As promised, we’ve dedicated this entire post to our most beloved recommendations on what to eat in Paris. Paris is the food capital of the world, so we did a ton of research to make sure we picked the right places.
I said this in my introduction to Paris post, but do your research before you get here. Nothing is worse than being hungry and choosing the first place you see across the street from your hotel (spoiler- that place is usually not good). Plan ahead to make sure you have a meal to remember.
Don’t forget that we are not Michelen-bred eaters. We occasionally get Costco food court for dinner. So look elsewhere for the fancy-pants restaurants. We did eat at a few pricier places in Paris, but we try to never go nuts for a meal.
LUCKILY, Paris, though generally on the more expensive side, has plenty of options for those not willing to shell out an airfare-sized credit card hit.
Most of the following list came via sound recommendations from friends/bloggers. We also loved and relied heavily on a book called Bright Lights Paris by Angie Niles. Check it out if you are looking for a comprehensive guide to Paris, complete with dreamy pictures and interviews!
Here are our top picks from our time in the greatest city in the world:
Al Taglio: You can pay for incredible pizza by weight at this Italian joint. This is a quick, fun place to stop if you are, for example, headed to a PSG football game. Our favorite was the white pizza.
Hot dogs by the Louvre: My sister actually told me about this stand the first time I was in Paris, and I made my roommate trek all over the Tuileries Gardens with me looking for this alleged “life-changing” hot dog. And I don’t know what it is (oh, maybe is the the fact that the guy covers it in cheese and bakes it to perfection before your eyes), but these hot dogs are, in fact, life-changing.
After your visit to the Louvre or L’Orangerie, head through the Tuileries gardens towards the Champs Elysee. The stand is located in the park between the Concorde and the Champs-Elysées roundabout. Enjoy.
Frenchie To Go: Not to be confused with its expensive and gourmet counterpart Frenchie, Frenchie To Go is an order-at-the-counter sandwich shop that is phenomenal. Order the lobster roll, and prepare for a food coma of drastic proportions.
Café de Flore: Yes, Café de Flore is overpriced and a *tad* touristy. BUT, if you adjust your expectations and plan to split something, the patio at this Saint Germain staple is the perfect spot to relax and people-watch. We split the club sandwich–so good. Café de Flore opened in 1887 and has been a destination for chic and noteworthy Parisians ever since. This is the perfect spot to experience the very real Paris “café culture.”
Chez Janou: This is my favorite restaurant in the world, and it probably always will be. Definitely make a reservation and prepare to sit on the lap of the person next to you, but you will love the cozy vibes and friendly staff. The portions are huge, and the food is to-die-for. Try the risotto! We spent hours here.
ALSO. I don’t even know how to adequately describe the chocolate mousse. Just look at it.
The Brasserie (at Hotel Thoumieux): We will never forget this meal. Hotel Thoumieux boasts a two-Michelin-starred gourmet restaurant upstairs called Sylvestre. But we ate dinner one night at the Brasserie, downstairs. It was one of the best meals we’ve ever had. We were greeted with a foie gras appetizer on the house which was delectable (our first time trying foie gras!). Tyler got the chicken, I ordered the scallops, and we split the lobster bisque… all of which were INCREDIBLE. Definitely, definitely worth checking out.
Angelina: This is a true gem, and it’s conveniently located right across the street from the Jardin Tuileries. I’m honestly not that big of a hot chocolate person. If it’s hot and brown, it should be coffee. But, a ton of people told us we just had to come here and try it. And I mean, wow, they were right. This is like, other-worldly, hot chocolate. Also, try the Mont Blanc. And ship one to us, please.
L’Eclair de Genie: There is an (intricately decorated) eclair for everyone here. A great stop for an afternoon (or morning or evening) snack, because Paris. We obviously went with the all-chocolate this time around. Also, the one we linked here is on Rue Pavée, which is a really fun and busy street in Le Marais. It is also conveniently located down the street from Frenchie To Go (mentioned earlier).
And lastly, a novel about macarons.
Because I’m crazy and debilitatingly romantic, I’ve actually made it a life rule of mine to never eat a macaron outside of Paris. I just love macarons, and I love Paris, and I want macarons to be a sacred Paris thing. IS THAT SO WRONG?? Anyway, if you know or care about macarons even half as much as I do, you know that there are two patisseries in Paris that rule the macaron scene: Ladurée and Pierre Hermé.
The first time I was in Paris, I sprinted off the plane to Ladurée. It was a time in my life where I did not stray for a second from the recommendations or regime of Blair Waldorf. I could not be stopped, and Ladurée did not disappoint.
Fast forward a few years, when Tyler and I started planning this trip, we decided that we would sacrifice. We would take one for the team, try both Ladurée and Pierre Hermé, and weigh in on the world-wide debate.
We started with Ladurée, ordered a box of six macarons, ate them in front of the Eiffel tower, and we’re writing this from heaven now.
The next day, though, we set out for Pierre Hermé in Le Marais and ordered another box.
Ok, I’m not trying to be dramatic here (although I can already feel Tyler rolling his eyes at me), but the macarons at Pierre Hermé were disappointing.
First, the macarons at Ladurée were light, airy, melt-in-your-mouth soft. The ones from Pierre Hermé were honestly a bit hard, and too dense in the middle. (I sincerely hope at least one person reading this knows what I mean here. I’m not meant to be a bakery blogger).
The real kicker, though, was the difference in flavor. Ladurée is known for having more classic flavors (chocolate, rose, lemon, etc.), and Pierre Hermé does more daring flavors (foie gras, truffle, etc). And maybe we just weren’t prepared, but the strong, savory flavors at Pierre Hermé were off-putting, and we could barely finish them.
So we’d like to officially document our stance on the Ladurée side of this debate. Take it or leave it.
Do you all have any recommendations for dining in Paris? Comment below so we can check them out!