Paris: A Taste of the Left Bank

If there’s one thing I really, really love when traveling, it’s a good food tour. And when it comes to good food tours, Paris by Mouth knows what they are doing. I had previously taken one of their tours in the Marais and when I found out I’d have months to spend in the city last fall, I knew I wanted to make time for another. This time, I switched sides of the river and joined their Taste of the Left Bank tour.

We met our excellent guide, Diane, at Laurent Dubois, a fromagerie that literally would have been worth the price of the tour on its own. Laurent Dubois has an incredible selection of cheeses, from the traditional favorites to those that are a little, shall I say, adventurous. My favorites were the Rocamadour (because I’m always a sucker for a good goat cheese) and the brie aux noix (because it turns out that brie with walnuts inside it is really damn delicious). I loved this place so much that I went back several more times during my stint in Paris. It wasn’t really that close to my apartment but it was always worth the trek.

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Next, we headed around the corner to Eric Kayser since, when one has cheese, one must always have some bread. We happened to arrive right as they were pulling fresh baguettes from the oven, and so we each were able to sneak a few bites while the bread was piping hot (which is basically nirvana). While Eric Kayser is a chain – and a chain I frequented often, given its proximity to my office – it makes high quality products and is totally worth the time.

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We then traveled to Patrick Roger, a fancy schmancy chocolatier. Immediately upon entering, the chocolate sculptures – yes, gigantic sculptures made of chocolate – caught my eye. At Patrick Roger, chocolate is – quite literally! – an art form. We sampled several kinds of their chocolate, but the hit was their signature item, the rocher. And if you’ve have a Ferrero Rocher and think it’s the same thing: think again. The Patrick Roger rochers are in a class of their own.

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Armed with cheese and chocolate, we made our way to La Derniere Goutte, a cute little wine shop where we paired our provisions with three varieties of wine. The shop’s owner also came to chat with us, and she was a delight – so funny and warm. I really enjoyed our time here!

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Any successful day in Paris ends with a really great dessert (even if you’ve already consumed a fair bit of chocolate), and for that, we made our way to La Maison du Chou for some cream puffs. My favorite thing about Maison du Chou is that you choose your filling and they fill it for you right then, using a fancy pastry syringe. Talk about super fresh!

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I have to say, once again my time with Paris by Mouth was a delight. I left armed with a deeper knowledge of the Left Bank’s culinary scene, a hunk of fresh baguette, and some very yummy chocolates. And cheese. All the cheese. Always.

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