If you love fresh bread, triple creme cheeses, wine, crepes, ethereal pastries, bittersweet chocolate, or many more food pleasures, Paris needs no introduction. But are the best versions of these foods only available at 3 Michelin starred restaurants (of which Paris has several)? Not at all. Take a quick tour with us to some of our favorite pastry, cheese, bread, chocolate and ice cream shops and whet your appetite for your next visit to the City of Light. Hungry for more? Check out our Paris for Foodies and Paris with Kids posts.
<strong><a href="http://www.pierreherme.com/" target="_hplink">Pierre Herme</a></strong> is a master of macarons. Try the Mogador (passion fruit macaron with chocolate filling), pistache and griottine (pistachio and cherry filled macaron) if it's in season, or caramel & fleur de sel. If you're not in the mood for macarons, millefeille and other pastries are also wonderful here.
While there is certainly no shortage of cheese shops in Paris, we especially love Fromagerie Quatrehomme (62 Rue Sevres). Marie Quatrehomme, one of the very best fromageres in the business, personally knows her producers and expertly ages their cheeses in the shop's cool cellars. Try the remarkable aged chevre, luscious St. Marcellin, truffled Mont d'Or, or get recommendations from Marie or her helpful staff.
<strong><a href="http://www.maison-kayser.com/" target="_hplink">Eric Kayser's bakeries</a></strong> are all over Paris (and even internationally--we've sampled his wonderful breads and pastries in Moscow) so you shouldn't have a problem finding one to sample his pain aux cereales, a light bread with grains of millet, sesame and sunflower seeds on the inside and a crunchy sesame crust. Pastries and sweet items are also delicious, especially the almond croissants and the seasonally available stollen.
For the best luscious ice cream or sorbet, make your way to <a href="http://www.berthillon.fr" target="_hplink"><strong>Berthillon</strong></a> on the Ile Saint Louis. Try their famous intensely flavored cassis (black currant) or fraise du bois (wild strawberry) sorbets, or decadent chocolate and caramel ice cream. Note that the cafe is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
A crepe from any crepe stand in Paris makes a good quick snack, but if you really want to indulge in some of Paris' best savory galettes and sweet crepes, make a reservation at <a href="http://www.breizhcafe.com/fr-breizh-cafe-paris.html" target="_hplink"><strong>Breizh Cafe</strong></a>. Try Bretonne galette, stuffed with egg, mushroom, bacon and cream, wash it down with cider, and finish with one of the delectable sweet crepes--perhaps raspberry, or the salted butter caramel. Photo: portmanteaus
Everyone has their favorite chocolatier in Paris, each with their own unique creations. We love <strong>L'Etoile d'Or </strong>(30, rue Fontaine) though, for its selection of hard to find artisanal chocolates from other parts of France, especially Bernachon chocolate from Lyon, which meticulously selects its own cocoa beans, then roasts, grinds, and blends the chocolate in-house. Try the pistachio marzipan or Kalouga (salted butter caramel enrobed in dark chocolate).
On Sundays, head to the organic market at Boulevard Raspail for a vibrant assortment of picture-perfect organic fruits, vegetables, prepared foods and more. Grab a cheese, potato and onion galette to munch on, and don't miss tangy and aged goat cheese from Philippe Gregoire.
Don't get us wrong--L'Arpege, L'Astrance and their ilk are spectacular and sublime experiences. But Taillevent, notwithstanding its 2-star Michelin status, is perfect for that decadent lunch (80 EUR), when you want more traditional haute French cuisine in a beautiful formal setting. Not to mention the incredible wine list, and generally lower markup than some other top restaurants. Maitre d' Jean-Marie Ancher warmly greets regulars and new guests alike and is a self-described fan of the U.S., where he has many friends. Photo: <a href="http://travelsort.com/users/hilary-stockton" target="_hplink">Hilary Stockton</a>
Bistro Paul Bert has already made a name for itself, so you'll need reservations to dine here. Don't let that dissuade you, as it serves some of the best steak frites anywhere, along with superb fruit tarts, enormous Paris-Brest, and other indulgent desserts.
Ble Sucre may be a bit out of the way, located as it is in the 12th Arrondisement (7 rue Antonie Vollon) near the lively Place d'Aligre market. But it would be a shame to miss the perfectly flaky, buttery croissants, the caramelized kouign amann, the exquisite tarte tatin made from an entire apple, or more from Fabrice Le Bourdat, the former pastry chef at Le Bristol.
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