The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

A very incomplete guide to Paris

Fellow blog reader Triphena asked me some good questions about Paris to guide her during her spring break in the city of lights bakeries. Although I'm no expert about Paris, I think this information could help out others. Peut-être. Here are her questions and my answers with plenty of accompanying photos so that you don't fall asleep in front of your computer and end up drooling all over your keyboard.

Any touristy spot you visited that seemed not worth the time or money?

Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower

Mm...nope. Then again, I didn't do much touristy stuff that cost money (touristy things that cost money that you may be interested in: going up the Eiffel Tower, riding on a bateau mouche, visiting more museums than I did), and I can't think of anything I did that wasn't worth my time (keep in mind that I had four months to roam around Paris). One thing I regret not going into is La Saint Chapelle. It costs some moolah but I've heard that it's awesome. I also failed to see the catacombs, which I heard is worth checking out as long as you don't mind being surrounded by mountains of skeletons.

Basilica of St. Dennis

I also didn't go into the museum at the Basilica of St. Dennis, but I heard that's cool too. Seems like there were things that were worth time and money that I just didn't do! Oops.


Oh wait, I lied; there were a few places that I wasn't very into, all non-food shopping related. After hearing about Colette for years I was excited to check it out. It ended up being much smaller than I thought it would be and difficult to navigate due to the high density of human bodies. They smush a lot of stuff into one crowded, sleek, gallery-esque space. I wouldn't say it's not worth checking out, just that you're more likely to get joy out of the experience if you like walking into people. I wasn't very into Galeries Lafayette, but if you like to shop then you'll probably end up there. It's huge and crowded. Stupidly I didn't visit their food section (I didnt know where it was!), but I heard it's worth visiting. Just the food.

Any places that captured your heart?

down the steps
down the steps

Montmartre is really cute. Not the area around the Sacre Coeur so much (swarming with tourists, but you should check it out at least once), but the back streets and buildings and whatnot. I had a lot of good times just roaming around that area with friends, day and night. I actually look forward to climbing the stairs. Yes, I enjoyed something involving physical exertion. Cherish this moment—it may never happen again.

huge paintings
huge paintings

I also really like the Louvre. Just a really cool, huge-ass museum. If you're only there for a vacation you probably won't visit it more than once, but if you think you will and you're a young'un you can save some money by buying a carte jeune for 15 euros.

oo pretty

Also, the park Square du Vert-Galant at the tip of Île de la Cité is very pretty. I never actually went inside, but if it's nice from afar I asume it's nice inside also. know
that know...

If you want to walk around aimlessly at night, check out the pedestrian bridge, Pont des Arts. One night while walking along it with a friend I was bemused by all the groups of teens/college students sitting in circles drinking wine, playing guitar, eating snacks, and just...hanging out. I suppose the closest thing to that in suburban NJ is a bunch of kids hanging out just outside the mall entrance, which doesn't exactly have the same feel. I'd like to go back with my own group of friends...and eat CAKE.

I'm obsessed with bread and want to try a few of the best baguettes. You visited several and I was wondering which were your favs?

Poujauran baguette!
Poujauran | baguette from Maison Kayser

Poujauran and Maison Kayser were two of my favorites, but there were so many places I didn't get to try. :( A baguette de tradition from most bakeries would probably be good, but from my experience a good regular baguette (of non-tradition) is harder to come by. Poujauran's regular baguette is really good (just a little less good than the tradition) and Kayser's baguette de monge has this awesome deep taste of...grainy wheatiness that I loved. MM, GRAINS!!!

Is that falafel place worth it?

L'as du Fallafel

In my opinion, not really. I didn't get to try the other falafel-ries in the area, but they're all next to one another. There was another one that said something like "BEST FALAFEL IN PARIS!" that I'd like to try.

And we have to try a macaroon, right? Which place to go?

Pierre Herme vanilla macaron maccies!
maccie heaven

Pierre Herme makes my favorites. No one else comes close in my opinion.

window salted butter caramel large macarons

Laduree's are my second favorite and come in prettier packaging if you want to give them away as gifts. I didn't get to try the macarons at Sadaharu Aoki or Dalloyau, but I heard they're also good.


another view

From the (sadly) few gelaterias that I tried, my favorite is Pozzetto. Amorino is a safe chain (well, probably the only gelato chain). Berthillon is the most famous ice creamerie in Paris. Not the same as gelato, but still good!

Any not-super-expensive restaurants that serve delicious French food?

Cafe du Marche confit de canard
I like little duckies

Lots of places probably! I think a lot of random cafes probably serve good food, not that I tried a lot. I liked Cafe du Marche for its inexpensive, garlic-smothered confit de canard and proximity to my school.

Le Trumilou canard aux pruneaux fries!

I also like Le Trumilou, the only place I got a poire belle-hélène. And they have yummy duck. And frites. Mmm.

chunk o foie gras pate
oh, the overbearing king of salads

I can't forget about Le Relais Gascon. It's almost the salad of your dreams, except you can't even dream this stuff up. A salad topped with fried potatoes, foie gras, and smoked meat of some sort? That's roughly 500% awesome and -100% healthy! Oooh yeeeeaah.

Finally, my friend and I want to have one nice, more expensive French meal; do you have any recs?

Fresh seasonal salad with sauted chicken liver
Oooh, tasty liver

Unfortunately, no. :| I didn't intensely splurge on any meals...okay, just one, but that doesn't make me qualified to give a recommendation. However, I do have all these other ones! Yay? Esque?

That marks the end of this Q&A! If you have any recommendations or questions, please post them in this forum topic. It's more convenient for me to keep blog entries separate from the informational "conversations" I have through comments for archival purposes (hence why there are no comments on this entry). Feel free to email me as well!



Sara / April 19, 2008 9:32 AM

Hi :) I just wanted to let you know I really liked your blog entry. I don't normally comment on blogs, but this is an exceptional case... I was in Paris two summers ago and had the "king of salads" too. My friend and I just kind of stumbled across that place and I believe I titled my picture of the salad "the salad of the Gods"... Well, I am back in Paris and was dying to find that place again, but couldn't remember the name! I found your blog entry and voila! I have dinner plans for tonight :) Thanks!

Something random from the archives