Eating in Paris
Parisian cuisine specialties
Eating in Paris
Paris is one of the gastronomic capitals of Europe , and in its restaurants you can enjoy delicious French and international dishes.
Before talking about the culinary specialties around these parts, we are going to explain the different types of establishments where food is served in Paris, so you don’t get overwhelmed with terminology:
Differences between brasserie, bistro and restaurant
Brasserie, bar-brasserie or café-brasserie, is a typical semi-formal type of French restaurant. Its name refers to the brewing, or brewery. Some have “formule” or daily menu at lunch or dinner, which makes them a cheaper option. They serve food all day long, from early morning until late at night.
They are usually smaller than brasseries, with a family atmosphere, rustic or more informal. The typical neighborhood place with its small and cheaper menu written on a blackboard.
The biggest difference between bistros and beer halls or brasseries: Bistros are usually only open for lunch and dinner, closing in the afternoon between the two services.
You can find restaurants in Paris that range from reasonably priced to incredibly expensive. With a refined or simpler atmosphere. Now, the term “ Restaurant Gastronomique ” refers to high-class restaurants, with or without Michelin stars. Among this category are those on this list of the best restaurants in Paris.
Now, take into account that what we explained above is the theory, in practice the names of the places are not the only thing that you have to check to make sure that it fits what you want to eat or your budget. You should take into account that the name may refer to the environment or the public they want to attract, or you may be entering a brasserie with a lot of history that has less friendly prices, for example. To be sure, you can see the menu with the prices of the place at the entrance of the establishment.
Below we’ll show you some examples of what you’d get in a traditional Parisian restaurant, with their names in French to help you identify them when you see them on a menu.
What to eat in Paris
These typical French dishes are part of what you can try in Paris:
Snails or “Escargots”
French specialty with the land snail as the protagonist. The type of snail known as the Burgundy snail is usually prepared , with a parsley and garlic butter in each hole.
It is usually served as an hors d’oeuvre , that is, an appetizer or entree. They contain approximately 15% protein, 2.4% fat, and 80% water.
It is nothing more than goose or duck liver pate that is usually eaten with bread, as an appetizer or as part of another dish.
Foie gras is a controversial food (whose production is prohibited in several countries) since to produce it, they must give the animal a forced diet that makes it gain weight.
The delicious Ratatouille is a very popular combination of stir-fried vegetables, originating from the south-east of France. As a rule, it has a base of tomatoes, with onions, aubergines and zucchini, although it can vary depending on the cook.
It is served hot or cold, as a main dish or as a side dish.
It is a good vegetarian option.
Exquisite stew that is prepared very slowly, with meat and red wine.
It is prepared accompanied by garlic, onions and a bouquet of aromatic herbs that usually includes parsley, bay leaf and thyme.
It is a very strong dish, with a very delicious rich and dark sauce. Recommended especially on a cold winter day.
Duck confit is a French dish made with duck, which is salted and preserved in its own fat to enhance the flavor.
When it is going to be eaten, it is removed from the fat, washed a little and cooked in the oven or in a frying pan gently in the fat of the duck itself.
Coq Au Vin
Very popular stew in France, which we could simply define as rooster (or chicken) in wine. It has fried onions and bacon, to which turnips or mushrooms are added, depending on the cook.
They flavor it with herbs such as bay leaf and thyme.
Steaks with sauce and chips
Are you a lover of a good steak? Parisians do not disappoint when it comes to succulent meats. You cannot leave Paris without eating a plate of meat and chips accompanied by a succulent sauce.
You can try for example the “Pavé de rumsteack sauce poivre, frites fraîches ” which literally translates as Tenderloin steak with pepper sauce and French fries from the Bouillon Chartier.
The Steak tartare is as you imagined, a beef tartare. It is a particular dish that not everyone likes, made with raw ground beef.
It is generally accompanied by onions and capers and a good dose of fresh pepper on top.
On the menu you can find it as œuf à cheval if it also has a raw egg on top.
French fondues and cheeses
The Gallic country is very famous for this dairy product and has a wide variety of cheeses, exactly one for each day of the year and even an extra variety in case the year is a leap year.
cheese boards on their menu that are usually accompanied by dried fruits such as walnuts, assiette de fromages it is called, and it is a fairly cheap option to eat in Paris.
These are some of the French cheeses that you can enjoy in Paris: Camembert, Brie, Rochefort, Boursin, Reblochon, Munster, Époisses, Vieux Boulogne and many more.
If you are a huge fan of cheese, like us, you will surely also be delighted to know that there are very good fondue restaurants in Paris.
Although it is a dish of Swiss origin, the French neighbors have adopted it very well. Here we leave you three of the places that we consider serve the best fondues in Paris:
The classic croissants, or crossaint in French, somewhat butterier than in other countries, are served with sweet or plain for breakfast.
They are everywhere and it is a cheap option for a simple and quick meal.
pain au chocolat
From a croissant-like dough, Paris has another treat known as Pain au Chocolat, or chocolate bread.
In Spain it is known as Napolitana (despite the name it is a French specialty).
The local sweet specialty par excellence are the crepes, wheat flour disks that can be included with melted chocolate, ice cream, or fruit on top to later roll it up as desired. There are also salty versions.
Parisians are fans of chocolate , and they worship it by eating it from the best chocolatiers, check out these places to buy chocolate in Paris and treat yourself.
Macarons , those little colorful cookies that have become very fashionable in recent years, despite having Italian roots, were created exactly as they are known here in France. These are pastries made with ground almonds, egg whites and sugar, and are filled with ganache.
Without forgetting the accompaniment of every memorable meal, a good wine.
In France, the “colors” of wine are identified as follows: Vin blanc (white wine) / Vin rouge (red wine) / Vin rosé (rosé wine) and Vin gris (grey wine, which is a variant of rosé).
To get to know the best of French wines, you can do this wine tasting in Paris.
On the other hand, did you know that champagne can only be considered champagne if it is French?
It comes from the Champagne region, in the extreme north of France, and the grapes with which it is made must be from this region and comply with the traditional double fermentation method.
You can go on a Champagne tour from Paris by renting a car, but if you prefer to enjoy the tastings without having to drive, you can book a Champagne tour from Paris with transfers and lunch.
Eat cheap in Paris
It is possible to eat well and cheaply in Paris . It is true that the city has many restaurants that each year are included in the lists of the most expensive on the planet, but you will also see that there are so many places to eat in Paris that the competition is great and this is the best for us, the ones we love eat well and pay a fair price.
You can see this post that we made to group 5 good and cheap restaurants in Paris, with options that make a traveler happy.
A good and cheap option can be to buy ready-to-go food, both French and international, in one of the famous Parisian street markets.
What you should know before going to a restaurant in Paris
- Meal hours in most restaurants are usually 11:30 am to 2:00 pm for lunch and 7:30 pm to 11:00 pm for dinner; although the brasseries remain open all day.
- Restaurants are usually closed on Sundays and Mondays.
- Tips are usually included in the bill (15% of the total) but it never hurts to add a few euros unless you are not satisfied with the service.
- The restaurants have smoking and non-smoking areas. You will be asked upon entering which side you want to be on.
- Eating on the terraces carries a supplement in the price in many places. By law, the site is required to post its prices in a visible place at the bar or terrace. If you want to save a little more, and don’t mind eating a quick breakfast or snack, eat at the bar.
- Parisians have adopted the custom of Happy Hour around 4 and 6 pm. many places serve drinks and tapas with special offers such as 2×1 or 50% discount.
Recommended restaurants in Paris
Places in Paris with French and international food for all budgets.
5 restaurantes buenos y baratos en París
Selection of cheap places to eat in Paris. French and international food.
Restaurant Le Bouillon Chartier
An already legendary restaurant, located in the 9th arrondissement for more than 100 years. Good prices and good atmosphere.
Shawarma in Le Marais
Shawarmas of world fame, its name: L’As du Fallafel. Delicious dishes, good prices. In Le Marais.
Top 5 chocolate boutiques in Paris
Chocolateries that make the French capital a paradise for lovers of chocolate and fine pastries.
Le Relais de l'Entrecôte
Paris restaurant that has become famous worldwide for the delicious butter sauce with which they serve their sirloin steaks with french fries.