Going to Paris? Have a great passion for Good-Things-Foodie? While some people come to Paris with a list of restaurants to hit, I tend to bring lists of places and things to see. I’m a window shopper, a person who likes to see food-related things in different ways. Oh sure, I also like to eat. If you’re a foodie traveling to Paris soon, stuff a few of these activities into your itinerary. Deliciously fun.
- Take a walking food tour. When I joined longtime food pro friend, Denise Vivaldo on her business trip to Paris, she lined up prolific Paris-located cookbook author David Downie to give us a guided food tour. You can, too. His food photographer wife, Alison Harris, joined us and I seriously feel I now have dear friends in Paris. Both are immersed in the ins and outs of the city’s food world, as well as history. While I’ll not publish our route (that is their business) I will confirm that we did hit such wondrous places as renowned culinary shop E. Dehillerin (below) and hot chocolate cafe Angelina — that one by my request and despite the potential touristy-ness of it. As we walked briskly, David and Alison made sure we collected a card from every site so we could return. $$$ (the on-off city bus tour never hit these highlights, and I would price that as $$) www.DavidDDownie.com
- Spend time around Les Halles. Say Lay-All. For 800 years, the area known as Les Halles was a central gathering place for Parisians. From about 1200 until the 1500s, it was a marketplace that included all sorts of businesses; later, food became the specialty there. And it still is, so just go, wander, shop, see. The metro takes you right to the heart of it. $
- Prop shop at Maison de la Porcelaine. Bloggers know that small, white dishes are best for food photos. Clean, easily read by the camera, they don’t fight with the food in a shot. So, imagine our glee to walk into a store of all white French porcelain – every shape, size, serving piece imaginable. If you want affordable souvenirs for foodies, shop here. $ www.MaisonPorcelaine.com
- Aaah, the flea market. Le marche aux Puces is promoted as the largest sales area in the world for antiques, with sixteen markets spread around the area. Loved it, loved it, loved it. We only made it to three of the seven the day we went, our fav was Dauphine for shop after shop of intriguing vintage stuff! Even had a Kate Winslet sighting there. It was too blustery cold to hit more, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat. $ to $$$$ depending on what you buy. The vintage linen hankies and sweet antique pin you see here on the lovely Pauline were $1 Euro each.
- Take a cooking class. I had been emailing with Jane at La Cuisine Paris prior to departing home with every intention of stopping by during our trip. But time slipped away! If I were going back – especially with Larry who LOVES cooking classes, I’d learn how to make something really French here. The prices are comparable to a nice class here in LA. $$
- Partake in High Tea at the Hotel de Crillon. I am a sucker for sterling silver pieces, a gorgeous feature of the tea. If you are frugal like me, just consider partaking in this tea as also your dinner (3:30 to 6 PM). Come hungry, eat every morsel of your savory selection, then have the sweets. You will be treated like royalty. Appreciate the atmosphere, watch beautiful people. Make a reservation first. $$$$ but hell, it’s the Hotel de Crillon! Or, arrive later, go to the bar and spend about the same for two glasses of wine, nuts and chips – I am not knocking it, we did both and treasure the memories.
- Eat crepes on the sidewalk. So French! So tasty! So cheap!! Denise and I shared one huge, melting, delicious jambon ‘n fromage number. Our lunch spot was leaning against a wall on the Seine in the shadow of Notre Dame cathedral. Denise captured both our joy of the moment as she proclaimed, “GODDAMMIT, this is delicious!” $