Paris, the City of Lights, is a food lover's paradise. From traditional bistros to trendy brasseries, the French capital offers a wide range of culinary delights to suit all tastes and budgets. Whether you're a budget-conscious traveler or a foodie looking for something truly unique, there's something for everyone in Paris. In this article, I'll be highlighting the top 10 foods that you simply must try while in the city, broken down into three categories: budget, expensive, and unique.
First up, let's take a look at the budget options.
Croque-Monsieur: This classic French sandwich is made with ham and Gruyère cheese, grilled to perfection and served on crusty bread. It's the perfect quick and affordable meal to enjoy while out and about in the city. You can find it at most brasseries and bistros and it's definitely a must-try when you visit Paris.
Crepes: A trip to Paris wouldn't be complete without trying a crepe. These thin pancakes can be filled with a variety of sweet or savory options, and they're a great budget-friendly option for a quick snack or meal on the go. You can find crepes at stands throughout the city, or head to a traditional crêperie for a more authentic experience.
Escargots: Snails may not sound like the most appetizing option, but trust me, they're a delicacy in Paris. Usually served in garlic butter, escargots are a budget-friendly option that you can find on many bistro menus. If you're feeling adventurous, give them a try – you may be surprised at how delicious they are.
Now, let's move on to the more expensive options.
Coq au Vin: This classic French dish, made with chicken cooked in red wine, is one of the most popular dishes in the city. It's a bit more expensive than the budget options, but it's worth it for the rich, flavorful sauce and tender, succulent chicken. You can find it on the menu at many traditional bistros and brasseries.
Foie Gras: This delicacy made from the liver of a duck or goose is a luxury food item in France, that you should try atleast once during your visit. It can be served as a main course or as a starter and it's usually accompanied by toast or brioche.
Truffle: This luxury ingredient is highly sought-after and can be quite expensive. You can find truffle-based dishes on the menus of high-end restaurants in Paris, from pasta to risotto to steak. It's a treat to be savored and relished, giving you a taste of French haute cuisine.
And finally, for something truly unique, check out these three options:
Duck Confit: Duck confit is a traditional French dish made by slow-cooking the duck in its own fat. The result is a crispy, flavorful meat that's absolutely delicious. It's not something you'll find on every menu, but when you do spot it, be sure to give it a try – you won't be disappointed.
Quenelles: These light, fluffy dumplings are a specialty of the Lyon region in France, but they're also popular in Paris. They're usually made with fish or meat, and they're often served in a creamy sauce. They're not something you'll see on every menu, but if you come across them, give them a try for a truly unique dining experience.
Boudin Noir: Boudin Noir, or blood sausage, is a unique and traditional French dish made with pork blood, pork meat and bread crumbs. It can be served as a main course, but it's also often used as an ingredient in other dishes like casseroles or pies. The texture and taste can be quite distinctive, but it's definitely worth trying if you're looking for something different and authentic.
And for a bonus, I highly recommend trying a traditional French cheese platter. France is renowned for its cheese, and there's no better place to try a variety of different types than in Paris. You can find cheese platters on the menus of most bistros and brasseries, and many fromageries (cheese shops) also offer them to go. From soft, creamy brie to nutty, sharp Roquefort, there's something for every taste.
In conclusion, Paris is a culinary destination that can't be missed. Whether you're looking for budget-friendly options, haute cuisine or something truly unique, the city has it all. From the classic Croque-Monsieur to the luxury Foie gras, from the beloved crepes to the unique Boudin Noir, there's something for every palate and budget. Bon appétit!