Foodies abroad: Brunch in London
London is calling, brunch lovers.
Paris: City of lights, city of love, city of... cheese and macarons?
Whatever you call it, there’s no doubt that the French capital is a mecca for foodies who come for the endless pastries, fine cuisine, and experimental flavours (but probably not the frogs’ legs). If you’re planning a trip but feeling a little overwhelmed by the all the options, check out our top picks to keep you feeling the love.
First things first, you’ll need somewhere to lay your head when the food baby kicks in. These lodgings tick all the boxes for location, budget, Instagrammable décor and, of course, great bars you won’t have to stumble far from to find your bed.
On a super budget? Grab a dorm room for as little as $27 a night at this stylish hostel, which is worth the price alone for the rooftop views of Montmartre from the bar.
Gain instant Insta-fame with a shot of this brand-new boutique hotel’s glam spiral staircase and sun-soaked lobby, then find yourself a stool to perch on at the cosy cocktail bar for a tipple.
If you want to feel really chic (and not just because you’ve donned a beret and stripy shirt), Hotel Henriette will have you saying “oui oui” to vintage décor and morning croissants in the leafy courtyard.
With an estimated 40,000 restaurants in Paris, our list could go on forever, but we’ll resist and limit ourselves to a few that will make your friends back home drool with envy.
One to splurge on, Septime is regularly rated as one of the best restaurants in Paris – one or two courses into their eight-course French tasting menu and you’ll see why. Hot tip: the four-course lunch is a more wallet-friendly option if you’ve spent too much on macarons to afford the pricey dinner date.
Italian restaurants are almost as common as French ones, but Pink Mamma is so much more than just delish pizzas – ask for a table in the leafy rooftop dining area for decor that will have you swooning (a fruity spritz might help too).
Sure, you can find crepes on pretty much every street corner, but for more creative fillings than just Nutella and cream, head to Breizh and stuff yourself with the likes of white chocolate mousse and matcha tea options. Also, there’s over 60 ciders on the menu – need we say more?
When you get tired of pastry (it will happen), this burger joint in the Marais is the one to hit for stacked creations, like the Morning California, piled with a beef patty, cheddar cheese and avocado fries. And bonus, the all pink interior is as photogenic as the burgers are.
A tiny hole-in-the-wall eatery that the locals won’t tell you about, you’ll need your Google Translate app handy for L’Avant Comptoir. Here, it’s all about hands-on dining, with the menu of individual share plates hanging from the ceiling. Order up a serve of ham croquettes and fried cheese puffs and eat them standing at the bar – so Frenchy.
So you’ve had Australia’s version of Asian fusion fare, but how about France’s? Miss Ko’s is a rollicking good time, and not just thanks to the vibrant décor and saké filled cocktails. Chow down on ramen noodle burgers and bubble teas for maximum enjoyment.
Little bro to Frenchie, an impossible-to-get-into Parisian restaurant just across the street, Frenchie Bar is where to go if you don’t feel like leaping through hoops just to get a dinner reservation. Wine and dine on ever-changing small plates and make sure you leave room for dessert.
If you’ve never sipped a rum punch in a pirate ship before, here’s your chance! Le Comptoir General’s central feature is its shipshape bar, surrounded by vintage couches and hip locals. Brave the withering glare of the bartenders and order up one of the Caribbean-inspired cocktails in your best French – then try to look casual while you Snapchat away.
The sunset views over Paris’ rooftops that you’ll get from this sky-high bar are hard to beat – and with multiple locations, there’s a different view for every night you’re in town. Don’t miss the chance to sip rosé as you watch the sunset over Sacre-Couer at the original.
If you can find this speakeasy, hidden away behind a nondescript door, you’ll be rewarded with mind-blowing (and wobble-inducing) cocktails that go down far easier than their alcohol content would suggest. Best not to attempt to navigate the metro system after a few drinks here – Uber will get you home with far fewer wrong turns.
Neon pink lights and a mishmash of patterns are just the beginning of the magic carpet ride this bar will take you on, starting deep in a Moroccan souk and ending up somewhere near the bottom of a tequila bottle. Sip on their signature Scandal Water until you feel brave enough to hit the d.floor – the DJs are known to get a little rowdy.
Do your laundry and fit in a few cocktails all in one night at Le Lavomatic – this secret bar can be found behind a washing machine door in what looks like an ordinary laundromat. Find it and you can spend a few hours sipping drinks perched on the swings hanging from the ceiling (or at least until you fall off).
We’re going to take a wild guess that the likes of the Eiffel Tower, Louvre and Notre Dame are already on your list, so here’s a few not quite so touristy must-dos to put on your itinerary.
Skip breakfast if you’re heading for this giant covered market in the 3rd arrondissement, because you’re going to need the extra stomach space. Featuring an array of foods from across the globe, you can dine on anything from tajines to crepes – or, you know, just try it all.
If you didn’t eat cheese and baguettes in front of the Eiffel Tower, did you even go to Paris? Brie-fore you attempt the 669 stairs, fuel up on all the cheese you can handle with a visit to one of the best fromageries in town – our picks are Laurent Dubois or Androuet, both of which have locations dotted across the city.
Don’t rush off after meeting the gargoyles at Notre Dame or taking in the art at Centre Pompidou – Paris is best experienced down its side streets and nondescript laneways. Around Notre Dame, a bit of a stroll will uncover gems like the Shakespeare & Company bookstore, beautiful Sainte-Chapelle Church and flower-covered cafe Au Vieux Paris D’Arcole, while the streets of Le Marais are where you’ll find the coolest boutiques in all of Paris. Just don’t blame us when you can’t close your suitcase for the trip home because of all the souvenirs you bought.
Whatever you do on your trip to Paris, one thing is for sure – you’re going to need to pack your favourite stretchy pants!