When planning your visit to a global culinary capital like Paris, it’s always useful to get an insider’s perspective on great places to chow down.
Enter Ute Biefang — a dedicated European foodie and former producer of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Ute has spent years navigating Paris’ culinary landscape. I caught up with her at popular Chez Prune on the Canal Saint-Martin to garner some tips for must-try Parisian restaurants — and where to find great pastries, chocolate, cheese and wine!
Le Bachaumont is housed in a refurbished heritage hotel, and offers simple French classics served in an elegant dining room. It’s a joint venture between various creative forces, including the team behind Experimental Cocktail Club, designer Dorothée Meilichzon, and chef Gregory Marchard. 18 rue Bachaumont, 75002
Lazare in Gare Saint-Lazare train station is Michelin-starred Eric Frechon’s foray into classic, brasserie-style food, and it delivers deliciously. A super stylish décor and mains priced around 30€ make this eatery well worth a visit. Parvis de la Gare Saint-Lazare, Rue Intérieure, 75008
Housed in a former train station concourse, Le Bouillon Chartier is a Paris icon — and has been since 1896! Cheap and cheerful is the name of the game here. Enjoy classic hearty meals and wonderful desserts such as Baba au rhum with chantilly. The classically attired waiters, high ceilings, heritage luggage racks and wooden seating all add to the atmosphere. 7 rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009
For something sweet to end your meal, head to Breizh Creperie. It’s famous for a reason — simply divine crepes! 111 rue Vieille du Temple, 75003
You can purchase fresh produce for a picnic in vibrant markets all over town. Try Marché Raspail (Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays) and Marché Président Wilson (Wednesdays and Saturdays). Marché Raspail has a very local feel, and offers a 100% organic market on Sundays.
Christophe Adam is responsible for the elegant eclair delights at L’eclair de Génie. Alongside the classic chocolate eclair, you can enjoy caramel, creamy apricot, raspberry, passionfruit and fig varieties. There are five boutiques across the city.
For amazing chocolate, look now further than Patrick Roger. He gathers the ingredients for his sublime chocolate from India to Vanuatu — and everywhere in between! There are seven boutiques to choose from.
Every Parisian appreciates good cheese. There are hundreds of types of French cheeses, and they’re consumed for apéro and dessert — or as the essential ingredient for a Seine-side picnic. Check out the celebrated cheese boutiques of Laurent Dubois. You’ll find them in the 4th, 5th, 9th and 15th arrondissements. Dubois works closely with the best local and regional producers.
Contrary to popular tourist belief, you won’t find great wine in every bar in Paris. It can be hit and miss. Check out Frenchie in the 2nd arrondissement — opposite the well-known restaurant of the same name. This chic wine bar was created to allow patrons to enjoy a spontaneous drop and a shared plate without having to book months in advance or pay full meal prices. Enjoy superb wines and tapas-sized dishes, along with a fabulous range of French and English-style cheeses. 5 rue du Nil, 75002
Do you have any tips for great places to eat in Paris? We would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.
Additional images: Bigstock
Ruby Boukabou is a travel, culture and food writer based between Europe and Australia. She has written for The Age, The Australian, Qantas, Issimo, The Diplomat, Paris Voice and Inside Film. She has also produced culture and travel stories for the ABC, SBS and Screen Australia. When Ruby’s not writing, she is probably tap dancing. She is a founding member of the Paris Tap Crew (which produces the monthly Paris Tap Jam) and a member of jazz/world music group Le Shuffle Project.