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What are the best foods Paris is known for?

I'm going to Paris for the very first time in the spring!  What are the best foods Paris is known for and where can I find it?  I'll be traveling on a budget, so nothing too fancy, but if you can steer me in the right direction of the best croissants and french onion soup, etc, I'd love that!

6 Answers

top answer by
Melissa from Massachusetts

Jealous - I just got back from Paris and can't wait to return!  I echo what others before me have said, but can offer two VERY strong recommendations.

First - crepes.  Ignore the tourist-trap stands around the Eiffel Tower and other monuments, and head to Breizh Café for authentic Breton crepes, both sweet and savory, and all AMAZING.  Get a bowl of cider or share a carafe with a friend to complete your evening.

Second - bread/croissants/pastries/you name it - my husband and I found Au petit versailles du marais, near the Notre Dame, and went back twice more.  The (I think?) chocolatine aux amandes was one of the best things I've ever eaten (like a chocolate croissant with almonds), and their "baguette tradition" is one of the best in Paris.  Seriously.  They win awards.  Also, if you are a hot chocolate lover, their chocolat viennois is maybe the best hot chocolate I've ever experienced.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Breizh Café (restaurant)
  2. Au petit versailles du marais (attraction)
3 thanks

answered by
Vera from Katwijk, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands

Hello Hannah,

I like to go to the student streets in Paris. This is nearby the Notre Dame. Here you can eat for cheap but it's very tasty. I like to eat Escargots when i am in Paris. When you don't like that you can always eat some crêpes avec chocolat ! (yummie)  

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Notre Dame (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
isa from France

hi Hannah. firts of all, France is full of receipes and typical food. You can have croissants to begin your day, but you can also start with a good baguette with butter and hot chocolate to dip it in (no, it's not disgusting!). we usualy have onion soup at the end of a wedding... you should avoid any fast food or sandwich. if you seat in any restaurant or brasserie, try something you don't know : snails, oysters, or more classical apetizers, then a plate and a desert. we eat 3 plates at each lunch. you have some regional special dish : cassoulet, choucroute, tête de veau.... Of course, you should taste at least several kind of cheeses (you can buy them in a grocery, in a supermarket or on any market). for desert : tarte aux pommes, gateau au chocolat, paris brest, baba au rhum...  to choose your plate, it really dépends on how open minded you are and how far you can go because food is so diferent (and can be strange for foreigners). you can try a little place, very typical (but more and more full of tourist, though) : chez Chartier. Never mind if you don't know what you order ; it's simple and cheap! have a nice trip.

2 thanks

answered by
Renate from San Francisco Bay Area

Foie gras (the liver of a specially fattened goose or duck) with little dry toasts is iconic and truly delicious. (I actually wrote a blog post about a recent trip to Paris and mentioned unintentionally moaning - out loud! - when I took a bite!) It is not inexpensive but must be tried in Paris at least once! Salade nicoise with olives, boiled eggs and anchovies ("anchoix") is very nice and is pleasantly different and richer than our Americanized version. I had one August 2014 at L'Atlas Brasserie that was quite nice. Have a petit dejeuner every morning. It is similar to an American Continental breakfast but oh, so much lovelier with a fresh croissant, often a baguette, butter, fresh preserves (confiture), coffee or cafe au lait (similar to our cafe lattes - choose this in the mornings if you're a coffee drinker), and orange juiceIt is an economical and filling way to start your day.  A wonderful and relatively inexpensive dinner is a savory crepe from a street vendor. My favorites come from a stand just across the street from the Eiffel Tower -  the same crepe maker is there year after year (you can see him here - try jambon (ham) and emmanteler (swiss cheese) or chicken and emmanteler. A sweet crepe is an ideal dessert, too! Mmmmm! Try nutella and banana or one with chantilly ("shan-tee-yee" - whipped cream) or, my favorite, crepe au sucre, a plain crepe sprinkled with sugar. And, truly, no matter what the weather, an ice cream at Berthillon at Ile Saint-Louis is always the right idea. Pain au chocolat is sensually good.

And, the wines. The house red - vin rouge ("vahn rooj") - in any restaurant or bistro will generally be quite pleasing. Try a hefty bordeaux.

When you start to flag in the afternoon, sit in a cafe (preferably outside with a street view) and order "Un express." It is a tiny cup of espresso (I usually have mine with one sugar) and it will keep you going for hours.

Don't forget to have a baguette regularly. You can pick a special one up at any boulangerie. Oh, and cheese is a must!!! Try many different kinds - soft, hard, blues, camembert. But be very cautious if you're tempted to bring camembert home (and you will be tempted). No matter how many layers you use to wrap it, if you carry it on, it will make the flight home memorable for you and many passengers in your near vicinity!

Have a wonderful, wonderful time!!! I am tremendously excited for you!

Best Regards, Renate

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. L'Atlas Brasserie (restaurant)
  2. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  3. Berthillon (attraction)
  4. Ile Saint-Louis (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Ashley from Calgary

Croque monsieur (ham and cheese), pain au chocolat, creme brulee, crepes, macarons, brie, French onion soup.... 

1 thanks

answered first by
Jacey & Scott from Fort Collins

You must try croque madame (like a fancy grilled cheese with a fried egg on top), most corner bistros have an excellent version.  Coq au vin is fabulous, and a very traditional French dish (think chicken cooked in wine all day).  It's more Lyon-ish, but I adore cassoulet (traditional "stew").  That should get you started!

Don't leave out dessert:  eclairs, fruit tartlettes, macarons, galettes....

1 thanks

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