Before going to Paris, I could only fantasize about the delicious food I’d get when I arrived. Now, I’m here to share a real world take on what the food is like and how to eat on a budget, for the most part. 😉 *French Tip: ordering in French is easier than you think. A key phrase to remember is “Je voudrais” aka “I would like” and then the name of what you want to order.
Located conveniently in Terminal 1 of Charles de Gaulle Airport, Brioche Doree is the perfect first meal off the plane. It’s a small shop with seating and even a short bar with plugs so you can recharge your equipment and your soul. They specialize in sandwiches, like you see here, as well as desserts. This sammie was delicious and satisfying. On this baguette is chicken, boiled eggs, lettuce, tomato, and creamy dressing.
This place was a short walk from my hotel and only about a mile from the Eiffel Tower. Named after the street in which it’s located, Le Commerce comes equipped with both savory and sweet to fulfill the needs of any French seeking pallet. They have English menus and if you know minimal French to communicate you should be fine with any waiter. If not, there’s others who can speak English with you including the owner who I had quite a fun conversation with about where I’m from, Atlanta.
My first breakfast was free as part of my stay at 3 Ducks! This super convenient hostel was not only close to the action but was part of it, doubling as a bar that doubles as a restaurant for breakfast. Here is a pretty good sample of the offerings, orange juice, croissant, chocolate chip roll, chocolate cereal, and all the fun stuff to put on the bread.
Perhaps the most famous museum in the world, the Louvre is super exhausting so you need all the energy you can muster. Luckily, there’s not a shortage of places to get both sit down and quick nomz while strolling around. If you aren’t ready to try new things, there’s even a Starbucks, which admittedly is where this photo was taken from. Not from lack of wanting to try more authentic French but mainly due to time/lines. As you can tell from here, this map of Louvre is NO JOKE. Eat well, my friends.
I always try to eat at McDonald’s when in a new place to see what the difference in offerings is. Here I’m at the Louvre Carrousel location after the museum closed. You follow the tunnel past the gift shop and around where the pyramid comes to a point underground then up the stairs and BOOM! You can order from a kiosk and there’s an English menu. The drinks in France, at all places I ate from, come without ice. I always order drinks with no ice so I really felt like I belonged. Everything you see here is not available back home. First, wedge fries! What?! Then, a tasty wrap of crispy chicken with goat cheese. Yes, please! However, I must say – not uncommon in Paris – that there were at minimum of 4 mice running around whilst I ate. I definitely died a little.
Similar to Louvre, Versailles is an all day adventure on foot. There’s a formal dining and a quick dining in the form of Angelina. In the palace since 1903, Angelina provides a few types of baguettes and several macaroon options, as well as salads and a few other quick grabs. As you’d expect, they can also speak English. The customer in front of me was actually told to not bother with French and she could just speak English. Anyway, you walk up and order from the counter and pretty quickly are off to hope for a place to sit. To be fair, there’s lots of standing tables but I was fortunate to find *1* table open with 2 chairs so I pounced. I was so desperate to sit, I was trying to find a place on the floor but the space is very limited. To be honest, it was literal and metaphorical pain finding this place because the signs aren’t very helpful. It’s like OK there’s a food option around here but good luck finding it. 😅
To wrap up a few things I learned about food in Paris, I would have to say…
- I’ve never had better bread. The same looking pieces in USA would be hard, at least on the edge/top, but every piece here was light and buttery without being greasy. Also, baguette is better on sammies than slices.
- Speaking of sammies, slices of boiled egg seemed to enhance all of them. French sammies are better than American sammies.
- You can have a fine French cuisine and not hurt your heart when you see the bill.
Have you been to France, perhaps have a favorite restaurant outside the city? If you’ve never been, you might want to check out my Sampler Guide to Paris in case you find you have a few days there and not sure how to spend it. Also, don’t forget to come say hi on my other platforms such as Instagram and Facebook!