If you’re ever looking to enjoy a delicious French meal, you’ll want to check out foods in Paris. From traditional to global, it has it all.
Just understand that “French” is very diverse and includes foods from North Africa, among others.
France colonized a lot of countries that are now in the Francophone community.
Some of the people from these countries have been present in France for hundreds of years, which is why their foods have become very French.
So, what are some of the foods in Paris?
A traditional French meal is typically several courses. Some Parisian courses are appetizers, main course, salad, cheese, and dessert.
On top of that, some might include aperitif and digestive.
Of course, bread and various drinks, including wine, will be around the whole time. Wines, of course, change depending on what’s served and when.
A popular trend is to use a four-course meal. Each course is unique and contains a variety of ingredients. For example, the starter course might include a soup.
A soup course might contain chicken or vegetable broth along with different types of rice, noodles, or vegetables.
The main course will the soup. This might be seafood, red meat, or poultry.
A fish course might include a variety of seafood, including cod, salmon, or shrimp. The red meat might be a beef course that might include filet mignon or another type of steak. The poultry course might include roast chicken or duck breast.
The salad course might include different types of greens along with creamy sauces or dressings.
The cheese course might include different types of cheeses such as Brie or Camembert.
And the dessert course might include a variety of pastries, including cakes and pies.
Sample Foods in Paris
If you’re in Paris and want to try a traditional French meal, try restaurants like Brasserie Flo in the 10th district, Chez Jenny Brasserie in the 3rd, Café de Flore in the 6th, or Café de la Paix in the 9th.
The address for Chez Jenny Brasserie is 39 boulevard du Temple, and Café de la Paix’s is 5 Place de l’Opera.
For North African French eateries, head to Chez Omar in the 3rd district or the Le Souk in the 11th district.
Chez Omar is at 47 Rue de Bretagne, and Le Souk’s address is 1 Rue Keller.
West African delights are all over the city, but I really love the Le Petit Dakar in the 3rd district and A La Banane Ivoirienne in the 11th.
Le Petit Dakar’s address is at 6 Rue Elzevir, and A La Banane Ivoirienne is at 10 Rue de la Forge Royale.
For some French island foods, check out île de la Réunion in the 14th district and the Moé Poké in the 8th.
For île de la Réunion, the address is 96 Rue Daguerre, Moé Poké is at 30 Rue de Miromesnil.
Popular Starter Foods in Paris
For a starter meal, try pissaladiere. It’s like pizza but doesn’t have tomatoes. With a distinctly French taste of olives, onions, and anchovies, it will definitely wow you. Although from Nice, this delicious item is popular in Paris.
Foie gras is something totally not French but is super popular in Paris. It comes from duck liver, and the name means “fat liver,” which is the way they raise the birds. This dish comes from Ancient Egypt, but it’s a great starter.
“I found this to be a little heavy,” says Chen, from Taiwan. “However, the flavors make me not regret it at all.”
Bouchées à la reine is popular starter. This savory dish originates from nearby Versailles. Rumor has it that it that a queen named Marie Leszczyńska in the 18th century created it. It’s a pastry that has goodies in it.
For a North African starter, try harira soup. It’s usually with lentils and served with bits of boiled eggs.
If you happen to be at a West African spot, try the arachides grillées. They are grilled peanuts.
Popular Main Course Foods in Paris
Nothing is more popular than canard au sang, which is a dish that originated in Paris. It’s prepared from pressing a duck with a special machine. Just don’t think about how it’s made.
Filet mignon is probably the most popular French main course outside of France, but it’s also popular here in Paris, too! There are at least a thousand ways to make it.
For a North African main course, try lamb tagine. This is a classic dish of lamb stew that often comes with couscous.
“It tastes delicious,” says Jack, an American.
West African delicious main course is thieboudienne. This is a rice dish that’s comes with meat and vegetables.
Potage St. Germain is a savory dish from Saint-Germain-en-Laye, a commune in the same region as Paris.
Other Courses to Try
Once the main course is served, typically, a salad course is served. So, why not try the aptly-named salade Parisienne or Parisian salad?
Generally speaking, this salad comes with potatoes and eggs on a bed of green vegetables.
Another course to try is the cheese one. You can get cheese from the region, something like the brie, which is from Seine-et-Marne. Seine-et-Marne is in the same region as Paris.
For dessert, try Paris yummies like the chouquettes and puits d’amour. So, the chouquettes are basically sugar puffs. And the puits d’amour have a hallow to them.
What makes foods in Paris unique is what makes the whole city what it is. This is a global city that has many cuisines, including its own regional one.
So, of course, the best thing to do is to try them all, right?
Nina Walker is a food writer for Caravanzers.
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