The story

Gourmets may sigh with delight at the thought of dining in Paris, but many visitors wonder what the fuss is all about.

Begin your day the French way, with a café au lait and a piece of satisfyingly crusty baguette (we like to head to Montmartre to the Coquelicot boulangerie on Rue des Abbesses, complete with coffee served in a bowl and homemade jams) then brace yourself for a foray into the back streets.

Our top tip: avoid anything too close to the big tourist attractions -- if the menu comes in four different languages and the clientele are all studying their guidebooks, you're better off skipping lunch! If you've got a serious day of sight-seeing ahead, pack a picnic from the sumptuous foodhall at Galeries Layfayette (Boulevard Haussmann) or visit La Grande Epicerie at the Left Bank's grand dame department store, Au Bon Marche (Rue de Sevres). Read full article »