Galeries Lafayette Haussmann, plateau de fromage au Lafayette Gourmet, Paris 2013

Top 5 unforgettable gastronomic experiences in Paris Region

Cooking classes with a top chef, a trip to Rungis market, or a tour around France through its cheeses…

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Discover the secrets of French cuisine, declared World Intangible Heritage by Unesco.

The belly of Paris

Before the Paris food market moved south of the city to Rungis it was based in Les Halles. However, by the 1960s, this bustling market, housed under the emblematic structures designed by Victor Baltard, was no longer adapted to modern needs. Today, Rungis is the largest fresh produce market in the world. Normally only open to food professionals, this "town within a town" is now accessible to the public thanks to the fabulous guided visits organised by Cultival. Your tour starts before sunrise, allowing you to witness the people and produce that make Rungis come alive. Over the course of your visit, you can immerse yourself in the effervescence of the seafood pavilions, the butchers' stands, the dairy produce, and the plethora of fruits and vegetables, before ending at the flower pavilion, where you can enjoy the heady scents of thousands of roses, camellias, irises and many others. By which time you will be ready to tuck into the copious breakfast provided, sourced entirely from the market!

A touch of Cordon Bleu

Do you dream of mastering French cuisine? To learn the tricks that guarantee the smoothest sauces, the most delicate macaroons, and the most unctuous éclairs? Founded in 1895, Cordon Bleu Paris is one of the world's most prestigious private cookery schools, offering workshops that transform beginners into culinary experts. Taught by professional chefs, you can learn the techniques and secrets of the best cooks, patisserie chefs and wine experts over the course of a 3-hour or 1-day workshop.

Ateliers Le Cordon Bleu
Ateliers Le Cordon Bleu
Ateliers Le Cordon Bleu

Old-school French dining

At the end of the 18th century, "bouillons" - vast restaurants serving hearty French food at budget prices — began opening across Paris. By the 19th century there were more than 200. Almost all have since disappeared, replaced by the pricier, intimate brasseries. The good news? Thanks to a group of passionate foodies, the tradition is back with the Bouillon Pigalle. Here, you'll find all the ingredients of a classic "bouillon" restaurant: unpretentious atmosphere, low prices, massive dining rooms holding hundreds of diners, red leatherette benches, bistrot-style chairs and a menu filled with classic French dishes (potato and herring salad, bœuf bourguignon, blanquette de veau) in a hip and trendy atmosphere. The first floor also includes a lovely covered terrace. Note, the restaurant doesn't take reservations.

Bouillon Chartier%252C restaurant traditionnel%252C Paris.
Bouillon Chartier%252C restaurant traditionnel%252C Paris.

Travel through time to the sound of the accordion

Throughout the late 19th and early 20th century, " guinguettes" – establishments halfway between a village ball and a restaurant, located on the banks of the Marne – inspired painters, singers, cinematographers, and provided a joyful getaway for Parisians missing the countryside. You can still enjoy these establishments, dedicated to dancing, drinking and simple French cooking, today. The Guinguette de l'île du Martin Pêcheur, surrounded by greenery, is set on an island accessible by a little bridge. Here, served under a little arbour, the white wine flows freely, while you can enjoy fricassee of eel of and home-cooked terrine accompanied by the sounds of the accordion. Worthy of a Renoir painting!

A paradise of cheeses

Soft-ripened or washed-rind; hard or semi-hard; raw, runny, melted or blue; cow, sheep or goat… The world of cheese, that essential aspect of French gastronomy, can sometimes appear dizzyingly complex. And when it comes to finding the right wine to pair with these marvels, many may decide to throw up their hands. Three passionate cheese-lovers decided to create Paroles de Fromager as way to open up this elusive world to the general public. In their beautiful, traditional style boutique and restaurant, you can taste more than 150 cheeses, all matured on site. Plus, they hold discovery workshops in their vaulted 17th-century cellar, which will transform you into a cheese and wine expert in no time!

Our selection

Cultival
From must-see landmarks to secret nooks, Cultival guided tours will show you the treasures and curiosities of over 25 sites and cultural institutions in Paris and its surroundings.
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Visite du marché de Rungis
Until 12/31/2019 - MARCHE DE RUNGIS
Guided tour of Rungis market
from 85€
Cultival offers you the opportunity to take a tour of Rungis market with a guided tour (visit + brunch + return transport between Paris and Rungis by coach):…
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Le Cordon Bleu Paris
Le Cordon Bleu
Founded in 1895, this famous Paris cookery school is not just for professionals: be it through patisserie classes or wine workshops, you too can become a cordon bleu!
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Bouillon Pigalle
Le Bouillon Pigalle
You would never imagine this place only opened in 2017: décor and menu alike revive a type of eatery iconic of the Paris of yesteryear: the “bouillon”… complete with the low prices!
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Guinguette de l'Ile du Martin-Pêcheur, Champigny-sur-Marne
La Guinguette de l'Île du Martin-Pêcheur
Forget the hectic pace of city life and take a trip back in time by making your way to Paris’s eastern suburbs, where the open-air cafés lining the banks of the river Marne are sure to put you in a good mood.
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Cave d'affinage de la Fromagerie Jouannault, Pierre Brisson proposant des ateliers "Paroles de Fromagers",  Paris 2015
Paroles de Fromagers
Not just a wine bar, but a cheese bar too? That is the brilliant concept behind Paroles de Fromagers, where you can become an expert in France’s most iconic cheese and wine pairings.
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