Magical Paris, Magical Food

As usually happens, it’s been far too long since we’ve found the time to write a blog post. As we begin to approach the last days of junior year, things just seem to continue getting busier! But we haven’t forgotten our love for food and cooking, of course. We’re both looking forward to having kitchens in our rooms next year for the first time in college.

We went with two of our friends over the week of spring break to Paris, where we were able to also see a couple of friends studying abroad. It was a great time to go since airfare is relatively cheap to Europe right now! The weather was less than ideal, but the food exceeded expectations. And the incredible artwork everywhere was just lovely. Anyway, we figured we’d compile a quick list of our favorite places we ate. Enjoy!

Popelini: cream puffs (try the one with caramel and vanilla pastry cream, topped with a perfect swirl of whipped cream). Possibly the best pastry we enjoyed on the trip!

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Francois Pralis: la praluline, brioche with pralines…just amazing! Slightly warm from the oven, it was addictive.

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L’Eclair de Génie: eclairs that look like works of art! The salted caramel was delightful.

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Pierre Hermé: We loved these macarons, especially the earl gray/milk chocolate and vanilla olive oil flavors. We found that they were much better than their competitor (Ladurée)

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Un Dimanche á Paris: We think these were the best macarons we had on the trip! The salted caramel and strawberry yogurt flavors were outstanding. We didn’t get many pictures of this place, but it is 100% worth a visit.

Eric Kayser: The best baguette we enjoyed on the trip! We split a baguette on our last morning in Paris, and it was just transcendent. Crispy exterior, chewy and moist interior. Baguette heaven! We didn’t take a picture of the whole baguette (just the nub seen below!), but it was seriously incredible and worth mentioning here.

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Berthillion: Some of the best ice cream EVER. I had the salted caramel twice during our week, and Leah swore by the noisette (hazelnut). The salted caramel was unimaginably flavorful and rich. The coconut, pictured below, was also delicious, but we recommend the caramel or the noisette. The portions are small, but when it’s that rich and perfect, it was just the right amount to leave you craving more later. (Tip: it’s cheaper from the main location than little Berthillion stands a lot of restaurants in the area have)

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Au Bougnat: We had an amazing dinner here. Highlights include the roast duck with mushrooms (cooked to perfection and the best main dish we had in Paris!), and a starter of poached leeks with shallot-dijon vinaigrette and a soft boiled egg. Service was great and the food was all wonderful!

Le Relais de l’Entrecote: We had awesome steak frites here. Perfectly cooked steak with a sauce from heaven, crispy fries, and a great salad and baguette to start. Quick and efficient service! The menu is a fixed price of (I believe) 26.50 euros for a generous serving (they came back and refilled our plates, serving us at the table). The picture doesn’t remotely do this steak justice!

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The restaurant was so cozy and classic French!

Breizh Cafe: Here is where we first learned that savory crepes in Paris are made with buckwheat batter! A pleasant surprise. One of our friends ordered the smoked salmon crepe, which was just phenomenal (he generously shared a few bites!). However, the ham/gruyere crepe was also great and they have an enormous menu with a wide variety of options.

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La Crepe in l’Isle– We happened upon this little creperie near where we were staying and found it charming, cozy, and absolutely phenomenal! The ham and cheese buckwheat crepe and Nutella crepe were both amazing (the Nutella one was topped with a pat of butter and a little sprinkling of crunchy sugar…so, so good!). The gentleman who owns the shop didn’t speak any English and it’s cash only. We don’t speak any French but didn’t have any trouble.

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L’as du Fallafel: A tourist destination for good reason! We love Middle Eastern food, and found this to be the best falafel we’ve ever had (we both thought it was even better than the delicious falafel we had while in Israel last spring). Eggplant, a tahini sauce, and plenty of veggies made this a well-rounded sandwich. The place was bustling even on a rainy weekday evening, and a falafel sandwich costs just about 6 euros. (Here’s a NY Times article about it). Craving this very much right now!

Corso-Kleber: We just had drinks here. The Aperol spritzes were incredible and perfectly balanced! The location was great, a short work from the Trocadero, but far enough to have a non-touristy, relaxed atmosphere.

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La Chaumiere in l’Ile: We enjoyed some excellent croque madame sandwiches here on a rainy day, and returned for dinner later in the week. The onion soup starters and excellent crime brûlée stood out more than our main dishes at dinner. The cozy atmosphere was quite pleasant.

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A few random food memories:

Lots of stands sell mini liege waffles with Nutella- highly recommend! This one was from a little shop right across from Notre Dame. You can’t go wrong with a Nutella crepe on the street, too. 

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A refreshing lemon-ginger-basil cocktail from Margherita Saint Germain. Fun fact- coolest bathrooms we saw in Paris! 

Beautiful pastries from a little bakery near our hostel. The chocolate croissants were dreamy. 

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JeanPaul Hévin: A decadent chocolate-themed bakery with a gold tile wall! We tried the Caracas and it was intensely chocolatey and delicious. 

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Just for fun, a pic of us with one of the many ham and cheese (this one was Emmental, I believe) baguettes we ate for lunch.

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Pretty macarons from Ladurée.

An adorable bakery in the Marais! Highlights: the lemon meringue tart and chouquettes. 

 

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