Whenever my partner Jonathan and I arrived in a new city, we always enjoyed going on food tours. A food tour is such a great way to experience a city, plus I love eating!
And it’s a tradition I intend to keep on doing. So, on my first solo adventure in a very long time, what did I do first? Yes, that’s right – a food tour in Paris with Secret Food Tours.
Meet And Greet
The meeting point for this particular food tour in Paris is in front of the Anvers metro station, which is located on line 2. This stop is also the nearest metro station for exploring Sacre Coeur and Montmartre.
Fortunately, there is only one exit at this station so spotting the guide Stephane with his bright orange umbrella was quite easy.
On this warm but overcast day, there were nine of us in the group, mainly visitors from New York and Salt Lake City and me. Introductions were made, followed by a little bit of history about Paris and what to expect on our tour. Everyone seemed very friendly; you knew it was going to be a good tour straight away.
Some Of The Delicious Food I Experienced On My Food Tour In Paris
To be honest, I’ve never really been a fan of macarons. I know, shocking, eh? I’ve always found them a bit tasteless, but then again, my only experience of macarons was in Thailand, and you don’t go to Thailand for its macarons, do you?
Well, I’ve been converted! And I had quite a few more macarons during my eleven nights in Paris. But on this food tour in Paris, I sampled two – a rose flower and a lemon one. Now, I know what the fuss is about – absolutely delicious, especially the rose flower one.
Our food guide recommended only visiting the macaron shops that just have a few on display, and then you know that they are always fresh. Always buy two – one that you usually have so you have something to compare it with and then try a new flavour. Sounds like a plan! And being a very obedient foodie, I tried this theory out every day in Paris. The rose flower remained my favourite throughout.
What’s The Difference Between A Macaron And A Macaroon?
So, one thing I learned on this tour was that a macaron is not the same as a macaroon. Please tell me I’m not the only person who didn’t know this!
The difference between macarons and macaroons is their main ingredient. For macarons, it is almond meal, and for macaroons, it’s shredded coconut.
The Parisian macarons are made from a mix of ground almond flour, egg whites, and confectioners’ sugar. Then these almond meringues become yummy sandwich cookies filled with jam, ganache, or buttercream and chilled, creating a delicious chewy centre and shell-like surface. Macarons are available in numerous flavours and colours.
Macaroons, on the other hand, are made from shredded coconut held together by egg whites and granulated sugar. They have a craggy surface (a bit like me!) and chewy interior and are often dipped in chocolate.
And as for Macron, well, that’s the French President.
I Love You Wall / Le Mur Des Je T’Aime
As we made our way through the streets of Montmartre, we passed the I LOVE YOU wall located in the Jehan Rictus Garden Square. Created by Fédéric Baron and Claire Kito, this 40 square metre wall features 612 tiles on which the phrase ‘I love you’ is written 311 times in 250 languages.
After seeing the I LOVE YOU wall, I desperately needed some chocolate to cheer me up and was delighted to discover that our next stop was an artisanal chocolatier.
This particular chocolate shop was run by two lovely Korean ladies who, having been trained in France, produce fabulous chocolate with a hint of Asian flavour.
All chocolate is made on-site, and it’s proper chocolate, so just a little is enough to be sated.
I chose the Madagascar Vanilla as I was hoping to be visiting Madagascar this year, and it was oh, so good – the chocolate, not made it to the country yet!
While we were all enjoying stuffing our faces with chocolate and licking the bits of chocolate off our fingers, our guide ran off to pick up some fresh baguettes. That reminded me of a time when we were on a self-barging holiday on the Canal du Midi and I popped into a local bakery to get some bread, and I just could not think for the life of me what the French word for a baguette was. In my defence, I hadn’t had my morning coffee.
Not Suitable For Vegetarians
Next, we visited a local butcher to gather some goodies for our ‘secret’ picnic. Staring at the chickens in the window display with their head and feet still attached, one of the guys from New York said, ‘Is this a good time to mention I’m a vegetarian?’
Now no picnic would be complete without cheese, would it? We stopped outside a great looking cheese shop. I was barely listening to Stephane, our guide, talking about cheese – I was just drooling and staring longingly at the cheese. Did I mention I like cheese?
Time To Eat!!
We then headed off to a secret location for a picnic with bags laden with bread, cheese, and meat. Our wine apparently was already airing!
And so, we grazed and chatted for hours. Then just when you thought you couldn’t possibly eat anymore, out comes a dessert, but that’s ok because everyone knows it’s a different stomach for desserts.
They say the tour on average lasts 3.5 to 4 hours, whether it was our group or not, but it was gone 4 o’clock when we had finished, and all of us were vowing that we would never eat again.
Wine that complimented the local meats and cheeses was included, but if you wanted to try more alcoholic pairings, it’s possible to purchase an upgraded drinks package for 16 euros. Fortunately for me, most of the group had either upgraded or didn’t drink, which meant more of the cheap plonk for me! Result!
Our Guide Stephane
Stephane was friendly, funny and extremely knowledgeable. A well-travelled Parisian, who was clearly passionate about Paris and his country and was very keen for us all to understand its history, food culture and eat!
He definitely exceeded my expectations in terms of what he showed us and what we learned. And he appeared more than happy to answer our tour group’s endless questions.
How To Get To The Meeting Point For the Secret Food Tour
The meeting point for this food tour in Paris is Anvers. Metro stop Anvers is located on line 2, and there’s only one exit, making it easy to find the guide.
What Did I Think Of The Montmartre Secret Food Tour In Paris?
I really enjoyed it. I think taking a food tour in Paris is an excellent introduction to appreciating French food and understanding the food culture in France. I would highly recommend this tour, but then again, I do love food tours and food in general.
It’s also such a great introduction to discovering French cheeses (my weakness!) and other culinary delights and a fantastic way to learn about the history of France and, in particular, Paris. And you most definitely won’t be hungry at the end of the tour.
Want To Experience A Secret Food Tour In Paris For Yourself?
Here’s a summary of all the information you need!
- Name of Tour – Paris Montmartre Food Tours
- Company – https://www.secretfoodtours.com/paris/
- Number of People –Minimum 4/ Maximum 12 people
- Duration – 3.5 – 4 hours (Ours was five!)
- When- Tours run daily at 11 am. At the moment, they are only doing food tours in Montmartre, but when life gets back to a bit more normal, they will also offer food tours in the Latin Quarter, Le Marais and Saint Germain.
- Cost – Adults: 89 EUROS Teenagers 13-17 years 84 EUROS and Children 3-12 years 79 EUROS
- Meeting Point – Metro Stop Anvers on line 2.
- Price includes a licensed tour guide, all food tasting and wine. If you want more alcohol, it’s possible to purchase an upgraded drinks package for just 16 Euros per person. This price includes three drink selections chosen to pair with the food. You must be 18 and older and have a valid ID. The upgrade option can only be purchased in addition to the food tour.
- Tours are conducted in English. However, it’s possible to request a private tour in another language if booked in advance.
- Wear comfy shoes and be sure to arrive on time. Tours leave promptly at 11 am.
- Most importantly, bring an empty stomach – there’s a lot of fabulous food to try on this tour!
- Vegetarians are catered for but do let the guide know in advance.
It’s not just Paris or New York. Secret Food Tours offers food tours in 50+ cities. For more details on Secret Food Tours, click here.
Well, As You’re Already In Montmartre
To walk off some of that cheese, be sure to take a stroll around Montmartre. Yes, the main square with its artists drawing caricatures is a bit touristy, but it’s fun to watch.
But step away from the main square, and you’ll be strolling along picturesque streets, maybe take in a museum or two. I didn’t visit any of the museums, I could feel a food coma coming on, and it was time to head back to my house-sit.
But I did come across a vineyard. Admittedly, a tiny vineyard, but in this 0.15 hectares, there are 27 varieties of wine. A wine festival takes place here every October.
Also, I came across this man in the wall.
And don’t forget to visit the Sacre Coeur. It’s seven euros to climb up to the top of the Basilica. I blame the grey skies on why I didn’t go up to the top, but really it was my overstuffed body that was preventing me.
So, Are You Ready To Book Your Secret Food Tour In Paris?
Have you ever been on a food tour?
Tell us your experiences and recommendations in the comments below.
How about exploring more of Paris with a local guide? Read this post on my day around Paris with a Paris Greeter. And looking for ideas for a day trip from Paris, how about the gorgeous Monet’s Garden in Giverny?
Disclosure: Although I was a guest of Secret Food Tours in Paris, all opinions are entirely and genuinely my own. I would never recommend anything that I hadn’t enjoyed and experienced firsthand. This post may contain affiliate links whereby I earn a little commission, but don’t worry, there’s no extra charge for you.