What visit to Paris is complete without trying the city’s iconic dishes? Only when you savor the delicacies the shimmering city has to offer can you get the ultimate Paris experience. Therefore, if you are planning a trip to the City of Love, consult the list of top 10 Parisian dishes given below to give yourself a head start. When it comes to food, Paris doesn’t disappoint. Food is its love language. Parisian dishes are undoubtedly the best thing your mouth will ever taste.
The city’s dishes are great to such an extent that in the year 2010, UNESCO declared French cuisine a “world intangible heritage”, an accolade well deserved. Without further ado let’s take a look at the top 10 Parisian dishes you must try on your visit to the city.
Parisian Dishes – A Quick Glance
Top 10 Parisian Dishes
1. Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame
This is one of the most popular Parisian dishes that was born in a not-so-famous café in Paris. In the early 1900’s this dish was introduced to the public, and since then has become a favorite among locals and foreigners. In French “Croque” means to crunch. Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame are classic French ham and cheese sandwiches that are toasted to melt and brown the cheese and to make the crust, crispy and crunchy.
You might be thinking what’s so special about this dish, it is just an ordinary ham and cheese sandwich. Wrong. Nothing about this delicacy is ordinary. The sandwich harbors gooey Béchamel and Gruyere on the inside, topped with more cheesy goodness on the outside, making it the most coveted among the Parisian dishes. In all honestly, this dish will surely make your taste buds sing with joy and your stomach grumble in pleasure. Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame aren’t that different from each other, the only aspect that is different between them is that Croque Madame adds a fried egg on top which makes the dish ten times more delicious.
Where to Find Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame?
You will find different vendors selling the mouthwatering dish, however, the most famous spots selling the Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame are Angelina Paris, 226 Rue de Rivoli, 75001; Buvette Paris, 28 Rue Henry Monnier and Le Nemrod, 51 Rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006.
2. Duck Confit
Duck Confit or Confit de Canard is one of the most traditional Parisian dishes and simply melts in your mouth. The dish consists of a slow-cooked duck thigh and leg with crispy skin, often served with pommes de terre à la Sarladaise or sliced potatoes that are cooked in duck fat. The dish also comes with a side of greens and if you pair it with red wine, you will know what heaven tastes like.
Where to Find Duck Confit
One of the best places that serves utterly scrumptious duck confit at a very reasonable price, less than 10 euros, is the Bo Man Café, at 33 Rue Notre Dame de Lorette, 75009. This restaurant is one of the best places to eat in Paris without breaking the bank.
3. Moules Frites
Moules Frites is one of the most scrumptious Parisian dishes, with quite a misleading name. Moules Frites translates to mussels and French fries, which is quite a head-scratcher because why would the French put fries in a mussel dish? Well, they don’t. When you order Moules Frites, you will find that the fires will be on the side, not mixed in with the mussels.
Do you know what makes Moules Frites one of the most coveted Parisian dishes, with people scampering to get a taste of this delicacy? It’s the way the dish is cooked. Steamed in garlic, shallots, butter, and white wine, the mussels not only smell divine but also taste heavenly. The portion size is also quite large, and the side of fries makes it a hearty meal.
Where to Find Moules Frites?
The best place to eat Moules Frites is at the Le Royal. The restaurant serves a huge pot of the dish, that is enough to feed two people. You can also find the dish at the seafood restaurant called Juste which is located at 48 Rue Laffitte.
4. Crepe and Galette
You can’t talk about famous Parisian dishes without mentioning crepes, that would be a crime of epic proportions. Crepes are a budget-friendly snack and can be found in various small stalls that dot every arrondissement. On the other hand, galettes are the savory cousins of crepes and are a part of the traditional Parisian dishes, just not widely known as much as crepes internationally. The galettes are made with buckwheat flour and appear browner than crepes, tinged with a purple hue.
Where to Find Crepe and Galette?
As mentioned before, crepes can be found in every nook and cranny of the city. Doesn’t matter where you get crepes, they will taste epically delicious. You will never find the French slipping when it comes to crepes. On the other hand, if you want to taste the best galette of your life, you have to try the Alaska Galette at Le Creperie. The Alaska Galette comes with smoked salmon and avocado, that will make you go “wow” with every bite.
5. Boeuf Bourguignon
One of the most comforting Parisian dishes is the boeuf bourguignon. This comfort food is a traditional French dish that originated in the French region of Burgundy.
It is a comfortingly rich beef stew made from beef braised in red wine, sometimes red Burgundy. Boeuf bourguignon is flavored with herbs and vegetables like carrots, garlic, and onions, and topped with mushrooms, bacon, and pearl onions. The specialty of the dish is that it takes humble ingredients like carrots and inexpensive beef and turns them into something truly spectacular. The dish is alike a warm embrace on a cold day and is truly a remedy for a bad day.
Where to Find Boeuf Bourguignon?
One of the best restaurants in Paris that serves this hearty dish is the Le P’tit Troquet. The chef severs the stew with a side of homemade noodles and a garnish of fresh bay leaf and thyme. Le P’tit Troquet draws out the deep flavors of the dish through traditional cooking methods, making a boeuf bourguignon that is hearty and filling.
6. Bouchées à La Reine
Among the top Parisian dishes, the most beloved one is the bouchées à La Reine. Bouchées à La Reine is a French specialty that is mostly served on special occasions. This Parisian dish consists of a hollow puff pastry that is stuffed with a mild creamy sauce made of meat, white wine, mushrooms, and truffles. Bouchées à La Reine is the royalist of the royal among the Parisian dishes and literally means “queen’s morsel”. It is named after the Queen of France Marie Leszczynska, who was the wife of Louis XV.
Where to Find Bouchées à La Reine?
One of the best places where you can savor this scrumptious dish is the Auberge Bressane. The Auberge Bressane is not only applauded for its tasty Bouchées à La Reine but is also a people’s favorite as it serves a hearty serving of this traditional French specialty.
Cassoulet is the heartiest of hearty among the famous Parisian dishes and originated in the southwest of France in an area called the Occitania, formerly known as Languedoc. This dish is a rich, slow-cooked stew of haricot beans, baked with tender meats like mutton, sausages, pork, and persevered goose, aromatically spiced with herbs and garlic. Cassoulet is a warm, filling, and flavourful dish, consisting of an amalgamation of top-notch ingredients and spices.
Where to Find Cassoulet?
The best place in Paris that severs the warmest, heartiest, and most flavorful cassoulet is L’Assiette. Everything at the restaurant is freshly prepared, and their cassoulet will leave you begging for more. To this very day, we still dream of L’Assiette’s cassoulet, which was truly a heavenly meal.
Another dish that is an incredibly popular entrée among the Parisian dishes and is a traditional French food is the escargot. Escargot consists of snails covered with a garlic butter sauce. This dish is not only chockfull of protein but is also free of carbohydrates, fat, and sugar, making it one of the healthiest Parisian dishes on our list. The dish comes with a snail fork and snail tongs that you can use to free the snails from their shells.
Where to Find Escargot in Paris?
Being one of the most popular Parisian dishes, you can find escargot in almost every restaurant, but nothing beats the escargot served at the L’Escargot Montorgueil. L’Escargot Montorgueil resonates with a vintage vibe and is an elegant restaurant that serves upscale delicacies and wine.
Soufflé is one of the most internationally popular Parisian dishes. Although most think of soufflé as a dessert, in France it is also a savory dish that is served as the main course of a meal. In Paris, you will be able to find many variations of the savoury soufflé, but the typical recipe consists of potatoes, meats, and different kinds of cheeses. This a very light and airy dish and the one word that describes its flavor is, decadently delicious.
Where to Find Soufflé?
If you want to try a traditional French soufflé, both sweet and savoury then you must visit Le Soufflé which will give you the ultimate taste of traditional soufflé and leave you wanting for more. Trust us when we say this, you will dream about the soufflé at Le Soufflé for the rest of your life.
10. Steak Frites
One of the most classic dishes in our top Parisian dishes is the steak frites. Steak frites is a simple dish that consists of steak, paired with French fries, served with compound butter or sauce. Even though this dish is quite simple, the way the French cook it makes it taste so decadent and juicy. However, when ordering the steak frites, keep in mind not to ask for a well-done steak as the French like to serve their steak rare, and asking for a well-done will give you funny glances from the staff and the guests.
Where to Find Steak Frites?
The best place in Paris to eat steak frites is the Chez Paul which is located in the 11th arrondissement. Che Paul uses a beef rump steak that comes from the hindquarters of the cow. Their steak is packed with flavor and is priced at an affordable cost that will allow you to enjoy your meal without breaking the bank.
A Bonus Persian Dish
Although steak tartare might be the least appetizing sounding dish among Parisian dishes but trust us, it’s worth trying. Steak tartare consists of minced beef that is flavored with capers, pickles, shallots, and sauces, and topped with an egg yolk. Eating raw meat might seem a little vomit-inducing, however, don’t knock the dish off your plate without giving it a chance. Believe us, we had similar sentiments when we heard about the dish, but when we tried it, its flavor left us awe-struck and the only word we could utter was Oh My God (just like Janice).
Where to Find Steak Tartare?
To eat the best steak tartare of your life, visit the elegant and classic French restaurant, Josephine Chez Dumonet, located in the 6th arrondissement in Paris. The restaurant serves the most delicious steak tartare that is prepared at your table and served directly.
Book a Trip to Paris
If you are looking to book a trip to Paris, you can’t go wrong with bookings.com. Check out their website to see what offers and packages they have in store for you.
When in Europe, you can’t complete your trip without visiting its iconic castles and the most exotic castles of the continent lie in the country of Scotland. So take our advice, when you are done stuffing yourself with decadent Parisian dishes, do visit the castles in Scotland to get the ultimate Europe experience.