Taste of the Marais: A Food Tour though the Marais with Paris by Mouth

I went to Paris last Summer (2016), but I never could bring myself to write about it. I love Paris so, so much and putting my trip into words seemed too daunting of a task (dramatic, I know!).  But, so many people I know are traveling to Paris in the near future and I really want my pictures readily available to everyone on the internet…so I finally decided to memorialize my trip!

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Ah, Paris! #swoon

I studied abroad in Paris in college and I had visited Paris a couple times prior thereto, so I was SUPER excited to be back!  Since we were only in Paris for a few short days and I had not been back in several years, I signed Dan and I up for a food tour with Paris by Mouth in the Marais, called Taste of the Marais. Paris by Mouth, a well-known (possibly the most well-known) Paris food blog, offers several food tours through Paris. I picked the Marais tour because Dan has not spent much time in the Marais, and its just the most beautiful area!

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Notre Dame – just next to the Marais.

The tour started at an easy to find location in the Marais, and our first stop on our Taste of the Marais food tour was a traditional Parisian boulangerie (translation: bread shop) called Tour Autour du Pain. According to our tour guide, this boulangerie has won awards and is extremely, extremely popular with Parisians! Since I love French bread, I was pretty pumped for this stop. Our entire group (about 8 people), went in and our guide explained various breads, foods, and sweets on display. She then purchased a number of bread products for us to try in a square just outside of the shop!

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Tour Autour du Pain’s window!

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Savory goods – my favorite.

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Drooling.

Pro tip from Claire, she brought small plastic trays to cut the bread into smaller pieces and allow guests to try – a very easy way to distribute food on a tour! Side note aside, we started with the classic French butter croissant. This is apparently Tour Autour du Pain’s most famous product and its made daily. As expected of a prize-winning croissant, the croissant was soft, slightly buttery and very flakey. I can see why it wins awards!

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A classic butter croissant.

We next tried a classic baugette – that long, hard French bread that is stereotypically carried around in bicycle baskets and a chouquette, which are the most delicious little bread puffs topped with sugar! My favorite was the classic butter croissant, but everything was quite delicious.

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Chouquettes!

After trying the delicious bread, we meandered through the streets of the Marais – which is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Paris – to the equivalent of a French delicetessen. However, unlike US delis, French delicetessens sell a wide variety of fancy, healthy foods. When I studied abroad in Paris, I would pick up dinner from places like these all of the time. The food is delicious, traditional, and not terribly expensive. The particular shop that we went to is called Ramella Charcutier Traiteur. Claire picked up two of my favorite French dishes, chicken terrine and pork pate! To my great disappointment, she saved these for later…

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A selection of foods at Ramella Charcutier Traiteur.

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Lots of options…

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French meat in jelly. Classic.

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Terrines! My favorite!

After the deli, our next stop was at a tiny local Parisian cheese shop across the street, Fromagerie Jouannault!  Claire again brought some goodies for later, and we were able to drool over all of the cheese!! The owner was also really nice and answered all of our questions in English. My favorite were the football cheese – when in France!

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A fromagerie!

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Yum, cheese!

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My favorite – the soccer cheese!

Along the classic French shop theme, our next stop was at a charcuterie (aka a butcher) a few doors down named Caractere de Cochon. At this shop, we enjoyed talking to the owner and trying a variety of freshly cut meats, as well as Claire picking up some food for later! A few shoppers popped in and this is definitely a neighborhood shop!

 

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Caractere de Cochon

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That pork is for us to try.

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Traditional.

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Samples!

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Saucisson!

After visiting the butcher, we were finally ready to enjoy our purchases.  Just a bit further into the Marais, we arrived at Bibovino, our next to last stop. Bibovino is a French brand that sells organic boxed wine. No, not like Franzia in the US, but actually decent, organic wine that tastes really good! Bibovino is so popular, it has numerous locations throughout Paris and France!

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Bibovino! The wine is in the purple boxes!

After having a quick look around, we took our seats in the back and got ready to try alllll of the food that we had purchased! First up, the cheese! And there was a lot. My favorite was the goat cheese, but the Roquefort was also terribly tasty!

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Comte cow cheese from Jura and Roquefort sheep cheese from the Midi-Pyrenees

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Goat cheese, sheep cheese from Ossau-Iraty in the Basque-Pyrenees and Brie de Meaux from Ile de France (6-8 weeks old)

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Goat cheese from Sainte-Maure-de-Tourraine in the Loire Valley (10-28 days with an ash covering)!

After the cheeses, we tasted the terrine and pate, which are my favorite (!!), and the meat from the butcher shop. I particularly enjoyed the chicken terrine. I could have had this entire slice with crackers.

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Chicken terrine.  The size of this piece, which the entire group shared, is equivalent to a slice of bread.

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Pork and red pepper pate.

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Saucisson.

With our food, we tried seven (!) of Bibovino’s wines – a Sauvignon Blanc from Touraine, Gamay and Pinot Noir from Cotes d’Auvergne, Garignan and Grenache from Corbiers- a fortified grenache from Cartagene, and a blanc de noirs from Champagne! The wine tasted delicious and it was basically unlimited. We definitely tried it all, and I would absolutely return to Bibovino.

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Sauvignon Blanc.

After a lot of wine, we departed Bibovino and strolled through Marché Couvert des Enfants Rouges, which is located right behind Bibovino! It was basically a fruit and vegetable market when we visited, but I imagine the market more exciting on the weekends.

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Marché Couvert des Enfants Rouges

Our tour ended with a stop at one of Paris’ best chocolate shops, Jacques Genin.  Jacques Genin makes all sorts of candy-style desserts that look amazing!! We tried chocolates, caramels, and jellies at Jacques Genin! For those unfamiliar, jellies are kind of like gummies but a but softer and are extremely popular in France. Jacques Genin makes a variety of flavors, most of the exotic fruit variety and when we visited, green tomato. Clearly, my jellie was the green tomato flavor! Totally awesome!

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Jellies at Jacques Genin. The green ones toward the middle were green tomato!

We also tried a caramel and two chocolates that Claire picked out – a standard chocolate and a raspberry chocolate!

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Raspberry chocolate.

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So many caramels!

Our tour ended after Jacques Genin and we explored a bit more of the Marais on our own.  All in all, the tour lasted a couple hours and it was an excellent food tour and a great way to explore the Marais. Claire, our tour guide, was awesome and super knowledgable. Unfortunately, she moved to Canada shortly after our tour. Definitely check this tour out if you are in Paris!

STEAL OUR TRIP

Paris by Mouth: The company that runs this tour.  You can make reservations for this food tour, as well as other food tours in Paris, online. Our tour is called the Taste of the Marais and cost €110/person (everything included). As I mentioned, the tour lasted a few hours and is appropriate in any weather!

Tout Autour du Pain: 134 rue de Turenne or 59 Rue de Saintonge, Paris 75003 (no website). Open Monday – Friday 7h30 – 20h30. Closed Saturday and Sunday. This is a good place to grab a bite to go.

Ramella Charcutier Traiteur: 38 rue de Bretagne, Paris 75003 (no website). Open Tuesday – Saturday 8h00 – 20h00 and Sunday 8h00 – 13h30. Closed Monday. Another good place to grab a bite to eat in your apartment!

Fromagerie Jouannault: 39 rue de Bretagne, Paris 75003. Open Tuesday to Thursday : 9h00 – 13h30 / 15h30 – 20h00; Friday and Saturday : 9h00-20h00; Sunday : 9h00 – 14h00. A great place to pick up cheese to eat in France. Side note, unless the cheese is vacuum-packed, you cannot bring it back into the US.

Caractère de Cochon: 42 rue Charlot, Paris 75003 (no website). Open Tuesday – Saturday 10h00 – 15h00 and 16h00 – 20h00, Sunday 10h00 – 15h00 and Monday 12h00 – 19h00.
 
Marché Couvert des Enfants Rouges: 39 rue de Bretagne, 75003. Open Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 – 20:00 (17:30 on Sunday). Open Tuesday – Saturday 10h00 – 15h00 and 16h00 – 20h00. Sunday 10h00 – 15h00.  Monday 12h00 – 19h00. 
 
Bibovino:  35 rue Charlot, 75003. There are 3 Bibovino stores in Paris and a handful of others throughout France. Open Tuesday – Saturday 11:00 – 20:00, Sunday 11:00 – 17:30. 
 
Jacques Genin:    133 rue de Trunenne 75003. Open Tuesday – Sunday, 11:00 – 19:00 (19:30 on Saturday). This location also has a tasting room via reservation. A second location is at 27 rue de Varenne 75007. Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10:30 – 19:00.

ON A BUDGET

While this tour is not super budget friendly, it does cover a lot of food and drink. Definitely more than a meal’s worth.  In any case, Paris By Mouth is a great resource for visiting Paris, and even lists budget friendly restaurants.

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