What Foods Can You Eat in Paris?
People travel from all over the world to experience the culinary wonders of Paris - and it's no mystery why. The capital of France brings the finest cuisine from all over the country, and as a major international hub, it also features delectable dishes from across the globe. Between Michelin-starred restaurants and markets filled with fresh produce, Paname is a foodie's paradise.
Because it has so much to offer, finding a restaurant or shopping for food in the City of Light can be overwhelming at times. However, with a bit of knowledge, you'll be able to graze your way through Paris like a pro.
Top Foods to Try
Though just about everything you try will wow your taste buds, you absolutely must try these French eateries and dishes while you stay in Paname.
Anything at a Traditional Patisserie and Boulangerie
Paying a visit to a French bakery should absolutely fall on your itinerary. Buy a baguette to nibble on as you stroll through the boulevards, or try classic pastries like croissants, macarons, or even a pain au chocolate.
Classic French Fare
Make sure to get your fill of traditional French foods at bistros or brasseries. The most quintessential dishes include steak-frites and duck confit. However, don't pass by corner shops and cafes either; a croque-monsiuer or jambon-beurre should also be on your list to try.
Sample Some Charcuterie
A charcuterie platter will include the three staples of French cuisine - bread, meat, and cheese. You can buy them separately at a market, or head to a bistro to drink a glass of wine while enjoying their finest meats and cheeses.
Eating at street stalls isn't just a great way to help you save money - it's also a great way to try Parisian classics like crepes. You can also experience some of the best ethnic options that Paname has to offer at a simple kebab stand.
Getting the Most Out of Your Experience
Even with hotel concierges and the magic of Google, deciding where to order these wonderful dishes can be quite difficult. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your culinary experience in France.
Take a Food Tour
Embarking on a day-long tour of French cuisine is perhaps the best way to enjoy the culinary wonders of Paris. Your local guide will show you the best markets, shops, and eateries that Paname has to offer, and you'll get to try loads of traditional fare. Tours are especially helpful if you have special dietary needs or kids since you can take special excursions geared toward your preferences.
Shop for a Picnic
Shopping for a picnic is also a great way to get to know French cuisine. Get lost in one of Paname's many open-air markets, or check out gourmet shops filled with cheeses and other goodies. Finally, enjoy the fruits of your effort at a gorgeous park.
While you should absolutely try the standard array of Parisian fare, you should also venture beyond your comfort zone and try something new. With it's stellar culinary culture, Paris is home to interesting concepts from raw food eateries to Japanese fusion patisseries - and they're all as fantastic as a traditional bistro.
For more information, please refer to the following pages:
- What is a typical breakfast in Paris?
In Paris, you’ll rarely find a local indulging in a hearty breakfast. In fact, the French generally consider breakfast to be the least important meal of the day, so a typical Parisian breakfast will be quite light—especially by American standards. For the most part, a traditional French breakfast will consist of a croissant or toast with butter or jam along with coffee. Some people may include yogurt or fruit with their breakfasts (but only rarely), and more decadent pastries, such as a pain au chocolat, are often reserved for weekends.
Although most French people stick with their traditions, breakfast habits in Paris are changing—no doubt due to international influence. Egg dishes like omelets are becoming more common on breakfast menus, and the avocado toast craze has hit Paris, too. So, while most Parisians will eat a traditional French breakfast, you can certainly find heartier options to start your day.
- Where do the locals eat in Paris?
When you think of where to eat in Paris, you may first think of famous Michelin-starred restaurants and world-renowned cafes. However, some of the best cuisine in Paris can be found at lesser-known eateries that are more popular among locals than food critics. Au Passage in the Bastille neighborhood, for instance, is a modern, inventive restaurant where chefs are known to congregate on Monday evenings. Locals also tend to enjoy Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. You can find plenty of kebab and falafel made on the streets of Paris, or you can check out restaurants like Miznon. Other local joints include Clamato, a no-reservations seafood restaurant with the same owner as Septime; L’Avant Comptoir, a wine bar with upscale bar snacks; and Dilia, an upscale pasta restaurant. If you truly wish to eat like a local, you should be willing to venture off the beaten path, and you should always ask for nearby suggestions from your hotel concierge or Airbnb host.
- Can I drink water from the tap in Paris?
Yes, you can safely drink tap water in Paris, and the vast majority of Parisians consume it on a daily basis. In fact, Parisians take pride in the high quality of their city’s drinking water. Instead of spending all of your Euros on bottled water, you should always ask for a pitcher of tap water - or carafe d’eau - at a restaurant, and you will be able to enjoy a glass of water from the sink at your hotel or AirBnB. When you’re on the go, you can bring your own water bottle with you and fill it up at Paris’s many public water fountains and bottle filling stations. You can even find three public sparkling water fountains if you crave a bit of carbonation. Thanks to Paris’s high-quality tap water, you can enjoy the city while being both budget-conscious and environmentally friendly.
- What should I eat when visiting Paris?
Paris is the culinary capital of the world, so you should do your best to try the following essential French foods during your visit. First, Paris is well-known for its baked goods, so you should make time to sample bakery staples like baguettes, croissants, pain au chocolat, and macarons. Next, you should head to one of the city’s many specialty cheese shops to sample French cheeses like camembert, brie, and comte - and don’t forget the charcuterie! You shouldn’t snack too much, however, since you’ll want to save room for lunch and dinner. For your meals, you should try French classics like duck confit, steak frites, and crepes. You should also make time to try some of the city’s international cuisine - especially Middle Eastern cuisine. Paris is a cultural melting pot, so you can often find excellent falafel, couscous, and even ramen at various Middle Eastern and Asian restaurants throughout the city.
- Where to eat good and cheap food in Paris?
Eating in Paris is a memorable experience, but if you’re not careful, you can easily blow your whole travel budget on food alone. Luckily, eating cheap, delicious food in Paris is quite easy if you know where to go. The first and most important tip for eating cheap in Paris is to avoid buying lunch or dinner in touristy areas, so you should seek cafes and bistros that are packed with actual Parisians in less-touristy parts of the city. Street vendors are another place where you can reliably find inexpensive food. A filling crepe from a street stall, for instance, will only cost a few Euros. Boulangeries can be another excellent place to find cheap eats. Most boulangeries offer a selection of sandwiches made with their breads, and even popular ones will offer lunch specials for under €10. Finally, if you want to enjoy a higher-end meal from a bistro or brasserie, choose a place with a fixed-price menu that include drinks, multiple courses, and desserts for the best deal possible.
- What are the best food markets in Paris?
Paris is well-known for its stunning markets that feature delectable local foods, but if you’re visiting Paris for only a week, you may not be able to visit them all. So, which food markets should you see before you leave the City of Light? Marché des Enfants Rouges is the oldest and most famous food market in Paris. This market was first established in 1628, and it features both local food products as well as food stalls that sell crepes, Japanese bentos, and even Moroccan couscous. If you want to visit a lively market with diverse fare, head to Marché d’Aligre. This market is also one of the most affordable ones in the city, and if you visit in the early afternoon, you may be able to haggle with the vendors to get a great deal. Finally, Marché Bastille is a great place to visit if you want to purchase souvenirs along with your picnic supplies. Though the market has many non-food vendors, you’ll find plenty of butchers, cheese shops, and fishmongers throughout the market.
- What kind of food will you find on Rue des Rosiers?
Rue des Rosiers is a famous street food destination located in Paris’s Jewish quarter. This area is filled with both locals and tourists, and it has plenty of sights to see with historic Synagogues and unique boutiques. Along with quaint shops and stunning architecture, you’ll find plenty of excellent food on this historic street. The majority of street food vendors here sell delicious Middle Eastern meals that are generally quite affordable, making this destination popular among locals, students, and travelers on a budget. L’As du Fallafel is, by far, the most popular restaurant in this area, but if you prefer to skip the line, then you’ll find similar quality falafel and other dishes at nearby restaurants. Israeli restaurant Miznon is another great choice in this area, and for traditional European Jewish food, head to Sacha Finkelsztajn. However, you should not visit this street on a Saturday since many Jewish restaurants close to celebrate Shabbat.
- Should you visit Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis?
If you head to Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis in the 10th Arrondissement, you’ll find one of the most diverse streets in all of Paris – if not the world. This street is packed to the brim with vendors selling a wide variety of cuisines from around the world – but primarily from Asia and the Middle East. One of the go-to spots here is Le Daily Syrien, which is famous for its cheap yet delicious sandwiches. However, while this street is a great destination for those looking for a delicious and cheap meal, some tourists tend to avoid the area because the 10th Arrondissement has somewhat of a reputation for being ‘unsafe’, and this claim is not totally unfounded thanks to the seedy characters that the Gare du Nord train station attracts late at night. However, Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis is a relatively safe up-and-coming area, so fans of diversity and cheap ethnic food should certainly visit.