Travel: How to dine in Paris, France

Fresh bread at Au Relais bistro in Montmartre.

Probably the best food I ever ate was during my trip to Paris this summer. Before my friend Lisa and I got there, we made a list of all the foods we wanted to try, and we actually managed to try everything on the list except macarons. We ate duck confit, mousse au chocolat, fresh bread, cheeses, and we drank French wines and soda. Lisa and I shared food so we could try as much as possible during our two days in the country. I highly recommend that for anyone who is traveling on a budget or only has a short amount of time in any city. Split an appetizer, entree and dessert with every meal to make the most of it.

Some of my favorite dishes from Paris:

A chocolate croissant from the patisserie by our hotel in Levallois-Perret. We started every morning with a stop there. Pure. Heaven.

And this is it: the best dish I ever ate. The duck confit with fries at L’Escurial in Marais. I mean, really, otherworldly. The meat was so tender you could just gently tug it off the bone and the skin was crispy and perfect. This sidewalk cafe was so cute, too, with purple and red chairs.

One of my favorite things about Paris? Nutella everywhere. Everywhere. We ate so many crepes.

Creme brûlée at Le Restaurant Saint Severin. Again, perfection.

A baguette sandwich at an outdoor cafe in the garden area of Palace of Versailles.

Orangina, the French carbonated citrus beverage made up of orange, lemon, mandarin and grapefruit juices.

Quiche lorraine at the patisserie by our hotel.

Pretty much the universal way of serving water in Paris – with a pitcher and tiny glasses to serve yourself.

A croque monsieur, a hot ham and cheese grilled sandwich, at Le Restaurant Saint Severin.

A cheese plate at Au Relais.

A cheese soup and salad at Au Relais.

Perusing the wine list at  L’Escurial in Marais. We went with the Sancerre AOC – Bardin.

I’m usually all over researching restaurants before visiting a place, but Lisa and I didn’t have time to do any real restaurant research before Paris (we were too busy planning everything else). I think it’s a testament to how good French food is that we were able to just stop in any restaurant on the street and it was all universally good. In fact, the worst meal we had was at an Italian restaurant right after we landed (it was the only thing that was open late.).

If there’s one country whose food I could eat for the rest of my life, it would be France. And until I finally get to travel to Italy, I’ll be sticking with that.


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