Since I was a bit connectivity-challenged in London, I’m playing a little catch up and finally have compiled a rundown of my favorite street eats in Paris. Full list is available on StreetMeat, so I’m going to dedicate this post of the absolute winners and must-eat destinations!
Favorite Middle Eastern:
Urfa Durum, 56 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 10th arrondissement, Metro: Chateau d’Eau
Fantasic kebabs, durums and lahmacum on homemade flatbread, putting Berlin’s famed doner shops to shame. If you have one ethnic meal of your visit to Paris, go here and walk up to the Canal Saint-Martin to consume!
Runner-Up: King Falafel Palace, 26 Rue des Rosiers, 4th arrondissement, Metro: Saint Paul
My favorite falafel on a street crawling with falafel joints. Perfect amount of stuffings, including roasted eggplant and onions, and not overly garlicky. Lenny Kravitz, you can keep L’as du Falafel!
Crepe Sarazin, Marché des Enfants Rouges, 39 Rue de Bretagne, 3rd arrondissement, Metro: Filles du Calvaire
Don’t skip a visit to the Marché des Enfants Rouges, the oldest covered market in Paris, and the boulangier Sarazin as he works wonders on the crepe pans like they’re a couple of turntables. You can’t miss it, the joint with the line and he’s the dude rocking out to the Dead, wielding his roll of paper towels like streamers as he butters up each pan. Prepare to wait, as he’s literally a one-man show and he makes each crepe to order. Don’t forget to tour the market – there are a ton of other food stalls and purveyors, you might just want to have every meal here!
Favorite Ice Cream
Grom, 81 Rue de Seine, 6th arrondissement, Metro: Mabillon
It only figures that the best ice cream place is from Italy as there are still a few things Italians excel at over the French (the other being coffee!) I returned here a few times, sampling their espresso, dark chocolate, house flavor crema di Grom and the best salted caramel EVER!!!! (when you can actually taste the salt crystals – an essential component of this flavor!)
Favorite Market Meal
Chicken couscous, Bourse Street Market, Tuesdays and Fridays, Metro: Bourse
The Moroccan stall at this bi-weekly street market not only has couscous with varying proteins, but also bastillas (savory pies) as well as other Moroccan delicacies. Not the cheapest but certainly the most satisfying. and you can eat it right on the steps of the Bourse (the old Paris Stock Exchange.)
Eric Kayser, various locations, but my local was 18 Rue de Bac, Metro: Rue de Bac
Don’t be put off by this chain, as it makes some of the most delicious bread in Paris. They are best known for their pain aux cereales, a whole wheat loaf loaded with seeds and grains that makes you think you might be eating something good for you! Their pain aux lardons (roll with bacon) was a favorite breakfast treat, as were their quiches and coffee, all available “a emporter” (to-go!)
I realize there are some glaring omissions from the Parisian street food canon, most notably sandwiches, but I actually preferred to make my own. Armed with a Kayser baguette, Echire butter and toppings that ranged from tuna loaded with capers, fennel and mustard to iberico jam, chevre and figs, my sandwich creations were often better options from what you can get on the street. Avoid train station stands but if you must, Paul is always a good choice for a chain shop.
Full Paris rund0wn and final thoughts on this odyssey coming soon, probably post-New York. A little reflection is in order after 5 epic weeks on the road. Have I found enlightenment in a glass of wine, a wedge of cheese, or a dozen oysters? Has The Death of Marat revealed certain universal truths heretofore unknown? Am I ready to go back to work? Come back in a few days to find out!