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Paris - city of food


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From Michelin starred dining to tiny little cheap bistros, Paris is one of the world’s food capitals and everyone from a road sweeper to the President is a self-professed gourmet. Whether it’s a sandwich, a lunch or dinner, the average Parisian takes food very seriously and you should too.

Finding a place to eat can be as easy as just walking around and looking at the menus displayed outside. At lunchtime there will usually be a ‘menu du jour’ or ‘menu of the day’ on a blackboard that will be whatever chef has found to be fresh and well-priced in the morning’s market. This can often be the best deal with three delicious courses coming in at a very affordable price and with wine included.

The French like to eat at 12 midday and they all arrive at once so don’t be too long choosing or you wont get a table until well after 1 p.m. And don’t expect to find anywhere open after 3 p.m. either, you will have to wait until dinner which the French take at 8 p.m.

French meals nearly always include bread, usually a crusty baguette baked fresh that morning. Don’t worry about eating it all up as your basket will be refilled every time. And of course there is all the lovely wine to enjoy. The average French person will drink wine at lunchtime even if they have to go back to the office after, they just don’t drink a lot and often drink just ‘vin du table’, the cheapest wine with a low alcohol content.

If you don’t fancy a whole bottle of wine ask for une verre de rouge/blanc, ‘a glass of red/white’ or go for a pichet which is a carafe of 25 cl or 50 cl. Don’t be surprised if your red wine is served chilled. The French often drink the table wine cold, especially in summer. If you want beer, ask for un pression which means draught beer, much cheaper than bottled and it's what the locals drink.


In a bistro look out for classic French dishes such as onglet aux échalotes, this little known cut of steak (outside of France) is delicious especially with fresh french fries. In France steak is served rare, but if you specify a point you will get ‘medium’. And of course there is foie gras!

Wherever you go, you’ll find everyone will wish you Bon Appetit!