But first, let our guest instagrammer show you how
It’s one of the global culinary capitals, and yet one false move in Paris could find you munching on the world’s most disappointing quiche—and overpaying for it. So in the name of full bellies and happy hearts, we’ve enlisted the help of The FoodStache, owner of Paris’ most insatiable Instagram account. For the next six days, the expert eater will take us on a culinary Instagram tour through the city of lights and butter. Ahead of his takeover, we’ve picked his brain to find out what it’s like to eat your way through Europe’s most delicious city.
Your Instagram feed makes it look like you truly know every little café and restaurant in Paris! I guess this means you pick up on all the food trends—which trend have you been most excited about?
As a coffee lover, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed when moving to Paris a couple years back not to find as many coffee shops and specialty coffee joints as in London or Berlin. But two years on, I clearly have to admit the third wave has fully hit Paris too and you can now find loads of coffee shops and not only in the hip areas of the eastern part of town anymore, but also there are more and more restaurants starting to serve better coffee, notably thank to the people at L’Arbre à Café, Café Lomi or Brûlerie Belleville offering a quality alternative to the otherwise over-roasted beans in Paris. If looking for a great cup of coffee try KB Cafeshop, Café Oberkampf, CREAM Belleville or Fragments Paris among others.
..and which one would you like to see go away?
Unfortunately there still are too many very touristy places in Montmartre, around Le Louvre or in Le Marais, hence where tourists usually flock in masses. I wish those places would let space for a higher quality offering, and though it’s fair to admit the change is on its way, the road is still long before one can blindfoldedly sit at a terrace and order a “Croque-Monsieur” without being utterly disappointed. But as I said, more and more younger people are shaking the food industry in Paris, people that truly care about the ingredients they use, about the food and the drinks they offer and about the people they serve and work with, so I’m confidently looking forward to the time when unfriendly waiters and overpriced undercooked food will be a thing of the past.
Where can we have the absolutely most Parisian meal in Paris?
My crush would be La Mascotte in Montmartre, I love the atmosphere of that so typical french “Brasserie”, with great service from the famous “garçons de café” or understand waiters in shirts and bow-tie, with great food starting off with oysters from the “écailler” next door, and finishing with a beef tartare with french fries, all that with a glass or two of their extensive selection of wines from all regions in France. It’s also a place to see and be seen and you can be sure you’ll bump into a celebrity or two while sipping on your glass of Sancerre.
And if we’re tired of all the French cooking, which kind of cuisine does Paris also do really well?
Asian cuisine, without any doubts. If you’re in for some sushis or ramen, hit Rue St-Anne in the heart of Paris where there is a massive concentration of Japanese restaurants, from noodles street joints to Michelin-starred sushi parlours, notable options include Udon Jubey, Kunitoraya or Sushi-B. If you’re more into dumplings or Peking duck, then take the metro to Belleville, and walk out straight into our version of “China Town” where you can find all sorts of Chinese and Vietnamese food in very low-key settings, make sure to try Le Grand Bol, Raviolis Chinois-East or Lao-Siam. Finally if all you want is some vegetarian curry, then head to Gare du Nord and you’ll find the best Indian restaurants in town, among which Saravana Bhavan stands out.
All that food just begs for a good walk—what’s the route you recommend for optimum digestion and panoramic enjoyment?
The great thing about Paris is it’s actually not that big and it turns out you can mostly walk everywhere, so I would suggest you skip the metro or Uber after lunch and just walk to your next destination. As for a nicer walk, if you’re on the eastern side, head to Parc de Belleville, for a stroll admiring the street art there and go up the hill to get one of the nicest views on the Eiffel Tower. You can then grab a cup of flat white at CREAM down the Rue de Belleville. One of my all-time favorite spot is the Jardins du Palais Royal in the heart of town, where you can sip on an espresso from Café Kitsuné while admiring the sculptures and the antique shops. Or simply walk by the Seine River, looking at Le Louvre and all the other wonderful monuments in Paris and exploring what the “bouquinistes” have to sell, that is the small antique book shops popping like mushrooms by the Seine when the sun is out.Follow @lostincityguides for this week’s Parisian food extravaganza, then keep up with @thefoodstache to find out everything else the city has to offer.