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Where to eat in Paris is one of the biggest questions when planning a trip to France. French cuisine is known for its decadent flavors and high-end restaurants, but delicious French flavors can be found at any budget. From a simple picnic to delectable desserts, there is a French delicacy waiting for everyone! French food is now one of my favorite cuisine styles in the world, but I didn’t know that before my first trip to Paris. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite places around Paris to help you decide what to prioritize when deciding where to eat in Paris.
Pick the sunniest day of your trip to indulge in a quintessentially Parisian activity: a picnic! This isn’t just for tourists, either. You’ll fit right in with the Parisian locals soaking up a sunny day.
You will need…
A baguette (or 2, or 3!)
Some French cheese – a soft cheese like Brie will be easier to spread (don’t forget a knife!)
A basket of strawberries
Wine — white wine or rosé is ideal for eating en plein air
Place des Vosges: In the heart of Le Marais district, the Place des Vosges is one of Paris’ most beautiful squares!
Somewhere Along the Seine: Wherever you are along the Seine, you’re sure to come across a nice patch of grass perfect for picnicking, complete with a view of the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral
Champ de Mars: Located around the Eiffel Tower, this public greenspace is my #1 choice for a Paris picnic! What could be more perfect than lunch with an up-close view of the Eiffel Tower? There’s plenty of space to spread out in this sprawling park, and it’s full of opportunities for people watching.
Escargot is a must-try delicacy when in France! L’Escargot Montorgueil is a mid-range restaurant located in the 1st arrondissement, just a few blocks north of the Louvre. The interior of the restaurant is beautifully decorated with plants hanging from the ceilings and lights strung up everywhere.
They specialize in classically prepared escargot, which means large snails cooked in butter, garlic, and parsley, and it is truly delectable. If you’ve never tried escargot before, this is the perfect place to test the waters! A plate of 6 snails is €12.
Fondue in Montmartre
Le Refuge des Fondus, located in the artsy district known as Montmartre, is the perfect spot for a fun and memorable dinner option for where to eat in Paris. The menu is simple: fondue with cheese or meat? The wine (simply a choice of white or red) is served in baby bottles. And you might have to climb over a table to get to your seat. Hijinks are sure to ensue.
This quirky restaurant fills up fast, so you’ll want to get there as early as possible (they open at 7pm) to get a seat. Their fondue has been described as “liquid gold” and the servers are quick to refill patrons’ wine bottles. It’s boisterous and fun and the exact type of unique experience I look for when traveling.
Another French delicacy that you simply can’t leave Paris without trying, frog legs can be found and most French restaurants in Paris. I ordered the cuisses de grenouille as an appetizer at La Frégate, a small brasserie in the 1st arrondissement on the corner of Quai Voltaire and Pont Royal, just across the Seine from the Louvre. The evening I visited, a rainstorm had just passed and the sun had appeared for the first time all day. We sat outside at a quaint table and enjoyed people watching on this busy street corner.
La Frégate offers a full menu with a variety of French and familiar dishes, but I was thoroughly impressed with their cuisses de grenouille. They were buttery and garlicky – a flavor combination sure to entice me anytime. Much like the escargot, frog legs were a surprisingly delicious appetizer. They are often compared to chicken wings in texture and size, and I think that’s an accurate description. Don’t be scared! Order the frog legs.
The famous Angelina has locations throughout Paris. When thinking about where to eat in Paris for breakfast or coffee, Angelina should be at the top of your list! The gorgeous cafes are chic and modern, featuring colorful macarons, a variety of fluffy pastries, coffee and espresso drinks, and their specialty: hot chocolate.
Hot chocolate, aka chocolat chaud, at Angelina is like no other hot chocolate you have ever had. The drink is thick, pure chocolate. It’s extremely rich, so one cup could easily be split with a friend!
Speaking of sweet treats, Ladurée bakes the most wonderful macarons in the world. The macarons at Ladurée are light, fluffy yet crispy, and the perfect balance of sweet but not too sweet. They offer 12 classic flavors and 6 additional seasonal flavors. My all-time favorite is rose — it tastes just like the way a rose smells, in the best way possible. Caramel and blackcurrant violet are fabulous, as well. While Ladurée’s macarons are a bit more expensive than at other patisseries, the difference in flavor and quality is worth the added expense.