Although grabbing a quick bite to eat is not usually associated with French culture, the Paris street food scene has really taken off in recent years. From the classic crêpe, probably the city’s original street food dish, to food trucks serving gourmet burgers, it’s not hard to find plenty of places serving up their take on quick and cheap dining. Here we round up our choice of what street food you have to try in Paris.
Falafel is one of the most popular street foods in Paris, and while most will be queuing down the street for the famed L’As du Fallafel, we’d argue that Chez Marianne is actually the tastier of the two. Here you can get a generously-sized falafel sandwich to go, crammed full of aubergines and salad, and feel free to help yourself to pickles and spicy harissa sauce on the counter.
Just remember that first you have to go inside to pay and get a ticket, and then queue for your sandwich, something that many people get caught out by. If you’d prefer to enjoy falafel in the restaurant rather than as take-away street food, then Chez Marianne is also very cute and charming inside.
Just two minutes from Chez Marianne you can find another classic Parisian street food, the famous French crêpe. La Droguerie has been going strong for 11 years and counting, and although you can find crêpe stands all around the city, this one can be relied on every time for a tasty take-away. Here the batter is made by the team, rather than bought in, and the crêpes are made fresh in front of you – beware the stands which have a pile of crêpes already made and stacked up. You can choose from sweet or savoury and the portions are generous!
Croque monsieur might not traditionally be street food, but Fric Frac offers the classic French bistro dish to go, and the shop’s Canal Saint-Martin location makes the perfect Parisian spot to eat it. You can of course try the classic ham and cheese combination, but Fric Frac also puts a modern spin on the traditional sandwich with creative combinations such as salmon, apple, radish and onion, or goats cheese, dried fruits, honey, and chives.
Fric Frac also take care with their ingredients; the chicken is free-range, no antibiotics or GMOs are used, and the bread is made Frédéric Lalos, who holds the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France, meaning his is one of the best in his field. If you’re looking for more places to enjoy around the Canal Saint-Martin and in the 10eme, then join our Hip Eats & Backstreets Food Tour.
Oysters don’t normally count as street food, but they do at a Parisian market. Head to Marché Bastille to enjoy freshly opened oysters and a glass of cold white wine around lunchtime, which is possibly the most decadent street food in Paris! The market takes place on Boulevard Richard-Lenoir every Thursday and Sunday morning until around 2pm. Of course it can get very crowded, especially on Sundays, but to find the oysters walk away from Place de la Bastille, which is where the market starts, and towards Bréguet-Sabin metro, where the market ends.
The oyster stand is by a fountain area on one of the middle rows of stalls, with white tables for you to stand and enjoy the seafood delicacy. The market also has plenty of fresh produce to take home, as well as other options for a cheap and delicious take-away lunch such as crêpes, sweet and savoury pastries, and quiches.
A former boucherie chevaline, which is a butchers that sells horsemeat (look for the horse’s headd above the shop sign) Chez Aline is now one of the best spots in Paris to try a classic jambon-beurre, which is simply a ham and butter baguette. The high quality sandwiches are made with Prince de Paris ham, the only ham still to be made in the city and without nitrites or additives, and with bread from Maison Landemaine, which we think is one of the best bakeries in Paris. You can also grab one of the stools if you’d rather eat in, and plenty of other sandwiches and a few deli salads are also on offer. It’s worth noting though that Chez Aline is only open Monday to Friday and at lunch time only.
If you’re looking for more ideas for quick and affordable meals in Paris, then check out our recommendations for eating in Paris on a budget.