Will and I didn’t plan for our honeymoon to be a food and wine tour of France… but we also weren’t totally surprised (or disappointed) when that’s kind of what it became.
A year and a half later, here I am, still dreaming of the food that fueled that trip: ridiculously flavorful onion soup, the croissant that changed my mind about croissants, a new favorite in buckwheat crepes, and some coq au vin that stole the show. And then there was coffee–and the places in Paris and Nice that now rank in our all-time top 10.
We did more in France than eat and drink, but with 30 meals plus as many snacks to squeeze in over ten days, we certainly did our fair share of both. So without further adieu (catch that?), here are some food-forward highlights of our honeymoon, which started in Paris, wove through Côtes du Rhône, and wrapped up in Nice.
Most Memorable Meals (+ Coffee)
- Terres de Café (Paris) // Though technically not a restaurant, Terres de Café belongs at the top of this list because the quality of the coffee and skill of the baristas put TDC in a league of its own. It became our once or twice daily spot while in Paris, and is still our #1 favorite coffee shop in the world. Cappuccino, every time.
- Chez Janou (Paris) // When I think of French restaurants, I think of Chez Janou: tiny tables, no aisles, dim lights, great food, cozy atmosphere. Between the two of us, Will and I had ratatouille, escargots, and entrees of linguini and prawns. Plus a bottle of wine, obviously. The food was all good, and the ambiance made it even better.
- Breizh Café (Paris) // If craft crepes are a thing, this is the spot. A local recommended Breizh Café for a slower, heartier, little bit fancier crepe or galette than those that are churned out for cheap on the street. I went with the simplest buckwheat galette on the menu–cheese and fried egg–and immediately started thinking about how I’d recreate it at home.
- Espace de l’Hers (Châteauneuf du Pape) // While strange to include a bed and breakfast on this list, the charcuterie board we shared the night we stayed at Espace de l’Hers was legendary. The spread, eaten picnic-style in the courtyard, included 5 meats, 5 cheeses, and a variety of olives, nuts, and fresh and dried fruit, all locally sourced. Combined with a fresh baguette and a bottle of Châteauneuf du Pape wine, it was one of our most unforgettable meals of the trip.
- Le Pistou (Châteauneuf du Pape) // I definitely did not expect for vegetables to steal the show in France, but Will and I agreed: of every morsel we ate, those that came beneath Will’s coq au vin (chicken in wine) at this little cafe we stumbled upon were tops. The carrots, baby potatoes, bell peppers, and squash were so tender and flavorful that they even put the chicken in its place. The truffle ravioli with pistou (French version of pesto, with garlic, basil, and olive oil) that I ordered was also very good–but still nothing compared to those veges.
- Hotel Les Florets (Gigondas) // Our dinner at Hotel Les Florets, one of our bases in Côtes du Rhône, was a well worth splurge. Seated on the terrace overlooking the Dentelles de Montmirail, we took our time sipping our wine and savoring every course: foie gras and gazpacho to start, John Dory and cod as our mains, and grapefruit sorbet and chocolate mouse for dessert. Even if we hadn’t stayed there, I would have happily ventured to HLF for this meal.
- BAO.Lab (Nice) // Our second favorite coffee shop in France is easy to miss but worth hunting down. Inspired by the Australian coffee scene, the now owner/barista opened up a cute, clean one man show in Nice. We had the honor of being his first customers to order a Chemex (the French are much more into espresso), and enjoyed both the coffee and conversation every time we stopped in.
- Acchiardo (Nice) // We lucked out getting the last table at Acchiardo, a popular family-run restaurant in Old Town Nice. Both our entrees and desserts were great: Nice-style ravioli (with beef and chard) in pesto and beef stew with ravioili; and tarte tatin and creme brulee. The kicker of the meal was Uby, a really nice dessert wine our waiter recommended.
- Fenoccio (Nice) // Fenoccio became a nightly thing for us while in Nice. A popular ice cream spot with a few locations and a ton of flavors (as classic as Stracciatella and as interesting as Spice Bread, Honey & Pine Nuts, and Avocado), we mixed up our orders each visit and always left stuffed and satisfied.
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I am having a rungry day after running lots of miles lately so I may have drooled a bit while viewing your pictures and reading about all the great foods and beverages you savored in France. Thanks. Now I need to eat even more.
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