I was on a mission. As I've said before, Paris has been on my travel bucket list forever and experiencing the food was no exception.
Every meal is an opportunity to experience the best that Paris has to offer. So, you bet your tooshie I logged some time in doing research. Unfortunately, there weren't enough meals in the day.
I'm going to save y'all some time by putting up my list of recommendations and a few other restaurants worth going to--I promise, you won't regret it.
(Tip: Oh, and when you're done licking your plate, don't forget to ask the waiter "L'addition s'il vous plaît!" (Pronounced: LAH-DEE-SEE-OHN SEEL-VOO-PLAY). It means "Check, please!")
And now, without further ado...
Your Parisian guide to cafés & restaurants:
I couldn't have asked for a better first meal in Paris. It's not the cheapest, but it depends on what you order. I was willing to splurge because it was my first meal in Paris. I ordered Le Petit Déjuner JP Satre (Tip: the amount of food brought out could feed two). I recommend trying the hot chocolate here. I later discovered this was and still is quite the spot. Originally frequented by thinkers, writers, and celebrities. When you sit here, you'll dine with Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Ernest Hemingway.
Conveniently location just next door is Le Deux Magots's main rival, Café de Flor. One of the oldest cafés in Paris, they have mastered the art of perfect Parisian ambiance. Like its competitor, it isn't wallet-friendly, but it depends on what you order. I recommend trying their croissant and hot chocolate (it's famously delicious). This gem was and is frequented by famous thinkers, writers, and celebrities. Sit here and enjoy the company of George Bataille, Simone Signoret, and Pablo Picasso.
I know. I know. You're in Paris. So, why the heck would you get Fallafel? Because it's fallafel in Paris, that's why. This street is full of Fallafel joints, but this one has two lines out the door for a reason. It's been a week since I had this and I'm already craving for more. Service is quick. You'll have the option to eat here or for take away. If the latter, don't forget to scope out a location with a view. You're already in Marais, so it shouldn't be too hard.
If you're lucky, you already live in a city that has a Ladurée, but if you haven't, then a visit is a must. This is the quintessential macrons. After all, this is where it all originated. I enjoyed their foie gras however, if you want the full experience, sit down and have some tea. I recommend trying at least one macaron while you're here. The rose is my favorite. If you'd like something different, their ispahan is truly special.
The one and only question they will ask you as you sit down is "how do you like your steak?" That's because they only serve one thing on the menu--steak and fries. Best of all, just as you're finishing your plate and wishing you had more, they will come around for round 2. The steak and fries are drizzled in a rich herb sauce that's worth the 45 minute wait. (Ok. Fine I lied. They also have some impressive deserts.)
Bistro Paul Bert
Based on the recommendations of my friendly and entertaining waiter, I ordered the steak and fries followed by the biggest soufflé I've ever had. The food was phenomenal. (Tip: share the soufflé, it's quite large). I think my favorite was the waiter who was throwing and catching wine glasses left and right. He was dancing and weaving between tables and tasks. It was quite the show.
I was starving. Luckily, I stumbled into Pub Kléber. I figured I would have to take a break from my food adventure, but then I saw truffle risotto on the menu... It could've been because I hadn't eaten all day, but this risotto was phenomenal. I learned 2 lessons: 1. Just because it's a bar doesn't mean they don't have good food; 2. You can pretty much stumble in anywhere in Paris and eat great food.
Au Vieux Paris d'Arcole
...is unfortunately, one of the places I didn't go. I can only speak to the ambiance as I passed by, but it was good enough for me to regret not visiting. If you're lucky enough to sit outside, the environment will embrace you. After you've visited the Notre Dame, sit down, relax, order a grand crème and enjoy the scene.
I was excited to try the famously delicious crêpe from Breizh Café until I found out that it was closed on Mondays--my last day here. After much consideration and research, I've deemed this worthy to recommend to try out. If you go before I do or have been there before, you'll have to let me know how it is/was!
(Sadly, I have no pictures for Breizh Café.)
If you have any recommendations of your own, you'll have to let me know! I'm making a new list of must-eats for my next visit.
Until then, bon appétit ma chérie!