Best of French Regional Cuisine in Paris
One of the most compelling reasons to travel to France is to discover the varying and delicious traditional cuisine that changes with each region. The French are incredibly proud of their local specialties and, thanks to this pride, many of these dishes live on and are celebrated- sometimes with entire festivals dedicated to them. A trip to Brittany wouldn’t be complete without a crêpe and it would be unimaginable to travel to the South and not order a Soupe de Poisson!
If you’re visiting France, but planning on staying in Paris don’t fear- the capital has a wide array of options that bring regional French cuisine to you. While there is a wide debate about endangered French regional cooking in Paris and its replacement with more trendy neo-bistro and fusion fare, you thankfully can still find a few spots to enjoy French food from around the country. Here are some of our favorites!
With its roots firmly in Brittany- thanks to its sister restaurants in Saint-Malo and Cancale- the Paris outpost of Breizh Café is about as Breton as you can get without hopping on a train. Here you’ll enjoy freshly made traditional buckwheat galettes (which happen to be gluten-free!) paired with sparkling artisanal ciders that transport you to the seaside villages of northwestern France. Treat yourself to a brown sugar crêpe with Bordier butter and you’ll understand why France’s cuisine has earned a spot on UNESCO’s esteemed list of the world’s intangible heritage.
Flemish cuisine is highly underappreciated in France and if you want to discover its subtleties you only have one spot to do so in Paris: Le Graindorge. This classic 17th arrondissement restaurant elevates the specialties of Northern France with its attentive preparation and presentation of regional dishes such as carbonade, a beef stew made with beer, and waterzooï de homard, a rich stew made from fresh shellfish.
Chef Julien Duboué of the Latin Quarter favorite Dans les Landes, brings his love for the traditional cooking of his native southwestern France to a new neighborhood with A Noste. This cozy after-work address proposes regional specialties in tapas form- with a modern spin. Kale and organic polenta cakes add contemporary touches to regional specialties such as magret de canard, salade de gésiers, and pieds de cochon. Get your meal started with one of Duboué’s signatures dishes- tiny fried squid served in a wooden shoe.
Natives of Auvergne have traditionally been the driving force between Paris’ bistros and dining establishments since the late 1800s when transplants from the region relocated to Paris and got to work in the city’s bars and restaurants. If you’re in a traditional Paris bistro, chances are an Auvergnat is to thank for its existence. Having said that, to find traditional Auvergne cuisine you’ll have to look farther than the corner café and head directly to L’Ambassade d’Auvergne. From the melted cheese and mashed potato dream come true known as aligot to more meatier dishes such as pork cheek à la moutarde and parmentier de confit de canard you’re sure to not go home hungry after taking a culinary tour of this generous region.
A hip Niçoise restaurant in the heart of Paris, Baieta may be the sign of a revived interest in regional French cuisine. Twenty-three-year-old chef Julia Sedefdjian has created a dining experience that embraces bright Mediterranean cuisine and brings together all the best specialties of the Nice area, including bouillabaisse, aïoli, pissaladière, and socca. Sedefdjian, who gained her first Michelin star while cooking at Les Fables de la Fontaine marries her professional experience with haute gastronomie with her sentimental link to Nice and its surrounding area- treating Parisians to fresh seafood, citrus, and herbs that transport you to the coast of the Mediterranean.
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