It's no secret we LOVE good food. In fact, part of the reason we travel so much is to try new food and to experience exotic tastes (and blog about it - insert cheesy smile). While in France, we tried everything new we could get our hands (and mouths) on. We also had a good glass of wine with our meals every time we could. So, if you go to Paris, here are some things you must eat/drink:
1. (French) ONION SOUP.
You will find this item under "Onion Soup" on the menu - If they list it under "French Onion Soup" their menu is too Americanized and trust me, you want to try the real thing. We tried ours at a small cafe in the 10th arrondissement, next to the Porte Saint-Denis monument. It was a savory, cheesy, soup with a generous amount of all the good ingredients. Do not miss out trying this famous soup!
a must have with your meals. Whether breakfast, lunch, or dinner you must have a cup of espresso. I noticed that Parisians won't give you much sugar with any kind of coffee you order. Good thing I'm used to black coffee! French espresso is made out of dark, perfectly roasted beans, brewed into a very strong (one or two gulps) tiny cup of coffee. The perfect energy drink to keep you going.
Seriously, there is a coffee shop or coffee bar in every corner of Paris. A very common practice is to approach the "bar" (which is the counter), order your coffee and pastry or choice, and enjoy it while standing up at the counter. If you sit down, sometimes they will charge you slightly higher price for your snack. Some places will ask you if you want the counter or a table before you pay so they know how to charge you. DO NOT leave France without drinking -many- Cappuccinos. This creamy, foamy, chocolaty cup of perfection goes flawlessly with any croissant you choose.
Yes, you can find good pizza in Paris too. Maybe because Italy is so close to France, we found really good pizza while in Paris. I prefer the ones with lots and lots of gooey cheese. One that comes to mind, the paysanne pizza. Lots of cheese, mushrooms, eggs, tomatoes, bacon and a dairy creme (that I have no idea what it was but resembled sour cream) in the middle...perfection.
5. HAVE A TASTE OF FRENCH BEER
There are many to choose from. Kronenbourg 1664 (blonde beer), Cervoise Lancelot, Duchess Anne Triple, or my favorite, Blanche Hermine (wheat beer). Our hubby's like IPA's and it was quite difficult to find them around Paris. But, we stumbled upon a very cool little pub called Rivolux on 16 Rue de Rivole, which had IPA's on tap. The bar tender, was as amazing making mix drinks as he was friendly. Nice atmosphere, great company, good drinks. Life is good.
My FAVORITE thing in the world is to eat a good piece of gooey cheese accompanied by a good glass of wine. Blue cheese, goat cheese, Gouda, Camembert, Machengo, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Gorgonzola, Comte Cheese, and many others are among the ones we tried every time we could put our hands on a cheese platter. yum.
In Paris, a meal is not completed if you don't order wine. Whether you like red, white, rose, dry, sweet, sparkling, wine is the perfect companion to your lunch or dinner. Maybe the savory level of French cuisine is specifically designed to make your taste buds crave some wine. Maybe it was the fact that we were in Paris and wanted to try everything. Maybe is was the ambiance. Have some wine. You deserve it.
8. ANGELINA PASTRIES at VERSAILLES PALACE
If you visit the Palace of Versailles, just south of Paris, you can enjoy ANGELINA's royal-like selection of pastries. I tried a Strawberry cream cake that I only wish it was a little bigger. They have a few locations throughout the Palace and the gardens. You won't be disappointed.
9. FOUR CHEESE SPAGHETTI
Perhaps the best pasta dish I've ever had. It was simple, yet incredibly flavorful. The combination of mozzarella, cheddar, provolone and Asiago melts in your mouth and will keep your taste buds engaged till the last bite.
10. CREME BRULEE
A classic made perfection. Creme is a type of custard that is very popular in France. You can find it in croissants, doughnuts, and other french pastries. Creme-Brulee has always been a favorite of mine. Creme with a rich layer of caramelized sugar...life doesn't get better than that.
BONUS must EAT: CREPES
Plain, with chocolate, creme, caramel, chantilly cream, fruit, at a coffee shop, restaurant, bar, or at a street vendor. No matter where you are or what time it is, you can find a place that will have crepes. Total paradise.
**** READ ABOUT OUR OTHER ADVENTURES HERE!
And you fellow traveler? what is your favorite must try?