The French think chiefly of two things – their two main meals. So, everything else can be put in brackets. For a nation whose people spend a large chunk of their time planning, cooking and talking about their food (needless to say consuming), it’s only fitting that Paris is considered to be the Everest in the gourmet world.
The first thing that comes to one’s mind on hearing French cuisine, apart from cheese and French fries (however, much the Belgians can whine that it was their recipe first, the name remains) is variety. The French consider eating of their food as more than just a gastronomical tendency, for them it is taking part in an activity involving logic and order with the cuisine. A few of the cafes, bistros, brasseries (a café cum restaurant with an informal setting) and restaurants serving as popular Paris tourism attractions:
La Maison Stohrer: One of the oldest and most prestigious of Paris’ patisserie shops dating back to 1730 located in Rue Montorgreil, its exterior looks like a fairytale shop with fascinating glass displays of pastries arranged like jewels. A thing to note is that photography of these displays is prohibited but you can buy a pastry and photograph it at home. (Talk about French laws and all) This shop is the birthplace of “Baba Rum” and delicious classics like the réligieuse à l’ancienne: a pile of cream puffs designed to look like a nun can be sampled here.
Le Cremerie: Saint-German guarantees us Paris’ most charming streets lined with quaint shops, patisseries, wine shops, bakeries and cafes – this is Paris tourism at its quintessential best. A cross between a restaurant and an organic wine shop, La Crémerie has the most delectable French produce that you can either eat in or take home with you. The place is almost as if a bread shop/milk shop has been converted into a restaurant cum wine bar with painted glass ceilings harkening back to a forgotten era. It’s a hotspot for couples due to the intimate setting and beautiful tiles.
La Coupole: This place is what would describe a brasserie best – a cavernous spot with Art Deco murals. Popular amongst Paris tourist attractions since the time it was the major hang-out place for Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, it still manages to attract a chunk of tourists and bourgeois families. Recent specialties in the classic brasserie menu include caramelized apple tart and panfried foie grass, beef fillet flambéed with cognac and profiteroles made with Valrhona chocolate.
Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots: These age old rival cafes on the same street in Saint Germain have hosted intellectuals, writers, artists and musicians while they interacted amongst each other through and post the war years becoming an integral part of Paris tourism. Is there any better way to engage with the intellectual and literary hub of Paris than by having espresso in one of its cafes on Saint German?
Le Jules Verne: Le Jules Verne, Alain Ducasse’s fine dining restaurant may be the most thrilling venue on Earth to have your dinner as it is located on the platform above Eiffel Tower’s second tier.
Street Food: Crepes (spread with butter, sugar, even with Nutella), a classic street food in Paris is available at almost every stall on the street corner but the most famous Paris creperie is the Breizh Café in Cancale.
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