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What food/restaurants do you crave when not in Paris?

Hi Everyone,
Thanks for providing so much great information about food in France!

When you are home from your vacation thinking about the food you had Paris, what makes you want to go back? If you stopped by Paris and only had one day, which restaurant(s) would you refuse to skip? This can include ANYTHING... expensive/inexpensive restaurants, bakeries, etc.

I'm curious to hear your thoughts!

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    1. re: Busk

      Thanks, Busk. Really appreciate people like you who make searching through long threads a waste of time ;-).

      1. re: Busk

        Absolutely! Poulet roti/frites at Balzar, and many other places, on a casual weekend. And at the other extreme, Bresse et al, at a starred venue.

        1. re: Oakglen

          Hard sausage, pate, bread, jambon cru...but only the good stuff....wines....food...

        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          Oh Christ, poitrine fume, french bacon, oh yeh, Christian Constant confiture also, oh oh oh Ferme St Hubert Maroilles. Certainly the ficelle at Grenier du Pain Abbesses and pain de Martyr at Landemaine Martyr.

        2. Oysters, foie gras, Juveniles, Baron Rouge and the wonderful people we've gotten to know there.

          1. Sautéed foie gras, sautéed brains (sorry squeamish folk) and reasonably priced wines (except in Italy).

            1 Reply
            1. re: John Talbott

              I'd second the reasonably priced wines. We have most of the items mentioned here except some specialities, here in Montréal, but the price of wine and cheese (even our very good local cheeses) is many times higher.

              Another for me, when I'm at home (and also in the Netherlands) is how much earlier reasonably "local" produce arrives in Spring - even if it comes from more southern regions, the arrival time is so much less than when our produce is still coming from California and Mexico.

              The coffee in my particular neighbourhood (Petite-Italie) near Marché Jean-Talon is much better than at places of the same price level in Paris, though, because it really is authentically Italian at the best places, and not at gentrified prices.

              We have very good bread and croissants where I live, but that is less generalized than in Paris.

              The standard of French butter is much higher. Once again, we have fine butter, but it is a niche market and expensive.

              And it is so handy to be able to get a good rôtisserie chicken, even in neighbourhoods that are far from posh, or market centres.

              When in the Netherlands, I terribly miss good baguettes or bread with any bite. Their bread is dreadfully soft; not like German bread. And the hothouse vegetables are tasteless, even in summertime. In Italy, I only missed croissants and sharp mustard. Italian croissants are doughy and full of sweet cr*p! But plenty of good, affordable wine, and better coffee than the French bog standard.

            2. Andouillette. Most else I can buy or cobble up at home. Re sources, I would die for a branch of G. Detou at home.

              1. I'm a Parisian, but when I lived in other countries, things I missed most were:
                - Chez l'Ami Jean
                - Good chicken, good veal
                - An easy and varied choice of fresh vegetables
                - Good bread
                - The fine dining culture
                - Offal and seafood with the head or the shell on

                11 Replies
                1. re: souphie

                  Lovely list. Can't help you with Chez l'Ami Jean, which is truly singular. Nor with fine dining, although French Laundry and Manresa do reflect the best of modern French.

                  But, come to Northern California for the rest of your list. Unfortunately, the quality you will want is not available at the prices you pay at home. But you would get along rather well. :)

                  1. re: souphie

                    I have scary visions of offal with "the head on".

                    1. re: souphie

                      I'll add: fresh butter, full fat yogurt, pastries.

                      1. re: Nancy S.

                        Nancy, I'm surprised that these are not within you reach close to home.

                        1. re: mangeur

                          I love NYC, but I'm disappointed with what I can buy here compared to Paris. My locals in Paris are so much more appealing than the counterparts here.

                          1. re: mangeur

                            Where we live in the San Francisco Bay Area, it isn't that we couldn't get good croissants and pastry, bread, cheeses, chicken/pintade/squab, lamb, fish/shellfish, crepes, we have to search and travel far for them. In Paris, all the above are so readily available and so much more in terms of variety.

                              1. re: PBSF

                                We are lucky to live within a 15 minute walk of great croissants, kouign amann, baguettes and levain and in another direction head-on shrimp and whole fish, with good if expensive poultry and veal in between. Fine local artisan cheese and butter, too. In Paris, we take the bus to collect these; at home, we walk.

                                But what I miss most at home are the delightful exchanges with the staff in French shops. The wry conversations and edifying remarks about the product, where it was made, how and when it should be used.

                                1. re: mangeur

                                  Where you live, you are fortunate to be able to shop and buy excellent food within 15 minute walk. I am surprised that you have to bus to shop in Paris. We've had apartments in the 3e, 14e and now in the 5th and we never had to walk more than a few blocks to shop for just about everything we need. The seafood in the San Francisco Bay Area doesn't compare to the variety one can get in Paris. We can get the usual swordfish, tuna, some form of cod, sole and when in season, salmon and halibut. The shrimp are mostly farmed. It's improving as places like Whole Food is carrying a couple of fish with head such as farm seabass, sardines. Even then, the turnover is low and the fish sits there for days; difficult to know how fresh the mussels are. We miss much of the Atlantic/Mediterranean seafood such as rouget, barbet, cabillaud, dorade, St. Pierre, scallops with roe, cuttlefish......As for poultry, except for chicken and turkey and duck from a Chinese market, everything else has to be special order. I said 'wow' when I saw whole rabbits in cryo-vac at Whole Foods the other day. And the wonderful oozing raw milk cheeses perfect ripeness. I can count the good croissants in San Francisco on one hand: Patisserie B., ThoroughBread, Marais and if I want the oversize thing, Tartine. Unfortunately, none are walking distance from us and we live in the center of the city. The artisanal breads such as from Acme, Della Fattoria, Firebrand, that sell at most markets are stale by the afternoon because they were baked very early in the morning so that they can deliver to the markets miles away from their ovens. Fortunately we do get very good produce in the Farmers Markets.
                                  This is not a complaint about the San Francisco Bay Area, just that we eat and shop very differently when we are home rather than Paris.

                                  1. re: PBSF

                                    In Paris we shop in diverse neighborhoods, Dubois, Ferme St. Hubert, Chez Verginie, Big Bon, Detou, Bruno, Isse, etc. Of course these are all walkable but hopping the bus to haul stuff home is just a lot easier.

                          2. re: souphie

                            Chez l'Ami Jean would be one place I miss sadly if I didn't live in Paris.

                          3. - Fresh seafood ;
                            - bread and croissants ;
                            - pastries ;
                            - good butter ;
                            - restaurants... both low- and high-end ;
                            - Perrier at bars/restaurants.

                            To be honest, I could get most of that in my current country of residence. It's just that it used to be available 200m from my apartment, or anywhere in Paris for that matter. Now, I'd had to travel several kilometers to find them (and that would be cheating as it would more often than not mean crossing the border to... France!).

                            1. mmmm
                              Dubois cheese
                              great takeout

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: ChefJune

                                "Dubois cheese," indeed. But we usually take home enough to last almost to our next trip…. We will open our third vacuum packed Comte soon. (Fortunately, we have now have local bread that is as good as anything we get in Paris.) -- Jake

                              2. Just good bread. France has got the bread thAng down.

                                1. All the shellfish I can't get here or can't get easily. Whelks, langoustine, all the varieties of raw clams, the shrimp, etc. And the oysters are so wonderfully briny.

                                  Also, I'm a big fan of meat sticks and the like, so I really wish I could get those wonderful mini/bit-sized salamis here. In Paris very butcher seems to have the commercial mini salamis, and I remember buying gobs of "chorizettes" and these large gumball sized Rosettes de Lyon at Le Bon Marche.

                                  1. For years my answer was bread, cheese and foie gras but now I have to be more specific as things have become more available where I live, so now it is bread from Landemaine on Rue des Martyrs, Vacherin Mont d'Or and St. Marcellin cheeses. I also miss Philippe with his big smile, friendly wine advice and affordable prices at Le Bouclier de Bacchus.

                                    1. Turbot. If it is on a menu in Paris, I get it.