There are 2 things I believe you need to be able to eat if you really want to enjoy Paris dining, and those 2 things are pastries and butter. I don’t think I’ve had more pastries or food cooked with such rich and full butter over the span of 4 days… ever.
Our first meal in Paris was at a cute restaurant local to our Airbnb called Chez Francois (106 Rue Saint-Charles, 75015 Paris, France), and I still remember our first reaction to trying the butter with the baguettes they gave us at the beginning of our meal. The butter is just so full of flavor, it was hard to stop eating it. It was even a little surreal realizing that butter could taste so… divine? I don’t even know what the right word is. It’s experiences like this that really make me love traveling. Museums, buildings, landmarks – you can get a good grasp of most of these things through books and the internet (albeit still amazing to see in person), but the one thing about traveling that you can only experience in person is the food. I truly believe there is a deep history and culture in the food of every city we visit.
That said, here’s where we ate in Paree!
18 Rue Royale, 75008 Paris, France (also multiple locations)
Okay, call it pretentious or whatever you want, but this was such a cute and fun place to go. Is that weird of me to say? I felt so out of place because I’m just not a fancy person, but the service was great and somehow they just made us feel completely comfortable. We had brunch here, and I have to mention that the french toast was amaaaaaazing. It was so, so delicious, and it even came with its own cute little bottle of maple syrup. They’re known for their macarons, so I bought a box to snack on throughout our trip. They really are the best I’ve tried, though I’m not a macaron enthusiast. They definitely were amazingly delicate though which I think is a part of what makes them so famous.
The last thing I thought was that they would be accommodating to kids, but they had the cutest darn high chair I’ve ever seen. You can see more of it in our travel video, but it was so darling! They even gave him some crayons and something to write on, so if you happen to have a kid, know that they are definitely kid-friendly.
Funny story – I actually knew there was a Laduree in New York already when we went there, but I told myself that if I ever got to go, it would be to one in Paris. Ridiculous, I know. Didn’t think it would actually happen so soon, but I’m so glad I waited!
Le Bon Panneton
105 Rue Saint-Charles, 75015 Paris, France
Our Airbnb was on the same street as this boulangerie (literally steps away) so we grabbed breakfast here every morning. My gosh, each morning when we opened our window, there was always an amazing scent of freshly baked goods flowing through. It was heavenly – just sweet and buttery goodness. If we didn’t grab something for our walks around town in the morning, we picked some up and ate them at our place. The pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) was our go-to, but we tried several other things since it was just too convenient not to. Side note: Paris has ruined US croissants for us forever
^ Like my cupcakes and macarons pajamas? #BecauseParis
L’as Du Fallafal
34 Rue des Rosiers, 75004 Paris, France
This place came recommended by a good friend of ours who spent some time in France. After we did some research, we saw it appear several times for food recommendations. Guess what? For us, it lived up to the hype. It officially made us fans of falafel.
If you don’t know what falafel is, it doesn’t matter. Just try it. You’ll enjoy it!
There are other options here too, but the falafel is definitely what they’re known for. Luckily, there was no line when we got there, but you basically order from the window outside and eat as you shop or find a spot to sit and people watch. We got one with spicy sauce (which wasn’t too spicy at all) and one without.
Bergamote et Chocolat
99 Rue Saint-Charles, 75015 Paris, France
Because I have nothing to compare this to, the big takeaway I can really give is that you need to go to a chocolatier in Paris. You just have to. I don’t care which one. Just go. This place in particular was delicious, with a really wide variety of options. You pay by weight, so you just order as many pieces you’d like, then they’ll weigh it to calculate the cost. They also had a bunch of other fun and pretty chocolate products, and although I wanted to take some home, I was worried it would all melt :(. Life isn’t fair sometimes.
Le Bistro Champetre
107 Rue Saint-Charles, 75015 Paris, France
For our final night in Paris, we knew we needed to have a proper Parisian meal. That meant sitting down at a nicer restaurant and eating off a prix fix menu. It was here that we tried foie gras, escargot (which basically made me think I was eating chewy butter if you’re curious), and other signature French dishes. I had creme brûlée for dessert and Tristan had a trio of flavors of ice cream! We even got ourselves a bottle of wine and a glass of orange juice for Dominic. He got to enjoy a nice piece of salmon and one too many fries. The night was perfect.
Tristan had checked with them earlier to see if they had high chairs, and because they didn’t, we brought our own 🙂
9 Carrefour de l’Odéon, 75006 Paris, France
This place was perfect for an on-the-go crepe lunch. It was suggested by a colleague of mine who had lived in France for a while, and I could tell her suggestion was legit when there was a constant line out the door. Know that they don’t speak English, but this was something that made me appreciate it even more. I was at a place that catered to locals and not to tourists which assured me that we would be trying crepes that weren’t like the ones from home.
3 Rue des Rosiers, 75004 Paris, France
After our falafels, we started walking towards our next destination and happened to stumble upon this beauty. If you’ve heard of Magnum ice cream bars, this is the same company. Here, however, you basically design your own Magnum bar with a really great variety of toppings. First you choose the ice cream (vanilla or chocolate), the coating (white chocolate, milk chocolate, or dark chocolate), and 3 toppings. We got almonds, gold flakes, and something else that I forgot, and topped with some drizzle. It was soooo good. We only got one to share since we were stuffed with falafels, but this is definitely a fun and worthwhile stop for dessert!
Yeah, we had to. Check out the fries and the… Chips?! Yup. They also had these sundaes with Speculoos cookies aka COOKIE BUTTER. Why they don’t make them here, I’m not sure, but it was delicious. Also, McCafe has macarons. You read that correctly.
We also ate a Korean spot Kohyang (6 Rue du Général Estienne, 75015 Paris, France) as we needed a little break from the butter and the sweets. Paris actually has a ton of great Korean and Japanese restaurants, so don’t be afraid to try one out to see how different it is from home and just kind of cleanse the palate, if you will 🙂 I could tell Dominic was happy to eat some rice after a while!
Lastly, pretty much every corner you’ll turn, you’ll find cafes like the below with tables and chairs running along the sidewalk to enjoy the weather and people watch. If you have the opportunity, go to one, enjoy a meal, or just sip on coffee and let time run slowly. We noticed Parisians did this all day, all the way into the later hours of the night. We would pass a cafe, then on the way back, still see the same people sitting at some of the tables enjoying their coffee and just talking. It was kind of satisfying knowing that there are people that really know how to enjoy life slowly, and it inspired us to make sure to take time to have days like this too.