food tour in Paris

A food tour in Paris - hidden alleys of St. Germain des Pres

Hidden alleys of St. Germain des Pres

 

A food tour in Paris at St. Germain des Pres

Paris is definitely a foodie city and there are so many areas of the city to explore and discover some amazing cuisine and specialty foods from around the city.  I decided to focus on visiting one arrondissemont in Paris, St. Germain des Pres which is very well known for a plethora of foodie inspired cafes, shops and specialty vendors.  I know that I choose wisely, signing for a food tour with Flavors of Paris. They give food tours of markets, shops and specialty purveyors located exclusively in St. Germain des Pres.

Abbey at St. Germain des Pres

Abbey at St. Germain des Pres

Meet me at the Abbey

We are given instructions to meet at the ‘Red door’ fronting this imposing landmark (above) – the Abbey of St. Germain des Pres. I learn that in the middle ages, this area was actually its own town and was located just outside the city walls of Paris.  It’s a little early and we are ahead of the scheduled meeting time, so I decide to explore the inside and take a peek at the magnificent interior, and it is unlike any of the churches I’ve visited in Paris.

Take a look at the blue ceilings with stars

Altar at the Abbey at St. Germain des Pres

Altar at the Abbey at St. Germain des Pres

 

Decorated in a rich gothic style with light blue ceilings filled brilliant golden starts, the Abbey shines in rich saturated colors on the ceiling and all around the interior columns, up the central altar piece. This historic Abbey is known to being one of the oldest abbeys in all of Paris, and I’m glad that I had a chance to check the beautiful interiors.

 

Looking up at the Abbey, St. Germain des Pres

Looking up at the Abbey, St. Germain des Pres

 

 

A favorite haunt of intellectuals

Just outside the abbey, the area surrounding the church is packed with packed outdoor cafes. Many of these  were the haunts of famous artists and intellectuals including Sartre, Voltaire and Marat. The Café Flore and Les Deux Magots were two of the hangouts frequented by these elite during the heyday of art and literature in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.  Even though the jazz clubs, book stores and art galleries are mostly gone,  what is left is still a draw with the many cafes, shops and specialty food purveyors that still cater to the local crowds and foodie enthusiasts to the area.

 

Café de Flore in St. Germain des Pres, Paris

Café de Flore in St. Germain des Pres, Paris

 Café life for the many ‘ Paris elites’ to hang out 

Colorful and trendy cafes in St. Germain des Pres

Colorful and trendy cafes in St. Germain des Pres

 

It’s great having our guide tour us through all the hidden streets and alleys of the St. Germain area which you could be easily trying to visit these places on your own. We walk through a very old cobbled street called the Cour du Commerce – it is one of the many small streets that are filled with delicious shops and cafes, and so well hidden in this compact neighborhood.  It almost seems like a maze with all these small alleyways and I’m really glad we have someone who knows all the hidden food gems in the area.

 

Hidden alleys of St. Germain des Pres

Hidden alleys of St. Germain des Pres

 

 

Sampling only made in France products

Lets start our food tour in Paris shall we? The first stop on our food tour is a new shop that recently opened called Ma Collection. The shop specializes in specialty food products made in limited productions from artisanal makers around Paris and the outlying regions. The shop owner personally visited each purveyor and selected items that are unique and delicious – a winning combination for her food emporium. There is a large assortment of sweet to savory foods that we can sample including starting with the cheese, olives, tapenades and spreads and eventually leading to the sweater jams and jellies and then desserts.  To cap off our visit we also sampled a variety of sweet cakes, cookies and chocolates from different regions of France.

 

Made in France specialty shop at St. Germain des Pres

Made in France specialty shop at St. Germain des Pres

 

Jelly with gold leaf anyone?

Sampling gold leaf and jelly in St. Germain des Pres

Sampling gold leaf and jelly in St. Germain des Pres

 

Here is the stunning jar it comes in and it is beautiful right? How about shelling out 32 Euros (approx.) for this gorgeous jelly with champagne and gold leaf or maybe just another spoonful of this to go? It tasted tart and fruity with champagne overtures, the gold leaf had no flavor and was included for a look.

 

Les Jardin des Marie, jam with gold leaf

Les Jardin des Marie, jam with gold leaf

 

 

 

 

A food tour - small specialty food purveyors samples to taste, St. Germain des Pres

Small specialty food purveyors samples to taste, St. Germain des Pres

 

 Award winning Boulangerie

What does it take to be the pre-eminent boulangerie in Paris – well a lot of hard work, exceptional ingredients and a lot of talent. So of course, we had to stop by the award winning Maison Eric Kayser, which has all the buzz in Paris with his popular baked breads and delicious pastries. If you do go into the shop, you have to try his signature Monge bread made with a secret special flour mix. We also tried his popular baguette called Malherbes bread flavored with herbs. We tried a third bread called pan au fig translated to fig bread which was my favorite – moist with a crispy exterior  and nice fig pieces inside. We sample many of the breads and pastries, and it is all so delicious and earthy. If you do visit Paris make sure you drop into any of his shops and try some of his signature breads, its definitely worth the effort to visit his shops.

 

Boulangerie - Maison Eric Kaiser, Paris

Boulangerie – Maison Eric Kaiser, Paris

 

Unfortunately, Eric Kaiser does not allow pictures of their breads and pastries or theirinteriors. So I did the next best thing and took a picture just of the exterior of the Boulanger, with just a glimpse of his pastries and breads that we did sample in the shop.

 

 

Chocolates and pastries to die for….

 

Rainbow colors of macaroons in St. Germain des Pres

Rainbow colors of macarons in St. Germain des Pres

 

One of my favorite if not the best stop of they day was this wonderful chocolate and pastry shop called Un Dimanche a Paris. If you love really good Parisian pastries made on the premises, this is the absolute place to visit and they even have a restaurant next door offering savory and sweet meals that will blow you away. We only visited the salon du chocolate to try some of delicious offerings like this amazing and rich chocolate below, with a nice dark chocolate bar floating on top (pure heaven). They do serve prix fix meals at the restaurant so you can actually have a complete dinner, here is the sample menu that change out regularly.

 

 

 

Chocolate drink from Un Dimanche a Paris

Chocolate drink from Un Dimanche a Paris

 

 

Yes chocolate goodness with melting dark chocolate

 

 

Specialty packaged goodness on our food tour, St. Germain des Pres

Specialty packaged goodness on our food tour, St. Germain des Pres

 

 Making perfect desserts in the kitchen

 

A food tour in Paris - the kitchen at Un Dimanch a Paris

The kitchen at Un Dimanch a Paris

 

Olive oil anyone?

Specialty products from

Specialty products from
Première Pression Provence in St. Germain des Pres

 

Next, we stopped by this beautifully decorated shop called Première Pression Provence to sample the different varieties of olive oil that they produce in the Provence region. They market these products through their own stores all over France, including the outlet in St. Germain des Pres.  I must admit, it was fun to taste the different flavored olive oils for the more unusual combinations and rich flavors of the olive oil and its very easy to end up trying every single flavor. The shop also sells a variety of Provence inspired gifts, and other food products like the specialty salts or Fleur de sel that uses local herbs and the salt produced from the western region of France.

 

Le Marche St. Germain des Pres

 

The covered market - Marché Alimentaire de Saint Germain

The covered market – Marché Alimentaire de Saint Germain

 

 

The last stop on our tour was the Marche, St. Germain des Pres. It’s an indoor food market made up of specialty purveyors selling the finest quality products either made on the premises, or produced from France and sold through these quality markets. Truly a fine foods establishmet, it is pricey but worth the price because of the care, personal service and the best quality products sold from these vendors.

Fresh seafood anyone? 

 

Seafood vendor at Les Marche St. Germain des Pres

Seafood vendor at Les Marche St. Germain des Pres

 

Oh so delicate and fresh..

 

Fresh sea urchins at Les Marche St. Germain des Pres

Fresh sea urchins at Les Marche St. Germain des Pres

 

 

 

 

A cured meats and butcher at Marché Alimentaire de Saint Germain

A cured meats and butcher at Marché Alimentaire de Saint Germain

 

 Picking up the best pates for our last tasting

 

Hamming it up with the butcher for the best cuts, Marché Saint-Germain

Hamming it up with the butcher for the best cuts, Marché Saint-Germain

 

At the tail end of our tour at la Marche, we all sat down on a special table set up next to the cheese vendor and look at the amazing cheese and cured meats spread we get to sample below. Paired that with a fantastic red Merlot from the wine shop next door, everyone was ready to sample some of the best cheese and cured meats from the market. It was a perfect end to the tour and so much fun with all the food enthusiasts that joined the tour.

 

Cheese tasting and wine experience at Marché Saint-Germain

Cheese tasting and wine experience at Marché Saint-Germain

 

 

 

Well that really was a fun food tour in Paris at St. Germain des Pres, don’t you think? Flavors of Paris also does chocolate and dessert tours which sounds like another winner in my book that I will have to do for a later time. If you would like to check out any of their tours, check out their website here for more details. If you enjoyed reading this post, would you please share it with any of the social media buttons that are located around the post, thank you so much. If you want to do more exploring, check out my post on what spending a perfect day in Paris would look like.

 

I was invited to take this food tour with Flavors of Paris around St. Germain des Pres but all opinions and thoughts were my own and it definitely is a wonderful way to discover and enjoy this wonderful area of Paris.

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13 Responses to food tour in Paris

  1. Jeff's Traveling Without A Map March 16, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

    Beautiful architecture. I went to Paris, but I was only 10 years old with my parents. I’m now 43. I love to travel and definitely have Paris on my bucket list. You are a wonderful photographer. I loved browsing through your pics and jotting down a couple destinations that I want to research. Thanks.

  2. Francesca @onegrloneworld June 7, 2015 at 7:55 pm #

    I want to try the golden jam!!

  3. Sue Reddel June 7, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

    One word – heaven. Thanks for sharing your adventure.

  4. NoeliaMarou June 7, 2015 at 3:45 pm #

    Had so much trouble finding information on yellow time, happy I found your blog…so informative
    Will surely be returning, ’tis a nice site!

  5. RaW | Ramble and Wander June 7, 2015 at 2:51 pm #

    I always feel stressed out reading your posts and this time is no different. While usually it’s because of the photos, today it’s also because of all the foods (esp. when I haven’t had anything yet for the past 8 hours or so). T_T

    I love Paris (been there 3 times and hopefully there’d be many more trips to come) but have never really been on any food tour there. I’d consider taking one the next time I’m in the city of romance.

  6. All this food looks amazing. I love macaroons. They are my favorite sweet.

  7. Michele TravelwithMrsT June 7, 2015 at 12:07 am #

    We’re planning a trip back to Paris, so this is perfect! Love all of your photos! I felt like I was there on the tour with you, but oh, really wish I could have tasted it all, except for the sea urchins!

  8. Dawn Kealing June 6, 2015 at 1:52 pm #

    Ahhhh, I am starving now!! Sooo much food, I just want to try it all … well, everything except the urchin. 😛 Gorgeous photos of the Abbey, you captured it perfectly! Thanks for sharing your adventure. 🙂

  9. Wandering Carol June 6, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

    I wish I’d seen this post before I’d gone to Paris – I would have eaten better. How I’d love to try the champagne and gold leaf jelly. I really do love St Germain – it’s such a special neighbourhood.

  10. Aileen June 6, 2015 at 1:16 pm #

    Great post! I haven’t been to Paris in a while now and your post just made me miss that wonderful city. (And you just made me hungry too!) Haha!

  11. Katja - globetotting June 6, 2015 at 12:08 pm #

    I love food tours, they are such a great way to see a different part of the city. This one looks particularly delicious. I can’t decide what I’d like to try first, although the confit de champagne would definitely be up there at the top!

  12. EvaSturm of TravelResponsibly June 6, 2015 at 7:18 am #

    Looks delicious. I’ll keep that in mind the next time I get to Paris 🙂

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