- Paris’ culinary scene has a lot to offer for every type of diner, but deciding where to go can be tough.
- Insider’s food video producer Herrine Ro shares her recommendations after eating at restaurants all over Paris.
- Ro says Breizh Café serves some of the best crepes and galettes, and says restaurants like Chez Janou and La Grange Aux Canards are worth visiting.
- For dessert, Ro’s favorite is a kouign-amann pastry from bakery La Maison D’Isabelle.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
To find the crème de la crème of Parisian eateries, I spoke with Insider’s food video producer Herrine Ro, who has eaten at restaurants and bakeries all over the French capital during her visits over the last three years.
Here are 12 places food lovers shouldn’t miss in Paris, based on Ro’s experience.
Insider’s food video producer Herrine Ro recommends Breizh Café for Breton-style crepes and galettes.
"The owners are Japanese and French, so they offer different flavor options that you wouldn't find in just any crepery," Ro told Insider. "At Breizh, you get yuzu [Japanese citrus] flavors and different Japanese flares, which I appreciate."
"Of the two creperies we visited, this was our favorite because of the freshness and versatility of ingredients," she said, adding that the place is also a hit with locals.
Chez Imogène offers a prix fixe menu with options that include a galette, side salad, sweet crepe, and drink.
Chez Imogène's prix fixe menu lets customers sample a variety of dishes on the menu.
"I liked the prix fixe menu part of Chez Imogène," Ro said. "It was a very quaint, small little corner shop. It's really small. They have an à la carte rate, but the prix fixe just made everything easier."
There are both sweet and savory galettes to choose from at Chez Imogène.
One customer on TripAdvisor described the overall atmosphere at Chez Imogène as welcoming and intimate.
"The chef is cooking your meal in a small kitchen where you can watch pretty much everything," they wrote.
Du Pain et des Idées is a famous bakery known for its pastries and bread.
Locals and tourists alike flock to Du Pain et des Idées for its bread and wide selection of pastries.
"You can go to any café in Paris for breakfast, the croissants are all good, so you can't really go wrong," Ro said. "But I wanted to go to the crème de la crème and Du Pain et des Idées kept coming up on top-rated lists of places to visit."
Ro said the bakery has a vintage feel to it, with artwork lining the walls and ceilings.
"I knew that this place wasn't a tourist trap," she said, adding that "the smell of the bread hits you when you walk in."
Ro highly recommends getting the escargot croissant from Du Pain et des Idées.
The flaky pastry contains green pistachio cream and chocolate chips. The pastry is called "escargot" because of its snail-like shape, however it does not actually contain any snails.
"This was the one thing I made a point to eat in Paris and I'm so glad I did," Ro said. "This is the one thing I would say that you should absolutely get while you're there. Anyone who is a foodie should go there."
"The best way I can describe it, is that it's everything you want in a pastry: nutty, chocolatey, buttery, and soft yet crispy," she said. "It's not too sweet, and after finishing one, you'll be begging for more."
La Maison D'Isabelle is a small bakery that makes freshly baked croissants on a daily basis.
"We had the best croissant and pastries here," Ro said of La Maison D'Isabelle. "It was so good we went back before going back home."
La Maison D'Isabelle also won an award for best croissant of Paris in 2018.
"They're constantly baking them throughout the day so when you get one, it's always fresh and warm," Ro said.
In Ro's opinion, the pavé chocolat at La Maison D'Isabelle is better than the pain au chocolat.
"It was the best chocolate pastry I've had in my life," Ro said of the pavé chocolat.
If you can only eat one thing in Paris, Ro says that a kouign-amann pastry should be it.
"The kouign-amaan is a sugary, caramelized pastry, that's denser than a croissant and almost tastes like a cake," Ro said. "If you ever go to Paris, that is the one thing you should eat," she continued, adding: "I will dream about that kouign-amann until I'm on my deathbed."
Caractère de Cochon makes delicious sandwiches.
Ro says that Caractère de Cochon is convenient for a quick order because you can take your sandwich to go and easily eat it on the street.
At the sandwich shop, customers can choose from a large variety of ham and cheese.
During the time of Ro's visit, she said the owner of the shop was very helpful in helping her make a sandwich selection.
"He works with you on what you want to eat and what you like. He asked what kind of ham do I like and what kind of cheese. And he'll even give you a sample, if he likes you," Ro said.
Ro says she had her best meal at restaurant La Grange Aux Canards.
Ro said La Grange aux Canards has a great duck entrée.
"The duck breast with the honey sesame glaze was cooked perfectly (medium rare) and the amount of caramelizing they put on the skin was so good," she said. "Duck is delicate and really easy to overcook. They perfected this recipe."
According to Ro, the restaurant prefers when customers make reservations in advance.
Les Philosophes is a popular restaurant that's always packed.
Ro says she visited Les Philophes twice while in Paris. She recommends getting the French onion soup.
"It's always packed, they always have seasonal items that fly off the shelf basically," she said of the restaurant.
According to Ro, Domenico's is home to some of Paris' finest pasta.
The popular Italian restaurant Dolmenico's located in the heart of Paris has fresh, simple pasta.
"The pasta was super fresh. I gravitated towards the pesto. It was so simple and I think that's the reason it was so good," Ro said. "The sauce was subtle enough and did its job, and the noodles were perfect al dente. It was a breath of fresh air."
In Ro's opinion, Chez Janou is a must visit for a cozy atmosphere and authentic French experience.
At Chez Janou, the entire menu is in French.
Ro says that this restaurant is always packed so it would be best to make a reservation in advance.
"The moment you step in, the lighting is really dim in reds and orange," she said. "They have French posters of cartoons and magazine clippings, it feels like Paris 1940."
At the end of her meal, Ro says that she ordered the chocolate mousse, which came in a giant tub. Other visitors on Yelp have also raved about the mousse.
"You eat it with a giant ladle," she said. "You could feed maybe 15 with that one tub."
Ro thinks that Pierre Hermé is one of the best places to pick up dessert souvenirs on the way back home.
"Pierre Hermé is always really inventive. They have so many different flavors that aren't just simple. I like the inventiveness of that," Ro said. "And they're TSA approved to bring in your carry-on. They're good for around five days after your purchase."
Though, according to Ro, the shop can be expensive; a box of 12 macaroons cost her close to $44 USD (40 euros).
Pierre Hermé has tons of unique macaron flavors including caramel, chocolate, and Ispahan.
Pierre Hermé is uniquely known for its Ispahan macarons, which is a combination of raspberry, rose, and lychee flavors.
Ro says that Dammann Frères is a good spot to grab some tea as a souvenir to bring home.
The shop sells aromatic teas from all over the world. Ro says that Dammann Frères has various loose-leaf options and sachets.
"I'm not even a tea person and I loved it here," Ro said.
La Chambre aux Confitures is full of flavorful and seasonal jams.
La Chambre aux Confitures has an extensive jam offering that you can try before you buy.
"They have jars that are open so you could taste. I didn't think it was expensive or pricey at all, each jar costs about 3 euros ($3 USD)," she said.
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