Paris is such a melting pot of different cultures and cuisines. During your stay in Paris, don’t limit yourself to eating at one type of restaurant. Even if you only have 24 hours to explore, use your time in this gateway city to try a variety of tastes and dishes. Even better? You can plan your entire day in Paris specifically around food! From the more adventurous to the traditional, our list covers the basics for eating around the world during your time in Paris:
FRENCH: Breizh Cafe ($$)
You are in City of Lights, of course you are going to want to try French food in Paris! Breizh Cafe offers galettes and crepes along with local ciders and beers. During our dinner, we learned that the proper name for a warm/savory crepe is actually a “galette!” Breizh Cafe specializes in galettes and crepes made with buckwheat. Buckwheat is gluten free and Breizh Cafe takes pride in providing food that is good for digestion.
The atmosphere is very French, with a traditional outdoor sitting area and a cozy interior. We ate two delicious galettes and two fantastic crepes for dessert. Our meat galette featured smoked ham, sunny side up egg, and anchovies. Our vegetarian galette was our twist on Breizh Cafe’s “Mushroom Complete” dish which featured scrambled eggs, raw milk Gruyere cheese, and mushrooms. Our dessert crepes featured chocolate, bananas, and creme.
A word about French dishes: French food is traditionally very light. We are Americans and love to leave a dinner feeling stuffed. While we felt full when we left Breizh Cafe, we each could have eaten a bit more. For brunch, the selections would have been perfect.
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MEXICAN: La Catrina Taqueria ($)
Being from Florida, we love our Mexican food, so getting to taste some while in Paris was extra exciting. The menu was large, the portions huge, and the price reasonable. You can get a Chipotle burrito for $8 so authentic Mexican one for $7.50 is a steal. Mouhib Barrak, La Catrina Manager, explained that “everything we do is homemade and all dishes and ingredients are prepared in house. Each plate is authentic to Mexico and prepared in the same way you would see in a Mexican taqueria.”
We tried every type of taco, two types of starters, and the hibiscus juice. The guacamole starter was the largest we have ever seen, and we left the experience feeling full. If you are looking for some Mexican flavor and budget prices, this is the place to be!
You can find their website HERE
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ITALIAN: Papelli ($-$$)
When figuring out where to eat in Paris, you will probably consider grabbing pizza. There are tons of options in Paris, but none have hit the scene a fast and furious as Papelli. Located in the heart of Paris, Papelli opened 2 years ago, and just opened their location 3 months ago to keep up with the customers. Our dinner lasted about an hour, and during that time, the restaurant was packed, and a minimum of 50+ pizza boxes went out the door for delivery.
We rated Papelli $-$$ in price because you can spend as much or little as you like. Sharing a large pizza between lots of people? You may only pay $7 each. Looking to go on a full-fledged date night with starters and wine? There are plenty of choices for you as well.
We spoke with Yohann Bodin, CEO of Papelli, and he told us “Papelli specializes in very thin pizza with lots of toppings on it, including one that is 60mm in diameter.” Papelli allows you to customize the large pizza and choose two different types of pizza to satisfy your crowd. We each had a delicious pizza, along with Groissnni [homemade bread with olives], NYC style garlic knots, and truffle creme. For dessert, we recommend the tiramisu with nuts, for a twist on a traditional favorite.
Visit their Facbeook HERE
CHINESE: La Taverne de ZHAO ($)
In the west, we think of Chinese food as the little hole in the wall takeout places that are in strip malls. We found out that is NOT real Chinese food and we have been “lied” to. La Taverne de ZHAO offers traditional Chinese food, and everything we tried was a feast for the taste buds. We chatted with Xi, who is the marketing manager at La Taverne de ZHAO and she told us that “Many Chinese restaurants in Paris change the taste of the food to please French clients. We explore and bring real traditional culture to the west.”
At La Taverne de ZHAO, diners are encouraged to share food in the traditional Chinese style. Sharing food out of the same dishes means diners are friends and family. We ate our meal out of tiny bowls, while constantly taking little portions from the array of main dishes you see above.
We aren’t adventurous eaters, so a word for the picky out there: Don’t be afraid to give La Taverne de ZHAO a try. You will be very surprised and pleased at the delicious flavor and cultural cuisine they have to offer. If you are more cautious, try the Egg and Tofu sandwich, Liangpi salad with sesame sauce, and the sauteed potatoes. [Who knew potatoes were even a thing in Asian culture?! News flash: they are!] For people looking to step outside the box, we highly recommend the thousand year egg and tofu dish [first photo below.] The tofu is soft and creamy and the eggs are tasty.
Take it from us, don’t be shy! Give your taste buds a cultural refresher at La Taverne de ZHAO.
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We absolutely loved eating our way around the world in Paris. Have you tried any of the restaurants on our list? Did you try them because of us? Let us know in the comments!