If you only eat at one upscale restaurant in Paris, try to make it a decadent lunch at Taillevent (Definitely call a month or more in advance for reservations). While some might argue that it's past its heyday, since it now has only 2 Michelin stars instead of its previous 3, our experience was sublime, with delectable and beautifully presented courses and charming service—not stuffy at all, as I’d feared.
A trip to Paris would be incomplete without sampling the perfect baguette, pain de campagne or croissant. While Poilâne is perhaps best known, Boulangerie Kayser is still one of my favorites, especially for his pain aux cereales and his croissants aux amandes (multiple locations in Paris).
For the best luscious ice cream or sorbet, make your way to Berthillon on the Ile Saint Louis. Try their famous intensely flavored cassis (black currant) or fraise du bois (wild strawberry) sorbets, or decadent chocolate and caramel ice cream. Note that the café is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
If you have a sweet tooth, as I do, sample some of Paris’ best macarons and other pastries at Pierre Hermé. Try his Mogador (passion fruit macaron with chocolate filling), pistache and griottine (pistachio and cherry filled macaron) if it’s in season, or caramel & fleur de sel. If you’re not in the mood for macarons, millefeille and other pastries are also wonderful here.
And if chocolates are more your passion, be sure to pick up Les Pavés (lusciously intense dark chocolate ganache squares dusted with cocoa) at Michel Chaudun (149 rue de l'Université, Paris, 75007).
Bon appétit! These are my top picks; what are some of your favorite places to find wonderful meals and treats in Paris?
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Photos: Hilary Stockton, imgdive, morbuto, Incase, Michel Chaudun