Story and photos by Jennifer Schlueter
…is a food tour.
For those of you, who don’t know what a food tour is: Food tours combine deliciousness with historical information and are available around the globe in most major cities. A guide shows you great places to eat and lets you taste small portions at every spot. Drinks are also included, and sometimes a bit of alcohol too. Most of us will be full by the end of a tour. Depending on the location, companies may offer tours with different types of cuisines and/or through various neighborhoods.
During my trip to Paris, I was fortunate to join two different food tours. If you are able to, I recommend try both of them because they focus on two different areas of Paris and are both great – which had a lot to do with my guides – Lisa from Flavors of Paris and PJ from Secret Food Tours. And I’m not the only one who thinks that way – both have a 5-star Tripadvisor rating from hundreds of people.
Let’s do this alphabetically and start off with Flavors of Paris. Lisa Rankin, a Canadian turned Parisian about 4 years ago, took our group through Paris’ St-Germain-des-Prés quarter and showed us five places with some of the best food Paris has to offer. A highlight was Ma Collection Marchande de Saveurs, a food boutique with delicacies 100% made in France appealing to all your senses, run by Valérie. Her products have won prizes on trophies on awards – one of them the raspberry-cookie jam, which is a must-try! Her store also offers Confit de Champagne with gold in it, varieties of mustards, flavor beads, chocolate spreads, salts, pastas and much more exquisite things that your eyes and taste buds won’t get enough of.
According to the Flavors of Paris website, the tours vary every day. My tour included bread, chouquettes, hot chocolate, macarons, cheeses, jam, patte, olive oils, mustards, wine, and more.
Flavors of Paris also offer private tours and a Sweet Tour for those of us with a sweet tooth (or a sugar/chocolate/candy addiction) like me.
Secret Food Tours offer both of their Paris tours in Paris’ Montmartre quarter, one during the day, one in the evening. I participated in the day time tour, where PJ took us to spots that I would have not entered because they were nestled between postcard and souvenir shops. However, thanks to him I learned how to spot legit, great quality eateries, even if they’re in touristy areas. Not only did he teach us how to recognize places that have award-winning products, he was also very knowledgeable about how the food was prepared, where it came from and everything else our group wanted to know. He’s truly passionate about the French cuisine and teaching others about it. He also took us into the back of a bakery that supplied the France’s government with baguette for a year and won several other trophies (if by now you can’t tell that the French are obsessed with their food, I don’t know what’s going on with you!).
On this tour you get to eat: chocolate, macarons, cheeses, sausages, bread, crepes, eclairs, etc. and try some wine.
These things are good to know before going on a food tour:
- Inform yourself about the tours and their guides on Tripadvisor or Google. If you’re a passionate foodie like me, choose a guide who loves food as much as you and who’s a food tour guide for a living. While actors who are doing tours as a side job can be entertaining, foodie guides are obviously the better choice if you care about the food and its facts.
- Pick according to your taste. All the tours I’ve mentioned feature tours with various cuisines and try their best to cater to any food allergies, vegetarians, and even vegans, or other preferences.
- Food tours can definitely be a kid-friendly activity, depending on how easily bored your kids get because a tour may last 3-4 hours.
- Plan in 3-4 hours for a tour and put on comfortable walking shoes.
A big thanks to Flavors of Paris and Secret Paris Food Tours for supporting me on my visit to Paris. As always, all opinions are my own.