We are traveling back to the U.S. today and I can’t wait to share more details from our trip with you! It was such a special week and a rare occasion to get to spend so much time with Will. Between Paris and the Amalfi Coast, I don’t think we could possibly pick a favorite. I love each for different reasons and they actually made the perfect back-to-back combination — a little city culture, a little coastal relaxation. I know we will both be dreaming about this trip for years to come!
First off, I wanted to share our favorite meals for those of you planning a trip and wondering where to eat in Paris. I’ll preface this post (same as I did for my New York City guide) by saying that I’m a picky vegetarian eater and I don’t pretend to have eaten my way through the entire city. That’s why I love getting reader recommendations (in addition to those from family and friends) before I travel. You only have so many days in a given destination — why waste a single meal?
After a long nap on our first day, we met up with Jess and Lauren for a late dinner at Café Constant, a more casual offshoot of chef Christian Constant’s one star Michelin restaurant Le Violin d’Ingres. We shared a bottle of rosé while waiting for our table and actually ran into a friend of Will’s from New York at the bar! Once we were seated upstairs, we ordered a bunch of small plates ranging from lobster ravioli (delicious) to an artichoke and mushroom salad (simple and perfect). Perhaps best of all, it was a hop, skip, and jump to the Eiffel Tower to see it sparkle at midnight.
Will’s mom encouraged us to make a reservation at Septime exactly one month before our trip and I’m so glad we did. They offer a three- or six-course tasting menu that changes daily. I was a little nervous about not being able to preview the menu but Septime surpassed my every expectation. The staff was so accommodating (they’re happy to prepare gluten-free or vegan options as well) and took time explaining the components of each dish — you could tell how passionate they are about fresh and unexpected ingredients. We got to sit right next to the kitchen and see the chefs hard at work. Above you can see the vegetarian salad they made for me (a “photo of the season” featuring asparagus, broccoli, kale, and the first strawberries of the season) and the most outrageously delicious dessert — a caramelized blood orange with smoked nuts and whipped cream with lemon zest.
The ultimate people watching perch in Paris and an easy walk from the Arc de Triomphe. A chic café surrounded by high-end shopping, L’Avenue is the perfect spot to sip a café au lait and rest your feet for an hour or two. We had a corner table right by the window (hence the pretty light in the photos, ha!) and wound up staying for lunch — Will is still talking about his shrimp risotto a week later.
Admittedly we only wound up here after being informed of a long wait at Ralph’s across the street (still dying to go on a future trip — it looks beautiful!) but I had come here with my grandmother when I was in high school and had fond memories. We enjoyed a glass of wine outside and had a lovely server who listed his favorite items on the menu (I find that service is pretty hit-or-miss in Paris but it was exceptional here and at Septime). A cozy little spot in Saint Germain and one I enjoyed as much this trip as I did on my first trip to Paris nearly ten years ago.
I know it’s not a restaurant per se (though you’ll find several good ones there) but it deserves a mention as one of my favorite places to eat in Paris. My grandmother and I once stayed at a hotel on this cobblestone block between the Eiffel Tower and the Invalides and I love picking up quick groceries at the open air markets and boulangeries. And who doesn’t love a nutella crepe to go?! I miss them already.