I was afraid we would miss the fantastic street market on Rue Mouffetard -- where there are food stores, small bistros and brasseries and all sorts of gastronomic finds to discover.
Thankfully, the area around St. Germain de Pres where we stayed this time is just as well stocked, if not more so than the Mouffetard area.
The streets of Rue Buci, Rue St Andre des Arts and the warren of side streets around them are just overflowing with temptation.
deNeuville chocolates stopped me dead in my tracks with this window display of eclairs. The gorgeous store is full of all sorts of chocolate delights but the eclairs were what I zoomed in on.
They pack your purchases beautifully -- two eclairs to a box so -- greedy pig that I am, I had to order four. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate and passionfruit -- which was aromatic but very interesting. The eclairs were swoon worthy -- I think I passed out twice while eating them.
Near deNeuville is a gelateria that is part of a chain around Paris. Amorino sells gelatos and pastries and we chanced upon it one evening while we were out on a stroll -- to try and walk off the calories from dinner. But this double scoop of chocolate and vanilla was irresistible so we just had to stop.
Because it was a chilly winter evening, I ordered a cup of hot chocolate. Amorino's hot cocoa comes in 10 infusions -- from basic chocolate to fruity flavors. I chose latte -- the hot chocolate was so thick, you need a teaspoon to "drink" it. It's not as heavy or bitter as our own tsokolate eh -- but just as good.
We were able to secure an outside table to sit and enjoy our cold dessert and people watch -- al fresco in the dead of a chilly winter evening. The line for the gelato just didn't seem to stop -- people just kept coming and going -- even very late at night.
Because Rue St. Andre des Arts where we are staying is such a tourist place, there are creperies standing cheek by jowl beside each other. Crepes and gyros are traditional cheap fare for tourists and locals alike -- they're tasty, filling and best of all, won't break the budget.
Among the dozens in this area, the one we liked best was the Creperie Saint Germain, just a stone's throw from the apartment door.
Unlike the other creperies that have windows for take away -- this one is more of a restaurant where you come in and order your meal -- of crepes of course. The crepes are a bit more expensive but well worth it -- there are more unique varieties and ingredients -- not just your standard jambon and fromage.
This one is called the Iberia and comes with chorizo, naturally -- and huevos. Very yummy!
Another interesting find was Maoz Vegetarian -- they sell falafel sandwiches and couscous plates. Maoz has some kiosks in other areas but the falafel is freshly cooked when you order so it doesn't seem like too much of a fast falafel chain.
The falafel sandwich is only 4.90 euros and what makes it so affordable is that there is a whole range of condiments, vegetables and sauces on hand -- get much as you like and pile it on your sandwich. It's like a falafel buffet -- for just under 5 euros!
More euros saved at lunchtime means more euros for eclairs and gelato!