By Melanie Fish, HomeAway's Family Travel Expert
Here’s the one thing I wish someone had told me about Paris before my trip. The cuteness of the café is not an indicator of the food quality inside. If I had known this, I would not have fallen into a jet-lagged coma while sawing through the steak part of my steak frites.
I learned my Paris “one thing” the hard way after arriving from the U.S. at 9 a.m. and forcing myself to stay awake all day. Conquering jet lag seemed doable after I got a surge of energy seeing the best view in Paris from my two-bedroom HomeAway apartment. But by 7 p.m., I was dragging and decided to wander into a nearby bistro with a precious purple awning and sidewalk tables full of my new, temporary Parisian neighbors.
The food was not good, and I felt a little weepy about wasting my first Paris dinner. I repeated the mistake once more during the trip when I wandered into a café late at night for French onion soup. (Would it be just onion soup when ordered in France?) It was another disappointment. Now I know that search engines and recommendations are miraculous things. I never had a bad meal after googling “best restaurants near me.” My best Paris meals came after recommendations from an American journalist who has been living in Paris for two decades (thanks, Peter Mikelbank!)—fois gras and cassoulet at La Fontaine du Mars and a casual savory gallette at Creperie Chez Yannick. The exception to my Paris “one thing” is croissants. I never had a bad one from a convenience store, la brasserie, or bistro. So here’s my recommendation—brew your coffee in your apartment, grab a croissant at the closest corner store, and spend your breakfast planning your dinner.
Melanie Fish is HomeAway’s family travel expert. She spent a lot of time in Paris when HomeAway put a temporary apartment inside the Eiffel Tower.