Paris by Mouth food tours: our excellent afternoon in Saint-Germain

by Gigi Griffis
wines on Paris by Mouth food tour

Recommended by such food luminaries as Ruth Reichl, Paris by Mouth food tours are unique in the food tour world.

Not because they’ve somehow found new foods that no one else knows about, but because the guides are all people from the food world. Pastry chefs. Food writers. Sommeliers. Passionate foodies.

And that’s exactly what I want from a food tour.

I know because I’ve been on many of them. Food tours in Amsterdam and Wyoming, Rome and Sarajevo. Food tours led by all kinds of people with all kinds of expertise.

You’d think food tours would look for foodie guides, but in my experience that isn’t always the case. We’ve been on plenty of tours that spent more time discussing war memorials than they did on the history of the cheese we were tasting or the reason this dish is a specialty in this area.

So when we saw that Paris by Mouth had food tours led by people in the food industry, we were happy to pay the higher price and book ahead to get ourselves on one of said tours.

And we weren’t disappointed.

Our guide was an experienced food writer. And the tour itself was a slow walk through the neighborhood of Saint-Germain. We stopped to talk about famous bakeries, pastry chefs who invented new flavors, hidden places to find good croissants, and when to eat goat cheese (hint: it’s seasonal).

On the way, we munched on croissants, macarons, and cookies and collected bread, cheese, meats, and truffle butter. Eventually, we landed in a cute little wine shop where a wooden table waited for us in a quiet back room. Here, we paired our cheeses and meats and truffle butter with a variety of French wines.

The best part was that our guide knew her stuff. The histories of ingredients, the best way to eat things, the best times to eat things. And because this tour is advertised as being for foodies and by foodies, the group on the tour was incredible as well. We had winemakers and French cheese experts and a woman who was starting the first culinary school in a major US city. And so the conversation around food grew even richer from the company.

Tours are currently 110 euros per person, each with a small group capped at just eight (no exceptions). There are tours in a variety of neighborhoods around Paris. If you book early, you can probably take your pick. If you only book a week or so ahead (like we did), you may need to choose whatever neighborhood is left (because these tours book up). We did our tour in Saint-Germain, which I would highly recommend.

You can book here.

What (else) to do in Paris

Wander the pretty neighborhoods of Montmartre and Le Marais. Have an elegant lunch or dinner at Restaurant Philippe Excoffier near the Eiffel Tower and a more laid-back, though equally as delicious dinner at my favorite wine bar: Frenchie Bar a Vins.

My favorite spot for breakfast is Colorova. The sorbets at Mariage Freres are to die for. And my favorite farmers market is now the covered one in Saint-Germain.

Anything Danielle Perrin suggests is worth checking out. She’s the person who’s pointed me toward almost all my favorite Parisian restaurants.

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