Your favourite meal in Paris may well come from the back of a food truck – provided you know which ones to head for
The hot new purveyor of reasonably priced gourmet food, even the particularly picky Parisians no longer turn their noses up at street food these days. And its upsurge in popularity means there’s a huge wave of new and diverse offerings.
From soul food to the best falafels outside of Beirut, and burgers that will blow your taste buds away, you’ll discover diverse delights alongside more crêpe stands than you can shake a savoury jambon fromage at. But while the City of Lights is bursting at the seams with on-the-go bites, it’s our duty to help you discover the best.
Known as the true centre for quality food shopping in Paris, Rue Cler has been lauded by many a travel and food writer as their favourite street in Paris. That’s because, under the slinky shadow of the Eiffel Tower, you’ll find the butcher, the baker and the finest cheese maker, along with charcuteries, fishmongers, greengrocers, patisseries and cafés.
Expect sterling street food in this convivial village setting, with vendors dishing out steaming pot-au-feu under homemade signs that bid their customers, “Bon appetit!” You’ll even be able to tuck into freshly shucked oysters – there aren’t many places in the world where you can do that on the street.
It’s not strictly street food, as you’ll need to go inside this petite boutique, but it would be amiss to not visit Martine Lambert (martine-lambert.com) while in the area. Here, Normandy’s very own “Ice Cream Queen” serves divine scoops of the stuff, plus sorbets and cakes that are all unpasteurised and preservative-free. Who said all of life’s pleasures have to be guilty?
At Le Marché Couvert Saint-Quentin (en.parisinfo.com/shopping-paris/73868/Marche-couvert-Saint-Quentin), a large food market located between Gare du Nord and Gare de l'Est, you can start in Africa and end in South America – or even combine the two. Grab one of the 15 plastic chairs at Algeria Brazil and mop up feijoada, a black bean stew, with a hunk of crusty bread. At La Marrakech, an ornate Moroccan corner with earthenware pots displayed out front, you’ll enjoy lemony chicken and nutty lamb tagines. Oh Africa has certainly earned the wondrous “Oh” in its name, thanks to its kooky décor and African specialities like Senegalese poulet yassa in a rich onion sauce.
Not all crêpes were created equal. Which is why you need to hop onto the metro and proceed straight – do not pass go, do not collect €200 – to Saint Germain des Prés. When you exit the station, you’ll find a street stand directly opposite Café Deux Magots serving the silkiest crêpes in town – the au caramel beurre salé tastes like a little piece of heaven.
We know you don’t come to Paris to eat burgers, but Le Camion Qui Fume (lecamionquifume.com), the infamous truck credited with starting the city’s food truck trend, serves some of the finest beef patties in town.
Source: Condé Nast Traveller Middle East