For the past couple of weeks (in between client work), I have been working on this illustration of things I ate on my trip to France last month. I learned A LOT about illustrating food and also tested out the texture brushes that I created in Illustrator. I'm simultaneously really happy with how it turned out and trying not to point out all the things I would change. I'm assuming I'm not the only person who immediately picks apart everything they make? Ugh.
Every time I travel, I do some research to make sure I know what kinds of foods the area is known for so I can be on the lookout. There are always thousands of articles and reviews online, but I thought I would share a quick list of what you should keep an eye out for in France:
Pastries: The list of possible options here is endless! You'll see a "patisserie" on almost every corner and I have yet to find a bad one. I personally don't have a super sweet tooth, so while I LOVE looking at the beautifully decorated sweets, I usually end up eating croissants and pain au chocolat (chocolate croissants). Eating one every day was my goal. They are just so flaky, buttery and delicious!
Macarons: Unless I have just been living under a rock, I feel like macarons just became super trendy in the U.S. in the past few years. I have to admit that I haven't actually been a huge fan. Turns out I just hadn't had a good one! Macarons are everywhere in France, but there are a few big hitters: Pierre Herme, Laduree, Carette, Aoki Sadaharu, the list goes on....
Ice Cream: Berthillon. This place has been around since 1954 and you can tell it's good by the line out the door. Get the strawberry. Just do it.
Crepes: Again, it would be crazy if you didn't run into crepes in France. Another thing I'm not a huge fan of? Nutella. The rest of you can have your Nutella crepes, I prefer mine with fruit or jam. Sue me.
Bread & Cheese: People really do walk around frequently with a baguette sticking out of there purse. I love it. You'll find boulangeries (bakeries focused on bread) all over with nearby shops selling meat and cheese. It's really the perfect meal. One regret from this trip, not getting a Jambon Beurre (Ham and Butter) sandwich.
Hot Chocolate: I'm not a coffee drinker, but I did have the best hot chocolate this trip at Holybelly cafe. It was chocolatey but not overwhelming and had some great spice situation happening. Hot chocolate at Angelina is highly recommended, but I didn't make an effort to go there since I'd already had my perfect cup. I gather that Angelina's is the more traditional, super thick drinking chocolate.
Steak Frites: We tried to go to Paul Bert (after reading this article), but I'm not the best at doing the whole reservation thing, which proved to be necessary. We wandered around and finally found a place that would take us, whose name I don't remember, and had really really good steak.
Sick of French food? That's not really a thing, but Max and I always laugh at how much food we eat that isn't native to the country we visit. Listen, if you're in a big city, there is going to be good food from many cultures and you should take advantage of it!
Holybelly cafe: The savory stack at is SO GOOD. Think best pancakes you've ever had, topped with two eggs, bacon and delicious syrup. I am two kind of people: 1. The kind that doesn't allow my syrup to touch my eggs or bacon and 2. The annoying person that doesn't let anyone at the table order the same thing (how else am I going to try all the things?!). Both rules went out the window here. Max was pretty sad that he only got to try mine, so, we went back our last morning in Paris and both ordered it.
Clasico Argentino: Max lived in Paraguay for two years so he apparently has excellent empanada radar. He noticed this place while walking by one day (I breezed right passed it) and I'm so glad he did. Best empanadas I've ever had! This woman is from Argentina and they are the real deal.
Anything I'm missing? I have lists in Evernote of places to each in each state or country, so I'm always looking for recommendations!