Travelling to a foreign city can be an intimidating experience, and many first-time (and more seasoned) international travellers scour the web looking for tips on how to get the most out of their trip. Paris is no exception to this, and the sprawling French metropolis that boasts thousands of eateries, world-famous landmarks, and endless entertainment options can be daunting. Many people travel to Paris specifically to get a first-hand experience of authentic French cuisine, but with the multitude of options, it can be hard to know where to begin. Enter the food tour, a walking tour led by a local expert that guides a small group of customers through the streets of Paris, stopping at out-of-the-way bakeries, cheese shops, markets, and wine shops for a personalized introduction to the delicacies the city has to offer. Next time you take a trip to Paris, consider adding a food tour to your itinerary.
Food tours, in general, are an excellent way to condense a custom tour of a section of a city into a short amount of time, while at the same time giving you ideas on sights you’d like to revisit later. The whole time, you’re getting to eat local delicacies hand-picked by experts to create a customized gastro-experience of french food. The tour guide will not only offer food; they’ll add in trivia, history, and local sight-seeing recommendations that will enrich your experience more than any self-guided tour would. It’s also helpful to have a guide fluent in French, as they can take responsibility for the group’s interactions with shop owners and waiters.
If you’re considering a food tour in Paris, you should also consider the timing of the visit. Taking it earlier in your trip provides you with activities for the rest of your stay. For instance, if you are taken to a restaurant you enjoy, you can add it to a list of things to visit again before you leave. Likewise, if a piece of trivia sparks your interest, you can add that site to your list of things to explore further later on. Paris food tours are separated by districts (arrondissement) of the city, and each district has foods that are particular to that district. If you know for a fact that you’ll be spending a lot of time in the 3rd district (the Marais), for instance, taking a food tour there at the beginning of your trip can help you flesh out your itinerary.
Food tours are also a good way to meet fellow tourists in the city who you may or may not want to spend more time with. If you enjoy meeting other people while you travel, fellow foodies are usually a friendly bunch. Everyone’s mood is improved by the food and wine, so you might just make a good friendship early in your travels.
Finally, a Parisian food tour will get you an authentic dining experience, interspersed with some quality cardiovascular exercise, for the price of a mildly expensive dinner. You get to try a variety of food and have a menu catered specifically to you to give you the best experience. Instead of trying to read French on the menu, you get expert opinions on the best pairings of cheese, wine, and cured meats, the best pastry shop in the city, and the best place to get a croissant. It’s a good value for the price and one that you should consider finding room for in your budget.
Food tours in Paris are plentiful and, as long as you pick one with some excellent reviews, you won’t be disappointed. Next time you’re in one of the most romantic cities on earth, consider taking one at the start of your trip.