the one you should trust. Just like that I became a blood infused sausage lover, ew and yum! Maybe because next to it I had melted camembert with truffle and an insanely unique natural rose wine, still thanks Carla!
4. A Neapolitan Pizza in the city of love Da Rocco
For those of you who have read my previous articles I love to honor the Italians who are representing our dishes abroad. Secretly I crave pizza way too much. Just like that I had such a delicious wood oven pizza that truly made me proud of my region. Not only is the place very well designed, they also play Italian movie soundtracks in the toilet. Strange idea, but it resonated. I also imagine that not only Italians go to Paris so whoever you are reading this; trust a good pizza when a Neapolitan says so. Just look at that crust, buon appetito!
5. The mexican scene is finally growing, so honour the tacos at Melt Taqueria (18th Arr.)
The thing I love and hate about tacos the most is that every single place you go to will have their own version or taco concept. Who doesn’t indulge in a love/hate relationship from time to time, it’s totally balanced. Everytime it’s like starting from scratch, the anticipation, the flavors, the sauces, it’s just such a ride. This time went something like this: first Brisket then maple bacon (insane), always having to have anything with pork and casually ending with chicken as dessert. They have one vegetarian option and nachos with guacamole. Everyone wins and everyone should try this place!
6. Time for a newage eclectic French moment at newly opened Brasserie Dubillot ( 2 arr.)
Where do I begin, maybe by stating this was the best find of the trip. Recently opened, it has an extremely eclectic design and wine á la ficelle, meaning you order a bottle and pay what you drink. Such a smart and bold business move. Here I had the most amazing grilled sausage on the bbq that still has me jumping off my seat. If anyone talks about Paris I will talk about this sausage, sorry I can’t help my emotions. One of the most classic french sides is vinaigrette leeks and behold here is where I finally accepted and cherished this side. This place is now part of my Parisian tradition.
7. Have a Gemuse Berliner kebab or tourist trap on Montmartre, your call.
We can all agree that it is not common to find a delicious kebab that we dont regret eating just after. Here they definitely thought that threw. This is why they deserve a spot on this food lovers guide. Think just the right amount of marinated meat, fresh grilled vegetables, lettuce, pickled cabbage and a light sauce. The most important detail is that every bite is balanced, yes they figured out that the filling should be mixed to be better enjoyed. Every bite is the best of both worlds. It’s like a high five of high vibes for the taste buds. I will always be back for more.
8. A tour eiffel dining moment to cherish life goals at Girafe (16th Arr.)
This was our big night. Marissa turned 30 and we celebrated like nobody was watching. Who doesn’t want to have a moment in front of the eiffel tower and get dressed up and all that jazz. I will say the location is what you are paying for first and foremost but could you blame them? We enjoyed some really nice seafood and a lot of unfortunately expensive tequila shots followed by a lot more great decisions. Never ever be afraid to ask a price! See, with age comes wisdom too.
9. Best restaurant design concept goes to Gros Bao (10th Arr.)
Thank you very much to my best friend Alize who thank god was born and raised in Paris for letting me experience this. I probably can’t put into words how delicious these bao buns are. The filling is moist and overpacked with flavor. There is a moment where your brain goes into meditation. Its peace at last and the bite your soul was waiting for. The menu is huge, there are infinite opportunities, you really need a team. The design is just beyond and you could never walk past this place and not stop. As if it couldn’t get any cuter it overlooks the canals. Have as much food as you can and plan this one out, get whoever you can to join or join the biggest table in sight.
10. A very very Parisian moment at Cafe de Flore ( 6th Arr.)
I was really skeptical about including this very famous cafe here. Most have heard of it, most will go anyway. So I decided to include some accurate information and tips about this historic cafe. It is definitely more on the pricey side especially if you go for the champagne. If you had to have lunch here you can save some bucks by sharing the club sandwich. This is my favorite trick. I don’t understand why nobody ever talks about the fact that a club sandwich is literally two meals. Balance once again can let you do the things you love without missing out. Last tip, always order tap water in France! Pay for your booze and not for the water deal breaker.
Thank you so much for reading along and this far. This makes me beyond happy and glow from inside out. I wish I could include every single place I go to but I think it might become difficult for you to read thus far. For behind the scenes and everything about my food journey in Paris you can always head to my instagram handle on my Paris highlights. There you will also find some very amazing bars, rooftops, hotels and soooo much more. It was a pleasure to have you here.
Ciao for now,