When Miss Katzie mentioned in December that she was planning a visit to Paris this spring, I happily agreed to meet her in the French capital. I had been wanting to put a trip together ever since reading David Lebovitz’s post about fancy éclairs in Paris, and the fact that the trip coincided with TH’s birthday was an added bonus, as we often like to plan special, world-traveling birthday trips. I mentioned the travel itinerary to HouseTrip, for whom I recently contributed some Berlin highlights for a forthcoming food guide, and they offered to host us and asked if we would test out their Paris guide. With all those stars aligned, the trip was set.
Planning our five days in Paris, I was happy to use the the HouseTrip guide, as it’s a collection of tips and foodie suggestions from local bloggers and experts, and some of my favorite travel discoveries lately have come from local’s suggestions, including recent trips to Hamburg and Amsterdam. Along with HouseTrip’s recommendations, I was also lucky to have some tips from a new Berlin friend Mimi, who recently moved from Paris, and Ashley, who just spent a weekend there herself. Armed with plenty of great recommendations, we set off for a long weekend having little more planned than eating and long walks in the city of lights.
The main highlight of the trip was definitely pastry—along with those fabulous éclairs, we had macarons at Pierre Hermé, wonderful citrus-almond cream filled pastry from Du Pain et des Idées, a deliciously crispy kouign amann at La Pâtisserie des Rêves, and tangy cream cheese-filled pate au choux from La Maison du Chou. Luckily there was also plenty of walking, along the Canal Saint Martin, through the Marché des Enfants Rouges, and all around the very charming Saint Germain neighborhood. In between, there was time for a few meals—including a great dinner at Semilla with Katzie—and one of our favorite finds of the trip, the tiny butcher shop, tucked on the back street of Rue Charlot behind the Enfants Rouges market, where we had incredible ham sandwiches for only 5€! I took so many photos, only a few of which I’m sharing here. And of course we picked up more recommendations along the way, which means only one thing: we’re already planning our next trip to Paris!
- For pastries, our favorites included macarons at Pierre Hermé; canales and kouign amann at La Pâtisserie des Rêves; the oh-so-sweet cream puffs at La Maison du Chou; the wild colors and flavors of Acide macaron; and a magical visit to the eclair shop of L’Éclair de génie.
- For bakeries, a must-visit in Paris is certainly Poilane, where you can purchase beautiful “P” marked boules as well as flour. We were also quite happy with the delicious croissants and “escargot” at Du Pain et des Idées and the deep dark black sepia baguette at Boulangerie Gontran Cherrier.
- Although the big winner of the trip was definitely all the delicious pastry we ate, we also enjoyed several wonderful meals. Semilla and Verjus both made for great evenings out; the ground level wine bar at Verjus has the effect of a wine cave, and makes an especially lovely date spot. And for lunches, Au Comptoir de Brice, inside the Saint Martin market, was really fantastic, and we also enjoyed some crepes at Crêperie des Pêcheurs, a tiny shop done in the style of a pirate ship, complete with a wooden maiden peering above us.
- For a picnic in Paris, Chez Virginie is the place to go. This cute little cheese shop is brimming with wonderful cheeses, and also has a small selection of cured meats, jams, and crackers, and is really a great place to stock up for a picnic along the canal.
- For drinks, we had lovely cocktails at the very charming Sherry Butt and felt right at home at the craft beer bar Le Supercoin. We also grabbed some cover from the rain, and had a great cup of filter coffee, at the cute little coffee shop Ten Belles.
- As a last minute added bonus to the trip, we were so lucky to be invited along to Silencio, which is David Lynch’s members-only club in Paris, for a very funny British comedy night. The event was part of an art-meets-comedy series, curated by Miriam Katz, who has brought the event to cities all over the place, including New York City’s MoMa.
Thanks again HouseTrip for a wonderful stay in Paris and all the food recommendations!