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Paris

paris sidewalk cafe

In Paris, there are memorable dining experiences around every corner -- from the melt-in-your-mouth croissants at a sunny sidewalk cafe to the spectacular culinary creations at the city's many Michelin-starred hot spots. If you're looking to try one of the latter, be sure to make your reservation well in advance, and consider a lunchtime visit to enjoy similar gourmet cuisine at more affordable prices.

A few tips for dining in Paris: The city's restaurants, cafes and bars are now non-smoking, at least indoors. As a result, outdoor patios are now smokier than ever. When looking at your bill, keep in mind that the tip is often included; however, it's customary to leave a few extra euros if the service was particularly good. Finally, never -- we repeat, never -- order a doggie bag for your leftovers.

Serious gourmands won't want to miss a meal at Epicure, where the ambience and incredible food make it clear why this restaurant at the luxury Le Bristol hotel has earned three Michelin stars. Reserve well in advance.

Les Bouquinistes, Guy Savoy's trendy Left Bank bistro, is located near Notre-Dame and offers elegant European cuisine such as rabbit leg with violet mustard and salmon a la plancha with lentils.

The combination of its Eiffel Tower location and spectacular food makes Le Jules Verne one of the most popular (and expensive) restaurants in Paris. Make your reservations months in advance -- though it's a bit easier to land a table at lunchtime.

Pierre Herme is the city's premier pastry chef and his creations can be found in multiple locations around the city. We love the glorious macaron confections in pistachio, praline, rose, dark chocolate and the like.

The stylish Le Martel serves up a delicious mix of French and Moroccan cuisine to a trendy clientele in the 10th arrondissement.

You can have ... er, buy your foie gras and eat it too at Granterroirs, located in the eighth arrondissement. Add truffles and other similar goodies for a memorable light lunch.

Passionate or casual tea drinkers should head straight for Mariage Freres, which has several locations around town. It sells hundreds of types of tea and has been in business since the mid-1800s.

It's worth heading a little bit out of town to dine at L'Atelier du Parc, where the gourmet French fare is excellent (as is the wine). The restaurant is easily accessible by Metro.

At Angelina, which has several locations, the famous hot chocolate is made using a secret recipe involving cocoa from Ghana, Niger and the Ivory Coast. And don't miss the amazing Mont-Blanc pastry.

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