It’s the city of love. Boy is it the city of LOVE! But there’s more to Paris than romance; so much more. There’s architecture, culture, fashion, but more importantly, food. We honestly had no idea that the food culture in Paris is so rich and abundant. We’re not just talking French food, of course, there’s plenty of that. We’re talking restaurants and cafes from different cuisines and concepts that are overshadowed by the aura of romance this city protrudes. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that but us being serious foodies, we’re here to expose the ginormously expansive food culture Paris has to offer. And if you know us even a little bit, you’d be certain that we aren’t going to recommend the over-priced, touristy spots. Because when you’re in Paris, you eat and drink like the Parisians do. Here’s 13 of our favorite restaurants, bars and cafes in this beautiful city!
This small stand-up coffee bar is the second outlet, after the success of its first in Tokyo. The design of the cafe is simple and quaint, with a beautiful outdoor seating in the famous Parisian garden. Expect good coffee here (we were told they’re Matcha Latte is their best seller) and make sure to grab a scoop of their Salted Caramel Ice Cream that’s ridiculously good.
Le Dépanneur Pigalle
We didn’t plan on visiting this Mexican restaurant, but rather stumbled upon it while strolling through the streets of Paris and noticed a rather crowded restaurant/bar with barely any tables vacant. We knew we had to dine there. We know what you’re thinking – Mexican in Paris? Trust us, it’s not the usual Americanized fast-food Mexican, rather it’s delicious street food that will transport you to the streets of Mexico! Make sure to try their Guacamole that’s served with soft bread instead of nachos (tastes better too), and their beef burger with tangy blue cheese and BBQ sauce – yum!
Oh boy! If you go to Paris, and not check this place out, we’ll be definitely judging you. This little boulangerie isn’t just incredibly cute and super affordable, but they also serve the best roulé in town. You might want to buy a dozen of their Pistachio and Chocolate Roulés – it’s going to be the best thing you’ll ever have! The aroma of the bakery as soon as you walk in will tempt you into wanting to try out everything. And the obvious thing to do is to knock yourselves out!
I don’t think we’ve seen a more gorgeous trattoria than this, even in Dubai. Again, the cuisine isn’t Parisian, but Italian. Insanely good Italian. Their burrata, pizzas, pasta, and prosciutto are super delicious. The quality and portions are commendable for the price it’s served at, and the staff is super friendly as well. It’s a totally different feel when you dine here at day compared to dinner, but since we love our light – we strongly recommend lunching here. Make sure to call in and book a table at Pink Mamma, because even though this eatery is three floors tall, they’re always booked out!
Okay, so this is as Parisian as it can get. We kid you not, we ate macarons in Paris like peanuts. And although most of you might think Laduree serves the best macarons, ask any Parisian and they’ll tell you Pierre Hermé is the king. The macarons are slightly more expensive, but the flavors were far more powerful. Their lychee and raspberry macaron was our favorite! They’ve also got Olive Oil flavored macaroons that surprisingly tasted really good.
Confession. We didn’t get the chance to go to Angelina and try their signature Hot Chocolate since there was a two-hour waiting line and we just couldn’t afford to waste that much time. But we are putting it on our list since it’s one of the most famous cafes in Paris. If you think you’re up for the wait, then we suggest resorting to mob-mentality and waiting out the queue. We’re sure the hot chocolate would be worth the wait.
But if you absolutely don’t have the time, why not head to Ladurée instead and try their hot chocolate there. It’s deliciously thick and indulgent and the cafe itself is so Parisian, it’s worth a visit. Also, we know Pierre Hermé reigns when it comes to excellent macarons, but try Ladurée’s macarons too, they don’t disappoint.
L’As du Falafel
So most you already know that we’ve spend our entire lives in Dubai and have eaten countless falafels since childhood. So when we say the Falafel Sandwiches from L’As du Falafel are the best we’ve EVER had, we’re not kidding. Located in the Jewish quarter of rue des Rosiers, this spot is easy to find thanks to the long queue in front of its green facade. For €6 you get their Falafel Special piled high with crunchy cabbage, roasted eggplant, tahini, hot sauces and of course, deliciously light and crunchy falafel. We miss it already *sniff*
Rooftop Lounge at Shangri La, Paris
Okay, so you all know why we love this place so much. But beautiful memories aside, we definitely recommend a visit to the lounge since it’s only open for a month during summer (usually between July to August). The hotel’s emblematic suite (we were told Beyonce stayed here) on the highest floor opens its terrace to the public in collaboration with Krug Champagne. Sip on some delectable champagne whilst enjoying breathtaking views of the Eiffel Tower. The rate is at approximately €420 for two people including a bottle of Krug Champagne.
A visit to Trocadéro is a must since that’s one of the few places where you get the most beautiful views of the Eiffel Tower. But make sure not to dine at any of the cafés and restaurants around, since they’re all overpriced and the food’s borderline tasteless. Instead, walk a few meters away and seat yourselves at Mokus l’Ecureuil – a restaurant with electrifying interiors and delicious Italian food. Yep, Italian again. Their pizzas are to die for! Delicious toppings and a chewy crust – pair this with an outdoor seating and wine and you’re good to go. Make sure to try their Diavola Pizza, it’s spicy yet yum!
When in Paris (or France for that matter) make sure to visit as many boulangeries as you can. Nothing beats freshly baked pastries and bread straight out of the oven and onto the shelves. Their sandwiches are priced at only €3.50 and are big enough for two people to share. This place is the ultimate street-food stop; they’re literally set up on the street. And although there might be long lines, it’s worth the wait.
Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole
Of all the Parisian cafes we’ve been to, this one’s the prettiest by far! For all you social media addicts who want a Pinterest-worthy Instagram feed, a coffee date here is a must! It’s right next to the Notre Dame and the purple-tone of this cafe makes its a must-visit. Enjoy a cup of coffee here and make sure to sit outdoors. We suggest not dining here since the food is overpriced and not that great.
Finally, if there’s one restaurant in Paris you’d like to go to that’s as French as it can get, it’s L’Abeille. Named after Napoleon’s favorite emblem, the bee, this two Michelin-starred restaurant combines sophisticated cuisine with an enchanting atmosphere next to the garden. Living in Dubai, dining at a Michelin starred restaurant seems unfamiliar for many, which is why if you’re an avid foodie like us, make sure to visit as many Michelin starred restaurants as you can, and you’ll finally realize what spectacular service is all about.
We hope this post will give you an insight into the plethora of choices you have when it comes to eateries in Paris. Mind you, Paris might not have the best French restaurants in the country (we feel cities like Lyon and Annecy serve better French food), but the diversity and food culture here is absolutely commendable. Whenever you travel to Paris, always remember not to dine at the touristic spots, since that’s where restaurants are keen to rip you off. Stroll around the beautiful streets and do not be afraid to drop into tiny bakeries and boulangeries – trust us, that’s where the good stuff lies.
jusqu’à la prochaine fois,