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The Parisians Cafe

Paris 2024 Bistro
French cafe Parisian

If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me where they should eat in Paris, I would be able to buy you ALL a meal at a Parisian Cafe!

This is such a hard question for me to answer. In a city where amazing food abounds, substandard fare is served in equal amounts. So, while asking where a good place to eat in Paris seems like a simple question, truly it is not.

Parisian cafe

Sure, I know some great places, the haunts I rely on, day in and day out when in the city, but are my go-to establishments worth a cab ride across 8 arrondissements? Probably not. Unless of course, you are seeking a Michelin restaurant or something very upscale, in this case, a cab ride is expected.

There is a French Cafe on every corner in Paris and it is difficult for a first or even a seasoned Paris traveler to decipher a good cafe from a bad one. Listen, this is important because Paris has the best food in the world and as I like to say, not a single meal in this city should be wasted. And just because they have a plethora of bistros, cafes, and brasseries, does NOT mean they are all good, quite the contrary.

Parisian cafe

I can’t tell you how many bad meals I’ve sidestepped over the years by paying attention to a few tell-tell signs and I’m going to share all you need to know to choose the best places to eat, relax, and get off of your feet for a little while.

I don’t want to be a buzz kill but the first and easiest clue to finding a great place to eat in Paris is to avoid the places with plastic flowers all over the awnings and shutters. These locations, scream, “Hey American, come here, take a photo, and have a yucky meal!” I know these locations make super cute Instagram posts, so if you must, order a coffee or an ice cream, you can’t go wrong with either of these menu items and you can move on for a delicious meal somewhere else.

Parisian Bistro

The next thing to look for is whether or not the place is clean. I know this seems like a no-brainer but it’s important. The French are far less concerned about how clean things are. If they are paying attention to this detail, the food is likely to be good. If you can’t tell how clean the place is from the street, check out the windows, are they grimy? If so pass on by, the kitchen is probably just as grimy and the restrooms could be gruesome.

Menus are always posted outside and are a fantastic indication of the caliber of the place. Is the menu only posted in English? If so, keep walking. If the French menu is first, on paper, and under glass, this is a good sign that the place is worth a chance.

Parisian cafe

Another sign that you’re headed into a great cafe is if the tables are full and the waiters are hustling.

My final tip for finding the best places to eat on the fly in Paris is to check out the restaurant guests. Are the tables full of tourists or French locals? If you see at least 1/2 locals, you are good to go. How can you tell a Parisian from a tourist? The Parisians will be leaning in and talking animatedly with their companions, the tourist will have their iPhones out, period.

French Bistro

These tips will ensure a stellar dining experience while in Paris. If you are still not feeling confident, ask the hotel concierge for a few restaurant options, then ask them which one they would like to dine in and go there.

Paris 2024 Bistro

I hope you will join me in an upcoming cooking class, register today!

Saturday, August 31st 12:00-2:00 DALLAS ARBORETUM Summer Inspired French Pastries Your Guests Will Love– Unlock the secret to French pastries sure to wow your guests for parties now and later.  We will begin with a crispy French Bistro Salad served with a delicacy from the Burgundy region, Golden Puffs, stuffed with Herbed Goat Cheese.  While you enjoy a very light lunch, watch Chef, craft the puffs into adorable swans sure to charm all. READ MORE and Register


Thursday, September 5th 6:00-9:00 Texas Meets Paris Luxury Dinner Party- Cooking Class-Dinner parties are back in vogue and I am celebrating my first ATOP trip to France in 2015 where a group of Texans took on Paris! We’ll approach Texas beef and potatoes with a Frenchie twist.  In this hands-on class, we will cook together for a fabulous evening of camaraderie and French techniques. The party will start with an amuse-bouche chef’s choice and an ATOP classic Peartini Cocktail and then we’ll dive into a sumptuous menu sure to please!  Our first course will be a crispy Endive Apple and Goat Cheese Salad served with Brioche Buns that are light as air.  READ MORE and Register

Fig and Goat Cheese Palmier Recipe

Saturday, November 2nd 12:00-2:00DALLAS ARBORETUM Dinner Parties are BACK Have you heard?  Dinner parties are back in fashion and what fun they are to host especially with fantastic recipes up your sleeve sure to wow your guests.  This spectacular menu will set you up for a successful dinner party in your own home.  In this fun and entertaining class, we will start with an amuse bouche of Fig and Goat Cheese Pinwheels, delicious!  Our starter will be a beautiful Roasted Pear and Blue Cheese Salad followed by a main course of READ MORE and Register

See you soon!



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Lorie Fangio | A Taste of Paris

Meet Lorie Fangio

Lorie Fangio is a teaching chef and the founder of A Taste of Paris culinary excursions. She shares her extensive knowledge of French food & culture through cooking classes, regular TV appearances, local publications, and speaking engagements. She is an award-winning food & lifestyle blogger with a zest for gathering people around a table.

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