‘The Food Lover's Guide to Paris’ written by Patricia Wells is a well-made guide for finding best places for eating pleasures in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with a note that it will primarily be of use to those who are visiting Paris for the first time.
All people who have ever been to Paris will probably agree that it comes to a city where at the same time you can eat the best in the world, but also can be completely disappointed with quality, but especially in consideration what you got for your money. Sometimes even for not so small amount you spent.
There everyone think they know how to cook or rather they are aware that the perception of tourists is that the French are good cooks and consequently restaurants, bistros and cafés can often be found in endless rows where it’s exceptionally hard to orient only on the basis of what is written on the front boards and to be sure how much and what you will be offered.
Therefore this guide is excellent because it provides numerous good recommendations for people who are coming to Paris and do not want to overly prepare in advance by conducting research where to eat. Reader inside will find list of restaurants, bistros, brasseries and cafés, but also some shops that offers specialties, wine, and most important, markets where you can often find a lot of good things.
Additionally, besides covering the food offer, inside the book many interesting tips can be found that explain some cultural differences that will make tourist stay even more pleasant. And finally Patricia Wells included some 40 original recipes that will help you remember the time spent in Paris or to prepare yourself for the arrival in the City of Light.
In order to facilitate orientation and allow the reader to easily locate the nearest recommended place depending on where you are in particular moment, a book is presented in the way that Paris is divided – the 20 arrondissements - offering also references to the Metro stations to make your way around easier.
Altogether, ‘The Food Lover's Guide to Paris’ is a great guide, and the only drawback that actually is not, is the fact that in Paris all is changing rapidly and sometimes it will happen, as happened few times to me, that particularly the restaurant you are looking for will be closed. Therefore, this latest updated guide will surely help you to reduce number of such unpleasant situations.
am 23. Juli 1999
As I consider "Food Lovers Guide to Paris" an old friend, I was really pleased to see a timely update to one of the most useful travel books I know. I highly recommend it to anyone with a good appetite who is contemplating a visit to the City of Light.
In this fourth version of her classic, Ms Wells again does a superb job of ferreting out and reviewing top notch restaurants, cafes, bakeries, pastry shops, wine bars, candy makers, markets, and a myriad of specialty shops - anything and everything that has to do with food in the food capital of the world. Some notable names from the third edition have been dropped and some exciting new ones added.
Some restaurants have been in all four guides, but an update was certainly necessary for those who enjoy the finest of fine cuisine: three years ago, the celebrated superstar chef Joel Robuchon retired. Today, several of his talented former assistants are now running their own kitchens in Paris, and their food can be absolutely stunning. My girlfriend and I visited two of these restaurants last autumn, (during the wild mushroom season, of course!), and were blown away by the exquisite food at both establishments.
Those looking for dining bargains will not be disappointed, as a good many of the recommended restaurants are not only quite affordable, but also offer wonderful value for your money. Good food, simply but imaginatively prepared. Included amongst the latter are several wonderful regional restaurants, if, for instance, you would like to try some of the specialties of the Southwest or Provence.
As there are other serious restaurant guides available, perhaps the most uniquely useful chapters in the book are those devoted to specialty shops. Whether you are looking for fresh truffles, old cookbooks, designer china, or the most specialized and esoteric of cookware, using this book you will be able to find it.
As another reviewer pointed out that the book features a number of recipes (I think the reviewer was peeved by this), I thought I would add my two cents: every recipe I have tried from other editions of this book has been at least very good; some have been superb.
Finally, as usual, there there are many, many explanatory notes and a very good glossary that covers a large amount of French food terminology. First time visitors to Paris will find both the notes and the glossary VERY useful.
am 27. Mai 2000
My advice: save your money. You will spend far more than you want, if you eat at the restaurants recommended in this book. And, comparatively speaking, the food won't be worth the price. We recently visited friends in Paris and wanted to take them out to dinner for no more than 1000 FF for the four of us. Of one highly recommended restaurant, they said, "pretentious." Of another, "too expensive." We are at a highly recommended Greek restaurant one night and ended up spending 600 for the two of us--for a fairly simple and reasonable meal. I went looking one morning for a cookware store listed at 14 Rue des Ecoles. It wasn't there, and by the appearance of things, hadn't been there for years. At current US exchange rate prices, this book will cost you about 350 FF. By the way, our friends chose one of their usual restaurants for the four of us. A meal that included a bottle of champagne, two bottles of wine, entree (appetizer or salad) and main course, dessert, coffee and after dinner drinks cost about 1200 FF. The food was excellent, but the restaurant isn't listed in this book, although its value was outstanding.
am 14. Mai 2000
My husband and I left for Paris with the usual Zagat's and Michelin's . . . a friend had given us Ms. Well's _Food Lover's Guide_ . . . I argued for taking it; my husband thought it too big and heavy. Since I was the person who had read it cover to cover twice, I won. After three days, we left Zags and Michs on the shelf in the closet, and consulted Ms. Wells constantly. It helped at every moment, from the first baguette in the morning, til the last cafe at night--and certianly in between, distinguishing between all of the wonderful food, kitchen, and food/gift shops. We will not go back to Paris without it.
In fact, we will likely read it all year, savoring our memories, and getting ready for next years' trip!
am 9. Juli 1999
She not only writes well, but has the ability to desribe her restaurants in a manner which will match what you find when you enter through their doors. A characteristic which isn't always that common among restaurant reviewers. And if you take her advise, when you visit Paris, you should find the quality, atmosphere, and price range you are on the lookout for. She is a truly excellent restaurant reviewer, who has never disappointed me. Whether the restaurant is expensive or inexpensive, if Patricia Wells tells you the quality is high that's what you should find. And I've discovered some extraordinary restaurants through her guides.
am 28. Januar 2000
We recently returned from Paris and this book was of great value to us in finding wonderful food. One day we walked all over Paris stopping in first at a cheese shop recommended in the book, then a chocolate shop then a bakery finally taking all the food back to our hotel for a wonderful meal. The extensive French/English glossery in the back was also great but we wish there was an English/French one as well. We have tried one of the recipes at home and it was great. Only one place in the book did we find no longer in business at the listed location but that is to be expected since things change.
am 13. September 1999
This guide covers all the bases - restaurants, markets, shops (both food and housewares), and food as culture. The book is not organized in a "list of the best" fashion. It is organized by subject matter - cafe, bakery, marche', etc. - and then by arrondissement within each category. If you are looking for short and quick rundowns, this book requires more commitment on your part. But for an overall secure sense of food in Paris, this book is correct, insightful, and educational. We are "food people", and this book really made our trip enjoyable.
am 2. Dezember 1999
I bought this book (from Amazon of course) about 2 months ago. I read it cover to cover before our Paris trip. We ate in about half a dozen of the resaurants. She was completely accurate. . . the prices, the suggestions on what to order, the hours, everything. In case you're going, L'Astier was our overwhelming favorite. We also used the info on kitchen shops, patisseries, boulangeries and specialty shops.
Her title is accurate. If you're not a "food lover," don't bother. If you're obsessed like my family, don't go without it.
am 21. Juni 1999
I thought that this book was a good 'coffee-table' book overview of the restaurant scene in paris that would also be useful as a cookbook. Unfortunately I really didn't find it useful as guide because it was too lengthy and wasn't organized in way that made it easy to scan through and find a recommended restaurant in the style you are looking for.
I think this book is best suited for someone who is living in Paris or moving there and wants to be able to savor many restaurants over a long period of time.
am 9. Januar 2000
I was expecting a conprehensive guide to the best resturantes, something along the line of a better Zagot.. this is not what this book is... there are a dozen or so reviews of different restruants.. so i was disapointed in that aspect.. but the recommendations on the outdoor markets, the food shops, the linen shops, the Kitchen shops, the bread, mustard and on and on,,, was great... worth three times the price.... but not the best if your only looking for places to eat... but I recommend you purchase