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You might wonder at the title of this post. After all, isn’t Paris the quintessential dining experience? It is, and let me reframe my suggestion:

You shouldn’t ONLY eat in restaurants in Paris.

You should experience French cuisine at whatever level you can afford. Surprisingly, even the most inexpensive meals can equal what we pay an arm and a leg for in a fancy French restaurant this side of the pond.

But my point here is: if you visit Paris and take my suggestion of staying in an apartment, use your kitchen. Shop at the grocery store. Buy things you don’t know how to cook and have never seen. Trust me; you’ll be happy.

The most fun I have when traveling is visiting local grocery stores (epiceries in France). I slowly browse the shelves, drinking in the different packaging and products they don’t carry at home.
Here are my must-haves for cooking in Paris:

  • Milk for my coffee. Their milk is more like cream. Cream is even thicker.
  • Cream for cooking things like tiny fingerling potatoes.
  • Butter. It’s fresher and tastier. I can make a meal out of a baguette, butter and cheese.
  • Speaking of: cheese. Any kind. You can go to a cheese shop or simply pick up some amazing cheese at the grocery store.
  • Yogurt. They use sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup and the flavors are amazing. Also come in cute glass pots!
  • Smoked salmon. Cheaper and fresher than here.
  • Fish. Chicken and beef tend to be more expensive so we ate more fish.
  • Pink lady apples. Fresh and crisp!

Learn more about my trip to Paris in my book: A Month in Paris! Only $2.99 for Kindle.