You’re headed to Paris, gastro capital of the universe. You loved Hemingway’s A  Movable Feast, belong to your local wine society and routinely julienne with visions of Julia Childs hacking legumes flitting through your head. You become anxious. How can you capture the culinary essence of Paris in a few short days? Bon chance! A cross section of excellent walking foodie tours offer burgeoning francophiles the perfect cultural experience.

NAME: Context Travel: Baguette to Bistro: Culinary Traditions of Paris

Who Its For:

The burgeoning francophile who does not shy away from attractive carbs, alluring pork products and full bodied cheeses that channel the parfum of your high school soccer cleats.

Why Its Great

The 2.5 hour tour focuses on small, family run shops on the Left Bank. The docents-sommeliers, food writers, chefs-give “context” to France’s artisanal food chain and how it’s carefully guarded production impacts the country’s culinary heritage. Their backstories (i.e. Roquefort cheese has been protected by the government since the 15th century. It’s AOC designation enforces that this moist blue cheese must be produced from grass fed Lacaune sheep and cured in only seven caves  within the region of Roquefort-sue-Soulzon) offer new appreciation for ancient food traditions.

What You’ll Taste:

Rillette, fois gras, cheese, pate, dozens of pork products, baguette, armagnac

What You’ll Learn

How to discern an artisanal baguette from mass produced merde, the difference between cheesemonger and an affineur, a cheese artisan that ages pedestrian dairy into fromage fabulosity, how to discern a terrine from pate en croute. And, of course, to understand why fois gras is essential to a French diet.

NAME:Paris By Mouth Taste of The Marais

WHO ITS FOR: Anyone interested in gaining an appreciation of French gastronomy.

Why Its Great

Paris By Mouth, a top website devoted to chronicling the local food and wine scene, organizes small group culinary tours in foodie forward neighborhoods. Their Marais tour offers gastro ground rules. You’ll visit super small artisanal shops on Rue Charlot and walk the food stalls of  the historic Le Marche des Enfants Rouge, Paris oldest covered market.

What You’ll Taste:

Breakfast pastries, baguette, pate, chocolate, cheese, charcuterie, fruit, wine

What You’ll Learn

How to recognize and enjoy the genius of the traiteur, (prepared food shops) of Paris, how to discover the best boucherie (a chicken’s feet are always presented to display freshness), how to pair wines with cheese and why artisinal, family-run businesses will always trump supermarket swill in Paris. After your experience,  tastings will be emailed for reference.


Who Its For: Serious Chocolate lovers

Why Its Great: Visiting Paris’ top chocolate shops with Chloe Doutre-Roussel, a world renowned expert, will transform your palate and appreciation for all things cacao.

What You’ll Taste: Insane bars, truffles and specialty sweets from Patrick Roger, Pierre Herme, Jean Paul Hevin and Pierre Marcolini

What You’ll Learn:

In Paris, chocolate is high art. The shops are like fashion boutiques and the chocolates presented as trend forward capsule collections. Curated tastings offer an introduction to esoteric flavor profiles and single origin cacao. You will never touch a Tootsie Roll again.

Private Tours Only