A sort of gastronomic happy hour, Les Heures Heureuses was created by three friends who wanted to find an accessible way to explore Paris's culinary scene. So for a few days a year, a selection of balades or routes comprising 15 or so venues are established in different arrondissements, where participants pay just €2 to sample cooking – hors d'oeuvres – in restaurants, bistros, food stores, bakeries and bars. From vegetable samosas in Barbès to noodles in Chinatown and salmon tartar by the Eiffel Tower, the range of cuisines and the calibre of talents involved is something really special.
For its fourth edition, you can test dishes from 400 restaurants across 16 participating arrondissements, some of the highlights being a chlorophyll-infused Gould’s razor shell (a South Asian mollusc), truffle roasted ham or hot dogs served in a crab cream sauce. And new this year, three gastronomic ‘villages’ will open every night of the event from 6pm-11pm: on the 24th, an organic foods village at the Halle Pajol in the 18th, on the 23rd a local produce village on the Place Moro Giafferi in the 14th and, on the last day of the event, a gourmet village along Rue de Général Renault in the 11th, showcasing the creations of up-and-coming Parisian chefs.
To take part, you need to pick up a free 'passport', available from participating venues, the reception of the Hôtel de Ville and the town halls of the relevant arrondissements in the run-up to the festival and during the days themselves.
For more information (in French), click here.
The search for a good restaurant is never complete in a city like Paris. Our favourite spots of yesteryear close down, and snazzy new venues take their place; cuisines fall out of fashion, and new trends suddenly crop up. We've kept our fingers on the pulse, and concocted a brand-new list of the 100 best restaurants Paris for 2014. The selection is divided into ten categories to help you hone in on the kind of food you like. Our criteria weren't strict, but the restaurants that have made the cut all offer something beyond a merely good meal – whether it's originality, cosiness, value for money, or even mini waffles. It's not a definitive list, and if you feel we've missed out some top-notch places, let us know in the comments box below. But if you read on, you'll find that there's definitely enough to keep your tastebuds happy until 2015 rolls around. Bon appétit! | Bistros | | Budget | | East Asian | | French | | Haute cuisine | | Italian | | Seafood | | Small plates | | Street food | | Teatime | Read more Restaurants for kids Go for classic steak Picky eaters can’t help but love the timeless steak frites at Relais d’Entrecote where the only option is, well, steak and chips covered in the restaurant’s secret green herb sauce. The waitresses even come around with a second helping once the first round is tucked away. Get there early to avoid a lengthy queue, but relax knowing there will be no menu to translate. Quick service and no-fuss food means a hassle-free meal fRead more
Tried and tested: our favourite things to eat in the French capital in 2013 There may be a fair few snails, slabs of red meat and curious bits of offal in our selection of the 50 best dishes in Paris, but there are also things that will surprise fans of French cooking. Cannelloni? Ramen? Cari from Réunion? Sauerkraut? Today, Paris's timeless bistros and brasseries rub shoulders comfortably with hundreds of restaurants, cafés and canteens serving food from all over France and from around the world. This snapshot of just 50 dishes out of thousands of possibilities gives an image of cooking and eating in Paris at its best: full of tradition and invention, talent and enthusiasm, generosity and greed. These are our editors' favourite dishes (and the restaurants that serve them) in that they're what we consider essential to getting a rounded sense of the city 's food scene. Have we missed one of your favourite Parisian dishes? Think you know a better version than the one we've chosen? Join the conversation in the comments box below. Classic cooking Honoring classic dishes that have been served by lamplight in the oldest Parisian canteens. Simple, filling and comforting dishes: snails, steak tartare, eggs with mayonnaise, croquet-monsieur, shellfish platters, ham sandwiches, frites, sole meunière, pressed duck and roast chicken. Because Paris will always be Paris. Bistro favourites The best Parisian bistro food is in a class of its own, both unique and characteristic; and it alwRead more
Spending a season in a Parisian cookery school is a time-honoured tradition for anyone wanting to brush up on their chopping, mixing, basting and boiling skills. And in the city of Escoffier and Julia Child, Cordon Bleu and more Michelin stars than you can shake an egg whisk at, there's an embarass du choix when it comes to choosing cooking classes. Time Out has selected a few of the best, from homely cake-baking sessions to classes run by world-famous chefs. Recommended cooking classes Promenades Gourmandes Paule Caillat’s Promenades Gourmandes give you an insider’s look at cooking in the French capital, covering both the art of food shopping and cooking skills. The full programme starts at 9am with a market tour (usually around Rue Montorgueil or the Marché des Enfants Rouge), and then it’s back to Paule’s Marais kitchen to turn your purchases into a full four-course meal. A cheese course is included, as are Paule’s expert tips on the intricacies of cheese making in France. As well as the full 6-hour course, Paule offers shorter tailor-made tours around some of the capital’s best gourmet shops and suppliers, and customised workshops like one-to-one patisserie coaching (for professionals) and gluten-free classes. L'Atelier Guy Martin With 2 Michelin stars under his belt at the Grand Véfour, chef Guy Martin certainly knows a thing or two about cooking. And the good news is he wants to share that knowledge with food fans at his Atelier Guy Martin, set inside a gorgeous hotel pRead more
Go out to stay in, and discover Paris's food scene in unique ways – supper clubs are all the rage. Private locations, surprise menus and home-cooked food at these clubs attract gatherings of perfect strangers, who nonetheless know they have some important things in common – love of food, discovery and making friends. À table! Acr-Paris Most private supper clubs come with an air of spontaneity and surprise – which intriguing stranger might you end up sitting next to? But sometimes you want to know exactly who’s going to be at the table, sharing your truffle-spiked velouté of celeriac. That’s where Chilean chef Raimundo Briones comes in. You put together your guest list, then the former architect gets to work organising a supper club anywhere you’d like – at your own apartment, on a boat, on a rooftop overlooking the city lights, or at his place on the banks of the Seine. Briones is co-founder of Le Haut du Panier, which delivers locally grown vegetables and other lovingly reared produce to foodie Parisians in the know, so you can be sure you’ll find the finest ingredients on your plate – and in your tum. Jim Haynes The godfather of supper clubs, Jim Haynes has run a Sunday dinner party from his former sculpture studio for more than 30 years. And a rollicking party it is: the US-born host welcomes the first 60 or so people who ask to attend, whether they be locals or visitors from far-flung lands. Haynes memorises the guest list beforehand, so he can easily make introductions oRead more
With glistening fruit tarts down one cobbled street and artisanal cheeses down another, Paris presents a particularly toothsome panorama. These guided tours with resident food experts will add sugar, spice and all things nice to a trip around the city. Guided food tours of Paris Promenades Gourmandes From the oldest pastry shop in Paris to an Ali Baba’s cavern of kitchen supplies, this three-hour private walking tour (€300 for a party of two) winds round the doors of some of Paris’s best food producers and suppliers. Native Parisians Betty Bitton and Paule Caillat can plan itineraries based on participants’ interests, so a fondness for pâtisseries, say, can be taken into account. Where indulging in the fruits – and meats, and sweets – of someone else’s labour isn’t enough, Caillat is also available for half-day cooking classes (from €270 per person), which begin with a market tour before students head to Caillat’s Marais apartment to cook their four-course lunch. Paris Walks Chocolate Tour Iris Amice loves history as much as she does chocolate. A professional guide certified by the French Ministry of Culture, the docent of this Paris Walks tour (€27) is roundly praised for the engaging manner in which she transmits nuggets of social and historical information. That she does so while handing around a box of truffles probably helps. Over two hours, participants visit a number of chocolatiers, slowly but surely coming to understand how Paris is not just the city of lights, but aRead more
Fruit, vegetables, meat, cheese and more from some of France's top producers General food markets Marché Bastille One of the biggest markets in Paris, the Marché Bastille's food stalls sprawl up the Boulevard Richard Lenoir twice a week, with more produce than most hypermarkets – it's a particularly great source of local cheeses, free range chicken and excellent fish. The atmospheric and beautiful piles of fruit, veg, saucisses, olives and so on are interspersed with stalls offering African batiks, cheap jewellery and bags, but that doesn't detract from the overall sense of bountiful goodness. Keep an eye on the prices, as not everything is a bargain – some of this is seriously classy stuff, making the market a favourtie with bourgeois foodies. On Saturdays, the food vendors give way to arts and crafts... Marché Mouffetard This 'wonderful, narrow crowded market street', as Hemingway described it in 'A Moveable Feast', still sports bright and bustling stalls of fruit and veg in its cobbled lower stretches (its upper extremities largely harbour student bars and touristy shops), its atmospheric buildings making it one of the city’s loveliest street markets. Many grocers – also hawking charcuterie, patés, seafood, cheeses and sticky patisseries – only select organic and fair-trade goods. On Wednesday, Friday and Sunday mornings, Mouffetard’s stalls run into the Marché Monge (on Place Monge), renowned for yet more excellent food, especially fresh bread. Marché Monge The leafy squRead more
These cooking workshops cater specially for your little chefs, with fun-filled classes that impart basic kitchen techniques while also helping to develop a sensibility for quality ingredients and balanced eating. While the appreciation of good food is universal, however, note that most of these classes are taught in French. Fun-filled classes that impart basic kitchen techniques Cooking classes for little ones L’Atelier des Sens Little Chef Themed workshops at this cooking school well known for its many adult classes welcome junior gourmets aged between six and 12. All-chocolate days bring chocolate madeleines, fondants and chocolate chip cookies, while other menus include fish croquettes and mini cordon bleus, éclairs and a raspberry tiramisu. In December, festive Christmas workshops introduce kids to Santa sablé biscuits and snowy cupcakes, or chocolate truffles and almond-paste-stuffed fruits déguisés, a traditional Christmas confectionery. Special workshops for teenagers this season will have 12- to 18-year-olds making foie gras nuggets, duck burgers and chocolate mousse while their parents hightail it to the nearest wine bar. Les Petits Chefs at Cuisine Attitude by Cyril Lignac Le Quinzième chef and founder Cyril Lignac has developed a series of cooking classes for children aged six to 11. Where visitors to his Michelin-starred restaurant enjoy seabass carpaccio and braised calf sweetbreads, children at the Petits Chefs workshops learn how to make coriander and veal burgRead more