Paris is one of those destinations that everyone wants to go to at least once in their lifetime. It’s a perennial favorite, and there are many reasons why. We see iconic images of the Eiffel Tower and the boats floating down the Seine River and it captivates our imaginations.
When planning your Paris trip, I highly encourage you not to forget that the city is a foodie paradise. There are so many fun food things to do that will enhance your trip and help you build lasting memories. We try to stay in a different area each time we visit to get a different perspective on the city and find new places to explore.
Croissants and Croque Monsieurs belong right there alongside the Eiffel Tower and Sacre-Coeur. No vacation to the French capital is complete without trying the foods that make the country so unique.
Whether that’s a stop off at a Paris grocery store to check out the products, at the local crepe stand, or a full-day food tour, there are many ways to taste and enjoy Paris. Below you’ll find a few of our favorite foodie things to do in Paris, that can be added alongside city tours and museum visits, to create a diverse and interesting itinerary.
Eating Paris Food Tour
Doing a food tour is a great way to see, taste and understand the culture of a city or country. Paris, in particular, has a lot of them! You’ll want to try the delicious fresh French cheese, the delightful pastries, olives and olive oils, and of course the macarons! In about 3 hours, you’ll get around to about seven top purveyors of these incredible foods and eat some really tasty foods.
Going on a food tour at the beginning of your trip is like getting a mini food lover’s guide to Paris. You’ll learn about all places you want to return for lunch and dinner throughout your trip.
We recommend the Paris food tour from Eating Europe. We’ve been on a few of their food tours and they are always the best! You’ll be guided through the hip Canal Saint Martin district and introduced to creative food vendors making Croque Monsieurs to charcuterie and award-winning pastries. The tour takes place every Tuesday through Saturday at noon and lasts 4 hours.
Wine Tasting Class or Dinner at O Chateau
The O Chateau wine bar offers a selection of wine-related things to do at their conveniently located wine bar between the 1st and 2nd arrondissements, just a 5 minute walk from the Louvre. You can choose from wine tasting classes, a wine & cheese lunch, or even a multi-course wine-tasting dinner.
It’s a fun experience to get to know French wines a little better with the company of other travelers and the instruction of a highly-trained wine guide. We had the wine-tasting dinner and loved it. The food was fantastic and the wine was even better.
See the Paris Sights While Enjoying a Gourmet Meal
There’s no better way to combine two great Paris experiences in one than by enjoying a gourmet meal aboard a double-decker sightseeing bus.
The company that offers this fun and tasty experience is called Bustronome. You can now climb aboard for a 4-course lunch, 6-course dinner or brunch on Sunday. While you’re dining aboard, the bus will be passing by all the top Paris sights.
You can use the menu/map to pinpoint your location. Each of the top sights along the way offers a short audio message you can listen to on the audio pen.
You might think this experience is super touristy, but that’s very far from the truth. If feels like you’re at a fine dining restaurant. There are no announcements or annoying interruptions. You’re free to just enjoy your meal and the view.
Check out the schedule and offerings here.
Rue Mouffetard Food Market
Located in Paris’ busy and vibrant 5th Arrondissement is Rue Mouffetard, one of the best food market streets in the city. It’s best to visit the market street between 10am and 1pm, and preferably on a Saturday morning, when the street is alive with both locals and visitors. You’ll find an array of fruits and vegetables, many great outdoor cafes to sit at for people watching, cheese shops, wine shops, etc.
If one of the street markets is closed on the day you wish to visit, don’t worry. There are many others. Located nearby in the 6th Arr. is Marché Raspail, another food market street to stroll along. Or you could check out Marché Bastille on Boulevard Richard Lenoir.
Try French Cheese at a Fromagerie
One of our favorite fromageries in the city is Fromagerie Danard, located in the 1st arrondissement. It’s a small, unassuming shop, a little off the beaten path. They have a wonderful selection of cheese and charcuterie that can be served alongside their equally well-curated wine selection. If you don’t know what to order, they are very helpful in selecting for you.
You can order a small plate with 3 cheeses, a large plate with 5 cheeses or go all out with the Tour de France plate of 6 cheeses. All include meat as well. If you get there right as they reopen at 5pm, you might be able to snap a table without a reservation, but we recommend booking ahead so you’re not disappointed. It’s a small place.
Take a French Cooking Class
I’ve always wanted to learn how to cook like the French. It’s a cuisine that many others have based themselves upon, and is considered to be one of the most refined cuisines in the world. While in Paris, why not set aside a morning or afternoon to learn some new cooking skills. I love to take cooking classes that include a visit to the market.
This way you can see the market and its products with a local, and learn how to pick out the right ingredients for your dish. The Paris Cooking Class with La Cuisine Paris is a great example of this type of class. They also offer baking and patisserie classes, so you can finally learn how they make those incredible croissants.
Rue Cler Market + Eiffel Tower Picnic
One of the best market streets in Paris is located in the 7th Arrondissement. It’s called Rue Cler and it’s packed with market stalls, cheese shops, butchers, fish mongers and chocolate shops. It’s the perfect place to go wander around to see what types of foods the locals are buying and to participate in a little tasting as you walk along. Be sure to go here before you head to the Eiffel Towers, to grab your items for an Eiffel Tower picnic.
The park under the Eiffel Tower is the perfect spot for a picnic before you go up to the top for a view, or at dusk when the lights come on and start to sparkle up the sky. You can bring your market finds and a bottle of wine and enjoy the people watching as you eat your cheese and bagette.
Rue Cler is open weekdays, Saturday and Sunday mornings. Many of the shops are closed on Monday.
Dinner and a Show at Moulin Rouge
It might be somewhat touristy, but the Moulin Rouge is still a fun activity for an evening in Paris. You can enjoy a full French gourmet 3-course dinner at the show (there are three different menus to choose from), then enjoy some Champagne while being mesmerized by the cabaret. If you’d rather find a different cabaret to attend, check out these options from Viator: Get the lowest price on Cabarets
Dine at a Michelin-Star Restaurant
Paris is absolutely full of incredible fine-dining establishments, many of which have a coveted Michelin star or two or three. You might have to save up for a while to afford a meal at one of these restaurants, but the experience will be worth it for foodies who like to be surprised and delighted with a meal. The attention to detail and intricate dishes you’ll be served are worth the price. And there’s no better place to splurge than in Paris.
Our favorite Michelin-star restaurants in Paris are Le Cinq, Guy Savoy, and Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee. There are, of course, many others to choose from. If you don’t want to spend a month’s salary on dinner, try Spring restaurant. It’s has one star and a fantastic 4-course menu for only around 80€. Just make sure you secure a reservation far in advance of your trip. Some are incredibly hard to get into.
How to Get to Paris
There are a number of ways to get to Paris. If you’re coming from the United States, you’ll probably opt to fly directly into Paris. But did you know that it’s only a short 2-hour train ride to London? If you wanted to combine the excitement of these two top cities, you could easily book a train between London and Paris. Then you’ll be able to enjoy our list of top foodie activities in London, too. Since we’re now living in London, we often take the Eurostar train to Paris. It’s a great, no-hassle way to travel.
Where to Stay in Paris
Here are our recommendations for where to stay in Paris. You can use any of these links to read reviews or book your stay in Paris. (They are affiliate links, which help keep this site up. We always appreciate your help).
Check out this guide to the Paris arrondissements, to help you choose where to stay.
Paris can be a really exciting city with so many things vying for your attention and a spot on your itinerary. For those of us who love to discover a new place through food, it’s always a good idea to add a few foodie things to do to your itinerary. We know you’ll love all of these foodie experiences in Paris!
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Laura Lynch, creator and writer of Savored Journeys, is an avid world traveler, certified wine expert, and international food specialist. She has written about travel and food for over 20 years and has visited 70+ countries.