From pâtisserie delights to indulgent savory dishes – these are the unmissable eats of Paris.
Snails smothered in golden garlic butter
These juicy little morsels are tender in texture with a subtle, earthy flavor. Each shell is stuffed with a mouthwatering combination of garlic and parsley butter, which is melted in the oven and comes out hot and bubbling. Drenched in this delicious marinade, bite-sized snails are usually eaten straight from their shells as an appetizer with tongs and a fork that come alongside the dish.
Nothing beats a rich, hearty bourguignon of tender, slow-cooked beef
Thick cuts of tender, marbled beef are simmered slowly in a gently simmering broth, with a generous dash of Burgundy red wine. Stewed with a fragrant bundle of herbs and combined with carrots, bacon, potatoes, onions, and garlic, this hearty casserole bursts with full-bodied flavor and gives off a rich aroma that’s sure to set stomachs rumbling. To make it truly authentic, this dish should be made with tender meat from the Charolais cows of the Burgundy region.
The ultimate Parisian café classic
This flaky, buttery pastry is named after its characteristic crescent shape. Crisp and golden on the outside and soft on the inside, it’s eaten with all sorts of sweet and savory fillings – sometimes with butter and jam, melted cheese and ham for something more substantial, or simply plain, which lets the true buttery taste and flaky texture shine. Or you can always go for the croissant's more indulgent cousin, a pain au chocolat, a rolled buttery pastry with a melted dark chocolate center.
Nourishing comfort food never tasted better
If you're not already familiar with a croque monsieur, picture steaming slices of tasty ham smothered in melted gruyère cheese that oozes out from two slices of crisp, toasted bread. Dipped in egg and fried in butter, this treat can also arrive drenched in a velvety béchamel sauce. Top it with a lightly fried egg and it becomes a croque madame, while the vegetarian version is a mademoiselle. Whichever variation you pick, it’s the ultimate nourishing comfort food choice.
Delicious steak in its rarest form
This raw steak dish combines the highest-quality beef, with onions and capers, though ideal ingredients vary widely. Once finely chopped, it's all served neatly in the center of a plate usually with a single uncooked egg yolk sitting on top. The fat of the egg complements the lean beef perfectly. It also generally comes with frites (fries) or a side salad with dressings and seasonings like Worcestershire sauce or mustard. The final touch is often a garnish like watercress or a drizzle of olive oil, before you stir it all up with the yolk and take your first bite.
Colorful confections in every imaginable flavor
These pretty meringue-like mouthfuls sit in neat rows along the pâtisserie counter. Perfectly round and smooth, each dainty cookie is delicately crisp on the outside with a sweet, chewy center that melts in your mouth. Traditionally a simple, almond-flavored treat, the famous La Maison Ladurée was the first to experiment with the original recipe, inspiring the rainbow of flavors that are so popular today.
Local tip: Many pâtisseries let you pick and mix flavors, and may even sell a single one for you to sample.
A sweet treat celebrating France’s cycling legacy
This wheel-shaped dessert was first whipped up in 1910 to commemorate the Paris–Brest–Paris cycle race. A delicate ring of light choux pastry, it’s crusted with toasted almonds and sprinkled with powdered sugar, while piped praline cream bulges extravagantly from its center. A favorite among cyclists and fans alike, it’s no longer just a race-side indulgence and is found in most pâtisseries.
Golden, light, and fluffy, best served hot and sprinkled with lemon and sugar
These hot, butter-browned pancakes are characteristically large and thin, providing a versatile canvas to smother and stuff with an endless variety of ingredients. Sweet favorites include a scattering of strawberries and whipped-cream, a thick sweep of delicious Nutella, or a simple sprinkling of sugar, while savory creations include seafood, meat, vegetables, and melted cheese.
A thick, satisfying slice of savory tart
Savory egg custard is poured into a crumbly shortcrust pastry case and baked to golden perfection. Usually thrown into the mix are popular additions such as bacon, cheese, onion, spinach, or tomato – in practically any combination. The result is a generous helping of rich fluffy flan, cut into satisfying chunks and eaten both hot and cold.
A vibrant vegetable stew that's full of flavor
Healthy and hearty, this classic Provençale stew is a chunky medley of zucchini, eggplant, tomato, red pepper, onion, and garlic. Each component must be sautéed separately before being layered into a large pan with basil and tangy balsamic dressing. Usually served as a side dish, it can be accompanied by pasta, rice, or bread to make a delicious vegetarian main.
A tasty, creamy pastry best eaten in seconds
Oblong puffs of light choux pastry, topped with a thick sweep of chocolate icing and piped full of sweet custard or cream bursting from the sides. Usually eaten for le goȗter—a traditional french mealtime around 4 pm—these decadent desserts are named after lightning because they always vanish in a flash.