I’m not a food critique, but I love to eat. Street food, fancy meals, desserts, junk food – I can eat pretty much everything and either I like it and recommend it or I ate it, I didn’t really like that much, but I’m not hungry anymore which is nice, but forget about my recommendation.
And whenever my husband and I travel, there’s always the same problem – what should we eat? I’m married to a Cantonese man, and Cantonese men are quite picky when it goes to food. Wah-wah, my father-in-law, doesn’t care about side dishes, but his rice has to be perfect. He will spend few minutes looking if one piece of rice is one piece of rice and not mashed-ricetato (as Sing calls soggy rice looking like mashed potatoes).
I asked you guys on our Facebook page, we asked our friends and we did some research. We even let the faith decide where we eat and we went to some random spots. Some of them I need to recommend, some of them are not worth me clicking the keys on my keyboard. I picked 5 places we really enjoyed and would go back there again. Hopefully it will be useful for anyone of you traveling to Paris!
Address: 21 Quai de Montebello, 75005 Paris, France
Definitely a MUST GO. We heard about that place from our friend and we just had to go. It’s perfect for many reasons – it’s right next to Norte Dame Cathedral, so you not only enjoy your food, but also the view. The staff speaks English, so there’s not much problem with communication, not to mention gentlemen working there are extremely nice and you can see they like their job.
We both chose a 14euro grilled chicken with mashed potato, salad and complimentary bread. It’s hard to make duck in a proper way, but it was perfect. You also got a complimentary bread. Drinks are bit pricey – our cost 5 and 6 euro, but my Aqualemon (lemonade with mint syrup) was very refreshing during that hot day. Overall we paid less than 40 euro for 2 people, drinks, beautiful view and free live music – since that’s a tourist spot there are plenty of street musicians.
You don’t need to go to any of the other places I mention but this is a must go, I don’t think it can get any better when it goes to ‘price for value’.
One does not simply go to Paris and don’t go to Ladurée for some macarons. Even Sing who doesn’t like sweets went with me. The waiting line in the afternoon is pretty long, but we went the next day around midday and we could enter right away. We got 8 mini macarons flavors including Marie Antoniette, rose, coffee, vanilla, raspberry. Personally my favorite was the rose one, it wasn’t that sweet (most of macarons are little sugar bombs) and smelled really beautiful. Macarons from Ladurée are softer, more bouncy than the one I tried in other places, texture approved by Sing.
I couldn’t resist the choice of their teas (also named Marie Antoiniette) – it caught me with it’s gentle, sweet smell and very light taste. I don’t like when the taste of tea is ‘too heavy’ – if you know what I mean. It’s made of Chinese black tea, rose and jasmine petals, essential oils, citrus fruit (grapefruit, lemon, orange, pineapple, tangerine, lime) and honey.
The next time we went get some pastries – chocolate&pistachio and clear pistachio on our way back to the airport. I ate the other one the next day and it still tasted fresh, not like most of the pastries I’ve tried. 2 euro is not a fortune, but it’s totally worth to give them a try.
You can also move to another line and eat there a piece of cake, have lunch or just get some macaron ice cream. Now I regret not having one.
LA PETIT MARQUISE
Address: 5 Place Victor Hugo, 75116 Paris, France
Don’t mix it up with a bar! It’s a charming bakery close to our hotel. I fell in love with it when I first saw it. I couldn’t resist the beautiful colors and one day we went there for breakfast. Because cake for breakfast is a healthy breakfast. I ordered ‘Glamour’ – macaron with a mini macaron, cream and strawberries. Very sweet, but the cream inside balanced the sweetness. Sing got something that looked like a big egg tart with veggies, served warm. Plus two juices. You can have there a full breakfast with coffee, tea, sandwiches, freshly pressed juices. The staff speaks English, the prices are quite reasonable (we paid less than 15euro for everything). Very nice spot with a huge pastry choice so it doesn’t matter if you want something sweet or salty, you can get both. Macaron was not as good (texture wise) as the one from Ladurée, but hey – that’s why Ladurée is famous!
Address: 10 Rue des Pyramides, 75001 Paris, France (and more)
Lovely chain of healthy fast food restaurants. They offer drinks, salads, sandwiches, juices. All the food is organic, you can find gluten-free, lactose-free products. So if your diet is strict, you like to live healthy or have a hipster deep inside your heart (like us), that’s the right place for you. Fun fact: menu is different everyday!
We ordered just drinks (matcha boba tea and taro boba tea – not as tasty as Taiwanese tapioca, but overall it was good), but it got pretty crowded during lunch time. I noticed the most popular items were veggie juices, fruit salads and some super couscous something something (I swear to God, I have no idea what was that). Bit pricey (over 4 euro for pretty small drinks), but if you’re into healthy lifestyle it can be right spot for you.
Because you go to France to eat Vietnamese food. We are not lucky to be Asian-food-lovers in Ireland, the choice is quite small, prices are high, ingredients are different so the overall taste is different too. There was no way we wouldn’t go to have some Pho so we just followed TripAdvisor and went to the highest ranked one. On the other side of the street there’s Pho Tai Tai – both belong to the same lady.
We ordered regular size beef pho, big-size beef pho, huuuuge two rice rolls, milk tea and mango shaved ice.
Very tasty pho, I wasn’t able to finish mine – luckily Sing ate his large-size dish and half of mine. I was quite full after the rolls, they are quite expensive – 9 euro for two, but if you come alone that is enough for a normal dish (not a side) for one person. Shaved ice was delicious, very refreshing. The only thing that was so-so was my milk tea, I think they used a regular milk instead evaporated, tapioca was bit hard but at least it was kept in honey.
It was also the only place with a menu we could actually read – the owner is a Vietnamese lady, but she also speaks French, Cantonese and Mandarin, although she told us she prefers speaking Cantonese, she was so happy to use it to Sing. He even got a special treatment, she made her own mix of side sauces and ask him to try now (it included some African sauce). Another reason to study Cantonese.
We spent around 40 euro including tips, but we loved the atmosphere and the food. If you crave for pho, that’s the only place you should go. It’s popularity says everything!
TIP FOR BUDGET ROMANCE
If you cannot get a seat at the Eiffel Tower restaurant or simply cannot afford it, bring your own take-away food or some snacks, grab a wine from convinient store and enjoy your own romantic-view dinner. We chose sushi – who could resist 18 pieces with miso soup and salad for only 13 euro? In Limerick 12 pieces cost you 20 euro and above!
Which one of my recommendation would you like to try? Or maybe you’ve been to Paris before and you have your own favorite spot? Feel free to share your thoughts and experience! 🙂