Carine Seitz offers up a foodie's guide to the best eateries in Paris.
**You should never find yourself bored in Paris. Or hungry. There’s somewhere to eat on virtually every street you walk down, from bistros and creperies to cafes and restaurants. Like any city, there are good and bad places to fill your belly, so food writer Carine Seitz has weeded out the latter for you. Here are her culinary highlights.**
If there’s one thing the French do exceptionally well, it’s patisserie. Ladurée is famed for it’s macarons: small round cakes which are crisp on the outside and soft and smooth in the middle. The flavour possibilities are vast: chocolate, coffee, orange blossom, rose, almond and lemon to name a few. There are 6 branches in Paris, but the Ladurée on rue Bonaparte has a beautiful 19th century-inspired interior.
- **Hot chocolate & cake**
If you’re a fan of hot chocolate, Angelina (226 rue de Rivoli) is a must. The cakes are pretty special too - think those consumed by Kirsten Dunst in Marie Antoinette and you’ll get the picture. Mont Blanc is a speciality and has been prepared to a secret recipe for years.
- **Tea vicar**
If you’re more of a Tea Jenny, then check out Mariage Frères. Specialists in tea since 1854, their collection of teas and related paraphernalia is extraordinary.
- **Brekkie & brunch**
If you’re looking for a good weekend brunch, head for Hotel Amour. Owned by graffiti artist André, it’s located in hip SoPi (south Pigalle). Alternatively, Le Pain Quotidien: Le Pain De La Bourse has big communal tables which sit large groups. Or Les Deux Magots is famed for having been Oscar Wilde’s breakfast destination every day, during his year-long exile in Paris.
- **Lunch in style**
For lunch, try Le Café Marly (93 rue de Rivoli). Next to the Musee du Louvre, the terrace looks out onto IM Pei’s glass pyramid. If you happen to be in town during Paris Fashion Week you’ll find it bustling with international fashion press – dark shades are de rigeur. If you don’t find them here you’ll find them at L’Avenue, which holds down the most chic intersection in the world: the corner of avenue Montaigne and rue Francois I. Colette is another destination hot spot for the style-savvy. Check out the café downstairs where there are over 100 different brands of mineral water to choose from.
- **Bistro fare**
Le Café Du Commerce is an airy brasserie spread over three floors and has a history dating back to 1921. If you order the rum baba for dessert they’ll leave the bottle at your table to top up as you like. Le Coude Fou in the Marais and Chez Georges (1 rue de Mail) are both known for being quintessentially Parisian bistros. Le Coude Fou in particular is good for traditional French food and at Chez Georges you’ll find the best steak béarnaise and skinny frites in Paris (they also operate BYOB). Expect good old-fashioned service and excellent atmospheres at both. Incidentally, the Marais is also the Jewish quarter and as a result there is a glut of take aways selling falafel in this area. L’As du Fallafel (34 rue des Rosiers) is probably the most famous falafel joint and is number two on David Lebovitz’s list of 10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris. Lenny Kravitz is said to be a loyal customer.
- **Meals with a view**
For something more glamorous there’s Le Ciel De Paris. Located on the 56th floor of the Tour Maine Montparnasse, the view of Paris is second to none. Thoumieux (79 rue St-Dominique) has been a part of the Paris dining scene forever but was recently taken over by the Costes brothers who appointed Jean François Piege as Head Chef. Speaking of the Costes brothers, the restaurant that sprawls over most of the famous Hôtel Costes lobby on Rue St Honoré is where you eat if you’re French and you’re famous. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself sitting next to Catherine Deneuve or Vanessa Paradis and Johnny Depp. And if all the French food’s proving a bit too much for you seek out Flora Danica, a Danish restaurant with a lovely terrace for eating outside.
A few other places no self-respecting foodie should miss in Paris….
**Ice Cream, Patisserie, Chocolate:
- Fromagerie Quatrehomme (62 rue de Sevres), Fromagerie 31 (31 rue de Seine)
**Written by:** Carine Seitz