Posted: 1.15.2014 | | Labels: ,

the food. oh man. let me start off by saying that i ate so much food during this europe adventure. i didn't even think it was possible for someone my size to consume so much, but somehow it happened. it was very much worth it, but if you need me i'll be at the gym burning off every last meal until summer.

before i start naming some places you definitely must check out, i want to give you some suggestions:
- if you are staying at a place with a kitchen then start off by roaming around and scoping out a few markets. buy some produce to cook with back at your place. paris gets expensive so cooking a few meals will save you some money. (a baguette, eggs, yogurt, a local jam, and some fruit)
- stay away from the touristy restaurant spots. look for places packed with locals. eat on the terrace, best people watching.
- learn how to say a few words to help you out when ordering. try and speak some french. the parisians will appreciate it and you won't look like such an ass. 
- most of the time you will have to pay at the register. don't act surprised if they never come pick up your bill. you go to them. 
- you don't leave a tip unless you feel like the service was amazing. i know, it's weird, but once you realize how much you are paying in taxes you'll be glad you don't have to cash out any more money.
- take your sweet time when eating. they are all about socializing over food so if you hangout for over two hours they won't care.
- try out different things from the bakeries. don't go to chain ones. you want the mom and pop bakery, trust me.
- wine and coffee are acceptable at any time of the day. go for it, you only live once. (yup, that happened)
- always order from the whole in the walls. you'll get some of the best bread and meals.

111 Boulevard Beaumarchais (Le Marais)

a wonderful place to shop, eat, and hangout in. two stories, three restaurants, and lots of beautiful items. this boutique store is filled with great items from earrings to dining room tables. it's fun to hangout in and grab a few items and also day dream about owning some of their stuff. like i said, they have three restaurants. two are first come first serve and the other is with a reservation. we visited the used book cafe. we did have to wait about half an hour as it was full to the brim. 

you must get their cafe creme. it's served in this big pitcher like mugs and it's good. we decided to order something small (biscuits and coffee) and eat a real meal elsewhere. we looked around and people's meals looked really wonderful so i'm pretty positive everything on the menu is good. this is a fun lounge around and catch up for hours with an old friend kind of place. afterwards you can stop by bonton the children's boutique (it's a few shops down) and jump into their old school photobooth and take some fun photos. 

24 Rue des Abbesses, 75018 Paris, France (Montmartre) 
+33 1 46 06 18 77

this place is small, absolutely lovely, and you'll most likely be sitting extremely close to your neighbor. i read somewhere that this place has been around since 1978! maybe that's why their food is absolutely amazing, they know what works and what doesn't. this is one of the restaurants that leaves you the check at your table, but you pay at the register. the cute old lady who served us spoke just a few words of english. so if you aren't lucky enough to travel with someone who speaks french you'll be okay at this restaurant.  

now about the food…incredible breakfast. i had a simple breakfast and i'm not exaggerating when i say it was the best breakfast i have ever had. the bread was baked to perfection (no exaggeration here), the eggs tasted fresh and the yolk poured out so damn beautifully, and that ham was quite tasty. simple is sometimes all you need. i suggest that you don't order their regular coffee. an espresso might have been a better choice or find a cafe after and order a coffee at the bar.

Le Refuge des Fondues
17 rue des Trois Frères (Montmartre)
+33 1 42 55 22 65

reservations, make one. it's definitely not easy getting them on the phone, but you will not get a table without one. ask for the 7pm reservation or else you will end up waiting a long time for a table to open up. this was such a fun way to spend our last night in paris. we ordered the meat and cheese fondue and red wine. it's a fixed menu so don't go asking for anything fancy because they won't have it. simple as that.

le refuge des fondues is more about the atmosphere and experience. probably the least tasty meal in paris (but that's still pretty tasty), but it was the best time. we made friends with everyone at the restaurant and laughed so much. we drank our red wine out of baby bottles which was an experience in itself. expect to be touching elbows with your neighbor, but it's fun! definitely check this place out! 

La Maison Rose  
2 Rue De L'abreuvoir (Montmartre)

the walk up is nice, but long so wear comfortable shoes. pretty touristy area, but worth the view. make sure to keep walking up after you're done at the cafe, because there is a lot to check out. 

food is mediocre, but the espresso was pretty good. this is a good 'i'm hungover i can eat anything right now' kind of meal. it's honestly nothing special, but it's such a darling cafe that it's makes it worth it which is why i added it on this list. bring a journal, order yourself a coffee, and just let yourself be inspired by your surroundings. 

Farmers Markets & Super Markets

i already mentioned this in the list of tops above. go to the street markets, super markets, and farmers markets for produce. grab a few bottles of wine, some fruit, yogurt, baguettes...whatever it is you like. it will save you some money and their produce and items are my favorite. 

le marché des enfants rouges is a covered market in le marais that is great. i ate from a moroccan stand and was pleasantly surprised by my meal. it was cheap, delicious, and the owners were so nice. at this particular market there are wine vendors, fruit stands, and all sorts of different meal options. it's definitely a place you must check out. 

since the christmas markets were still open i was able to walk down champs-élysées and check out all of the different markets that were out. i walked by a stand with a long line so i went to check it out and was surprised to see that they were smoking the salmon right there for all to see so of course i had to get myself something. i had a smoked salmon sandwich that was topped with a seasoned mayonnaise (not normally a fan of that stuff) and it was definitely worth it.