The Ultimate Guide to Food in Paris

Whenever I visit Paris, I try to pack in all my favourite foods. The problem is, I have a lot of favourite places, making it so that my trips revolve around food, which I’m totally fine with. In this guide, you’ll find the best places in Paris to eat, whether it’s a full on meal, a quick pastry stop, or sampling some of France’s wonderful bread. These selections have been sourced from me and my friends who have all lived like locals in Paris.

Helpful tips and tricks

Parisians are known for having slow (and rude) service. I don’t really think it’s rude—Americans are used to fast service with waiters constantly checking on us; the French prefer to enjoy their meals in peace! Some of these things you can’t help but these tips will help you live like a local in Parisian restaurants:

  • If you walk into a café and want a table, they will say either pour manger (to eat) or pour boire  (to drink). Say whichever one you’re there for.
  • To ask for the check, say l’addition s’il vous plaît
  • To save €€€, ask for un carafe d’eau for tap water instead of having to pay for bottled water
  • If you’re feeling ambitious and want to order in French, begin your order with je vais prendre… followed by what you want
  • If you’re visiting a boulangerie during the lunch rush, be sure to know what you want and how much it is—those lines move fast and the people want their food!

The best crêpes

There are so many characteristically French foods, but crêpes are one of my favourite. You can get crêpes either at crêperies or takeaway stands in Paris. You certainly can’t go wrong with either! While most go for the Nutella, you can’t go wrong with a classic butter sugar (beurre sucre) crêpe—a crêpe order, I was once told by a French crêpe-maker, that makes me French.

crepes paris

Crêperie Breton: This was my last dinner out in Paris when I lived there and it was great! I went here with friends and we were in the mood for something we couldn’t get in America. This restaurant did not disappoint. The service was a little spotty but the prices were cheap for Paris. Be sure to get there either early or late when it comes to dinner because we had to wait around 20 minutes as the restaurant has very few tables [it was worth it]. It is located at 67 Rue de Charonne at Metro stop République.

Crêpes d’Or: Located at 27 Rue de Four close to metro stop Mabillon, these crêpes come highly recommended. My close friend has said that their chicken and cheese crêpe is her favourite food in the world!

Le Cap Breton: Le Cap Breton is located on 12 rue Monsigny off of Metro 4 séptembre near Opéra. I got cider, a main dish crêpe and a dessert crêpe for €12. There were NO tourists in this restaurant which was great and the service was fast and very good! There were a lot of crêpes on the menu and everyone in my group loved theirs. Be sure make the trip to it if you’re near Opera Garnier!

La Droguerie: I may or may not have enjoyed one of these crêpes twice a week when I lived in Paris, if that’s any indication for their deliciousness. This is a takeaway crêperie at its finest. Order at the window and they make your crêpe right before your eyes. Located at 56 Rue des Rosiers in Le Marais, this place will leave you wanting more. Head here after you try the falafel at l’As du Falafel (more on that below)

Nadia: I discovered this gem on my last day in Paris. This is another perfect (and cheap!) takeaway place located at 94 Boulevard Saint-Germain, right next to metro Cluny – La Sorbonne. Get a crepe or two and enjoy them in the Jardin médiéval right across the street.

The best pastries

I live for pastries. I’ve said many times before that I would survive off them if I could. In fact, I considered doing that in Paris, which is probably why I gained like 10 pounds in six weeks. #worthit

Pralus: Located on 35 Rue Rambuteau (close to Centre Pompidou) and 44 Rue Cler (close to the Eiffel Tower), Pralus houses probably my favourite pastry of ALL TIME: the praluline, a pink candied praline brioche loaf. You will never ingest something as good ever again. While a little pricey (I think a small loaf is €6), it is completely worth it and tastes like heaven!

pralus paris praluline

Pierre Hermé: If you want the best macarons, head here. Ladurée is overrated in my opinion and the macarons here are delicious with inventive and fresh flavours. I dream about these babies. Find stores at 185 Rue Vaugirard and 4 Rue Cambon.

pierre herme macarons

La Petite Marquise: If you want a great croissant, visit 3 Place Victor Hugo. There are few things I wouldn’t do for a good croissant.

Stohrer: For great eclairs, head to this slightly touristy spot on 51 Rue Montorgueil!

eclairs paris

La Pâtisserie Cyril Lignac: For those of you who like chocolate (aka just about everyone but me), head here for a great pain au chocolat.

Korcarz: If you’re craving baklava, this bakery is a must. They also have amazing apple tarts, beautiful breads, and other delicious foods. Bonus: It’s almost right across the street from La Droguerie so you can get two treats in one spot! Located at 29 Rue des Rosiers, this place made the first kosher bread after the Second World War.

baklava korcarz paris

Le Quartier du Pain: The last time I visited Paris, I stayed right next to this wonderful bakery. Their chaussons aux pommes (pastries filled with apple compote) are to die for! Not to mention, the sweetest and most cheerful French ladies worked there. Located at 270 Rue de Vaugirard, 93 Rue Raymond Losserand and 74 Rue Saint-Charles.

chausson aux pommes

Le Petit Lux: Steps away from le Jardin du Luxembourg on the corner of Rue Vaugirard and Rue Cassette, right next to an Asian restaurant, this boulangerie has the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. You’ll know you’ve made it if you get there between 12 and 1 and there is a long line outside the door (don’t worry, it moves fast). I could usually get a sandwich and a dessert pastry (try the millefeuille or the macaronade) for about 7 or 8 euros and take them to the park for a picnic. I recommend the ham and cheese or the chicken, but they have several varieties and the workers are all really nice! Definitely a place for locals so remember to point to what you want or learn your sandwich vocab before you go.

sandwich parisien

The best restaurants

Obviously, I can’t even begin to go into all the amazing restaurants in Paris. There is something to cater to every taste, budget, and diet. These are my favourites, and in my opinion, the best for a traveller who isn’t super adventurous when it comes to food, and who is on a budget but is still willing to buy nice meals.

*note* the crêperies are also restaurants but for brevity, I have not listed them here!

Au Petit Suisse: A very cute restaurant right by le Jardin du Luxembourg, this place is full of locals eating croques (open-faced sandwiches) and planches (platters of meats and cheeses). I’ve been twice and wouldn’t hesitate to go again!

au petite suisse croque campagnard

Les Philosophes:  On Rue Vieille du Temple in Le Marais, Les Philosophes is a nice French restaurant with decent prix fixe menus. While I have to say that this wasn’t my favourite dining experience (the service was horrible and the food took forever), it was still fun to eat good food where all the bougie Parisians were eating!

Semilla: My friend raves about this restaurant on Rue de Seine. It features a super up-and-coming chef and you can see into the kitchen!

Cafés: I obviously can’t go through this post without mentioning cafés. Café culture is a very big deal in France, and nothing is better than sitting outside at a café when the weather is nice sipping something delicious and chatting with friends. I ate at way too many cafés in Paris to remember which ones were the best. A good rule of thumb: if the outdoor seating area is crowded, it is a good café.

tarte tatin

*be careful not to leave your mobile phone on the table—it will get pickpocketed!*

Angelina: Now, I’m not a fan of this place because its famous beverage, hot chocolate, is not my cup of tea. However, my friends couldn’t love its thick, creamy chocolat chaud more!

Bonus foods:

Paris isn’t only home to French food. It has vibrant North African and Jewish communities that lend nicely to its food culture.

For the BEST FALAFEL of your life, head to l’As du Falafel. I ate here at least twice a week when I lived there. You can wait to eat inside but I prefer to get my falafel at the window (it’s €2 cheaper) and find a stoop to sit on and eat! Don’t go on Saturday because it’s Sabbath so it’ll be closed; but, if you just can’t kick that falafel craving on a Saturday, head across the street to Mi Va Mi, which is the second best falafel in Paris! Both are located on Rue des Rosiers in Le Marais.

falafel paris

This is actually the falafel from Mi Va Mi because I always scarfed down the falafel from l’As du Falafel too fast for photos ;)

For North African cuisine, head to Saint Denis (a perfect stop if you’re visiting Basilique Saint-Denis).

north african food paris

For the best ice cream, head to Berthillon. There are so many delicious flavours! I prefer Amorino gelato, though, as they make your gelato into the shape of a flower :) Both can be found on Ile Saint-Louis.

For Indian food, head to Passage Brady, closest to Strasbourg Saint-Denis and Château d’Eau. You’ll have your fair pick of spicy cuisine (unusual for France) with a covered hall of different Indian restaurants.

For American food, (yes, sometimes I craved it), head to Berko on Rue Rambuteau (close to Pralus) for delicious mini cupcakes. They have really yummy flavours if you’re craving this American dessert. If you want a hot dog, head to Pat’s US Hot Dog on 56 rue du Roi de Sicile in le Marais. I’m not a huge hot dog fan but they were very good!

berko cupcakes paris

Low-cost dining

If you’re on a major budget, you can’t go wrong with buying food at a market or grocery store and creating a little picnic in one of Paris’s many parks. It’s hard to beat a baguette, cheese and fruit in a park on a nice day!

What’s your favourite food in Paris?

The Ultimate Guide to Food in Paris: Everything you need to know about eating like a local in the city of light.

France, Travel Tips, Travels
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  • Karen
    29 April 2017 at 18:44

    I loved the desserts in Paris. I wish I could remember the name of the bakeries, but this post just made me hungry and wish I could have dinner tomorrow in Paris. Saved for my trip, especially the macarons

    • almathews
      29 April 2017 at 23:13

      Agreed. There’s nothing like a Parisian dessert. I miss them so much but it’s probably best for my health that they’re not readily available ;) Glad you found it useful, especially about the macarons…Pierre Hermé is definitely the best!

  • Vrithi Pushkar
    29 April 2017 at 19:59

    This post is super awesome and super helpful. I cant wait to go and try out all your recommendations. Your pictures made me very hungry .

    Vrithi Pushkar
    http://www.epicuriouspassport.com/

    • almathews
      29 April 2017 at 23:11

      Thank you!! I hope you get to try some of them soon. I know what you mean though…I stayed up late one night to write this post and was SO starving after!

  • Rhiannon
    30 April 2017 at 00:54

    This made me super hungry! Food in Paris looks delicious, even more reason to visit :D

  • Liz
    30 April 2017 at 02:44

    This post is awesome. I’m a huge fan of crepes, so I will definitely check some of the places out next time I’m in Paris.

    • almathews
      30 April 2017 at 11:24

      Aww I’m so glad you found it helpful! I love crepes too and ate SO many of them when I lived in Paris.

  • Megan Johnson
    30 April 2017 at 11:07

    I want to go to Paris SO BAD and this makes me want to go even more! This all sounds so good. I love trying new food, especially desserts! I will definitely be back to this!

    • almathews
      30 April 2017 at 11:25

      I hope you get to go soon! It’s a magical city with heavenly food (especially the desserts) ;)

  • Bri
    30 April 2017 at 11:27

    I am SO HUNGRY now!! I’m visiting Paris for the first time this August so I’m bookmarking this for reference!!

    • almathews
      30 April 2017 at 11:34

      Ahhh you’ll love it! I’m so glad you found this useful and I hope you get to visit some of these places. Let me know if you have any questions about Paris…I’m working on a city guide right now but it’s taking awhile as there so much to see in Paris but I’d be happy to help in any way :)

  • Jamie
    30 April 2017 at 11:37

    So much YES! Ugh I want all of this! I think next Spring I’m going to head back to Paris so when I do I’ll be sure to give this another read! Thanks, hon!!

    • almathews
      30 April 2017 at 11:47

      I want all of this right now too! Writing this made me so nostalgic haha. So glad you found this useful and I hope you get to visit some of these places when you go back! :)

  • Alex Peters
    30 April 2017 at 12:46

    Wow, mouth is absolutely watering now after reading this. I love how you included how to communicate with staff at a restaurant, super helpful.

    • almathews
      30 April 2017 at 16:37

      Thanks! I know how frustrating it can be to order at a restaurant where you don’t speak the language (especially in Paris, where they can get frustrated if you’re don’t understand what’s going on haha)

  • Lisa - The Wandering Lens
    30 April 2017 at 14:19

    This is amazing!! Thanks for mentioning l’As du Falafel, I always see people walking around with yummy looking falafels and I never know where to go and end up with a 8euro stale baguette haha. Au Petit Suisse looks amazing too!

    • almathews
      30 April 2017 at 16:39

      Yes l’As du Falafel is THE place to go! There is usually a long queue but it moves quickly (they pride themselves on that). Definitely grab some from the window and sit on a stoop to eat it…it’s the only way. Au Petit Suisse is heavenly and the service is really good. Every time I’ve gone they’ve been super nice and accommodating.

  • Kim | thosewhowandr.com
    30 April 2017 at 14:28

    What a great guide! I’m a total foodie but haven’t had the chance to visit Paris yet, totally saving your list for when I go. Thanks!

    • almathews
      30 April 2017 at 16:41

      If you’re a foodie, you’ll definitely love Paris! Hope you get to go to some of these places when you visit :)

  • Madi | Restless Worker
    30 April 2017 at 16:23

    Okay damn you I am seriously hungry now! I’ve only ever been in Paris for 36 hours but I swear it was the most delicious 36 hours I’ve ever had. I have this weakness for bakers that as soon as I walk in I feel like I need to buy everything. This was only made worse in Paris with the croissants obviously.

    • almathews
      30 April 2017 at 16:42

      Right?! I completely identify with that SO much. I would eat like 3 pastries a day (at least) along with some very yummy meals! It’s so hard not to in Paris when the food is so delicious.

  • Kaylene
    30 April 2017 at 20:46

    Well, you officially made me hungry! I loved having crepes in France! I’ll definitely need to refer to this post when I get back to Paris; everything looks amazing!

    • almathews
      30 April 2017 at 20:56

      Glad you found this helpful! All the crêpes are amazing and so is everything else in Paris :)

  • Katie
    30 April 2017 at 22:54

    This is making me want to go back to Paris SO BADLY. Definitely bookmarking for when I get to go back! I love visiting Restaurant Le Coupe-Chou when I’m in Paris, it’s my absolutely favorite.

    • almathews
      1 May 2017 at 14:01

      Ohhh I’ll have to check out that restaurant! I wish I could go to Paris and eat everything without worrying about money or weight gain!

  • Riley
    1 May 2017 at 00:39

    I’m looking at going to Paris in September so I’m going to have to keep this handy!

    • almathews
      1 May 2017 at 14:01

      Awesome! Glad you found it useful :)

  • Birthe (from Wandering the World)
    1 May 2017 at 08:35

    We’re heading to Paris in 2 weeks, so this comes in handy! I LOVE a good croissant or eclair. Basically all pastries actually, but the best have pudding ánd chocolate. ;)

    • almathews
      1 May 2017 at 14:02

      Awesome! I hope you get to make it to some of these spots. I’m obsessed with pastries too and you can’t go wrong with any patisserie in Paris in my opinion ;)

  • Diana - MVMT Blog
    1 May 2017 at 08:55

    Great tip about getting a carafe of water – took me a while to figure that one out so I spent a lot more money on water than I needed to. One of my favorite restaurants in Paris is in the 15th arr. away from all the touristy things. It’s called Arthur & Juliette, and it’s this cute little restaurant with excellent service and delicious French cuisine. :)

    • almathews
      1 May 2017 at 14:03

      Yeah the first time I went to Paris I didn’t find out until the end of my trip but it really makes meals so much cheaper! Ahh the restaurants with no tourists are the BEST. I’ll have to check that one out when I visit again one day :)

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