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Aug 15, 2007 10:23 AM

First-time Visitor/Foodie with Five Days

It will be my husband and my first visit to Paris this September. We're huge foodies and are most excited about the culinary aspect of our trip. We've got Five Days and are hoping to experience a spectrum: the best patisserie, the best boulangerie, best upscale restaurant, best outdoor market, etc. My husband is not much of a planner, but I want it all mapped out so we can get in as much as possible! Can anyone rant off a few quick ideas that I can write in my "notebook"?

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  1. The "Best Patisserie" varies by items... for instance, Laduree is reputed to have the best Macarons. I think Andre Lerch has the best Kugelhopf and Madeleines. (5th, rue Cardinal LeMoine)

    I'd be curious who the hounds think has the best Financiers!

    2 Replies
    1. re: ChefJune

      I believe Andre Lerch closed his Alsatian style bakery at least two years ago.

      1. re: ChefJune

        For financiers, Pierre Hermes, Mulot, Millet. The button shaped chocolate ones at Kayser at his r Monge address are excellent. I had some at his at Galleries Lafayette and they were not as good.

      2. Lerch was a bit crochity and eccentric but the madeleines were out of this world. Sadly he's gone.

        Best market regular streets are Poncelet 17th and Cler 7th. Best cheese shops are on those two. Marie Anne Cantin near Cler and Aleosse on Poncelet. Park Monceau is a 10 min walk from Poncelet and is perfect for a picnic assembled there. Poncelet also has a great wine shop Le Grand Cave. Jerome speaks good english and knows his wine. Avoid the wine chains Nicolas and Repaire de Bacchus. If you are into wine also Lavinia near the Madeleine is a masoleum full of incredible stuff at incredible prices and worth seeing.

        Stoerer is a superb patissiere on another market street, Rue Montorgueil.

        The outdoor markets move from day to day but there are several nice ones. Especially the one by the Bastille.

        (I'm pretty sure my French spelling sucks but it is close).

        1. As far as food and Paris are concerned, there is no real "best of", and even very experienced Parisian foodies make discoveries every day. Still, here my list.

          Best patisserie: Christian Constant (a chocolate specialist, but don't miss the ice creams), but consider Pichard (rue Cambronne), and la Fleur d'oranger (rue Bayen -try the kougloff there), besides the classic Hermé, Dalloyau, Hédiard... Best boulangerie: cannot chose. BE bd de Courcelles, Le Boulanger de Monge next to Gobelins, Le Grenier à Pain avenue d'Italie, Pichard, Julien rue Saint Honoré are my favourites. Special mention for macaroons of Grégory Renard rue Saint-Dominique, much better than LaDurée and Hermé imo. If you go to the market tue Poncelet, I like the croissants at the little place called Le Grain de Café at the corner of Acacias and Mac Mahon, (it may be because of childhood memories and I would not officially nominate for best croissants in town). The baguette of Gosselin rue Saint Honoré is very great (not anything else there -- go to Julien further down the street for that). My favourites pain au chocolat aux amandes and great Pastel del Nata at Seurre, rue des Martyrs, same street as Delmontel, who does great bread too and a surprising feuilleté au seigle et au miel. Great breakfast pastries (croissants and pain aux chocolats) in the bakery in the rue des deux ponts on the Ile Saint Louis.

          While in Pichard rue Cambronne I highly recommend Produits d'Auvergne a bit further up the street, for charcuterie, cheese and dried fruits. See also recent post on fish and meat.

          Best upscale restaurant: the usual Gagnaire, Passard and Pacaud, and, if you push me, my favorite is l'Ambroisie and Rostang is great. But there are numerous discussions on the matter, and that actually really depends on what you like and expect. Makes me think that one of the best patissiers in town is the one of the Hotel Bristol, so if you do not include it in your list of restaurants, this is still great place for coffee and pastry, and they also have the best breakfast in town (that is, one of them of course).

          Best outdoor market: I feel that the organic market on the bd des Batignolles on saturday, and on the bd Raspail on sunday, is insufficiently mentioned in this board. Go in particular to Jancar for fruits and vegetables. On sundays, there's also that American guy who makes great muffins. And on wednesday and saturdays, the market on Avenue du President Wilson (16th) features the great Joël Thiébault, who provides the best restaurant with his locally grown vegetables (8km west from the there, in Carrières-sur-Seine), in particular his choice of aromatic herbs and his passion for unknown types of tomatoes and eggplants.

          Totally Second Alléosse, Cantin, and also Barthélémy (rue de Grenelle) for cheese -- and let them advise you.

          I would say "that's all", but that's far from it. Even browsing the board will only give you a partial idea of the foodies delights in Paris.

          And, ChefJune: the best financiers imo are the one from BE -- they call them "visitandine" because they claim this is an ancient recipe. I know that Kayser is instrumental in BE, but each Kayser shop has his specificities and I would say that BE is one of the best, especially when it comes to bread and visitandines and also don't miss the passion fruit tart and the fancy sandwiches.

          3 Replies
          1. re: souphie

            Is "BE" short for something? or the whole name of the patisserie?

            1. re: souphie

              Wonderful. Thank you, souphie. Won't be in Paris over a Saturday (leaving Saturday), or a Sunday, so am glad to have gotten the tidbit about the Wednesday market on Avenue du President Wilson.

              1. re: jjrokang

                I think BE=boulangépicier, the name of an artisanal bakery that also sells products if I am not mistaken. It's a collaboration between Alain Ducasse and Eric Keyser.

                73, boulevard de Courcelles

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