Gourmet On The Go: The Best Street Food In Paris / By NICOLA WILLIAMS / Lonely Planet / Travel Exclusive News
A vendor at the Marche Bastille public market in the Bastille area of Paris serves up a piece of roasted chicken to two customers.
Street food being sold at Marche Bastille in Paris © Doug Oakley / Getty Images
What do you get if you cross a city made for walking with seriously foodie locals? Gourmet street food. Few cities do takeaway with as much finesse as Paris. But then, this is a capital woven from Haussmann boulevards, elegant city parks, iconic food markets and an overwhelming desire to eat extraordinarily well.
Quality products – often local, seasonal and organic – plus a pinch of grassroots gastronomy and a generous dose of Parisian panache are chef essentials at these takeaway favourites, known for their distinctive gourmet twist.
Here’s where to find the best street food in Paris – and what to eat.
A display of croques (toasted cheese sandwiches) on sale on the street in Place St-Germain des Pres area with people in soft focus in the background.
Paris has a number of street vendors selling amazing sarnies © Will Salter / Lonely Planet
L’Épicerie et Sandwicherie du Verre Volé
Ditch the traditional jambon-beurre sandwich (ham and unsalted butter slipped inside a crusty baguette). Head instead to L’Épicerie et Sandwicherie du Verre Volé for a gourmand sandwich to go. Brain-child of Cyril Bordarier from Le Verre Volé bistro and wine cellar, this retro grocery crafts bespoke sarnies from an exceptional choice of gourmet ingredients, including milk-suckled calf pastrami, Prince de Paris ham and silky pork fat cured in Carrara marble vats in Italy. Build your own, or put your taste-buds in the hands of the chef with a daily special.
Frenchie To Go
Quality ingredients get an American makeover at Frenchie To Go in the 2nd arrondissement. Its Reuben enjoys cult status among local foodies and there is no doubt about it: the combo of shaved house-cured pastrami and zingy homemade red-cabbage coleslaw stuffed inside toasted rye bread spiced with caraway seeds is divine. Wash it down with a bottle of aromatic pale ale, craft-brewed by Les Brasserie du Grand Paris in the capital’s northwest suburbs.
Noglu Takeway épicerie arm of the upmarket restaurant, is a hot spot for gluten-free street food. The atmospheric setting inside Passage des Panoramas, a covered passageway dating to 1800, only adds to the charm. Order a sandwich or bun du jour – a tangy mix of aubergine, red peppers, sweet potato and blue cheese perhaps inside chickpea-flour bread – to take away in an old-fashioned brown paper bag.
The glass-roofed Passage des Panoramas is the oldest covered passage in Paris, running between Boulevard Montmartre and Rue Saint-Marc in the 2ème arrondissment.
Guten-free treats can be found at Noglu , hidden in Passage des Panoramas © Adrienne Pitts / Lonely Planet
Le Tricycle Store
Veggie hot dogs are à la mode thanks to Le Tricycle Store, an uber-cool address in the edgy 10e. The takeaway joint with a few seats upstairs was born out of Le Tricycle, a nomadic food cart with three wheels that French-Caribbean Coralie and her boyfriend Daqui pedalled around the city for two years selling homemade hot dogs.
Sink your teeth into a hip-hop themed Dogtor Dre aka a 16cm-long corn and smoked soya sausage smothered in creamy avocado, fresh coriander, fried onions and sauce chien (dog sauce, or coriander- and onion-laced tomato sauce in English). Or go for the kill with a Snoop Dogg, which comes with pickled onions, cabbage and carrots.
Oyster shells on ice with lemon at Le Petit Zinc in Paris
Aw shucks! Paris has lots of great oyster stalls ©jhodgso1/Budget Travel
A street-side platter of freshly shucked oysters and a glass of wine is insanely satisfying. On the Left Bank indulge at Huîtrerie Régis whose oysters arrive fresh from Marenne-Oléron Bay on the Atlantic Coast.
L’Écailler du Bistrot
On the Right Bank, slurp oysters and their tangy sea-air juices from L’Écailler du Bistrot, the seafood annexe of Bistrot Paul Bert. It’s €14 for a dozen tantalizingly small No 4s from Creuses in Brittany and €38 for a dozen No 2s from Normandy’s Utah Beach.
Or hit the covered market hall at Bastille’s chaotic street market Marché Aligré for a six-oyster tasting platter (€8.60) and obligatory glass of Sancerre (€4) at the Marée Beauvau fish stall – you won’t find cheaper or tastier in town.
A crepe with raspberries being cooked on a hot plate by a street vendor in Paris, France.
Crêpes are a street food staple in Paris © Petr Jilek / Shutterstock
Crêperie de St-Germain
Scoffing a finger-licking crêpe in the street, slathered in warm chocolate Nutella or sweet crème de marron (chestnut paste), is a Parisian essential. Real McCoy street stands are like gold-dust these days: make a beeline for Crêperie de St-Germain in front of Église St-Germain des Près in St-Germain des Près. The delightfully retro kiosk has cooked up large thin pancakes to a faithful crowd for the last 20-something years.
Hipsters get their gourmet crêpe fix at L’Avant Comptoir, the hors d’oeuvres bar and takeaway arm of celebrity chef Yves Camdeborde’s bistro Le Comptoir. There’s little elbow room at the zinc bar, but the creamy triangle-folded crêpes are strictly to go.
People eat at Marche des Enfants Rouges (“Red Children Market “). This oldest covered market in Paris is known for its fresh produce and a variety of food stalls.
Marche des Enfants Rouges is where Paris foodies get their street food kick. © Elena Dijour / Shutterstock
Marché des Enfants Rouges
Street food aficionados go bananas in the Marché des Enfants Rouges, Paris’s oldest covered market. Duck through the vintage green-gated entrance to uncover a dimly lit, ramshackle maze of alluring food stalls cooking up steaming bowls of Chinese noodles, Moroccan couscous, Lebanese falafel et al.
Chez Alain Miam Miam
Weave your way through the makeshift kitchens to Chez Alain Miam Miam. Alain – a retired baker from Touraine with grey surfer locks, neck scarf and T-shirt with attitude – pulls the crowd with monster sandwiches steaming on a sizzling crêpe griddle. All his ingredients – grated fennel, carrot, smoked air-dried beef, avocado, lemon zest, sesame salt, honeys and goats cheese – are fresh and organic. The skill, passion and humour with which he deftly flips and turns his worn wooden turner to craft his legendary galettes (savoury pancakes) is electrifying.
Three Maxi Croque Chevre (sandwiches with egg on top) on sale to takeaway in Paris
Croque monsieurs are a Parisian must ©Will Salter/Lonely Planet
The croque monsieur (ham and cheese toasted sandwich, topped with creamy béchamel sauce and melted cheese) is a Parisian staple. Grab one to munch on the banks of Canal St-Martin from quayside Fric Frac. Order a classic Titi from the ‘croques mobiles’ hole-in-the-wall or indulge your culinary curiosity in a gourmet Winnie (Crottin de Chavignol cheese, dried fruit, chestnut honey, chives and rosemary) or exotic Shaolin (king prawn and Thai chutney).
Fish and chips to take away from the Sunken Chip. Image © Nicola Williams / Lonely Planet
Fish and chips
The Sunken Ship
It was The Sunken Chip near Canal St Martin that first hijacked Paris’s takeaway scene with the British favourite, served with mushy mint- and olive oil-laced garden peas and baby onions pickled in tart malt vinegar. Its generous kids’ menu makes it a family favourite.
Le Verre Volé sur le Mer
If you prefer your fish reinvented as a fusion-styled bento, grab just that to scoff canal-side from Le Verre Volé sur le Mer at 53 rue de Lancry, 10e.
Brightly-coloured macaroons for sale at Angelina Tea Room in Paris, France.
Leave some room for macaroons when in Paris © Will Salter / Lonely Planet
Cédric Grolet Opéra
Queues stretch down the street for Cédric Grolet’s elaborate creations. Wunderkind Grolet opened his own boulangerie-pâtisserie in 2019, showcasing his viennoiseries including pains au chocolat, magnificent filled still-warm baguettes, and signature pastries, such as caramel-and-Tahitian-vanilla St-Honoré.
Opened in 1730 by Nicolas Stohrer, the Polish pastry chef of queen consort Marie Leszczyńska (wife of Louis XV), this place offers house-made specialities, including its own inventions baba au rhum (rum-soaked sponge cake) and puits d’amour (caramel-topped, vanilla-cream-filled puff pasty), all available to takeaway.
Fou de Pâtisserie
Single-name patisseries scatter across the city, but for a greatest-hits range from its finest pastry chefs – Cyril Lignac, Christophe Adam (L’Éclair de Génie), Jacques Genin, Pierre Hermé and Philippe Conticini included – head to this one-stop concept shop. Takeaway treats include chocolates, sweets, jams and La Fabrique Givrée ice cream in summer.
This article was first published in August 2016 and last updated in July 2021.
Nicola travelled to Paris with support from Atout France and the Paris Convention & Visitors Bureau. Lonely Planet contributors do not accept freebies in exchange for positive coverage.
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