Best Places to Eat in Paris

Out of all the places in Europe we visited, Paris had the best food. Whether I ate a full meal at a cafe, got crepes at a to-go window, or bought groceries to make a meal back at my apartment, everything was fantastic! Below are a few of my favorite places to eat in Paris.

Best Restaurant

This restaurant was recommended to me by a coworker. We tried it and now I have to recommend it to you! If you ever visit Paris, you MUST go to Le Comptoir.

Le Comptoir in ParisThis was the only cafe on the street that had a line, so we knew it had to be good. While we waited to get a seat, a man came around playing a sweet song on the accordion, which made our experience extra magical. They do not have a menu in English, so make sure to have your translation tools handy. We used our trusty offline Google Translate app and figured out what was what. The French waitress seemed relieved that she didn’t have to explain the whole menu to another American couple!

appetizer at Le Comptoir in Paris

The restaurant is a little cramped as the tables were all very close. Our table was literally in the doorway. It works though, we didn’t mind and everyone eventually got to eat! We ordered the special of the day for our appetizer (having no idea what it would be) and this wonderful dish of mushrooms, pancetta and egg came out.
This was the best thing we ever had in our life. Ever.

Dinner at Le Comptoir in Paris

Lamb at Le Comptoir in Paris

The meals were equally as delicious (although I could have ate that appetizer all day). We finished our meals off with coffee and creme brulee. The prices weren’t too high, I think we spent about 80€ on wine, an appetizer, meals, coffee and dessert. After I returned home, I saw that Le Comptoir was featured on Saveur Magazine’s Culinary Travel Awards. I guess we made a good choice!

Best Dessert

If you’re craving sweets, We loved Patisserie Viennoise. We went here twice. I read about it in David Lebovitz’s book The Sweet Life in Paris before I left on vacation. I trusted his judgement and I am so glad I did.

Patisserie Viennois

This place has really good hot chocolate or I mean, le chocolat chaud. It’s not like your typical hot chocolate either. It’s dark, not super sweet and loaded with fresh, thick whipped cream. They give you sugar packets but we loved it as is. They also have a variety of cakes and cookies. I LOVED the macaroons.

hot chocolate at Patisserie Viennois

By the way, this place is closed on Mondays! We learned that the hard way…

Best hot chocolate in Paris

Eating Outside

Another cool part about Paris is that there are so many places to have a nice picnic. You see so many people with their baguette sandwiches, a bottle of wine and some cheese, just hanging out in the most beautiful places. A couple of my favorite places include:

Eating lunch by the lake in Le Jardin du Luxembourg:

Le Jardin du Luxembourg

Drinking a bottle of wine on the Sein River while watching the boats go by

Seine River

And of course, bringing a blanket and eating food on the grass in front of the Eiffel Tower:


Have you been to any of these places? Where in Paris do you recommend to eat?



Trains in Europe

Transportation has been the bane of my existence these past couple of months. Why the heck is it so difficult to get this figured out?

Figure out the European Train system

There are so many options: Eurail passes, one-way tickets, global passes, 2 country passes, 3 country passes, 5-day passes, 3-day passes…. *bangs head against the wall*  We are on a budget and we need to save as much money as possible so my job is to figure out if a multi-county pass is really worth it or if it is cheaper to book single rides.

I feel like one of those crazy people on that TV show “Extreme Couponing” who spends hours of their day researching every single option, making lists and comparisons, just to save some money. I wish there was a travel agency that just booked transportation for me (oh I looked).

After all this research and frustration, I think I may have it figured out. Keep reading to see how I finally regained my sanity and see the resources that helped me. If you’re roaming around multiple countries in Europe  like I am, maybe this can help you too.

Continue reading

First Time Planning a European Vacation

We’re going to Europe! I have always wanted to visit Italy, that’s where my family is from, after all. So we (my boyfriend and I) decided to make it a full on 3-week vacation and visit Germany, France and the Netherlands too. My mother and brother are joining us for half of the trip as well! What fun!

saving for paradise falls

This is how we save for our trip

This is the first of a series of posts about planning our trip to Europe. Since I am “the planner” in the family, I have taken it upon myself to plan out our itinerary. I decided that I wanted to plan the trip my way, rather than take a tour. Most people recommend taking a guided tour and having a guide make all the reservations for you (that is starting to sound nice, right about now). But I thought, I can do it! I want to be on MY schedule and do what I want to do.

Oh but there is so much to do! Plane tickets, train tickets, hotels/apartments, reservations and car rentals, oh my! I have been planning this trip little by little for the past couple months. I thought planning out food for a 4-day camping trip was hard… this vacation reaches is a whole other level. It is a challenge but I LOVE it and I know it will be worth it in the end.

Through trial and error of planning this vacation, I am happy to share some things that have worked for me so far: Continue reading