We got to explore the magical city of Paris, France, and we'll probably be talking about it for the rest of forever because...I can't even explain it. It was breathtaking in every way. <3 Also, one thing we loved about traveling with these girls was that they're both just as big of foodies as we are! And man alive, did we eat our way through that city. All the yummy bread, cheese, croissants, wine...we definitely weren't vegan while we were in Paris, btw. ;)
So, for all of you other foodies out there (say heyyyyy!), we wanted to list some of our favorite spots in La Ville-Lumière...the City of Lights...I definitely didn't google that in French...maybe I did. ;) BUT we did learn how to say "I'm tipsy" in French, and that's all ya need, right?
1. Café La Belle Férronnière
We stumbled upon this cute little cafe at about midnight our first night in Paris. Also, we found it ridiculously cool that people eat dinner at 9pm and take their sweet time. Here in L.A., everyone is always rushing to get to what's next. The French sit back, enjoy their meal, and it was super refreshing to see.
Our recommendations here: The cheese ravioli. Holy yum. Although it's not the "ravioli" you might expect, it does not disappoint. We also recommend getting a bottle of wine with your meal if you're traveling with a group. So cheap in France!
2. Café de l'avenue
Such a cute, little, charming breakfast spot. It looked to be owned and operated by a man and wife. They were the only two in the restaurant when we were there...maybe that fantasy was in our heads, but we imagined them happily married, and opening up the cafe of their dreams. Hopeless romantics, much?
Our recommendations here: Now, we can't totally remember what this was on the menu under...or if it even was on the menu, or if the kind lady helping us just made a suggestion, but she brought us all delicious lattes, a fresh baguette with homemade marmalades and probably the best butter we've ever tasted, and fresh hand squeeze orange juice. Like, we watched her squeeze the oranges behind the counter. So, look for that option!
3. Pain Pain
Okay, y'all, you know we love us a good pastry. So many people recommended this spot to us, and it totally surpassed expectations. Like, croissant heaven tucked away in adorable Montmartre. And also mid-century-ish decor heaven, so win-win!
Our recommendations here: Pistachio chocolate roll, butter croissant, and chocolate bread, and coffee, duh. ;) Honestly, whatever you order is going to take you to next level dessert heaven, so you can't go wrong.
This place was also highly recommended to us. The setting is kind of like an old apartment. Bookshelves and records piled up everywhere. A ping pong table. You can eat dinner while sitting on the bed in the bedroom. Have we mentioned how cool Paris is yet? haha!
Our recommendations here: the fresh pasta, the beef cheeks, and trust them on the fish of the day. Cort got some sort of halibut with greens in a flaky crust and we're still salivating over it. They also have a fabulous wine list and are on point with the suggestions. There also may or may not be a secret room to be found here...but you didn't hear it from us.
5. Da Marcellino
Another little intimate gem in Montmartre...which was probably our favorite area of Paris. It was just so charming. And we're still pretty positive this was our ultimate favorite meal of the trip. I mean, it's pasta, and I'd argue that the French can do pasta almost as well as the Italians. It's different, of course, but it is just amazing. It all tastes so fresh! This was also the place where Jenna and I tried our first Aperol Spritz (how did we go 25 years without knowing how delicious they are?!)
Our recommendations here: Casoncelli della nonna paterna (ravioli stuffed with beef & pork), Mal tagliati all 'aringa (pasta with herring, red sauce, & cherry tomatoes), Cannelloni alla mantovana (Cannelloni style with potimarron, biscuit amaretto, parmesan, mostarda), Tagliolini all 'orata (Tagliolini with sea bream, chervil, basil, red onion confit, slivers of preserved lemon).
And for dessert, you MUST get the Apple Shortcake and the Tiramisu!
Chances are, if you've heard about the legendary hot chocolate in Paris, it's most likely from Angelina. The thickest, creamiest, smoothest hot chocolate we've ever had...like I may never make it at home again, because I've tasted the nectar of the gods and it is sweet, and I don't wanna disappoint myself, ya know? So, go and get some delish ho-cho (in the words of Lorelai Gilmore) and maybe some pretty pastries while you're at it.
Our recommendations here: Hot chocolate, always and forever, and also the truffle omelet is BOMB!
7. Les Antiquaires
Every place we went in Paris was just so darn cute! I love the small restaurant feel. Everything just seems more personal. Les Antiquaires was another favorite spot of ours. Really good wine and cocktails! Fun story. Jenna was really craving a mint julep, and that's obvs not a well-known drink in France, so the bartender didn't know what it was. BUT, he looked up a recipe and made her one anyway, even though it wasn't on the menu, and it was actually really good! French people get a bad rep, y'all. Because I can guarantee that kind gesture would never happen in Los Angeles. ;)
Our recommendations here: creamy lasagnes, sauteed king prawns, grilled tuna with tomato basil coulis, and duck with balsamic sauce and honey...and maybe they'll have mint juleps on the menu!
8. Au Vieux Paris
The restaurant you've seen all over the internet with the wisteria blooming on it! Sadly, the wisteria wasn't in full bloom when we were there, but this place was still pretty adorable! Probably the most leisurely meal we had while we were in Paris. We stayed for about 2 and a half hours, had 3 bottles of rosé, starters, and main courses---all of which were delicious & our waiter was a kick! He (obviously) knew we were American and when he found out we were from L.A., he had a field day with it, and kept saying "eh mah gawd, would you LOOK at her?!" or "that's AH-mazing." He almost had us in tears...probably just searching for a good tip, but hey, it entertained all of us immensely.
Our recommendations here: Escargot! This is the place we tried it, and it was actually really good! French onion soup (if it's available when you go), leg of duck with fresh vegetables, fish of the day (again, can't go wrong here), fresh mussels (a seasonal thing, but get em if you can!), and lots of rosé!
We stopped here quite a few times for coffee and pastries. It's almost always got a line out the door, but it's cute, it's central, and it's got a mean quiche lorraine.
Our recommendations here: Quiche Lorraine (obvs), coffee eclair, chocolate croissant, caramel latte.
Now, we know you've heard about this one too. I mean, we have a couple here in L.A., but nothing, I mean nothing, compares to the glorious Laduree on the Champs Elysées.
Honestly, here we'd recommend trying something new. A different flavor of macaron, or a pastry you've never had before. Because it's basically guaranteed to be amazing!
Whew, we know that was long, BUT hopefully you've got some places in mind if you're going to Paris in the near future! We'd also love to know of any favorites you guys might have because we'll DEFINITELY be going aback! :)
Love & croissants,
Jen & Cort