Planning an incredible Paris itinerary? If so then eating all of the most famous food in Paris should be at the very top of your to-do list.
Trust me on this people. I’ve been to Paris dozens of times and know firsthand that the city of light truly does live up to all the hype that surrounds it as a foodie capital of the world.
I mean, as you stroll down an endless array of cobblestone streets you’ll find tons of traditional food in Paris like fresh crepes, delectable macarons, scrumptious eclairs, and soul-nourishing onion soup.
But, if it’s your first time in Paris, it can be difficult to discern which famous cafes in Paris serve some of the best and most popular food in Paris and…which ones you should probably avoid like the plague.
Thankfully though, I want to share all of my expert tips with you. This way you can quickly and easily enjoy all of the most immortal food Paris is known for.
So, be sure to add tons of elastic waist pants to your Paris packing list as we swan dive into this post on all of the most famous food in Paris.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
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After all, this past year has been a wild ride and I don’t want you to lose money because government regulations have changed.
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Therefore, find an insurance agency that covers travel changes related to COVID-19, like my two all-time faves World Nomads and Safety Wing. You can also read more about which policy is right for you in my full review here.
Where to Stay in Paris
Paris is brimming over with magical hotels that are well-priced, centrally located, and meticulously outfitted with top-notch amenities and decor.
However, these exquisite accommodations can be difficult to uncover if you’re new to the city and sifting through countless options on the internet.
And that’s why I’ve compiled this list of my favorite Parisian hotels of all time. This way, regardless of your budget, you can find a fantastic home base from which to sample all the most famous food in Paris.
- Exe Panorama (budget) – This sleek, understated 3-star hotel features rooms, priced under $100 per night, that sit inside a stunning, Haussmann-style building. The hotel is also 5 minutes away from the Cadet metro station and sleek rooms come with balconies, flat-screen TVs, desks, and WiFi. Plus, a daily Continental breakfast buffet is also available for a small fee.
- Hotel Veryste (budget) – Honestly, I don’t know any other place in Paris where you can book a room in a central, 4-star hotel for under $90 per night. Plus, accommodations here feature vibrant suites with parquet floors, WiFi, and flat-screen TVs with cable. A continental breakfast is also served daily and the Cadet metro station is just 550 feet away.
- Hôtel Marais Bastille (mid-range) – This refined, minimalist, 3-star hotel is well-located near the Bréguet-Sabin metro station. It’s also a fabulous accommodation with reasonably priced rooms that feature WiFi, flat-screen TVs, desks, etc. You can also enjoy daily breakfast in their chic dining room (additional fee) or sip on complimentary drinks in their gorgeous lounge.
- Chouchou Hotel (Luxury) – Opulence at its finest, this stunning 4-star hotel near Palais Garnier is known for its impeccable service and wealth of premium amenities. It also has stunning rooms that feature inlaid designs, WiFi, flat-screen TVs, and in-room breakfast (additional fee). Guests can even indulge in a sumptuous breakfast feast beneath a gorgeous stained-glass ceiling in the dining room (additional fee).
What is Paris’ Most Famous Food?
The most famous food in Paris of them all is the croissant. It is a classic pastry with a buttery, flakey crust that you absolutely MUST try while in Paris.
Trust me, even if you don’t typically like croissants, you’ll love them here. However, some other famous foods in Paris include crepes, eclairs, escargot, cheese, macarons, and French onion soup (or just onion soup).
What is the Traditional Food of Paris?
Steak Frites, or steak and fries in English, is a quintessential Parisian dish that is served in just about any bistro in the city.
So, head to a traditional brasserie and enjoy this decadent French delight amidst red checkered table cloths, smartly dressed waitstaff, and light fixtures adorned with brass.
Why is Paris Famous for Food?
Paris is famous for its food because of its incredible markets. See, these iconic centers of foodie commerce are scattered all across the city and enable eager shoppers/restaurants to procure the freshest produce, most incredible cheese, and the highest quality meats.
So, stop by famous markets like Marché d’Aligre and pick up some fresh bread and cheese for a picnic in the park.
Otherwise, you can opt to try iconic Parisian street foods like falafel at L’As du Fallafel and crepes at Cafe Breizh.
Famous Food in Paris You Must Try Now
1. Escargot – L’Escargot Montorgueil
As you might already know, Escargot is French for snail and that is exactly what this dish is – snails.
Traditionally served in the shell, escargot is a delicious buttery French dish. And the snails you’ll be eating are indigenous to area.
However, they are typically cooked out of the shell before being placed back into the shell before being served to you on a plate.
Butter is also typical, both for cooking the snails and as an accompaniment to the dish. Although, you’re just as likely to find this dish cooked in wine or another type of broth.
Now, generally speaking, the predominant flavor of the dish is based on whatever the snails are cooked in since the snails themselves don’t actually have a strong flavor.
And while you can get, and often will find, escargot as an hors d’oeuvres, it may also simply be a features ingredient in another dish.
Now, Escargot is such a famous food in Paris that it is not only found on many traditional French menus but is also sold canned in the grocery store too.
So, if you’re looking for traditional, and time-tested escargot, go to L’Escargot Montorgueil. After all, they’ve been serving escargot using the same recipe, with some slight modern variations, since 1832.
Address: 38 Rue Montorgueil, 75001 Paris, France
Hours: Open daily from 12:00 pm to 12:00 am.
Price: You can get 36 pieces for €80.00.
How to Get There: Take the 4 to Étienne Marcel/Les Halles station and walk from there.
2. Croissants – La Maison d’Isabelle
Interestingly enough, the croissant was actually first created in Austria and was originally known as a kipfel.
Since then though, the humble croissant has been transformed into the flakey, buttery, French pastry that we all know and love.
In fact, legend dictates that it was Marie Antoinette who introduced the croissant to France.
But, despite the many possible folklores and explanations surrounding the history of the croissant, one thing is certain, it is a staple of the French diet that is also a famous food in Paris.
Therefore, you won’t have to go far to find a delicious croissant in Paris.
Full of butter, a recurring theme in French cuisine, the smell of baking fills Parisian streets each morning after the croissant dough is rolled, folded, and rolled again.
Also, as the name suggests, this light and fluffy pastry is typically served in a crescent shape, hence the name of this traditional food in Paris.
And while any croissant from La Maison d’Isabelle is a good croissant, the pan au chocolat (chocolate croissant) is highly recommended, or just a selection of their various pastries in addition to one of their flaky, buttery, fresh croissants.
Plus, these delectable delights are just as affordable as they are delicious.
Address: 47ter Bd Saint-Germain, 75005 Paris, France
Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm and on Sundays from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Price: They start at around €1 each.
How to Get There: Take the 10 to Cluny La Sorbonne station and walk from there.
3. Jambon-beurre – Le Petit Vendôme
Translated to ham-butter, the Jambon-beurre is a famous food in Paris. After all, it’s wildly simple, perfectly classic, and a very handy little sandwich.
Served on a baguette, cut lengthwise, smeared with a bountiful amount of butter (see, a recurring theme here), and layered with thinly sliced ham, the Jambon-beurre is pure culinary perfection.
In fact, it originated in the late 19th century when the Jambon-beurre – sometimes referred to as “the Parisien” – was created due to the fact that its simplicity meant that subpar ingredients couldn’t hide behind overpowering sauces.
Therefore, for this traditional food in Paris to be truly satisfying, the ham and baguette must be of the highest quality. It’s also said that roughly 3 million of these sandwiches are sold per day across France.
So yeah, clearly this is a popular food in France.
Now, as simple and timeless as the Jambon-beurre is, not every restaurant serves this sandwich to perfection.
So, if you want to sample this famous food in Paris, head to Le Petit Vendôme. It’s a great little spot where these sandwiches are served at diner-esque tables, at the counter, or to take away.
Pro Tip: Get your sandwich to-go and have a very Parisian picnic in the Jardin des Tuileries just around the corner.
Address: 8 Rue des Capucines, 75002 Paris, France
Hours: Open Monday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Tuesday through Friday from 8:00 am to 2:00 am, and Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 am.
Price: Starts at €9.50 each.
How to Get There: Take the 3/7/8 to Opera or the 8/12/14 to Madeleine and walk from there.
4. Macarons – Laduree
Sometimes referred to as a French Macaroon, but not to be confused with a macaroon (a coconut cookie), macarons are delightful little egg-based treats.
In fact, this famous Paris food is kind of like a tiny little sandwich that is made of two meringue cookies (essentially nothing more than egg whites, sugar, air, and love – though do note for those allergic that almond meal is used) pressed together with a jam or cream spread in the center.
Then, as you bit into this traditional food in Paris, the outside crunches down to give way to a soft, slightly sticky, airy, smooth interior.
Historically though. macarons are believed to have been brought to France by the Italian chef of Catherine de Medici.
Today though, macarons can be seen in bakery windows all across the country.
As a result, the streets of Paris are now bright with the vibrant flavors of macarons – everything from raspberry to foie gras – that come in every color of the rainbow and are beautifully wrapped up in enchanting, pastel-hued packaging.
And the display counter at Laduree is about as bright as it gets. You can make your own box to take away or just try one. Flavors range from black sesame to cherry blossom tea, with pistachio being one of my personal favorites.
Pro Tip: Although Laduree is well-known for its stellar macarons, and for serving the best afternoon tea in Paris, you can also get amazing macarons from Pierre Hermes too.
Address: 75 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris, France
Hours: Open daily from 8:00 am to 9:30 pm.
Price: A box of 6 macarons starts at €18.50 each.
How to Get There: Take the 1 to George V station or the 9 to Saint-Philippe-du-Roule station and walk from there.
5. Steak Tartare – Le Severo
You might assume that this famous food in Paris is currently written French and needs an English translation.
However, it actually doesn’t since the name of this traditional food in Paris is the same in both languages (tartare de boeuf in French).
See, the word tartare comes from the name of the sauce the steak was once served with, something that may have Mongol origins.
That being said, steak tartare is actually nothing more than raw minced beef that is usually served in a round patty shape with a raw egg and seasoning on top.
This is a fairly popular food in Paris and is often served with a side of fries. While it can be enjoyed as an appetizer to share, it is more normally ordered as an entree.
In particular, Le Severo is known for its exceptional homestyle cooking and has had the same head chef for well over 25 years.
This eatery also serves an excellent steak tartare that comes with fries or a side salad if you’re looking for something a wee bit healthier.
And while many people wonder if eating a raw steak is safe, the French have been doing it for centuries and experienced chefs know exactly what they are doing when it comes to this dish.
So, while there is always a risk associated with eating raw meat, the risk is minimal if you dine at a reputable restaurant.
Address: 8 Rue des Plantes, 75014 Paris, France
Hours: Open Monday through Friday from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm and from 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm.
Price: €18.00 each.
How to Get There: Take the 13 to Pernety station or the 4 to Mouton Duvernet station and walk from there.
6. Cheese – Laurent Dubois
The love affair that the French have with cheese is as old as the country itself. And this vibrant love affair is still alive and well today since cheese is easily one of the most famous foods in Paris.
So, if you don’t dive headfirst into a giant pile of cheesy goodness, you’ll be totally missing out. And although I could write an entire post about different varieties of French cheeses, here are three that you must try.
- Camembert – It can be found around the world but definitely originates in Normandy in northwest France. It is a cow’s cheese with a harder rind and a soft, creamy interior.
- Boursin – Also known as Gournay, it is a soft cheese with a spreadable, butterlike consistency that is typically flavored with garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Bleu d’Auvergne – This French blue cheese features bluish mold that gives it a strong flavor that might be quite an assault on your tastebuds if you’re not a huge fan of blue cheese in general.
With such a wide variety of cheese comes a variety of cheese shops to purchase them from. So, like with any popular traditional food of Paris, you’ll find exquisite cheese all over the city.
But, Laurent Dubois has a premium selection of cheeses that originate everywhere from the mountains to the sea. So, it is an excellent place to try a fantastic selection of fine Parisian cheese.
Pro Tip: Laurent Dubois has multiple locations across the city so you’ll easily be able to find a location near you when looking for famous food in Paris.
Address: 47 Ter Bd Saint-Germain, 75005 Paris, France
Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm and on Sunday from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm.
Price: Varies by size and cheese but can start at as little as €5.00 per piece.
How to Get There: Take the 10 to Maubert – Mutualité station and walk from there.
7. French Onion Soup- Bistrot des Vosges
Contrary to what the name might suggest, French onion soup is not typically a vegetarian-friendly option since it is usually made with beef stock.
It’s also a famous food in Paris that is hearty, filling, rich, and delicious. Therefore, French onion soup (or just onion soup once you’re in France) is the perfect cool weather lunch to enjoy in a cozy Parisian bistro.
Also, beyond the beef stock, a typical French onion soup features caramelized onions and is topped with croutons or a chunk of baguette that is then topped with a generous helping of melty cheese – which could be anything from gruyere to cheddar.
So, if you want to savor this traditional Paris food for yourself, visit Le Bistrot des Vosges. Trust me, they create an amazing version of this soup that is known to be second to none.
Just grab a seat at one of their booths and dig into a bowl so that can see what you think of this famous food in Paris.
Just don’t forget to pair it with one of their exceptional red wines for a French meal unlike any other.
Address: 31 Bd Beaumarchais, 75004 Paris, France
Hours: Open daily from 9:00 am to 10:30 pm.
Price: € 11.00
How to Get There: Take the 5 to Bréguet – Sabin station or the 8 to Chemin Vert station and walk from there.
8. Baguettes – Grenier à Pain
Close your eyes, envison Paris, and, tell me, what do you see? Berets. The Eiffel Tower. And baguettes, of course.
Because this long, thin, classic French bread is as much an icon of the city as anything. And ss one of the most traditional foods in Paris France it’s kind of hard to miss.
In fact, you just may run into a baguette simply by walking down the street.
And while the humble baguette is a staple of everyday life in Paris, this has not always been the case.
Because believe it or not, this long, baton-like loaf of bread actually only rose to popularity during World War I.
However, the best time to try this carb-o-rific French delight is early in the morning when they emerge hot, fresh out of the oven.
And the best spot for a delicious, artisan baguette is at any one of Grenier à Pain’s sixteen different locations in Paris – making it now easier than ever to try this most famous food in Paris.
Address: 38 Rue des Abbesses, 75018 Paris, France
Hours: Open Thursday through Monday from 7:00 am to 7:30 pm.
Price: Around €1.07 each.
How to Get There: Take metro line 12 to Abbesses station and walk from there.
9. Eclairs – Carl Marletti
Similar in shape to the baguette, but much shorter and eaten at the opposite end of the day, the eclair is another iconic French pastry on this list of the most famous food in Paris.
What’s bizarre though is that the name itself is actually derived from a French word that translates to “flash of lightning” in English.
And while the reason why this sweet traditional food in Paris is named after a bolt in the sky is a total mystery, many speculate that the phrase relates to the speed at which people eat eclairs.
After all, these decadent delights really are gone in a flash.
At any rate, Eclairs are made with choux dough (butter, water, flour, and egg) and cooked until they are crisp and hollow.
They are then filled with custard and traditionally topped with chocolate icing – or other varieties in more recent times.
So, to get your eclair fix, visit Carl Marletti and choose one from their vibrant showcase. See how long it lasts and decide for yourself if you agree with the reason behind the name.
Pro Tip: While I like to stick with the classic, they also have vanilla, pistachio, and caramel flavored eclairs too.
Address: 51 Rue Censier, 75005 Paris, France
Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm and on Sunday from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm.
Price: €5.00 each.
How to Get There: Take the 7 train Place Monge or the 5 train to Saint-Marcel and walk from there.
10. Steak Frites – Le Relais de l’Entrecôte
Simple as can be, Steak Frites translates very simply to steak and fries. Now sure, many other parts of the world might not put a simple french fry next to a beautifully cooked, medium-rare steak.
However, the French know there are few better, more meant to be pairings than a good old-fashioned steak and fries.
So, you’ll find this famous food in Paris at any number of brasseries all across the city, though one of the standouts when it comes to steak Frites is Le Relais de l’Entrecôte.
And with three locations in Paris alone, you’ll be able to find an impeccable restaurant, without even an ounce of fuss, just like the steak Frites itself.
Also, be aware that there is no one cut of steak or accompanying sauce that is emblematic of this iconic dish.
Instead, cuts, rubs, sauces, french fry styles, and presentation all vary from restaurant to restaurant, with each establishment putting its own spin on this classic French food.
Address: 20 Rue Sant-Benoit, Paris, 75006
Hours: Open Monday through Friday from 12:00 pm to 2:30 pm and Saturday/Sunday from 6:45 pm to 11:00 pm.
How to Get There: Take line 4 to St. Germain station and walk from there.
11. Duck Confit – Josephine Chez Dumonet
Duck confit is another one of the many super delicious, traditional foods of Paris.
It was also created pre-refrigeration when the French used an animal’s own fat to preserve the meat and prevent it from spoiling.
Therefore, when you “confit” something you’re actually injecting a whole lot of fat, and flavor, into it. So yeah, the duck in this dish will be extra fatty and flavorful.
Read: this dish is so deliciously sinful that it is worth every single beautiful calorie.
So, after submerging the duck in fat – sometimes for up to 24 hours as the duck slowly cooks – you’re left with a piece of meat that has a crunchy skin on the outside and tender, melt in your mouth meat on the inside.
Now, as with many other famous foods in Paris, duck confit is served throughout the city at various bistros, brasseries, restaurants, and cafes.
But, for the best duck confit of them all, head to Josephine Chez Dumonet for a white tablecloth dining experience that is very French but not super duper fancy.
12. Salted Butter Caramels – Henri Le Roux
Made with copious amounts of butter – with a generous helping of sugar, cream, vanilla, and salt for good measure – salted butter caramels sound simple enough to make. But, getting them cooked to perfection is no easy task to master.
And while this famous food in Paris is often crafted into a sauce and poured over other desserts, it can also be made into a candy – which is exactly what the dessert pros at Henri Le Roux do and have been doing since the 70s.
In fact, their trademarked candies have won many awards worldwide and continue to set the bar when it comes to salted butter caramels.
So, grab yourself a bag (or a box of half caramels and half chocolates) and see what you think about one of the traditional foods in Paris.
Just be careful of allergens since trace nut fragments can be found within the candies.
Address: 52 Rue Saint-Dominique, 75007 Paris, France
Hours: Open Tuesday though Saturday from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
How to Get There: Take line 8 to La Tour-Maubourg station and walk from there.
13. Crepes – Culture Crêpes
Most countries have their own unique version of a pancake and this is France’s.
In fact the crepe is originally from Brittany in Western France and was first invented in the 13th century.
And while they are pancake-like in shape they are much, much thinner than the big, fluffy American pancakes that you get doused in maple syrup and butter.
However, like with most pancakes, the main ingredients in crêpes are flour, milk, and eggs – plus whatever sweet or savory fillings that you want to add to the inside.
Then, after you’ve ordered your filling of choice, the crepe is then rolled up almost burrito-style and eaten with a fork and a knife.
So, when ordering this famous food in Paris, you biggest decision will be choosing between sweet crêpes – made with bananas, strawberries, or some other fruit, plus cream and nutella – and savory crêpes – typically cooked with ham and cheese.
If you can though, mosey on over to Culture Crêpes and get their signature ground beef, cheese and tomato crepe.
However, if that option doesn’t tickle your fancy, then just choose from any number of other crêpes since the options are endless (dark chocolate, raspberries and banana is also good).
You also know that the food here is top-notch since everything is prepared by staff who were trained specifically at crêperie school.
Pro Tip: This restaurant is conveniently located near Notre Dame Cathedral and can easily be enjoyed before or after a stop here.
Address: 26 Rue Saint-André des Arts, 75006 Paris, France
Hours: Open Monday through Wednesday from 9:00 am to 10:30 pm, Thursday from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm, Friday and Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:30 am, and Sunday from 11:00 am to 12:00 am,
Price: Crepes start at €4.80 each.
How to Get There: Take the 4/B/C to Saint-Michel Notre-Dame station and walk from there. Crepes
14. Chocolates – Richart
The history of chocolate in France is very clear. See, the nation’s love affair with this confectionary delight first started in 1615, when Anne of Austria received chocoloate as a gift before she was set to marry King Louis XIII.
And this very first type of chocolate was not eaten but used almost exclusively to make hot chocolate.
However, as you already know, times they have a changed.
As a result, you can now find chocolate in everything from macrons to eclairs to chocolate tart to truffles.
Yup, the chocolatey goodness is waiting for you in Paris since this is a classic famous food in Paris.
But, one place where chocolate has been totally elevated to next level is Richart. Here, it’s not just about the flavor of the truffle but about the experience of eating it.
So, fully expect a party in your mouth as you get into vanilla, raspberry, and salted-butter caramel flavor chocolate – all of which is carefully wrapped inside expertly curated boxes that you can take away to savor.
Address: 27 Rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris, France
Hours: Open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm and from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
Price: Boxes start at $34.00 each.
How to Get There: Take the 4 to Saint-Germain-des-Prés station or the 10 to Mabillion station and walk from there.
15. Croque Monsieur – Café Le Nemours
Another take on the immortal ham and cheese sandwich, croque monsieur (translated to bite mister) is a classic French sammie that elevates this lunch staple to the next level.
Somewhat like a panini, the famous food in Paris is served warm after being bakes in the oven or cooked in a frying in a pan.
The cheese – of which there is plenty – is typically gruyere or parmesan and is melted against slices of ham.
The bread is also coated in beaten egg before being cooked with the ham and cheese and then topped off with a generous helping of bechamel sauce.
Although, if I’m being honest, the bechamel sauce is totally optional.
Just be aware that you may also encounter a variant of the croque monsieur, aka the croque madame, that is essentially a croque monsieur but with a poached/fried egg on top.
Now, this decadent Parisian delight can be ordered in many places, although Café Le Nemours is a great place to try this traditional food in Paris.
After all, they have a special croque section on their menu and offer both croque monsieur and croque madame, all of which are served with pexto, zucchini, and tomatoes.
Address: 2 à 7 Galerie de Nemours, 2 Place Colette, 75001 Paris,
Hours: Open Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 12:00 am, Saturday from 8:00 am to 12:00 am, and Sunday from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Price: Starts at €11.50.
How to Get There: Take line 4/7 to Pyramides station or line 1/7 to Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre station and walk from there.