To sip like a local, head to the Canal St. Martin
When the weather is warm, locals flock to one of the city’s main bodies of water, apéro supplies in tow (apéro is basically the French version of happy hour). While fancier people and tourists picnic on the banks of the Seine, the place to be for the young and hip is the Canal St. Martin. So buy an inexpensive twist-off top bottle of wine from any Franprix (they sell wine in grocery stores), some peanuts or potato chips, and some fresh veggies (think baby radishes, carrots, or cherry tomatoes) and head to the water for an authentically Parisian happy hour.
Be sure to savor global cuisine, not just French fare
Paris’ culinary scene is hardly limited to the contents of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Paris absolutely excels at an array of foreign cuisines, too. For mind-blowingly good Asian food, head to one of the many restaurants on rue de Belleville. For Middle Eastern cuisine, L’as du Falafel is where it’s at. And for pizza? Look no further than Coinstot Vino, Louie Louie, or Tripletta.
But definitely don’t leave without savoring the staples
When it comes to food, the French know what they’re doing. Steak frites, fromage, foie gras, crepes, croissants — you’d be silly to not try ‘em in their origin country. A few words of advice: look past the touristy neighborhoods when searching for something great to eat (we recommend venturing into the city’s ‘more local’ neighborhoods, such as the 13th, 14th, 10th, and 20th arrondissements). Avoid chain restaurants at all costs — especially those with menus written in English/multiple languages. And don’t waste your money or calories on cheap crepes in front of the Eiffel Tower — they’re for tourists and often don’t use quality ingredients (you’ll see off-brand Nutella in the back, and a stack of pre-made pancakes). Instead, a ham and cheese crepe from a takeaway stand attached to a restaurant is the move.
When in doubt, hit the local fromagerie and curate our own cheese plate. Trek down to the Seine, bottle of wine in the other hand, and have the best night of your life.