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tout autour au pain

France/ French/ Paris/ Travels

Paris: My Fab Five

Paris, the city of lights and love, has captured my heart again. Ever since I came in 2005, I always leave feeling in awe of what this city has. This time is no different. The culture that Napoleon and French kings have instilled in Paris through architecture, art, and food create a beautiful symphony of a vibrant and delicious dining scene.

It’s a food paradise.

While both my body and credit card are feeling the aftermath of eating at all these places, it is very much worth it. I would go to any of these places again, without hesitation. So, not in any particular order because I love them all, here are my favorite bites of this trip in Paris:

Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie

This food establishment seems to be a fan-favorite and for good reason. Not only do they produce incredibly delicious dishes, but they also have a side store front where they sell French culinary goods like canned foie gras, truffles, wines and spirits. It’s been a food institution since 1894, and prides itself in serving the gourmands or Paris.

I don’t think you can go wrong with ordering anything on this menu, though I’d highly recommend getting their foie gras raviolis and escargots. We ordered another ravioli dish as we were finishing up our first round of this dish.

Richer

It may be easy to pass this restaurant by, but it’s worth a stop. You can tell it’s a neighborhood gem – it’s casual and comfortable, the waitstaff is friendly, and dishes are under €40. Richer is on Michelin’s Bib Gourmand list and I can see why. Their dishes are interesting and delightful, featuring fresh produce so the menu seems to change daily if not weekly.

I had dishes there that expanded my understanding of French food, and I am very glad for it.

Tout, Autour Au Pain

Croissants, croissants, croissants. They are everywhere, and frankly, they are really good everywhere in France. This bakery takes the cake for my favorite croissant because it’s got everything I’m looking for. Flaky and crunchy exterior, soft and buttery interior…mm-hmm, now I want a croissant.

Une Glace a Paris

When I – as an American – think about an ice cream shop, I imagine numerous tubs of scoopable ice creams all fitted within freezers. This ain’t that kind of place. This is less of an ice cream shop, and more like a frozen dessert wonderland. Yes, they have ice cream but they also have beautifully adorned cold pastries.

Their desserts represent the convergence of two amazing pastry chefs – Emmanuel Ryon, a world pastry champion (1999), and Olivier Menard, who’s culinary pedigree includes working at Pierre Hermé and starting a pastry school. Their focus is around creating high-quality frozen sweets that feature seasonal flavors and various textures.

Le Rigmarole

Before the trip in my planning phase, I perused the Eater 38 Paris list and the description for Le Rigmarole caught my eye. Then I read more about this restaurant in a separate Eater article and was immediately intrigued – “cross between the improvisatory and reciprocal spirit of an omakase“. What does that even mean..?

I found out, and I am highly encouraging you to do so too.

It was a spectacular meal – there was a magic to this place that made it feel like home. Both chefs seem excited to answer questions and share a part of themselves with you. Interaction is key here. You have the option of ordering from a menu, or let them dictate your food journey (this is the “omakase” element). I opted for the latter.

La Rigmarole is a special place. Perhaps the casual nature of the chefs and sommelier made me feel like they could be my friends, or the Asian elements of some dishes drew me to familiar flavors and textures, I don’t know. What I do know is that this place is delightful, and I’d happily go back there again to experience it all over again.

For the record, this was one of the hardest reservations to snag so make sure to plan ahead. Check out my other blog post for how to score reservations to popular places.


If and when you go to Paris, let this city take you on numerous foodjournies, because it is almost always worth it. Eat your heart out. 🙂