HOME > Chowhound > France >


Paris guide?

  • p

My friend is going to Paris in April, and she would like to know where to get the best croissants, the best chocolates, the best of everything. Does anyone know of a reliable "gourmet" guide to Paris?? Any help would be appreciated...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. "The Food Lover's Guide to Paris" by Patricia Wells is the bible. You can't go wrong starting with that.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DavidT

      I never travel to Paris without my "Food Lover's Guide to Paris." Even when the book is outdated, it doesn't disappoint. I've never gotten a bad rec from Patricia Wells.

      You might also email her and ask for current recs!

    2. "Paris Sweets" by Dorie Greenspan

      1. "Gourmet Paris" (Emmanuel Rubin) is a nice idea: You think of what you want to eat (mousse au chocolat, cassoulet, bouillabaisse, couscous, French fries ...) and the guide tells you the best places in Paris to get it. Mostly restaurants, but also p√Ętisseries, markets, and specialty shops. The problem is, it's from 2002 (there may be an udpated French edition by the same author).


        1. Rosa Jackson - an American expat journalist in Paris, creates custom gourmet walking itineraries (unaccompanied -- you just tell her what you want to see/eat, and she creates a great tour for you to take on your own) - for 200 Euros. It's well worth it!


          1. I have to recommend David Leibovitz. You won't find a better guide for chocolate or baked goods.


            His tours are arranged thru context tours.

            your friend will be sick of the word 'best' after being in Paris for a bit. EVERYTHING is supposedly 'the best' -- but whoever 'they' are, may not know your taste.

            1. I second that. Patricia Wells is great. A warning, though--get the most recent version. I have an older one, and a lot of the restaurants she recommends are sadly no longer there.

              Another good source for all things food related in Paris is the "Barefoot in Paris" cookbook by Ina Garten. There is a shopping reference section in the back for not only great breads, pastries, etc. but also for the ultimate shopping in all things for the kitchen. What ever you do, DO NOT MISS the food market of Le Bon Marche. It is the most amazing place for food I have ever seen--EVER. It's the Disneyland of food, both prepared and the amazing ingredients to make it.

              2 Replies
              1. re: french roast

                My concern with P. Wells is that she is way too cozy with restauranteurs nowadays to give an objective opinion, she has become a very nice lady who shills for her living. I'm not saying anything about her personality, I just think she now is at a place in her career where she has to come up with "product" and "copy" that is "new" to fill her many media spots and because of that much of what she recommends may be flash in the pan places that close in a year or may not be deserving of the highest quality, they are just places with great publicity agents who know how to entice to get a favorable article. I have the feeling she is pressured to crank out recommendations and because of that the recommendations often suffer or fall short of the highest standards.

                1. re: Bill Strzempek

                  Actually a few years ago I was a witness to Patricia Wells in action. I was sitting at the counter in Willi's Wine Bar chatting to Willy Johnson when the phone rings. PW on the line seeking Willi's recs for good bistrots in Paris. WJ trotted out the usual suspects, Astier, and one or two others that I wrote down (I still have the notes, but I can't remember off the top of my head). A few weeks later they all appeared in her IHT column. Clearly at this point, PW is simply phoning it in.

              2. Are you guys finding an uptodate PW book? All the editions I have seen are outdated.

                Totally agree with the Grand Epicerie.

                I understand that Ina Garten actually lives in that neighborhood. Her local fromagerie is just the one block from the Grand Epicerie.

                1 Reply
                1. re: orangewasabi

                  I have searched and searched for an update on PW's book. I can't find one, and as I remember, the last edition is so old as to be almost not worth it. Anyone have solid info on a recent edition?

                2. Try PW's website for the 2006 list-http://www.patriciawells.com/paris/pt...

                  The best guide online I have found for Paris restaurants is lefooding.com Just type in the arrondisement and a list will come up; then highlight a restaurant and an actual l'addition(bill) from the restaurant will appear with an average meal cost for 2 with wine. Very useful site and contributed to by the top food critics in Paris

                  1. I love the bread from Poilane. It is one of the few remaining bakeries in Paris that still use the "wood-fired" oven. It's located in 6th and the address is 8 rue de Cherche-Midi. www.poilane.com