When traveling in Paris it would be wise to bring your own bottled water if possible. Soft drinks and water are expensive, often costing 5euro per bottle. Having spent a fortune to stay hydrated while touring I wish I'd thought to bring some.
Berthillon Ice Cream is for me the best ice cream in the world. It is habit forming, and the variety of flavors is large and tempting. To best experience this gourmet glory, go to the Berthillon shop on Ile Saint Louis (walk down the left side of Notre Dame; at the back, cross the bridge to your left onto Ile Saint Louis; hang a right on Rue St-Louis en l'Ile, and go to number 31, on the right side of the street). Unfortunately, the Berthillon shop is closed several days a week and most of the summer. Fortunately, there are several other shops on Ile Saint Louis that sell their ice cream.
31 Rue St-Louis en l'Ile, 74004
You will see a lot of sellers of bottled water near by tourist places. «One Euro only!»
Please, never ever buy this water.
One day we seen this guy who put fountain water in used bottles in the small park near Palais de Chaillot.
Is was easy to see bottles came from the garbage.
“Ice-cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal.”
— Voltaire (1694-1778)
Do not eat here!
Not because the ice cream is not good. I enjoy Ben & Jerry’s ice cream when at home, but I am not at home when I am in Paris or in another foreign city.
When in Paris, or anywhere else outside the USA, do as the natives do.
There is little point to travel if we bring with us all we are familiar with at home; that is especially true for the food. Try something new, something different, something local that falls outside your normal boundaries. Discovery: that is the point of travel.
For really good French ice cream, who invented the modern version, though it does date back centuries to Renaissance Florence and Ancient Rome, walk to Île Saint-Louis, the second-largest island in the River Seine. You are headed for Berthillon at 29-31 rue Saint-Louis-en-l'île. This glacier maker has been churning out delicious ice cream and sorbet since 1954.
A Starbucks has opened on Avenue de l'Opera. Now you can enjoy overpriced American coffee... in a city famous for its cafés. Talk about bringing coal to Newcastle! And there is no smoking.
It strikes me as a bit odd and sad that this is happening... but I suppose for some Americans it offers a taste of home, and for some others it offers a taste of America.
Update, one year later. I was in Paris for a week in July 2007, and walked past at least six Starbucks (in a relatively small area of Paris). I'm not sure exactly why this makes me so sad, but it does. There are now 28 in Paris...
The french cuisines can be meaty, rich, creamy and fattening, and that does not include the wonderful red wines that go with the fine food. I had a few favorites, including escargot (snails) in butter, foie gras (liver from goose/duck), and main meals of roasted duck with orange sauce or roasted meats (pork or lamb) with baked vegetables.
Foie gras is one of the greatest delicacies in French cuisine and its flavour is described as rich, buttery, and delicate. Foie gras is usually sold whole, or prepared into pâté, mousse, or parfait, and is typically served as an accompaniment to toasts or steak.
After the Christmas holidays 2004/05, I posted to VT: "Just came back from Christmas/New Year's holidays 2004/2005 and lo and behold...there are Starbucks in the 8th, by the Beaubourg, in the 1st, on the left bank...guess Parisians are succumbing to yet another US chain!"
After a previous visit in 2003, I wrote the warning "I saw a very frightening sight...a sign proclaiming the opening of a Starbucks off the Champs-Elysées in the 8th arrondissment."
Now, as I just got back from another Parisian trip in 2007, I've now seen Starbucks in practically every arrondissment, the latest was way off the beaten path on the Rue Faubourg St-Antoine deep in the 12th. Guess it's just part of life - the internationalization of Americanisms.
If you have any digestive problems, especially IBS-D, DO NOT DRINK THE WATER. It has a lot of magnesium in it and you might just as well take a laxative. That means no coffee, tea or beverages with water that you may order in a cafe. Buy your water and read the label for the mineral content. MOUNT ROUSCOUS, which you can buy in Monoprix grocery department and some small markets, is one that tastes delicious and has the lowest and most tolerable magnesium count.
Always opt for freshly-made crêpes; eschew the vendor that has a stack of pre-made crêpes. You'll thank me later! Buying from a street crêpe vendor is an economical way to eat in Paris (generally less than 3€) - as a snack or a light lunch/dinner.
Only in Paris would you have something as GOURMET as a crêpe for a street food item & they come in a huge variety of flavors. My personal faves are Nutella, ham & cheese, & citron sucré (fresh crêpes with butter & sugar & freshly-squeezed lemon juice - mmm).
There are 2 types of crepes: sweet crepes (crepes) or salé (savory crepes or galettes which are made from buckwheat flour).
Here's a short list of FLAVORS you'll come across:
à la Crème de Marrons - Chestnut cream
à l'Oeuf - with egg
Banane - banana
Beurre et Sucre - butter & sugar
Canelle et Sucré - cinnamon & sugar
Chantilly cream - whipped cream
Chocolat - chocolate
Citron Sucré - fresh lemon juice & sugar
Crêpe au fromage et ouef - with cheese & egg
Fraise - strawberry
Fromage - cheese
Grand Marnier - orange liqueur
Jambon - ham
Jambon et Fromage - ham & cheese
Nutella - heavenly Hazelnut & chocolate spread
Photos: Feb 2006
Always opt for freshly-made crêpes; eschew the vendor that has a stack of pre-made crêpes! Buying from a crêpe vendor is an economical way to eat in Paris (generally less than 3€). Only here would you have something as GOURMET as this for a street food & in a huge variety of flavors. Please note that the stand on rue Cler runs 'til late at night (11pm or so).
My personal faves are Nutella, ham & cheese (like a small meal) & citron sucré (fresh crêpes with butter & sugar & freshly-squeezed lemon juice - mmm). My favorite crêpe stands are bolded in the following list:
-Pl de la Concorde
-Jardin des Tuileries right hand side walking from Louvre
-Quai de la Mégisserie (across from Conciergerie)
-Outside Samaritaine dept store
-Rue du Cloîre-Nôtre-Dame (corner of parvis & street)
-Rue du Cloître-Nôtre-Dame (further down street)
-Le Sarrasin et le Froment Crêperie, 84-86 rue St-Louis-en-I'Île
-crêperies on Île St-Louis
-Rue de Rosiers
-Outside Centre Pompidou
-Crêperie du Cluny, 20 r. de la Harpe
-Left side above Pl de la Contrescarpe (9 rue Mouffetard)
-Crêperie des Arts, 27 rue St-André-des-Arts
-Gelateria Marie - 35 rue St-André-des-Arts
-Crêperie des Etoiles, 13 rue Princesse
-North end of Luxembourg Gardens, Bd St. Michel or rue de Medicis
-Front of St-Germain-des-Prés church
-Stand next Café du Marché rue Cler & rue du Champ de Mars
-Base of Eiffel Tower
-Rue Roquepine near Place de Madeleine
-2 blocks from Folies Bergere-Pigalle
-NE corner Bd Hausmann & rue du Faubourg-Montmartre
-LE TERMINUS NORD across street from Gare du Nord
-Gare Montparnasse, r. Montparnasse, r. d'Odessa
-Crêperie de Josselin, 167 r du Montparnasse
-Across from Motte-Piquet Métro station
-Across street on corner from Sacré-Cœur funiculaire
Be prepared - you might actually LIKE the food proffered by the airline (but maybe it's Air France who does such a great job).
My 2nd trip to Paris, I tried to order the fruit plate for our international flight to Paris but was informed that Air France doesn't do that. Good thing because the food was EXCELLENT (for airline food). We started with a chicken caesar salad followed by an entree of Beef Burgundy and steamed veggies. I think dessert was Black Forest cake or some version thereof? I was impressed. I accidentally ate a button mushroom from the Boeuf Bourguignon thinking it was beef, it even tasted a bit like beef and I like it, which is odd since I HATE mushrooms. :)
Photos: Feb 2006 & August 2005
When you want to buy 1 little can with jusd'orange in the G20 supermarket, in the case 4 little cans are packed in a little cardboard, you have to pay extra for that 1 little can. It occured me in the G20 supermarkt across the street near the exit of metrostation St. Lazare.
What a defamation :x
If you are a person who enjoys indulging first thing in the morning, make sure you either bring something with you to munch on, as the breakfasts served in the hotels are very small; or go to a restaurant. Our hotel (Ibis) restaurant served us a croissant, a hard roll and one slice of cheese (which I do not eat unless it's mixed into a main dish), with a small glass of orange juice.
I am a huge breakfast person, so aside from our hotel meal, I also brought granola bars and fruit to hold me over throughout the mornings.
There are macaroons, and there are MACAROONS; the “macarons” from La Durée are out of this world. The most remarkable combination of crispy/light/melt-in-your-mouth/luscious/heavenly/sinful… your mouth and taste buds will be stunned, in awe, in heaven.
The flavors are a taste adventure— coffee, chocolate, black chocolate, vanilla, raspberry, praline, orange, chestnuts, pistachio, lemon, rose, caramel, violet flavored blackcurrant, Hunan tea, mint, almonds, Toffee, coconut, lime and Basil, rose, cherries Amaretto, apricot Ginger… you will, of course, need to try them all.
My favorite? A tough call, but at the moment, it is ROSE.
You will wonder how the combination of egg whites, sugar, and flavoring can yield such wondrous sensations. The Ladurée plot twist on Macaroons was to “glue” two together with a luscious “ganache.” This plot twist is now a Paris institution.
Where to find them:
75, avenue des Champs Elysées
Open Every Day From 7h30 until 00h30
Métro: Georges V
LADURÉE Royale (the original tearoom)
16, rue Royale
Open Monday-Saturday from 8h30 to 19h00
Sunday from 10h00 to 19h00
Métro: Madeleine or Concorde
21 rue Bonaparte
Open every day from 8h30 until 00h00
In the Printemps department store
62, boulevard Haussmann
Open Every Day except Sunday From 9h35 until 19h00
(Thursday until 22h00)
Métro: Havre Caumartin
WARNING: there is a strong possibility you will become addicted to Ladurée macaroons (not to mention their other cakes and pastries). The stores are beautiful; each is a tearoom, where you can sit and relax and enjoy. Breakfast and lunch are served, and of course there is afternoon tea.
It's your last night in Paris and you have an early flight out in the morning. Don't go out to the cafe' down the street for a quick drink. You'll stay out to 5AM. That's when this picture was taken!!!