As you may know, I had a trip to Paris planned this summer, and now that I’m back, I wanted to share some of the food-oriented places that I enjoyed visiting while there. I think that most people consider Paris to be an epicenter of delicious food, and it’s true that most of the food there doesn’t disappoint. However, I was glad that I had researched some places ahead of time to find out what’s recommended, because I felt like I made the most out of the ten days I had to eat as much as I possibly could (I’m kidding here, but only halfway). Some of these places are ones that I knew were well-recommended, and some were just ones I happened to come across, but they all had something special that stuck with me. Since my list was much too long to fit everything in one post, I hereby present to you the first part of my Paris Eats…
Bakeries and Coffee Shops
Rose Bakery – On our very first morning in Paris, we went to Rose Bakery, and I immediatley felt like I belonged there. It’s a quaint little shop that’s sort of rustic chic, and as you sit there you see dough being rolled out, quiches being filled, and overall edible perfection being made right in front of your eyes. We sat down to fresh, boulangerie-style bread and French butter, and I think we all knew from that point that we were comfortable there. I wish I could have tried all of the delicious food, but I truly enjoyed what I did get to try: the chocolate marble loaf, berry muffin, scone with butter and confiture (jam), and eggplant and feta quiche. Another thing I loved about Rose Bakery was the coffee. If you want a latte in Paris, good options aren’t exactly jumping out at you, and it’s pure comfort to wrap your hands around one of Rose Bakery’s piggy lattes, served in a big bowl with raw sugar and a little piece of cake on the side. I could go on raving about this place (and feel free to ask me more if you’re planning a visit), but words really can’t convey how fond I was and still am of it.
KB (Kooka Boora) Café Shop – Like Rose Bakery, this isn’t exactly a French place, but I promise you that it’s worth a visit. The café has a really relaxed vibe to it, and we were pretty much content to hang out their for a while enjoying the free wifi, which was like a luxury to us in France. They serve beautifully presented lattes here as well as big carafes of black coffee (raw sugar included). I also got to enjoy two of my new obsessions – fresh pamplemousse (grapefruit) juice, and warm scones with butter and jam (recipe to come!). I honestly didn’t understand what could be so good about a plain scone served that way until I had it here. It was worth every bit of butter and jam, for sure! I also can’t forget to mention the homemade granola. It’s chock full of flavors and another change from typical Parisian pastries that really reminded me of home in a comforting way.
Bread and Roses – One of the things that still strikes me about Bread and Roses is how fresh, clean, and beautiful it was inside this bakery. With the roses placed on each table and the amazing looking bread lining the shelves, the bakery suits its name perfectly. I was dreaming about the bread and pastries I didn’t get to try, but I did try their raspberry tarlet and their millefeuille (Napoleon). Both were gorgeously presented and tasted excellent. I think the highlight of this visit though, funny as it may seem, was the fresh pamplemousse juice I had. I am IN LOVE with that stuff, I kid you not.
La Capucine – What I discovered in Paris is that for the most part, you need to go to a specialized coffee shop to get good coffee. Many cafés and restaurants serve coffee, but that doesn’t mean it’s worth your euros – trust me. For this reason, I sought out places ahead of time that were known for their coffee, and was mostly dissapointed every time I chanced trying coffee elsewhere. However, I was pleasantly surprised with La Capucine’s cappuccino, since this café was a chance find in a small town called Giverny. They’ll make the capp with milk or cream, based on your preference, and top it with cocoa powder, and it actually tastes good. After having a less-than-worth-it coffee at another restaurant the same morning, I rued that I hadn’t ordered here myself. The café gets points for their pastries, too, which are perfect to go alongside your cuppa. I tried the Tarte aux Fruits (fruit tart) made with apricots, and the Tarte Crumble, which had apples and nuts. The apricot tart was filled with tangy apricots and had notes of lemon and a flaky crust, while the apple crumble tart was really light and sweet without being too sweet. If you’re heading out to visit Monet’s Gardens in Giverny, which you absolutely must do if you find yourself in Paris, La Capucine is a reliable place to get a quick breakfast or sweet treat.
Chez Manon – We stopped at this pastry shop purely by chance, because it was near our hotel and the place we were planning on going to was closed. I’m really glad we did though, because it was a great place to have some French-style pastries, things that you really can’t get in the US unless you make them yourself. I had an almond croissant, which was sort of like a twisted croissant with sugary almond flavor and slivered almonds on top. I also got to try their apple gallette and their big financiers. The financiers in particular are still stuck in my mind (recipes coming soon, perhaps?!); we had the pistache and the pomme (apple) and I was pretty much in love with their light and sweet (but not too sweet) goodness.
Boulangerie Huré -If you’re heading towards Notre Dame on the Île de la Cité, it’s not easy to miss Boulangerie Huré and the throngs of people clamoring for a bite of one of their delicious pastries. The pastries here are divine, and there were so many mouthwatering choices that I wanted to try everything. We settled on a chocolate pistachio escargot (no snails here – the name describes the rolled shape), a nutella-filled brioche roll, and a pistachio apricot tarte. They were all insanely good and filled with flavor. This was hands-down one of my favorite pastry shops in Paris.
Poilâne – I did a lot of planning for Paris, down to mapping the locations of the bakeries I wanted to visit, so I was pretty excited when we passed by Poilâne in a location I didn’t know existed. The shop was incredibly small but filled to the brim with bread and other treats. I couldn’t resist trying the pain au chocolat, and it was flaky, buttery, and delicious. They also had a little basket of butter cookies to try, and I was really surprised at how good they were. I only wish I could have sampled more!
Coutume Café – I’ve heard they have amazing breakfast burritos at Coutume Café, but unfortunatley we slept in too late the morning of our visit and missed out on them. Instead, we stopped by for coffee, another of Coutume’s specialties, and it was worth the visit. I had a café mocha, complete with a latte art garnish, and was content enjoying the café’s clean and modern decor while I sat their sipping. I appreciated the raw sugar here too – it you like flavored lattes like me, you’re gonna need that quality sugar when ordering a latte in France!
La Caféothèque – As the name suggests, this is predominantly a coffee shop, and they take coffee seriously here, with tons of different kinds of coffee beans that they roast and grind in-shop. Their coffee actually wasn’t on the top of everyone’s list, but based on the rave reviews I’ve read of the place, perhaps this was just due to the type of coffee we ordered and our personal preferences. I think that La Caféothèque is mostly a place for lovers of really strong coffee, and that’s not quite me. What I did love about this place though was the charming, nature-centered atmosphere and the Michel Cuizel chocolate served with every cup. They seem to have limited food choices, but I had their pain au chocolat and it was didn’t disappoint – it was pleasantly flaky and clearly made with good-quality chocolate.
That’s all for now, but check back soon for some tasty restaurant meals in Paris. Have a great rest of the weekend everyone!