If you’ve ever been to Paris, you know that each arrondissement has its own charm, personality, and a treasure trove of cultural and culinary treats to offer anyone who’s looking for them. Different neighborhoods have different tastes and stories to tell which is why I try to join food tours in every major city I visit.
Trying Secret Food TourS, Paris edition
My last experience with Secret Food Tours Porto was really one of the best tours I’ve ever done and the highlight of my trip.
The company that started in Paris prides itself in showing food lovers the best and off-the-beaten-path restaurants, eateries, artisanal shops, and cafes. Now they run tours in over 40 cities around the world and on six continents.
In Paris, there’s no shortage of impressive shops offering the finest tastes and food. Secret Food Tours has local guides that tap into these special places and uncover local favorites and the neighborhood’s best. Wondering where the name came from? Each tour ends with a ‘secret’ signature dish to try at a ‘secret’ place. In an effort not to give too much away, I’ll give you an idea of what you can expect when you join the tour; this was my experience!
For discounts on your next Secret Food Tour (ending Jun '19) scroll to the bottom!
which food tour should you dig into?
In Paris alone, Secret Food Tour offers five mouthwatering editions. The truth is it was hard to choose between their Marais, Latin Quarter, Chocolate and Pastry, Montmartre and the Saint Germain des Pres offerings. I spend the most time in the Marais and used to live in Montmartre so I wanted something new and different. I decided to head to the left bank and taste more of Saint Germain des Pres, an affluent area where famed artists like Picasso, Dali, and writers like Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald used to frequent idyllic cafes like Le Deux Magot and Cafe de Flore.
What kind of visitor typically joins the Saint Germain tour? Ingrid told me most people start off with The Marais and Montmartre tours if it’s their first time in Paris. Those who are more familiar with the city opt for Saint Germain.
My favorite tour is the Saint Germain one because I find it very full : you get to try charcuterie, foie gras, a typical hot dish, cheese, candies, pastries, wines, champagne and bread of course (so french 😉 ). It’s just like having a full french meal. – Ingrid
Saint Germain is a classically beautiful part of Paris where you’ll find the finest of food shops, lush markets, and beautiful architecture to stare at while you saunter over to the next food stop.
The Guide and group
We met our local tour guide Ingrid at Metro Mabillon. She was immediately laid back with our group of six and was a total natural at keeping the conversation going with us as we explored the neighborhood. At each stop, she made sure to share interesting background information about the food we were trying as well as other French food facts. What I liked as well since I’m a history lover is that she explained Saint Germain’s history, the famous characters who used to live there, and its importance and personality as a neighborhood.
STARTING OFF SWEET
picking up fresh PRODUCE AT THE saint Germain MARKET
WOULD IT BE A PARISIAN FOOD TOUR WITHOUT BREAD?
FRENCH CHEESE IS THE BEST CHEESE
THE FINAL STOP: champagne, charcuterie, cheese, and the secret dish!
The rain threatened to ruin our tour but we got lucky and ducked inside a wine shop just before the downpour hit hard. It was nice to finally sit upstairs, relax, and feast on the goods we’d picked up along the way.
Ingrid took us through a charcuterie plate including meats from the Basque region of France, to champagne with the four delicious kinds of cheese we picked up, to hearty and decadent French classics that I absolutely love. Of course, it wouldn’t be a French food tour without wine either. We had a few great wines to pair with the sumptuous food. Ingrid’s in-depth wine knowledge led us into a really interesting conversation about different French wines and the regions they come from. By the end, it honestly felt like a luxe lunch with friends. Based on the photos you can probably guess what the secret dish was, but I won’t say it in case you’re still in the dark 😉
The Verdict 🍴
Secret Food Tours is a great way to see a city you visit! You get to see the neighborhoods in a local way, going tastebuds first into the cultural and culinary nuances that make each place so delicious. I personally like that the groups are small and intimate and that the guides have such an authentic passion for food and drink. I know quite some things about French food, but I still learned a lot of new fun facts and left with even more appreciate for French cuisine. It was a plus that Ingrid sent us a complete list of the places we visited and the names of the food the same day of the tour. It took the pressure off trying to remember all the details during the tour!
The tours in Paris range from €69-110 but considering the amount of time you have seeing the city, the food and drink you get, and the informative and fun guide, it’s honestly a fair foodie price! I say eat your way through Paris whenever you can, and this tour is a great excuse and chance to do that.
Interested in trying out Secret Food Tours at one of their cities around the world? Use these codes until the end of June for a discount! Brand new tours discount // YUMFUN20: https://www.secretfoodtours.com/summer-yumfun-20/ Wine & beer tours // YUMFUN18: https://www.secretfoodtours.com/summer-yumfun-18/ All other tours // YUMFUN12: https://www.secretfoodtours.com/summer-yumfun-12/