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Dec 15, 2008 05:22 PM

must-eats for an American in Paris?

For months I've been proudly telling my husband I can't wait to eat my way through Paris. But now that our trip is approaching, I'm confronted with a question--what should I eat? I'd be happy for any specific recs, like kinds of cheeses, entrees I can't get elsewhere and shouldn't miss, snacks or candies I should look for in the markets, etc.

Thanks lots.

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  1. The list would be exhaustive, but start with croissants from Kayser and macarons from Herme.

    1. A lot depends upon what is available to you where you are now, and what you like.

      The things I consider "can't miss" might be very "meh" to you. Please be more specific.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ChefJune

        I live in the southeast US. If someone were visiting here, I would try to get them good fried chicken, barbecue, grits, fresh seafood, and locally brewed beers. Shopwinedinefine hit the nail on the head--Parisian foods and where I should find them. Or if I were to head to a market to buy a picnic dinner, what should I be sure to include? I'm willing to try anything.
        Thanks very much.

        1. re: sarahew1

          Well I am in the Northeast US and I crave in no particular order:
          Bresse chicken
          Terrines at Chez George
          In season ( which I don't believe is now) asparagus
          Veal stew at Au Bascou
          Robuchon potatoes ( think bathing in butter)
          Anything with eggs or veal at Au Petit Tonneau ( esp eggs and mushrooms )
          And many of the red wines that u will never see here...I'm hungry now

          1. re: sarahew1

            I am not certain you can condense hundreds of years of culinary history, in a nation that is fanatical about high quality food into a short "must eats" list. Two pieces of advice. First read the board to get a feel for some good restaurants, shops and markets, then let your senses lead you to what is good. It will change from season to season so the "must eats" will be quite obvious as you look around.
            Secondly, avoid tourist traps and "cheap" places. There is good value in Paris, especially for the quality, but there is also a lot of rubbish so read the board.

        2. Depends on how crazy you are. For me, bread is one of the 'bombs', go to a different boulangerie every day for bread. Throw most out as how much can you eat, but over the multiple months l am in Paris, it is a hell of a lot of boulangeries. Following year, same thing, some repeats, but as many new as can find. Same with Fromage, same with veggie stands, etc. Each time find many things new and wonderful. As Phil D says, not what we say, but what you like. Explore, learn, that is why l come. But if only one thing, and this is very difficult, it would be the hot chocolate at Steiger-Constantin on Rue Capucines, not Blvd Capucines. Little old lady makes each cup by hand, and as soon as l unpack, there is where l go. For me, it is Paris. Pintade, boudin noir, and Orangina light are up there as well.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

            I've been putting together a list for our trip in April. Maybe this will help you. You'll keep reading about places for macarons, croissants, and bread, chocolates, and cheese. Pierre Herme, Laduree, Gerard Mulot, Poilane are all places we plan to stop by. Here's two blogs that are fun and helpful. One is by Dorrie Greenspan, the other David Rosengarten.

            1. re: DaisyM

              If you want Poilane, for a change try the location not on Rue Cherche-Midi. The other location is just by the Dupleix metro stop and 100 yards from the main cheese shop of Laurant Dubois, for me the best in Paris. Thus you can do both at the same time.

              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                Lionel Poilane, by Dupleix? Not Max? I didn't know. Max's just as good anyway.

                1. re: souphie

                  Actually, for once l am correct, Lionel has another store at 49 Blvd Grenelle, 75015,about 100 yards from Dupleix stop. Sorry, thought Max's bread was not good, not my style of crust,l guess, went there twice some years back and never returned.

                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                    Thanks for the tip. I suppose all depends what kind of bread you're talking about. No one is good for everything. For Lionel, I only like his pain de mie. Speaking of which, the bakery at 100, rue du théatre, which is overal good, has an extraordinary genuine pain au levain, with the taste of truth.

                    1. re: souphie

                      Thanks, will try on return. Agree like only his large standard 'compagne' type loaf.

          2. Pierre Herme macaroons on R. Bonaparte up in the 6th is a must! If there's a line out the door... so be it!

            1. Hot chocolate at Angelina's on rue Rivoli
              Breakfast at Fauchon
              Entrecote at Entrecote (many locations)
              anything at Le Bistrot Paul Bert
              Oysters at La Coupole
              Cafe de Flore