paris: things to eat

Rue Montorgueil

I can barely pronounce the name of this street (Mon-tor-guy) but it is one of my favorite places in Paris. Rue Montorgueil is a pedestrian street that has bakeries, cheese shops, and delis a plenty. It’s a bit like Rue Cler but is somehow way more adorable. Besides the fun energy of this market street there is some really great shopping on the surrounding streets towards Les Halles, a lot of boutiques and even some good chain stores. When people ask me where to stay I usually recommend they stay in this area. The location is perfect, it is centrally located with short walks to both the Marais and the Louvre. My friends recently moved to Rue Montorgueil so we find ourselves visiting it a lot more. If you are planning a visit David Leibowitz has a fantastic guide with lots of recommendations right here.

all photos by Oh Happy Day

Happy Things in Paris: Macaron Research

One of my favorite things to do when friends come into town (or occasionally by myself) is to do a macaron taste test. There are fantastic macarons all over Paris. But two of the well-known macaron shops: Laduree and Pierre Hermé are just a block or two from each other. So I started a tradition of getting a box of macarons from both stores and then taking them across the street to the Tuileries to do “research.” Start at Laduree, 16 Rue Royale 75008 Paris. I usually get their box of eight. The line is always long but moves pretty quickly. I don’t love all their flavors so I recommend choosing your own instead of letting the shop person pick them out. Then walk around the corner down Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré taking a right on Rue Cambon to get to Pierre Hermé, 4 Rue Cambon, 75001 Paris. Get their box of seven. Then walk across the street to the Tuileries and find yourself some nice green chairs to relax in. You can cut them with a knife or just break them apart with your hands and let everyone get a small bite of each flavor. Then continue tasting until the macarons are gone or you OD on them, whichever comes first.

all photos by Oh Happy Day

Read about all my happy things to do in Paris right here.

Paris Picnic Guide

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while. I’ve become a “picnic expert” since we have them almost everyday. If you are visiting Paris here are the ingredients for a picture perfect Paris picnic. (Say that three times fast.)

 

1. Pick Your Poison. Perrier is my personal favorite but you can hit one of the many Nicholas stores to pick up something with a little more punch.

2. | 3. Supplies. My friend Rubi showed up to a picnic a few weeks ago with the best picnic gear. She got it all from Merci. Stop by Merci on your first day in Paris for bamboo plates, utensils, and these awesome reusable napkins that come on a roll.

4. Produce. Try to avoid the supermarket, instead go to the specialty stores. It’s like going to McDonalds when you have the option of an amazing homecooked meal. Find a produce stand and stock up on fruit and veggies (I love radishes and butter on a picnic.)

5. Baguette. Buy this right before you are going to eat it (not two hours before.) Ask for “Baguette Traditional” they are my favorite. Only buy this from a Boulanger. If you are buying it from a supermarket you get a big Paris fail.

6. Cheese! Ah the thrill of walking into a good Fromagerie. They can be intimidating and a little scary (is that mold?) I prefer mild cheeses with interesting flavors. Here are a two of my favorites to start with: Morbier and Comte. Do some research if you are braver and like stinky cheeses so you can ask to try specific kinds. (Little Brown Pen has a nice column on cheeses.)

7. Saucisson sec. Buy this from a deli or a Butcher, If you aren’t familiar with this stuff it is cured meat. They are usually hanging up above the counter and they are SO delicious. I don’t eat a lot of meat but I love me some saucisse.

Other things I like to eat at a picnic: Beignets, coquettes, chocolate eclairs, and ham and butter sandwiches. All of these can be bought from a boulanger. (Even if you don’t see sandwiches displayed most bakeries will make you one on the spot if asked.) What am I missing?

All of Paris is covered with fantastic picnic locations but my favorite locations for picnics are:

The Champs de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower, the right bank of Ile St. Louis, and the point of Ile de la Cite. Do you know of any especially great picnic spots in Paris?

Angelina

Angelina is a cafe near the Louvre (across from the Tuileries) with very famous hot chocolate. Since I’ve made it my mission to find the best “Chocolat Chaud” in Paris we stopped in a few weeks ago for a quick snack. Moses started French school a few weeks ago so we are able to do some things that are a little easier with just Roman in tow. Conclusion: Very good and very rich. It definitely goes under that category of drinking chocolate (I couldn’t finish mine!) I prefer mine a little bit thinner though I can’t deny it was very good. The rest of the food seemed expensive though. We just got two hot chocolate and croissants and made out like bandits only spending 20 Euros. I think it’s the perfect place to stop by after a morning at the Louvre.

Angelina-Tuileries | 226 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris | Métro: Tuileries

Paris Hot Chocolate Angelina

Le Boulanger des Invalides Jocteur

I love recommendations from people but I get especially happy when I discover a great place by myself. I had walked by Le Boulanger des Invalides Jocteur three or four times on my way to appointments and it always looked great but Saturday we went with the kids to try it out. You guys! When I talk about Paris to my friends and family I go on and on about the pastries, croissants and bread. To go into a Paris bakery with trays and baskets piled high with fresh pastries is one of the best experiences in life. At this one we tried the hot chocolate which is hands down the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had. (And I wouldn’t give it that title loosely.) At one point during the meal I heard myself say “Moses you have to eat some croissant before you eat your eclair.” I’m so health conscious! There weren’t any other Americans there which makes it feel authentic plus the staff was very kind. It is just a half block down from Les Invalides so very convenient if you are seeing the sites. I highly recommend it for breakfast or lunch.

Le Boulanger des Invalides Jocteur | 14 Avenue Villars, 75007 Paris | Métro: Saint-François-Xavier