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