Having spent an entire summer in Paris, I can tell you for sure that not all the food is delicious and most of it is extremely overpriced. However, if you know where to go, there are plenty of non-touristy places that are delicious and won’t make you cry every time you take out your wallet.
While frolicking through the “City of Lights,” make sure you organize a “rendez-vous” with your friends at some of these amazing places. I promise you won’t regret it and while your waistline might hate you, your taste buds and your wallet will not.
For all you people who think you’re classy betches and know French macarons, Ladurée didn’t make this list (#tourist). Don’t be shocked, you’ll thank me later.
1. Pierre Hermé
Pierre Hermé is legit the Chanel of French pastries, chocolates and most of all, macarons. While the macaron flavors may seem outrageous (white truffle and hazelnut, anyone?), you cannot go wrong with their signature milk chocolate passion fruit flavored macaron.
Even though the macarons are generously priced at 2.50 euros ($2.75), I can guarantee you that they are definitely worth the splurge.
A Japanese pastry shop for macarons? I’m not kidding. With flavors ranging from black sesame, yuzu, and wasabi for those feeling adventurous, to the classics like chocolate and coffee, any flavor is sure to leave your taste buds happy.
I’m sure many have heard of the famous Angelina’s, a typical over the top Versailles-style “pâtisserie” with extravagant pastries and hot chocolate that will make you melt inside.
While their famous pot of hot chocolate will set you back $10.45, it’s perfect for sharing. Their pastries are moderately priced and range from about $7-$10. Don’t forget to save room for their signature “Mont Blanc” — a ball of meringue and whipped cream topped with chestnut cream vermicelli. Literal foodporn.
Located in the Jewish Quarter of Paris, Miznon brings a whole new meaning to farm-to-table dining. The restaurant is decorated with fresh vegetables that are then washed and used when needed. Need more tomatoes? Just grab them off the wall.
This middle eastern “fast food” restaurant owned by a Michelin Star chef beautifully combines fresh, high quality ingredients to create drool-worthy, affordable, and downright delicious pita sandwiches for about $10. The sandwiches are so big you can definitely have half and save the rest for later.
If you’re vegetarian, try their famous take on ratatouille. For all you carnivores, their steak and egg pita is a must.
Bring a friend and share their some of their sides. For $5, you get a whole grilled “choux-fleur” (cauliflower) or sweet potato. As always, don’t forget to save room for their nutella banana pita for dessert.
Don’t let the “hole in the wall” appearance of Bob’s fool you. This place is the bomb dot com. Options range from smoothies to açaí bowls to mango and avocado sushi and veggie stew (pictured above). I guarantee you will find yourself dreaming about Bob’s and thinking of ways to re-create their dishes once you come home. #guilty
For all you who are gluten-free, rejoice. Helmut Newcake is one of only three 100% gluten free pastry shops in Paris. Make a reservation for brunch or if you’re in a rush, grab a bag of their chocolate chip cookies for 3 euros. They happened to be the best chocolate chip cookies I had ever eaten in my life (sorry, Grandma).
La Grande Épicerie is a foodie heaven. Hands down the classiest (and priciest) supermarket in Paris. You’ll find everything from chocolates, to a truffle bar, and specialty foods from all over the world. Their bottled water section has almost 75 different types of bottled water ranging from 2 euros to about 150 euros. #Nuffsaid
While the Galeries Lafayette Épicerie is much smaller than La Grande Épicerie, it is still definitely worth a trip. Located right across the famous Galeries Lafayette, the épicerie showcases vendors selling Pierre Hermé macarons, Alain Ducasse Chocolates, Petrossian Caviar, foie gras, and everything in between.
Located in the financial district, Nüba happens to be one of the hottest rooftop bars in Paris. Here, you can be sure to spot some of Paris’ elite socialites mingling with gorgeous French investment bankers.
With lines that easily extend down the street on Friday and Saturday nights, make sure you get there before dawn to snag a spot in this posh nightclub. If you time it right, you might get to party with famous celebrities and sip mojitos, all while overlooking the Seine.
10. Moon Roof
Located right across from Nüba, this less famous yet equally chic rooftop bar serves up some of the best mojitos in all of Paris. With flavors ranging from classic to passion fruit, these drinks will make you justify blowing 15 euros (about 18 dollars) on one drink.
Rosa Bonheur is located in a boat on the Seine. If you’re looking to mingle with locals, dance, and immerse yourself in the Parisian lifestyle, head to Rosa for a night you won’t (or maybe will) forget.
With shots as cheap as 2 euros and mojitos priced at 7 euros, you will be guaranteed to not break the bank.
Located in one of the more residential areas of Paris, you will be sure to only find locals dining here. With over 50 savory crêpes ranging from classic ham and cheese to chicken curry and sautéed onions, there is literally something for everyone.
Simple crêpes with 2 ingredients range from about $6-$6.50 and the more “extravagant” crêpes (like the one pictured above) will cost about $9.
Don’t forget to save room for their sweet crêpes for dessert – flambéed bananas with dark chocolate and orange liqueur anyone?
13. Le Petit Lutetia
While La Petit Lutetia is definitely on the pricier side with appetizers starting at $15 and entrees ranging from $22-40, it is most definitely worth the splurge.
This cute restaurant located in the Montparnasse area of Paris is everything you would imagine when walking into a Parisian restaurant. The waiters are all dressed in black tuxedos, the decorations are beautiful, and you basically feel like you’re in a movie.
If you’re feeling typically Parisian, order their steak tartare with french fries. Top it off with a slice of lemon meringue pie and you will have dined like a true Parisian.
14. Picnic on the Seine
Grab some cheese, wine, and bread, from the local “boulangerie” or supermarket and you’re all set for the perfect picnic. Nothing is more Parisian than sipping wine and watching the sunset on the Seine.
Want to learn to make macarons, eclairs, mille-feuille or other French specialities? Take a class. With 9 locations all over Paris and classes offered every Monday thru Saturday, it is easy to sign up to learn how to make your favorite dishes. Classes range from $22 for 1 simple dish meals to $70 for a 3 course meal.
Unfortunately, classes are only offered in French but the class is pretty hands on and self-explanatory so don’t let the language barrier hinder you. Who knows, you could be heading home as the next great baker in the family.
For all you foodies, only visit the most necessary landmarks (The Eiffel Tower) and spend the rest of your days wining and dining throughout Paris. Who cares if you gain your weight in macarons? You have your entire lives to get in shape and with that, I encourage you to sacrifice your six pack abs for another croissant.