If you haven’t caught on yet, I LOVE Paris. The architecture, the food, the fashion you see every day on the streets and the shop facades. It’s all in the details in this amazing city, and I never have to look very far to feel inspired.
My husband and I spent 5 days there in May, and I wanted to share our finds from this trip, plus a few of my favourite photos.
To be honest, for some reason I have found it difficult to locate outstanding restaurants in Paris. There are so many mediocre and expensive cafes or bistros on every corner that it’s easy to give in to hunger and plop down at a table there because you just can’t walk any further without refueling. But if you do your research, go off the beaten path and look for those little gems, they do exist! It just takes a bit of patience and a few bad meals to find the best spots.
La Sieste – Montparnasse
We found this perfect restaurant in the area we were staying in Montparnasse (near Jardin de Luxemburg). I had the chicken with risotto and it was amazing. Awesome, friendly, unpretentious staff. Nice atmosphere. Off the beaten path and outside of the heavy tourist area.
Sorza – Ile Sainte-Louis
Great location right on Ile Sainte-Louis. We’ve eaten here multiple times on each trip to Paris. Sweet and friendly service – it’s been the same young waitress each time, whom I make up is the owner. Modern décor in a teeny little 20-seat space. This past trip we had their 36 Euro menu and it was divine. Great portion sizes on the appie, entrée and dessert. For your main try the scallops on risotto or the lamb with mashed potatoes. My favourite dessert choice would be the panna cotta – perfect and refreshing after a large meal. Any panna cotta I’ve had since hasn’t compared.
Le Bon Marche
I’ve been to Paris three times, and this was my first encounter with Le Bon Marche. Unbelieveable. The department store is expansive and oh-so-luxurious. But the most exciting part for a foodie couple was across the street at their grocery store, which is in a separate building. AMAZING selections of wines, meats, breads, cheeses, fruits. All gourmet and gorgeous, I was like a kid in a candy store. Grab a couple baguettes, get some charcuterie sliced and buy some brie. In their wine section, the staff there will open a bottle for you. Ask for plastic cups and cutlery, then jump on the Metro to Trocadero. Sit on the grass in front of the Eiffel tower and picnic!! This dinner option cost us around 20 Euro for BOTH of us, and was amazing.
Merci – Marais
Merci is an amazing retail store located in the Marais near the metro station St. Sebastien Froissart. It is three levels and there is so much to explore. Sit and read a book while you sip espresso in their used book cafe, or have lunch downstairs by the outdoor courtyard. Shop for home decor and hardware while trying on high-end designer garments. Much of their stock is eco-friendly or conscious. This trip I was loving the Pantone mugs and the rustic and charming dining table made from reclaimed wood.
We did our research, and after many taste-tests, this is THE best place in Paris to buy macarons. Their other pastry and dessert selections look amazing too, all their own individual pieces of art. Laudree is, of course, fabulous too. But the quality at Pierre Herme was astounding. Trust me, you’ll never have a better macaron.