There is no better way to get acquainted with a new city than through food. I love tasting my way through a city - wandering through grocery stores and markets for hours, making daily coffee shop visits and trying out a few fine dining spots.

Both Stephen and I prefer to keep a loose itinerary when we travel, but we usually come prepared with a “wish list” of restaurants. The difficulty with Paris was that our list was too immense. Even after 8 days in Paris, we still have a long list of dining spots yet to be explored.

We had so much fun eating in Paris. Novelties dishes to us are commonplace to the French, such as beef tartare, foie gras and escargot. And we were enamored by how amazing the pastries actually are.

And we know, because we tried more than we would care to admit. But...when in Paris!

As we walked through the city, we would grab pastries at any boulangerie (bread bakery) or pâtisserie (pastry bakery) that enticed us.

I’ll highlight some of our best food memories from our trip but will also include a list at the bottom, in case it’s helpful.

We stopped at a cafe, Le Peloton, on our first day whose claim was the “best flat white” in Paris.

It’s very tiny and crowded, as we found to be true with most dining establishments in Paris, so we ordered it to-go, and drank along the Seine.

I looked forward to trying french macarons for the first time in France. I’ve always loved their subtle flavors and textures and how they are the perfect bite-sized dessert. We went to the two places that we heard were the best, Pierre Hermé and Ladurée.

Our favorite was Ladurée’s vanilla citrus macaron, a classic with a twist of bright flavor.

Since we attend an international church in Buenos Aires, we decided to visit the American Church of Paris on the Sunday morning we were there. It was located a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower.

During our morning walk, we stopped at a boulangerie for breakfast and coffee, and we noticed that the locals pack out the bakeries on Sunday mornings. Every bakery we passed was filled with long lines of locals ordering an array of pastries to take home.

There's something cozy about a rainy Sunday morning in a small, crowded pastry shop. We ordered a jumbo macaron filled with cream to share and an almond croissant (each).

We tried so many pastries, but we definitely narrowed down our favorites by the end of the trip.

The pistacio and chocolate snail from Du Pain et des Ideés was one of them. This bakery was Laurent's (our airbnb host) favorite pastry shop in the city, and it's easy to see why.

Cafe de Flore is a bit pricier than other cafes but it is one of the oldest in the city, and used to be frequented by great thinkers like Albus Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre, so it was on Stephen’s list of stops.

We loved the outdoor seating available at most cafes and restaurants, even in the dead of winter. Almost every cafe has outdoor heaters and blankets, so even on the chilliest day, we could still enjoy the views of the streets as we sipped and chatted.

As a Christmas gift, Stephen bought me The Monocle Travel Guide to Paris. (We had the Bangkok edition which we used earlier this year when we were in Thailand. Our favorite feature was the neighborhood walking tours.)

In Paris, we followed Monocle's Montmartre walking tour which suggests a specific route leading us to various cafes, restaurants, historical spots and bookstores.

The best gem of the entire tour was hands - down the patisserie, Boris. It’s a tiny cafe with an amazing selection of pastries. If I could only return to one bakery in all of Paris, it would be this one. That's a bold statement.

A few reasons why Boris was my favorite bakery:

1. The Paris Brest is a pastry with praline flavored cream and all kinds of amazing textures. Theirs was heaven.

2. Their tiles are designed with baguettes...come on.

3. Bread, bread, bread.

Honestly, some of our favorite pastries were found at a little place on our street, Mireille. It is a very unassuming family - run bakery, and they specialize in meringues, but their chocolate eclairs and croissant aux amande (almond croissants) were some of the best we had.

So oftentimes, we would swing by on our way home and pick up a pastry to hold us over until dinner.

Another spot we loved was Depot Legal located only a few blocks from the Louvre, and after a long day of walking around the museum we were ready to sit down for a while.

They had a beautiful selection of artisanal eclairs, as well as a stylish interior.

Carbon was another beautiful restaurant that we found while walking around our neighborhood. It was great for light fare for those "in between lunch and dinner" hours, which is surprisingly hard to find in Paris.

We didn't have a huge budget for our trip, so we tried to spend less during the day and occasionally splurge at dinner.

Definitely our cheapest meal, Chez Aline was the best sandwich of our trip. My dad has always taught me that a good sandwich is in the bread, and this sandwich had good bread. You really can't go wrong with fresh, crusty bread and salty deli ingredients slathered in butter.

Stephen and I noticed that baguettes were practically an accessory to the French. We saw so many people walking around with their baguettes, unabashedly stealing bites en route to their next destination.

When you think of Paris, you think of pastries but you don't necessarily think of Israeli food. But that all changed when we actually started to eat in Paris.

A short walk from our apartment, we heard that there was a place with the "best falafel in the world" which is a huge claim. L'As du Fallafel. It was a truly delicious falafel, but we asked ourselves, was it really the BEST?

A few nights later, we were feeling too lazy to leave our neighborhood for dinner, so we tried an Israeli food spot called Miznon that Stephen had seen on a blog. It was actually THE BEST. Unfortunately I don't have any great pictures of it, because it's a dark, crowded restaurant, with constant lines of people, but their lamb kebab competes with the best meals we ate in Paris. As a side, we ordered a steamed cauliflower head, which we dipped in their assortment of sauces including tahini sauce, and hot sauce with jalapeños.

It was so good that we went back a second time, on our last night.

(Good news is, a Miznon just went into the NYC Chelsea Market this month, so I don't have to fly to Europe to get my fix!)

We went to Au Pied de Cochan on our first night for traditional french fancy fare. The name translates to "pig's foot" because that's actually their specialty.

The decor was elaborate, bordering on the chintzy side in the best kind of way. We loved the buttery escargot appetizer, the béarnaise sauce on our steak, and the three profiteroles that topped off the night.

After the disappointment of realizing we couldn't get a reservation at Bistro Paul Bert for our token "steak and frites" meal, we went to L' Relais de l'Entrecote.

We sat down, and instead of receiving a menu, we were asked immediately how we would like our steak cooked, and then our waitress walked away. Stephen and I looked at each other with fear in our eyes, because we had no clue how much this meal was going to cost. They brought us over a bread basket, salads, and two plates of steak dripping in sauce, accompanied by a mass of fries.

It was perfect, and for my (basically Argentine) husband to be impressed by steak not from Argentina, is saying a lot.

But our fear grew, when our waitress brought over a second plate of fries and steak for each of us. Did we just sit down at an all you can eat steak restaurant? we whispered to each other.

Luckily, when the bill came, it was reasonably priced, and it wasn't in fact all you can eat, but rather, one meal, split into two portions to keep the meal hot. All in all, we were so thankful to find an amazing steak and frites meal before trip's end, and the experience gave us quite the laugh.

One of the stars of our trip was the Clown Bar. It's located in Le Marais, next to the Cirque d'Hiver (Winter Circus), and its name dates back to the mid 1800's when the clowns would visit for drinks and nourishment after the shows. The restaurant has a beautiful Belle Epoque themed design, both elegant and playful.

We were fortunate to find seating on a Friday night without a reservation. We learned very quickly to adapt to the tight quarters of dining in Paris - it's essential to become friends with fellow diners, since you are usually sitting elbow to elbow with those flanking your sides. (It's so tight, that the waiters oftentimes move the entire table out so you can get in. And once you're seated, you can forget about getting up for the bathroom.) This wasn't something we were huge fans of, but we got used to it.

The Clown Bar was a bit pricey so we shared a main dish and tried a couple starters. The cured pork belly was like eating ribbons of buttery bacon. The scallop with smoked ricotta was tender and delicate. But the duck and foie gras pie was the best bite of our trip.

Le Mary Celeste was another Le Marais establishment that we loved - known for their oysters, cocktails and intricate appetizers. We were crazy about their beef tartare.

I'm such a sucker for good packaging, so Stephen knew this chocolate shop would win me over. It's called Chocolaterie Cyril Lignac, and it reminded me of a Parisian version of Mast Brothers. It's perfect for souvenirs or gifts.

Last but not least, Aux Merveilleux de Fred bakeries are sprinkled throughout the city, and I was so enamored by these exquisite creations. We loved the Magnifique (tan shown above) which is meringue praline whipped cream coated with almond chips and caremlized hazelnuts.

The food we ate in Paris left such a strong impression on us. We loved the rich flavors, the flaky pastries, the crusty bread, and the cultural emphasis on gathering together around food in France. We miss it already and are looking forward to the next opportunity we have to wander the streets of Paris, croissant in hand.

Here's our list of favorite places:


Boris Patisserie -Montmartre

Aux Merveilleux de Fred - multiple locations

La Moulin de la Vierge - near Eiffel Tower

Mireille - Marais

Du Pain et des Idées - 10th arr.


Pierre Hermé - multiple locations

Lauduree - multiple locations


Broken Arm - Marais

Le Peloton - Marais

Cafe Kitsune - near the Louvre

Cafe de Flore - Saint Germain

Restaurants with cafes, drinks & breakfast

Depot Legal - near the Louvre

Cafe Charlot - Marais

Maisson Ploisson - Marais

Merci - Marais *plays Wes Anderson movies

Cheaper Eats

Miznon - Marais

L’as du Fallafel - Marais

Chez Aline-

Candelaria (tacos) - Marais

Fancier Restaurants

Carbon - Marais

Clown Bar - Marais

Au Pied de Cochan - 2nd arr.

Relais l’ Entrecote - multiple locations

Le Mary Celeste - Marais


Chocolaterie Cyril Lignac - Saint Germain

Places we saved for our next trip

La Buvette

Bistro Paul Bert


Floral photography by Mountain Gap Photography and Lefont Events
Journal photography by Courtney Di Trolio