We ate our way from London to Paris to Zurich to Slovenia to Croatia to Serbia to Bulgaria to Istanbul. Here are the highlights from an epic train journey.
'Paris' on Serious Eats
Step inside the incredible visual world of the Bastille Market in Paris, home to gorgeous produce, meat, cheese, pastries, fish, and oh-so-much more.
It's an exciting time for cocktails in France: the current crowd has developed a more adventurous mindset when it comes to drinks, and bars are responding with ever-more interesting (and delicious) ways to quench your cocktail cravings. Here's our guide to the best cocktail bars in Paris, old and new.
A tiki bar is probably not the first thing you think of when imagining Paris drinking destinations, but then again, where would faux-Polynesian seem like the logical theme for a watering hole? The Dirty Dick opened this February, replacing a "hostess bar" (read: brothel) in Pigalle, a neighborhood in transition from red-light district to trendy cocktailing destination.
Following up last month's post on greater waves in the Parisian coffee scene, we offer this guide to some of the best spots to drink quality coffee when in lovely Paris in the spring (or any time of year).
The terrain of flans, panna cottas, and otherwise jiggly desserts can be tricky and divisive: but when these desserts are perfect, they are breathtaking. Picture, then, the sneak-attack of an incredibly unappealing colored treat in the cooler at Paris hipster-bento shop Nanashi. Specifically a plastic tub of something inarguably grey and speckled topped rather confusingly with items that looked sweet: blackberries, blueberries, and a dollop of whipped creme.
Paris has very few things about it that inspire pity, and until recently, coffee was one of them. What a travesty of taste that in a place where the sidewalk cafe and all its attendant idle pursuits have been perfected, what's inside the cup has been, until recently, so very poor. The enlightenment's come, however.
There's got to be room for a beer in even this city of wine, wine, and wine. As French brewers slowly join the legion of specialty craft beer makers crawling across Europe, Paris at last has an emphatic entrant in the beer destination category in La Fine Mousse. La Fine Mousse is a uniquely French-brewer focused, craft-focused gem of a beer bar in the 11th arrondissement.
Before I'd ever been to Paris, I'd heard horror stories about their espresso and rumors that it was impossible to get a good cup of drip coffee there. Yet, on that first day in The City of Light, bleary-eyed and half-conscious right off the overnight flight, I stumbled upon a cozy shop with delicious pourover.
Apricots tucked into golden tarts, rhubarb rolled into a flaky escargot, sweet cherry clafoutis. Yes, fruit desserts abound in Paris, and here are 5 that we love.
Visiting Paris in the summer? We know just where to go to beat the heat.
There's a reason that Berthillon is the most famous glacier (ice cream maker) in Paris. And that reason is their wild strawberry sorbet. No, wait: it's their caramel au gingembre ice cream (it tastes like a ginger snap). Or the agenaise. Definitely the agenaise...
Pain au chocolat—literally "chocolate bread." What an understatement. Buttery croissant dough wrapped around not one, but two sticks of chocolate. An indulgence like this could only come from France. For three days, my intrepid photographer and I scoured the city for pain au chocolat that stand out from the Parisian crowd. In the end, we found 10 that can't be missed.
Since 2004, David Lebovitz has used his blog to chronicle the ups, downs, and culinary delights of living in Paris. And we couldn't help but notice that, as a former pastry chef, David tends to focus on all things sweet. In fact he's become the go-to man for Paris pastry, which is a blessing in a city that overflows with sweets. Yes, somehow between blogging, writing cookbooks, and a personal memoir, he found time to sample over 300 pastries in the City of Light. Here are 9 of his top picks.
If you're a Serious Eater and you've planned to go to Paris anytime soon, you simply should not get on a plane until you've downloaded David Lebovitz's guide to the best bakeries, chocolate shops, and confectioners in the City of Lights.
You're not at the Eiffel Tower to eat (well, maybe at Jules Verne), you're there for the amazing view of the City of Lights, hopefully with your special squeeze, and hopefully as the sun sinks below the horizon, shedding its warm glow across the skyline. If you want pizza, mes amis, try Italy. If you want spectacular views from a tower that still stands at a 90° angle, Paris is your game.
Pastry Paris is equal parts incredible food picture book and historical narrative. It's a chronicle of French pastries, telling the story of pastries past and present. Author Susan Hochbaum shows that in France, pastries aren't just exclusive to the cute patisseries lining cobbled streets; they're literally everywhere, echoed in the city's very architecture.
Paris is heaven for anyone with a sweet tooth, but you already knew that. We spent the last few weeks eating our way through the city, exploring new shops and revisiting old favorites. From the big names like Pierre Hermé and Ladurée to the smaller spots like Au Panetier, the classics like Stohrer and Poilâne, and the gorgeous, jewelry boutique-like shops of Jacques Genin and Sadaharu Aoki, we found many, many desserts to love. Here are ten essential Paris sweets for your next visit.
You're in France, and you're hungry for fast food. You see the Golden Arches, and head in that direction. Then you see a similar looking restaurant across the street, whose logo has a large white Q inside a red house—that'd be Quick, in these parts, McDonald's main competitor. It's fast food, you can tell, but it's French, so surely it must be better... or is it? What do you do? On a trip to Paris, I pitted Quick and "McDo" against each other.
While in America, "McCafe" means little more than brown, printed coffee cups, McCafe in Europe is the coffee/pastries-only subsection of McDonald's, and it's an experience all its own. It lives in the land between Italian coffee shop and American quick service.