Guest Blogger Colleen Valles- Eating, Drinking, and Sightseeing in Paris

 

 

Here at Zesty PDX we not only know where you can eat and drink in Portland, but also in many locations around the globe! This is my best friend and frequent travel partner's review of Paris. We both went together and she fastidiously took notes before and after eating. I'm delighted to have the wonderful Colleen Valles tell you all about our gastronmic journey on our wonderful trip to Paris.

Paris is a city of delights. The art, architecture, style, food … each incorporates aspects from around the world to produce something uniquely French. These delights inspire wonder and awe and keep Paris one of the top tourist destinations in the world. To experience them is like being let in on a secret: you feel you know what no one else does, and it’s hard to keep it to yourself.

 

There is so much to do, see and eat in Paris that choosing just a few during a trip there can seem impossible. Luckily, ZestyPDX has done some of the work for you, and like everyone else, we just can’t keep this to ourselves.

 

Below are some recommendations for places to eat in Paris, each tried and approved by Zesty.

 

Maceo

15, Rue des Petits-Champs

Metro stop: Pyramides

maceorestaurant.com

Phone: +33 1 42 97 53 85

Top on the list has to be Maceo. This restaurant has some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. It’s a little expensive, but it's nice if you can get here for a date with your significant other, your bestie or whomever you just met that day. This meal is so good, it deserves to be shared with someone. I had the vegetarian prix fixe because the non-veg option had shellfish, which I'm not all that fond of. It was, of course, a veggie meal to die for. The pea soup was what I imagine pea soup will taste like in heaven, it was that divine. Make reservations online and be prepared to have your taste buds doing little dances all night long.

 

Pierre Hermé

72 Rue Bonaparte

Metro Stop: St. Sulpice

pierreherme.com

Phone: +33 1 43 54 47 77

Best macarons in all of France. He’s an artiste, and everyone knows it, so you'll have to get there early to get a wide selection. Also, get the Ispahan croissant, if he's still making it -- you’ll thank me for the rest of your life. The one on Rue Bonaparte is his pastry shop. He has a bakery on the Rue Cambon, and a chocolate shop at 18 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie. I suggest trying out all three places. You're in Paris, after all. Enjoy the carbs.

 

 

L’As du Fallafel

32 Rue des Rosiers, in a little green building

Jewish quarter of the Marais district

Phone: +33 1 48 87 63 60

This place has delicious, cheap falafel and some other Middle Eastern fare. It’s near shopping in the Marais, so it’s a nice place to stop for a quick bite. The guys out front take your order, you pay them, and a few minutes later, you are walking down the street, chowing down on a giant, tasty falafel. You can sit inside, too, if you like, but it's pretty cramped, and the line is generally long. It moves quickly, and it's definitely worth it.

 

Chez Janou

2 Rue Roger Verlomme

chezjanou.com

Phone: +33 1 42 72 28 41

Marais district

This bistro has a large indoor space as well as a terrace for dining in fine weather. It serves food from Provence, so for more Mediterranean fare and a fun time, venture here. The staff is friendly; the food is good; the crowd is lively.

 

Le Comptoir du Relais

9, Carrefour de l'Odeon (Relais St. Germain Hotel)

Metro stop: Odeon

St. Germain District

This is a typical French bistrot: the food is awesome, if a little meat-heavy. It’s tough to get into, though, if you go when everyone else is eating. It’s best for a late lunch (3-4 p.m.).

 

Breizh Café

109, Rue Vieille du Temple

Metro Stop: St. Sebastien Froissard

breizhcafe.com/en/

Phone: +33 1 42 72 13 77

Marais District

Widely known as the best crêpes in Paris. It specializes in galettes, which are buckwheat crêpes, and serve both sweet and savory. This place is tough to get into – Zesty and I got lucky, but we got there a little early, around 7 or 7:30 p.m. They serve hard cider in bowls, since galettes are Breton, and they drink cider in Brittany. It’s all yummy. We got the buckwheat crepe dessert with buckwheat ice cream, and it was delicious, despite sounding too buckwheaty.

 

La Petite Place

16, Rue du Parc Royal

Phone: +33 1 42 71 75 86

Marais District

This little café is where we had breakfast in the morning. It has typical French breakfasts that you’ll get at any café, but the lunches are good, and include vegetables, which may be easier to come by depending on the season you're there. We were a little early for much to be in season, but you can get big ol’ salads here, and their tartines and quiches are good.

 

Poilâne

8 Rue du Cherche-Midi

poilane.com/en_US/

Phone: +33 1 45 48 42 59

Reputed to be the best bread in Paris, and anyone who serves it will brag about it. The bakery is on this street, so you can see for your own selves.

 

Things to note for Paris newbies:

Food

-          In cafés and many restaurants, you sit where you want if no one greets you.  

-          Tip for small meals like breakfast is the change. Tip for dinners, etc. is 5-10 percent. The waiters don’t rely on tips like they do in the United States, so don’t worry too much about it.

-          In restaurants, you’ll most likely be asked if you want an aperitif. Get Kir. It rocks.

-          Get street crêpes: Shops with windows open to the sidewalk, and you just walk up, order your crêpe, which they’ll make right there. Best thing ever.

-          Tartines are so much more than bread and butter. Explore the world of tartine.

 

Sightseeing

-          The Louvre: It’s overwhelming, so choose a few things to see beforehand. The must-sees are Venus de Milo, Nike of Samothrace (Winged Victory), Mona Lisa, Michaelangelo’s slaves, Da Vinci’s St. Anne. If you can, go on a Wednesday or Friday evening, when the crowds are thinner (as in fewer people, not more svelte). It’s cheaper after 6 p.m. and is open until 10 p.m.

-          Eiffel Tower: See it lit up at night; it sparkles every hour. Pretty cool thing to see.

-          Flea Markets: Paris has two, and they’re famous. The one at Clignancourt is GINORMOUS, and it's waaaaaaaaay at the end of the métro line. It’ll take you all day, and it’s got oodles of stuff. The one at Vanves is supposed to be smaller. We didn’t go to Vanves, but I imagine it’s largely the same: oodles of stuff you have to dig through. Bonne chance (good luck).

-          Prepare to walk. Wear comfy shoes, but not tennis shoes. C'mon. It's Paris.

 

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melissa guidry
Top 10 (Food-Related) Things to do in Portland
Zesty PDX Food Tours in Portland, OR : Top 10 (food related) things to do in Portland

1.) Visit urban winery

What is an urban winery? In PDX there are 16 members of the PDX Urban Wineries association. These are a bit different than tasting rooms as in these spaces the grapes are made into wine and in a tasting room the wine is made somewhere else and brought to the tasting room to be sampled. You can't go wrong either way, but just thought I should explain the difference. Anywho, I’m a bit biased, but I love Enso. I had my wedding party here. It is a great atmosphere, has charcuterie, and lovely wines. Try their Portland Sangria too. 

P.S. Looking for a great Tasting room? Try the wines at Fullerton Wines or come on our Alphabet District Tour

2.) Blue star doughnuts, please

For 18 hour to rise brioche donuts with organic and/or all-natural ingredients, Blue Star is a must! Try the passionfruit with cacao nibs or perhaps the Meyer lemon with key lime curd. For an amazing vegan option, try the matcha flavor with lots of real matcha! Get those antioxidants. :)

3.) Visit distillery row

If you’re into spirits, this will be your jam! I’m a big fan of House Spirits and their mini cocktail tasting. But, try them all, you can’t go wrong! 

4.) Go to brunch (top 3 picks)

This is hard! Portland is a brunch city for sure! But, for purposes of this blog, I’m sticking to 3. Broder Nord is a must. I prefer the location near the Mississippi district, but that’s just because I live near that location. I’m a huge fan of the Nord Bord for a lovely nordic variety of items. It’s fun! Next, and for a nice brunch date or just any ole day, I’d say go to Beast. You’ll have a pre-fixed reserve only 4-course brunch for $35.00 (it’s a steal) from an award-winning female chef (Naomi Pomeroy) featured on “Chopped”. Book early and check out the menu before you go... And lastly, I’d head to Harlow on Hawthorne for delicious, whole food ingredients, fresh juices, amazing coffee drinks, and such great servers. The line may be out the door, so go during the week! There’s no meat, but eggs for sure. 

Zesty PDX Food Tours in Portland, OR : Top 10 (food related) things to do in Portland

5.) Visit Fifty Licks, Salt & Straw, or Ruby Jewel

You really can’t go wrong here. You may have to wait in line at all of the locations, but it’ll be worth the wait! Have the arbequina olive oil at Salt & Straw, the ice cream sandwiches at Ruby Jewel and the choco-coco-mel flavor at Fifty Licks. Yes, it’s vegan, but trust me, it is amazing!

6.) Visit a food cart

If I only had one to choose, I’d say to visit Gumba on Alberta. Or, come on the Alberta Art Bite Tour. The handmade burrata is amazing!

Zesty PDX Food Tours in Portland, OR : Top 10 (food related) things to do in Portland

7.) Visit a brewery

With over 60 microbreweries in the city, it’s hard to choose! I’d say you can’t go wrong with Ecliptic, Breakside, or The Commons

Zesty PDX Food Tours in Portland, OR : Top 10 (food related) things to do in Portland

8.) Visit Tea Bar

With multiple locations throughout the city, you can be sure there is one in the neighborhood you are living in while in Portland. I love the Blue Majik, Matcha Latte, and the Beet Rose latte. It’s a must visit if you all-natural ingredients in your boba with a wonderful minimalist atmosphere.

9.) Go to a happyhour

Please refer to my happy hour blog above this blog when you scroll!

10.) Take a ZestyPDX food tour!

Want to eat and learn history while meeting others who have the same interest? Well, come on! It’ll be fun. Learn about our tours and book your favorite!


Zesty PDX Food Tours in Portland, OR : Melissa Guidry Founder and Host of ZestyPDX

Melissa Guidry | Founder of ZestyPDX 

My name is Melissa Guidry and I moved to Portland 13 years ago via a transplant from Louisiana very near New Orleans. I've been a gastronomy tour guide for four years creating itineraries and guiding local food tours as well as in guiding historical and cultural tours in Europe. Before working in tourism I worked for a culinary and design school here in beautiful Portland, Oregon. Trying new restaurants filled with gastronomic delights is a hobby and passion for me along with cooking, voracious food blog reading, my own blogging, and hosting meals for friends and family. And, don't forget travel- it's an equal love of mine! So please join me fellow travelers (and locals too) on an adventure filled with eating, history, and fun! 

Top Cocktail Spots in the Pearl
ZestyPDX Food Tours in Portland, OR | Cocktail Spots in the Pearl

The Pearl is a lovely and affluent neighborhood in the Northwest quadrant of Portland. It has some of the priciest housing in around and is located along the iconic streetcar route and easily accessible from Downtown Portland and Nob Hill/Alphabet District! There are many lovely galleries and an event called “First Thursdays” Find out more here.

Plus, Powell’s Books is there! Don’t leave Portland without checking out the largest independently owned bookstore in the world. 

One may ask “Why is the Pearl District named the Pearl District”? According to the Pearl District Business Association,  a local gallery owner named the name Pearl District around the turn of the century to suggest that some of its worn down industrial buildings were like dirty oysters and that the galleries and artists' lofts within were like pearls. I always love a good oyster analogy! I am a Cajun after all.

Let’s get to it!

ZestyPDX Food Tours in Portland, OR | Cocktail Spots in the Pearl

Andina

I love this hot spot (in the bar) to start the night with small plates and the famed “sacsayhuaman” cocktail pronounced (sac-say- woman) composed of habanero vodka, pure cane sugar, and pureed passionfruit with a sugar rim. Don’t worry, it’s not too hot or too sweet! The tartness of the passionfruit shines in this lovely libation.The drink is named after a citadel outside of Cusco and that makes sense because Andina is owned and operated by Peruvians and is a Portland icon in terms of longevity in the Portland food scene.The bar has live music many nights and is very festive! Check it out here

Insider tip: Leave off the sugar rim for more tartness to shine through!

ZestyPDX Food Tours in Portland, OR | Cocktail Spots in the Pearl

Teardrop Lounge

What can I say? These guys are cocktail artists. If their lovely website is not proof of that, then have one of their ever-changing seasonal cocktails. Having worked in the Pearl for 5 years starting in 2006 I was lucky enough to sample many of their cocktails over the years. They opened in 2007 and gave way to the cocktail scene as it exists in Portland. We take our cocktails very seriously here in the City of Roses. I’m a whiskey and tequila girl so I typically go for those spirits when ordering; however, I know you can’t go wrong. Before house made everything was the uber rage these guys were making bitters and intricately flavored cocktails with the best ingredients possible. For a well-balanced cocktail in a lovely space with some of the best bartenders in the city stop here!

ZestyPDX Food Tours in Portland, OR | Cocktail Spots in the Pearl

Vault Martini

This last recommendation has been a Pearl staple for many years and focuses on martinis. When I worked in the Pearl District Friday nights were meant for sipping on the pineapple habanero infused vodka martini! It is delicious and dangerous. There’s absolutely alcohol in this slightly sweet and slightly spicy libation. Go on Sundays and Mondays as happy hour is featured all day. Yes, I’m SERIOUS folks. Enjoy!


ZestyPDX Food Tours in Portland, OR | Melissa Guidry Founder and Host of ZestyPDX

Melissa Guidry | Founder of ZestyPDX

My name is Melissa Guidry and I moved to Portland 13 years ago via a transplant from Louisiana very near New Orleans. I've been a gastronomy tour guide for four years creating itineraries and guiding local food tours as well as in guiding historical and cultural tours in Europe. Before working in tourism I worked for a culinary and design school here in beautiful Portland, Oregon. Trying new restaurants filled with gastronomic delights is a hobby and passion for me along with cooking, voracious food blog reading, my own blogging, and hosting meals for friends and family. And, don't forget travel- it's an equal love of mine! So please join me fellow travelers (and locals too) on an adventure filled with eating, history, and fun!