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French Food 101: A List of Foods You Must Try During Your First Trip to Paris

September 19, 2018

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Finally taking that trip to Paris you’ve been dreaming about for as long as you can remember? Well, if you don’t already know it, you’d be interested to know that ‘The city of lights’ is not only famous for its beautiful architectures and renowned fashion houses but it is also home to some of the best of what French cuisine has to offer! 

So, it’s only right that on your very first Paris trip to sample some French cuisine dishes.

French cookery is all about taste and comfort. And the good news is you can find the best deals on delicious food starting at a couple of euros from traditional bakeries and bistros/cafés spread across this delightful city. 

If French food is somewhat foreign to you, here, I’d like to help you to narrow down your selection by sharing a list of French foods that you simply must enjoy while in Paris. Bon Appétit!

 

Crepes 

 

a plate of nutella banana crepes

 

Wondering what you should have for breakfast on your first morning in Paris? Why not have some fresh and warm crepes? 

Often enjoyed as a breakfast item or an afternoon snack, this dish is the perfect way to start the day before you go out exploring. You can easily get crepes at every corner of the city. This super thin pancake is served with various delicious options – both sweet and savory. 

That said, the two most popular types of crepes are banana Nutella and Ham & cheese. Whichever you decide to give a try, it’s sure to keep your stomach happy and your taste buds satisfied!

 

Macarons 

 

Macarons are colorful & delicious cookie-like dessert made out of sugar, egg whites, ground almonds, and food coloring. For those of you who are gluten-free, you’d be delighted to hear that this is more than ‘safe’ to eat!  These sweet meringue-based confections come in a vast variety of flavors including lemon, chocolate, coffee, orange, raspberry, and many more.

They make a great edible souvenir to bring back for your loved ones! For the some of the best tasting macarons in Paris, head on over to the world-famous Ladurée or Pierre Hermé.

 

Duck confit

 

a decorated plate of duck confit

 

Your Trip to Paris would be incomplete if you haven’t had at least a serving of Duck Confit. One of the most popular French dishes, it originated from the province of Gascony and it consists of a whole duck cooked in its own fat. It is usually served with a side of Pommes Sarladaise, which sliced or mashed potatoes sauteed with garlic and the duck’s fat.

On the hunt for the most succulent Duck Confit in town? Check out this article that lists 15 places that prepare irresistible versions of this dish.

 

Steak Frites

 

Love steak and fries? Well, in France, you’ll find them couple together as a dish called ‘Steak Frites’ which literally translates to ‘Steak (and) Fries’. Note that the French prefer their beef tender and fries extra crispy so you may find it a bit different than the usual steak and fries you’ll find back home.

It’s a popular dish that you can find almost in every cafe or restaurant around Paris but if you want to sample one of the tastiest, be sure to stop over at Le Relais de Entrecote. For 26.50 Euros, you’ll get a mouthwatering sliced steak with a Béarnaise-like sauce along with a side of fresh green salad with vinaigrette dressing. It’s simply divine!

 

Baba au Rhum

 

servings of Baba au Rhum

Image credit: Cookomix.com

 

Baba au Rhum (Rum Baba) is one of the oldest and most celebrated dessert recipes found in French cuisine. As you may have guessed from its name, rum is the main ingredient of this must-try dish that is essentially a fresh dense cake dipped in rum and vanilla cream.

Interested in having a serving or two? Be sure to make a pit stop at Un Amour de Baba at Saint-Honoré, you won’t be disappointed!

 

Croissant

 

I know what you’re thinking.. why on earth did I include such an ‘ordinary’ and familiar pastry on this list? Though I am aware that we can find croissants around the globe pretty easily, admittedly, the French still makes the world’s best croissants! After all, it is where it all started. So, while in Paris, be sure to indulge in plenty of croissants before you head home. 

In case you have yet to have a bite of this scrumptious pastry, it makes a great breakfast to have along with a cup of coffee at the start of your day. The most popular version of the croissant, other than plain, is one that is filled with chocolate known as Pain Au Chocolate (bread with chocolate). That said, you can opt for a variety of customized fillings which often are made from scratch. 

You can grab one or two on the go and enjoy this tasty snack on your walk through the city so you won’t go hungry before your next meal.

 

Escargot

 

a plate of escargot

 

Consider yourself more of an adventurous type when it comes to food? Well, Paris or France, in general, offers plenty of ‘strange’ foods that you may not be able to get back home. Escargot is one of those examples. Though it may not be for everyone, it is a very popular dish in France and can easily be found in the menus of most Parisian restaurants. It consists of snails that are cooked in butter, garlic, and parsley. The result is tender snail meat immersed in finger-licking sauce that will spoil your taste buds!

 

Croque Monsieur

 

Hungry for a quick yet hearty and savory meal? A Croque Monsieur is calling your name! This dish is essentially a crispy grilled ham and cheese sandwich and topped with a poached egg. Though it may sound simple, the taste is anything but.

It makes a great satisfying lunch or a heavy snack, especially when you have a particularly busy day and don’t have much time. If you’re not particularly fond of eggs, you can also opt for the Croque-Madame, which is essentially the same sandwich sans the poached egg.

 


Other than its delicious cuisine, France is also renowned for producing some of the world’s finest wines. So while you’re there, why not join a wine holiday in France?

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