And, everything else in France (including Japanese food). The food here is, as always. Great. Wherever you go in Paris.
It’s 08:00 AM and I’m stirring from my slumber. Yesterday’s day of dentistry, travelling, and eating, did take it out of me. But I’m not hungover. Which is good start, since wine hangovers are the worst thing on the face of the planet.
I’m out of bed, showered, changed into fresh clothes, and out of the hostel by 10:00AM and looking for somewhere to eat for breakfast. I have a vague idea of where I want to go. and head in that general direction.
I’m going towards HolyBelly 5 (not sure if it’s pronounced “five”, or “cinq”). A popular spot for breakfast/brunch. Not necessarily French, but popular with tourists none the less.
I get there after taking a short detour into a small church for your standard load of picture taking. And guess what
The queue is real. I guess this is what happens what something is highly rated on various websites. And looking back I do wonder, does this mean. Is it actually the best place for breakfast? Or just a popular place? Should you accept the consensus of the masses, or just pick a place and eat there? Questions for later… with alcohol
Either way the result is that I decide not to eat here. I’m hungry, and waiting for what looks like anywhere up to an hour is not on my agenda!!! And I’m in France, there should be something good everywhere…
Like this place, which was like 20 meters down the road (rue?). They’re quiet, and the smell of freshly-baked goods are eye-watering. I’m going in! In my best (which is likely also my worst) French, I order two croissants. There’s only two tables in this bakery.
And both are taken, one by a set of locals, the other by a set of tourists who got in just before me (…merde).
I’ve taken my two croissants, and headed further on, making my way towards La Bastille. Which I had as a starting point for all things touristy!
On the way I find Anticafé. Not at all French in any sort. More a cafe/networking place. The premise is that you pay for your time sat in the cafe, and you get access to as much coffee, snacks that is available. Oh and decent Wi-Fi.
I just chill, and drink what is basically bottomless coffee, while munching on one of the croissants I just bought. I try to make a list of places I want to eat, but in the end, I give up. There’s too many.
And if HolyBelly 5 is any indication, I’m likely to be battling queues. “Ain’t nobody got time for that” when you’re only here for a day.
What happened next was basically a whistlestop tour of all things Paris, visiting:
A farm… wait what? Yes a farm (Ferme de Paris). Not something I expected to find in the middle of Paris. Cows, chickens, Turkeys…
… and someone cooking the cows…
Nothing as good, as fresh as you like steak, cooked in front of you, as only the French know how.
And all this has done is made me more hungry… Which is a good thing since Marché des Enfants Rouges (Market of the Red Children) is just down the road!
The Marché des Enfants Rouges is the oldest covered market in Paris, France. It was established in 1628 and is located at 39 Rue de Bretagne in the Marais arrondissement – Wikipedia
When you do visit Paris. come here, for lunch. Just so you can suffer the pain of choice that I had to go through (like I did for Madrid, Barcelona, and everywhere else that has a brilliant food market)
Also, this guy is here
Chef Alain Roussell runs the Chez Alain Miam Miam food stand in the Marche des Enfants Rouge.
And he single-handedly creates the greatest sandwiches and crepes you will ever eat in your life. The caveat? You will have to wait…
…and wait. Monsieur Alain interacts with all customers treating them all as if they were regulars. Which means he talks… and talks… All the while cooking.
However be prepared to wait for over an hour.
Or come here at 8:30AM and hopefully, you might be first in line. Regardless, the food, I will admit, is worth it.
However now is not the time to queue.
Since all the food stalls get busy quickly!
I ended up with Japanese. Not exactly, French, however, the people running this part of the market were making Japanese food from scratch.
And I got to witness this sitting around the back!
Also, this is likely the best katsu don I have had… ever
Finally fueled, it’s now time for a whistle-stop tour of Paris including
Colonne de Juillet (July Column), a monumental column in Paris commemorating the Revolution of 1830. It stands in the center of the Place de la Bastille.
people learning to rollerblade….
Place des Vosges – a beautiful square in Le Marais district
and Amorino for Gelato
A walk down Le Marais a historic district with some fantastic architecture…
….which I totally missed.
Hotel de Ville (I actually had to rest my feet here)
Queues are real here
The Louvre – where I spent over 30 minutes trying to get this one photo of the Louvre Pyramid… one photo…
The ironic thing is that I do realise that I was being greedy taking up this spot. But it didn’t stop me being pissy about someone else taking their time to get the right photo in another place… Je suis un hypocrite (who can’t speak French)
And slowly making my way to the Eiffel tower.
It should be stated that at this point. I’m no longer enjoying the walking and literally just going from point to point.
I eventually make my way to near the base of the Eiffel tower. And straight into Bistrot de la Tour Eiffel. For beer, and a food. Croque-Monsieur if you please.
At this stage, nothing could be better, I’m sitting at the base of the Eiffel tower,
I have beer, and I have food…
… there are people dressed as superheroes on motorcycles…. (which I didn’t get a photo of)…
I sit here and chill for what seems an eternity, drinking multiple beers, and watching the world go by. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do in Paris?
It is now 7:00 PM. Suitably rested, and refuelled I should find something else to eat.
After all, I am miles away from the hostel, and going back now via taxi seems… well lame.
Maybe a snack before dinner? I’m pretty sure that’s how it works here. I’ve wandered around the area, walking past some gorgeous Japanese patisseries. Stuff, so intricately made that they’re more works of art than things to eat.
And then suddenly I’m on Rue Cler. So, this has to be blind dumb luck that I’ve just stumbled upon one of the best markets in Paris. Period.
If I can’t find something to eat here then something must be wrong.
To be fair, it wasn’t that hard. Most places were packed, so I narrowed it down to.
1) Does it sound like it’s mainly French people there
2) Does it have a seat outside so I can people watch.
Café Du Marche ticked both boxes
Now say it with me: “cheeeeeeeeeeeeese”
Now I would like to say something interesting happened here but in all honest. No. I watched the world go by. While happily munching my cheese board (finally), with even more beers.
So much so that it’s now 9:30 PM. And I have ice-cream from Amorino (again). melon flavoured gelato was on POINT!!!
I’m looking for dinner while slowly heading in the direction of the hostel.
My first choice was going to be Le Relais de l’Entrecote. However I quickly realised that the queue… again… would be real.
So I went to the equally good Le Bistro Marbeuf.
and I had one thing on my mind… steak… cooked as rare as possible.
They did not disappoint.
Alongside a glass of Bordeaux, I think back on today:
Walking is always going to be my preferred way of getting around a new city. However, after five or so hours of marching around, I’m no longer strolling around taking in the sites and scenes. Instead, I’m concentrating on getting to my next destination, so I can sit down and rest my feet.
This is where I wish I was wearing my Adidas walking shoes. Instead of my Timberland boots.
So I took a taxi back to the hostel…