The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris is the first food book I ever read cover to cover in one day. I can personally recommend it and say, “delightfully delicious”. You are introduced to the book with a casual overview of then and now and reassured that French cuisine is here to stay.
The guide is simply laid out and begins with a map and arrondissement locations of places mentioned in the guide. In the “How-to-Guide” section Helen Massy-Beresford gives essential courtesy tips. She then shows you to your table of dining or specialty shop pleasures with dashes of storied descriptions and delightful, colourful, inviting photos.
Every arrondissement will have some special categories such as the “Pure Paris” section, which are some her favourite. “Best Bistrot” takes you to the ardoise (blackboard) classics and “bistronomy”. With the “Al Fresco” section you are outside of the café or bistrot for people watching. “Going Green” brings the “health-eating trends” to your table in what used to be a “niche movement” (i.e., gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian). “Pop-up Paris” covers the inventive and unusual restaurants. “Café culture” still exists in Paris but has expanded into coffee and beer dégustation (tastings) and variety. “Do it Yourself” puts you on the scene to choose from cheese shops, city markets and stores to prepare for that picnic. “Perfect patisseries” invites you to browse for bakeries and desserts.”Cosmopolitan Paris” opens doors not only to Paris regional cuisines but also global cuisine that immigrants have brought to Paris.
With about 18,000 restaurants in Paris, Helen who has lived in Paris since 2007, provides new alternatives and a few classics. Her descriptions are engagingly written and personal. Her non-allergic and specialty food styles are blended together for easy, smooth and tempting reading.
I can highly recommend the Food Lover’s Guide to Paris as a practical addition to your travel packing, whether real or virtual.