Good food: Paris in 10 specialities

Croissants, macarons, baguettes and croque-monsieurs: Paris’s best culinary specialities!

The baguette

Baguettes de pain

Spread with jam, eaten as a sandwich, or just dipped in the sauce of a good dish, the baguette is the French specialty par excellence. Characterized by its crusty exterior and soft interior, the baguette owes its shape to Viennese bread, imported to Paris in the 19th century. To enjoy the best quality baguettes, be sure to buy them from an artisan baker – patience and quality ingredients are the hallmarks of their bread making!

Cheeses from the Paris region

Brie de Nangis © Thesupermat via Wikimedia Commons

Made mainly from cow's milk, cheeses of the Paris region are distinguished by their softness and their ancestral methods of production. Most well-known are the bries: from Meaux, Montereau, Melun or Provins. These cheeses made from unpasteurized milk and have a soft texture and distinctive flavour. On markets in Paris, you will also find Coulommiers, whose taste and texture are similar to Camembert. A real treat!

The Opéra

Gâteau opéra © DR

In 1955, a Parisian pastry chef created a cake made of successive layers of coffee flavoured cream, coffee ganache and almond sponge, and a smooth and generous chocolate topping. When his wife saw this geometric glossy creation, she compared it to the sumptuous stage of the Paris Opera House, Palais Garnier, and so this became the name of the cake. The cake contains another reference to Paris too … it is made up of Joconde (Mona Lisa) almond flavoured sponge!

The croissant

Croissant dans assiette

Inherited from the Austrian bakeries that opened in Paris in the 1830s, the croissant is a Viennese pastry appreciated for its delicious butterytaste. Previously brioche in texture, it gradually came to be made with puff pastry and glazed with egg making it a legendary classic ... Today, croissants are sold alongside another French favourite the pain au chocolat – more classic in shape but equally mouth-watering!

The croque-monsieur

Croque Monsieur et salade

Made up of two slices of bread, filled with boiled ham and béchamel and covered with a generous layer of melted cheese, this delicious sandwich is a classic that is found in brasseries and in bakeries. In 1918, the croque-monsieur entered French literature when writer Marcel Proust mentioned it in his novel A l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleur! It is worth noting, when topped with a fried egg, the croque-monsieur becomes … a croque-madame.

The macaron

Macarons pistaches© Gentle Gourmet

The Parisian macaron is a delicious round-shaped creation, perfect for a tea break. Composed of two crisp shells made of ground almonds, macarons are filled with a sweet paste of classic and exotic flavours such as pistachio, chocolate, red fruits or liquorice. Top Parisian patisserie houses like Ladurée,and Pierre Hermé have contributed to their fame.

Entrecôte steak and chips

Entrecôte-frites © DR

This dish dates back to the 19th century when La Villette was still a slaughterhouse. The butchers working there were fond of eating rib steak with butter and herbs. This was traditionally served with ‘Pont-Neuf potatoes’ –  ancestors of chips and which, according to legend, were invented ... on the Pont-Neuf! Today, it is still a staple dish in Parisian bistros. Note: in France, there are four different cooking times for beef (very rare, rare, medium rare and well-cooked).

Parisian honey

Miel pot © DR

Did you know that the most beautiful rooftops in Paris are a haven for bees? The Musée d'Orsay, the Monnaie de Paris, the Institut de France, and even the Hôtel National des Invalides are home to beehives where bees produce honey from the many species of flowers in gardens and on balconies in the capital. You can buy this delicious product from suppliers like Le miel de Paris.

Onion soup

Soupe à l'oignon © Ludovic Péron via Wikimedia Commons

This rich flavoured soup of broth and caramelized onions is topped with a layer of melted grated cheese mixed with crunchycroutons. It used to be served by restaurants in the old market halls to reinvigorate the handlers and night revellers. Today, onion soup is on the menu in all good brasseries.

Parisian beers

Bière en bouteille servie au verre © Natasha Kapur via Unsplash

The Parisienne, the Môme, the Charbonnière, the Baleine, the Montreuilloise ... The local beer scene has been flourishing in Paris in recent years. Some are veritable institutions, like Gallia, brewed from 1890 to 1969 and then taken over by two young entrepreneurs in 2009; others come from micro-breweries which have given a new impetus to this drink by proposing organic or new flavours. Taste them at home or in one of the many bars and restaurants serving them.

Lafayette Maison & Gourmet

Gastronomy (caterers, confectioners, etc.) | Vins & alcools
35 boulevard Haussmann, Paris, 75009

To delight your tastebuds or shop for gourmet ingredients and treats, Le Gourmet presents dishes large and small, delicious......

Bouillon Chartier

7 rue du Faubourg Montmartre, Paris, 75009

A restaurant doesn’t become a legend by accident, and it certainly can’t stay that way by resting on its laurels. Chartier is......

Brasserie Bofinger

5-7 rue de la Bastille, Paris, 75004

A true Alsatian institution, between the Place des Vosges and the Bastille Opera House, the Brasserie Bofinger has managed to......

Brasserie Mollard

115 rue Saint-Lazare, Paris, 75008

A listed historical monument, this luxury brasserie has a 1900s decor that is unique and typical of Paris: ceramics, mosaics and......

Angelina Rivoli

Tea room
226 rue de Rivoli, Paris, 75001

In front of the Tuileries and founded in 1903, the Angelina tea room is a refined place where the most gourmet will meet. Since......

Au Pied de Cochon

6 rue Coquillière, Paris, 75001

Au Pied de Cochon is located at the heart of Paris, in les Halles and is opened 7 days a week and 24 hours a day. This mythical......

La Coupole

102 boulevard du Montparnasse, Paris, 75014

Since 1927, La Brasserie et le Dancing of La Coupole are the symbols in the history of Montparnasse. In an art deco decor,......

Le Grand Café Capucines

Traditional French cuisine
4 boulevard des Capucines, Paris, 75009

Inaugurated in 1875, the Grand Café Capucines quickly became one of the most popular places of leisure in the capital in a day.......

Maison Plisson

Art de vivre | Concept stores, multi-brands | Gastronomy (caterers, confectioners, etc.) | Food markets | Vins & alcools
93 boulevard Beaumarchais, Paris, 75003

The Maison Plisson has revolutionised the Parisian gastronomy industry. Inside a building from the 1900s on boulevard......

Maison Eric Kayser

Gastronomy (caterers, confectioners, etc.)
8 rue Monge, Paris, 75005

8 rue Monge is the historic address of the Maison Kayser, in the heart of the Latin Quarter. This is where the artisan/baker Eric......

Pierre Hermé (Bonaparte)

Gastronomy (caterers, confectioners, etc.)
72 rue Bonaparte, Paris, 75006

Vogue magazine once called him “the Picasso of pastry”. Pierre Hermé learned his trade at Fauchon, then took his skill and talent......

Pierre Hermé (Vaugirard)

Gastronomy (caterers, confectioners, etc.)
185 rue de Vaugirard, Paris, 75015

His creations are called Ispahan, Plénitude, Montebello, 2,000 Feuilles ... Motivated solely by creating treats for the eyes and......

Ladurée Royale

Restaurant original for its venue or entertainment
16 rue Royale, Paris, 75008

Ladurée Royale, the main house since 1862. This coffee shop was established in 1862, is decorated with wood panelling and......

Ladurée Printemps

Restaurant original for its venue or entertainment
64 boulevard Hausmann, Paris, 75009

In the heart of the famous Printemps department store, the restaurants has the most luxurious Napoléon III-style decor and......

Ladurée Orly

Restaurant original for its venue or entertainment
Terminal Orly Ouest - Zone publique - niveau départs Hall 2, Orly, 94547

At Orly, in the public area of the departure lounge, our Ladurée restaurant invites you to escape, and enjoy a meeting or a lunch......

Ladurée Champs-Elysées

Restaurant original for its venue or entertainment
75 avenue des Champs Elysées, Paris, 75008

This establishment, located at 75 Avenue des Champs-Elysées, opened in September 1997 and recreates the sophisticated atmosphere......

Café de la Paix

Traditional French cuisine | In a hotel
5 place de l'Opéra, Paris, 75009

The Café de la Paix is a Parisian institution built in 1862 under Napoleon III, just in front of the Opera Garnier. The......

L’Entrecôte de Paris

Traditional French cuisine
29 rue de Marignan, Paris, 75008

In the heart of the Champs-Élysées district, a typically Parisian restaurant for a lunch or dinner at any time. Famous for its......