If you’re like most people, when you think of Paris, you think of food. And who could blame you? It’s hard to untangle the city from its candy-colored macarons, its airy soufflés, its adventurous gourmets.
When I visit Paris (which is as often as possible), food is always the first thing on my mind. I drag my partner to old haunts and order new dishes and close my eyes as I slide the first bite of each into my mouth. I walk across the city to farmers markets and jam shops and tea rooms looking for edible souvenirs to stuff in every open corner of my luggage. And I beg my local friends to tell me their latest favorites—the new places that might wow me.
If you’re planning a trip to Paris, here’s the foodie itinerary I’d recommend for your Paris bucketlist.
Frenchie Bar a Vins
If you only do one foodie thing in Paris, make it this one. Frenchie Bar a Vins is a tiny, lively wine bar with the best small plates you’ll find anywhere in the world.
The doors open at 6 p.m. and there are no reservations, so get there early if you want to skip the wait. If they seat you by the window into the kitchen, consider yourself doubly lucky; watching the prep team assemble plates is like watching a dance.
Literally everything here is good, though I have a special place in my heart for the scotch eggs.
Frenchie Bar a Vins
6 Rue du Nil, 75002 Paris, France
La Chambre Aux Confitures
For jars of delicate flower sweeteners (a perfect addition to a cup of tea), honeys, caramels, fresh jams, and savory spreads, you can’t do better than La Chambre Aux Confitures. They’ve got three locations in Paris and each one is a charmer with its walls lined with colorful jam jars and tasting spoons so you can find your favorite. (My favorite is the classic strawberry rhubarb.)
La Chambre aux Confitures
9, Rue des Martyrs, 75009 Paris, France
60 Rue Vieille du Temple, 75003 Paris, France
20 Rue de Buci, 75006 Paris, France
9 Rue des Petits Carreaux, 75002 Paris, France
Many people have heard of this famous tea brand, but did you know they have sit-down tea rooms in Paris, some of which serve food? And dare I say, the desserts are even better than their epic teas?
Stop by one of the locations that serves desserts and order tea-infused sorbets (my personal favorite), macarons, crème brûlée, or other sweet treats. Don’t expect the classics here. Each of these sweet treats is subtly, beautifully infused with the flavor of one of the teas.
Mariage Frères Thé Français
35 Rue du Bourg Tibourg, 75004 Paris, France
Mariage Frères Rive Gauche
13 Rue des Grands Augustins, 75006 Paris, France
Mariage Frères Étoile
260 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris, France
Mariage Frères – Tour Eiffel
56 Rue Cler, 75007 Paris, France
Maison de Thé Mariage Frères
90 Rue Montorgueil, 75002 Paris, France
17 Place de la Madeleine, 75008 Paris, France
Mariage Frères International
7th La Grande Épicerie – 1st floor, 38 Rue de Sèvres, 75007 Paris, France
This colorful, quirky dining room serves up the best brunch in town. Come prepared to linger for hours and stuff yourself silly on perfectly prepared croissants, homemade jams (each with their own tiny serving spoon), and breakfast dishes both savory and sweet.
There are three multi-course breakfast menus available and each comes with one of the restaurant’s colorful pastries (pro tip: take your pastry to go; there’s so much food it’s hard to finish everything and that’s the easiest thing to eat later). Some menus also include a glass of Champagne, which is a nice touch.
47 Rue de l’Abbe Gregoire, 75006 Paris, France
Restaurant Philippe Excoffier
For something a bit fancier, make a reservation at Philippe Excoffier, just a five-minute walk from the Eiffel Tower.
Everything here is well prepared. The interior is elegant without being stuffy. And the lunch menu is slightly discounted (so if you’re after gourmet on a budget, this might be a good bet). The restaurant is known for its soufflés, but you don’t have to limit yourself. Everything I’ve had here was excellent.
18 Rue de l’Exposition, 75007 Paris, France
BIO: GIGI GRIFFIS
Gigi Griffis is a world-traveling entrepreneur and writer with a special love for all things European food. She’s a pain in the butt to travel with because she’ll make you go to every farmers market twice, but she’s also pretty good at finding the best food a place has to offer. You can find her at Vicious Foodie. Follow Gigi Griffis on Twitter