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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Marché Aligré 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.
L’Avant Comptoir 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.
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.
Stohrer 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.