One of the most frequently asked questions among foodies is “Do you know a good, trendy restaurant in Paris?" Of course everyone has a handful of must-go places in their smartphones. What's more, there are many specialized websites that list a series of places to eat by arrondissement, although tourists posting reviews often mistake quantity for quality." Guest blogger Marc Thoonen tells us more about the next book in a series that is entirely focused on quality.
I have no must-go places in my smartphone, but rather 'Must Eat Paris' by Luc Hoornaert and Kris Vlegels on my bookshelf. The book that I would have loved to have written myself. Following London, Belgium, New York, Amsterdam and the Netherlands, Luc Hoornaert, the guru of gastronomical writing, has now also taken on Paris and once again gathered an eclectic selection of places to eat, culinary tips and unique stories.
Must Eat Paris: hidden gems
Together with photographer Kris Vlegels, he shows us the best places, old classics, local products, less touristy markets and the hidden gems of the culinary melting pot that is Paris. I endlessly enjoy his descriptions and varied selections, ranging from the mandatory classics such as the 'Pré Catelan' and the 'Tour d'Argent' to a bit more obscure addresses of sushi bars, pastrami restaurants and Ramen shops.
Must Eat Paris: four addresses
I take secret delight in finding a few of my own must-go places in the book.
- Le Coq Rico, near Montmartre. Not yet overrun by tourists in fisherman pants and fannypacks. Lovers of French roast chicken will find everything to their heart's delight here. What foodie has not dreamt of comparing a roast Bresse chicken with a Challans chicken?
Rue Lepic 98, Paris 18
- L’Office, also in the Montmartre area. Little or no decor, a blackboard with the menu and a varied clientele. Add to that some delicious food and you have an excellent Parisian 'neobistro'. This neighbourhood is referred to as SoPi by the locals (South of Pigalle). Delightful establishments are springing up all over the place in this area.
Rue Richer 3, Paris 9
- Shinichi, near the Champs Elysées. This typical Japanese fish shop is but a few steps from the Porte Maillot. Top fish varieties from small ponds are mostly delivered live and kept in large basins until meeting their inevitable fate. A Japanese fish shop is a sort of sanctuary where you can pick up your 'sashimi of the day' or taste it on the spot. A must for sashimi lovers, and aren't we all?
Rue Duret 35, Paris 16
- Le Frank, near Concorde. 'Le Frank' must be one of the few restaurants in the world that are named after their architect. The master builder in this case is hardly an unknown quantity: Frank Gehry is simply a phenomenon. Museum restaurants are back in fashion. Prefab sandwiches and ditto service have fortunately made way for high-quality products in top locations. Think for example of 't Zilte in Antwerp, Guggenheim in Bilbao, The Modern in New York or this Le Frank in Paris. In the afternoon, the focus is on smaller dishes and desserts. Chef Nomicos demonstrates his class with a well-chosen lemon meringue pie. The kitchen follows the rhythm of the visitor.
At the Louis Vuitton Foundation, avenue du Mahatma Gandhi 8, Paris 16
All this and much more is to be found in 'Must Eat Paris', an eclectic selection of places to eat by author Luc Hoornaert and photographer Kris Vlegels. For more information, visit www.lannoo.com and look for the English version of the book.
Would you prefer a culinary city trip to Amsterdam? In that case, check out the places in ‘Must Eat Amsterdam’ - the English version.