Follow me on my Parisian adventure as I dish the best places to eat in Paris – from the best crepes to the best wine bar to the best surprise menu!If you missed my first post on the best places to eat in paris – go back to the beginning, a very good place to start (sound of music reference…don’t judge).
If you read my last post, then you know I found Le Perchoir from that Huff Post article about where local Parisians eat. Well, I also saw Frenchie Restaurant listed in that article, which was already on my radar as I stalked my fellow foodie friend’s Instagram who had recently been to Paris and ate at Frenchie. Now there’s three different adaptations of Frenchie Restaurant in Paris, all owned by Executive Chef, Gregory Marchand and all located on Rue de Nil in the 2nd arrondissement. So let’s get our barrings straight for a moment.
Frenchie Restaurant, the original establishment, is really hard to get reservations at so plan to make them a few months in advance. I believe they serve a surprise menu too! – read my first post to hear all about the surprise menu factor in Paris. However, if you’re like me and plan trips two weeks ahead of time, there are other options to enjoy the Frenchie experience. Frenchie To Go is open for breakfast and lunch and is Marchand’s spin on homemade street/deli food. This place is heavy on the meat, so vegetarians and vegans, beware. Frenchie Wine Bar is directly across the street from Frenchie Restaurant and offers up a taste of Marchand without having to make reservations way in advance. But let me warn you, this wine bar is pop-u-lar. Don’t make the mistake we did and get there at 9:30pm because they probably won’t be able to fit you in on the wait list. That was our mistake our second night in Paris. We spent a gazillion hours getting lost in Paris trying to find this place, starving all the while, and get there only to find out they can’t seat us. But, alas, I was determined to wine and dine at Frenchie so we made our way back there (almost getting lost again!) on our last night in Paris after and before seeing the Eiffel Tower – yes, we had to see it in daylight and at nighttime.
Frenchie Wine Bar is very tiny and intimate and you just might end up sitting next to some folks you didn’t arrive with and make new friends (we did!). Loved the simple decor with exposed stone and a zinc bar.
We started with this vibrant-colored rose.
Frenchie Wine Bar serves up small plates, tapas style, meant for sharing. We started with burrata with a minty pea pesto.
Then had this delicious smoked trout with charred leeks and and goat cheese.
Next, tortellini with ricotta, peas, and hazelnut butter.
And finished with a cheesecake with key lime ice cream and fresh berries.
Our table at Frenchie was the closest to the open door to the kitchen with a perfect view of sous chef Francois Roche styling the plates. As a food styler/photographer, I was gawking over this dude: his focus, his attention to detail, his finesse, the way he styled the plates with such ease and grace. I know, I would develop a food styling crush, the foodie weirdo that I am.
My friend thought it was hilarious how much I was obsessing over how he styled the plates. So, unbeknownst to me, while I was in the restroom, she asked our server if the chef could come out and take a picture with me. When I walked back to the table, she had this silly smirk on her face and I knew immediately what she had done. I was so embarrassed. And immediately turned red. But I did get this goofy picture with him. Thanks, Ana.
The food at Frenchie is delicious. The vibe is lively, loud, and crowded, but if you’re looking for a “hot spot” in Paris to dine at, this is it.
And what would Paris be without having a crepe…or two? Everyone that gave me food recos before I left for my trip said Breizh Cafe, located in the 3rd arrondissement, was the spot to go to for the best crepes. Reservations are highly recommended and I would suggest making one as the host had to turn many walk-ins away while we had lunch here. We lucked out though. We arrived around 11:30am (without reservations), just before the lunch crowd and they were able to squeeze us in.
Breizh Cafe offers two different types of “crepes” on the menu. One is your traditional crepe, made with white flour and sweet fillings. The other is the galette, which is made with buckwheat flour and traditionally savory fillings.
I’m more of a savory breakfast fan, so I opted for the garden vegetable galette with tomatoes, spinach, zucchini and an over easy egg. But beware, their galettes are pretty large! After Ana and I had galettes, we were pretty full. The server came over and asked us if we wanted a sweet crepe after we were done eating and we both shook our heads no. Five minutes later, I’m like wait, I can’t leave Paris and not have a traditional crepe! It was one of those “I totally have a separate stomach for dessert” moments. Good thing I was SUPER active this trip! Ana thought I was nuts when I said actually I think I’m going to order a sweet crepe. But let me tell you, she didn’t think I was so nuts when she tasted it. We both enjoyed the crepe over the galettes.
The crepe we ordered was strawberry rhubarb with a rhubarb puree filling and fresh strawberries and vanilla ice cream on top. Let’s just say we had to walk for a long time after to “walk this meal off”.
While you’re in the area, be sure to stop at L’as Du Fallafel (the ace of falafel) in the 4th arrondissement, the historically Jewish section of Le Marais, for their king falafel sandwich. A warm, dense pita packed to the brim with two layers of falafel, red cabbage, cucumber, grilled eggplant, hummus, tahini, and hot sauce, and then topped off with tzatziki. This seriously tops all falafel experiences to date. You can dine-in or grab your falafel to go while you peruse the streets of Paris. The latter might be a little messier. Or, you can do what we did which is take your falafel on the metro to the Eiffel Tower for a picnic!
Before we went to Paris, I joked around with my friend that we would sit in parks and eat brie and baguettes every day. On our second to last day, there were no brie or baguettes to be had, but many a sights seen and stairs climbed. So, finally, on our last day in Paris, we grabbed brie from Pascal Trotte, a cheese shop in the 5th arrondissement that was recommended to us to bring to our picnic.
This was probably my favorite moment in Paris. Eating brie, sitting in the grass, and gazing up at the massive Eiffel Tower.
Don’t worry Paris lovers, there’s one more post comin’ atcha. My list of must visit sights in Paris! Get ready for more stunning photos of this old city.
Tell me, have you been to Paris? What are your favorite Parisian restaurants?