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dream bigger, travelhappier Marissa

 
5 Ways to Eat Better in Paris | a travelhappier guide

5 Ways to Eat Better in Paris | a travelhappier guide

Paris has some of the best food in the entire world (see: all of the food pics in this post), but it’s unfortunately also super easy to fall into tourist traps. I really don’t want you to eat mediocre food based on convenience rather than choice - so bookmark this page for the next time you’re planning a trip to Paris. Here are my 5 tips for #eatinghappier in Paris (but they could really apply nearly anywhere):

  1. Research and make restaurant reservations beforehand.

  2. (But also) save room in your itinerary for casual food too: falafels, buckwheat crepes, picnics in the park.

  3. Tip your waitstaff.

  4. Take a food tour and learn about French food culture.


Having the most amazing first course at La Regalade (first seating bc of the baby, of course). Jules woke up just as we walked to the restaurant but was pretty well behaved.

Having the most amazing first course at La Regalade (first seating bc of the baby, of course). Jules woke up just as we walked to the restaurant but was pretty well behaved.

1. Research and make restaurant reservations before you get there.

The easiest way to ensure a great meal in Paris is to do some research (there are some links below to get you started) and then make reservations. It’s that hard and that simple. :)

Don't be afraid to ask your hotel concierge to help you make the reservations (my audiobook-French usually causes more confusion than anything else, sadly). I usually seek out the concierge's help via email over a month in advance of the trip, as many very popular restaurants (read: Le ChateaubriandSeptime, etc.) book up quick. Travel Tip: If they've helped with reservations, I tip the concierges a lump sum when we leave the hotel.

2. {But also} save room in your itinerary for casual food.

This is a falafel. You eat it with a fork. mmmm

This is a falafel. You eat it with a fork. mmmm

Some of the best memories in Paris can be made while having a picnic in the park (go ahead, take a swig of that rosé, nobody minds!) or standing around juggling a falafel in one hand and baby in the other.

Go to La Grande Epicierie for a one-stop gourmet food shop stop that is also amazing for omiyage (treats to take home for family and friends). Although the prices can be a little higher than at other supermarkets). Our falafel pick is L'As Du Fallafel (because I'm a creature of habit, not because the others are bad).

Other French casual food stars: crepes, buckwheat gallettes, and baguette sandwiches (I’m partial to tuna, but the ham and butter baguettes are usually amazing as well).

3. Tip your server. 

This isn’t really a tip for you, per se, but more of a P.S.A. Yes, technically gratuity is already included in your bill (it’s French law), but you should still leave a tip (big or small is up to you).

Although service is “included,” a cash tip is still super appreciated by the staff (and it goes directly to them instead of through their bosses). We always leave $2-20 euros on the table for the staff, depending on how nice the place is and how good the service was.

4. Take a Food Tour.

We always make sure to check on proper food etiquette before visiting a new place and schedule a food tour if possible. Bourdain taught that there is no better way to learn about a cuisine and culture than through food.

We've done food tours in Copenhagen, Vietnam, and Seoul now (all were wonderful and worthy of their own blog posts) but our love of food tours started with Paris by Mouth.

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Meg Zimbec is the genius mastermind behind the Paris by Mouth food tours and the website of the same name. Jer and I did the Taste of the Latin Quarter walking tour 6 years ago (seems forever ago but also just yesterday!) and the cheese workshop 3 years ago. Both times we had Meg (yay!) She’s super knowledgeable and approachable, and I guarantee that you will love a tour with her. No kids under 10 are allowed, so we haven't been able to do tours the last two times we were in Paris- but I'd highly recommend them.

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5. Go to Paris's local food markets and buy stuff just to try it. 

Strawberries, cheese, roast chickens, artichokes, chocolate . . . there is something earthy and lovely about meandering through these French farmers’ markets and buying something to eat right then and there. A list of Paris’s major food markets from the Culture Trip can be found here.

My Favorite Foodie Sources:

For foodspiration and practical information about restaurants, markets, and more - I always click over to

Happy eating and exploring in Paris! Would you be interested in a post about my favorite places to eat in the City of Light? It’s on my mind.

Cheers!
#eatwelltravelhappier
M

 

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