Typical Parisian food and dishes

August 19, 2023
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You probably already know baguette, croissants, pain au chocolat, brioche, macarons, crêpes, entrecôte, steak-frites, tartar, croque-monsieur and cordon bleu. But what about these Parisian culinary classics?


Nick-named the ‘parisien’, this is the French sandwich par excellence, consisting of 20 centimeters of baguette, each half generously coated with salted butter, two slices of wafer-thin Prince de Paris ham (the thinner, the better), a gherkin, and sometimes slices of Comté cheese. To be eaten at the counter or on the go.

A jambon-beurre sandwich with comté cheese, a typical Parisian street food.

Poireau vinaigrette

Leeks in a vinegar-oil-mustard dressing is a cult dish that you can find in almost any traditional bistro. It tastes much better than you think!

Oeufs mayonnaise

This is another bistro classic and probably the simplest of them all. The dish consists of three halves of hard-boiled eggs filled with mayonnaise, sometimes garnished with croutons or lettuce leaves.

A typical Parisian dish of oeufs mayonnaise richly decorated with croutons and herbs.

Pot au feu

Pot au feu is a beef and vegetable stew cooked in its own broth. It was once a festive dish for Parisian workers and is a classic of bourgeois cuisine.

Blanquette de veau

Veal, carrots and mushrooms in a white sauce of crème fraîche and egg yolk, served with rice.

Boeuf bourguignon

Boeuf Bourguignon, named for its two main ingredients, beef and Burgundy wine, is a hearty meat dish from the Burgundy region that the French consider the most representative of their cuisine, according to a recent survey.

Boeuf bourguignon is a typical Parisian dish. Here it is served with its sauce on the side.

Cuisses de grenouilles

Frog legs, the most clichéd French dish that often draws a disgusted grimace from foreigners, are actually less common than you might think. If you want to try them, Café de Luce serves them with a delicious parsley-garlic sauce.

Tête de veau

In Paris, ‘nose to tail’ cooking was a thing long before the movement became popular. Feet, tongue, snouts and brains can be found on the menus of many traditional and modern restaurants. Tête de veau, calf’s head, is no exception. Enjoy it with a sauce gribiche.


Similar to their Portuguese cousin, Pasteis de Nata, flans are a baked pastry filled with egg custard. A good flan should be creamy but not runny and have a subtle vanilla flavor.

A whole, creamy vanilla flan with one piece missing in the vitrine of Tapisserie in the the 7th arrondissement.

Baba au rhum

This round cake doused with rum syrup is the favorite dessert of boozehounds. When done right, it packs quite a punch.


Created for the Paris-Brest cycling race, this delicious pastry consists of a ring of choux pastry cut open horizontally, filled with a hazelnut brittle buttercream and sprinkled with flaked almonds and powdered sugar. Its round shape is reminiscent of a bicycle tire.


Invented by a Parisian baker, this splendid cake combines puff pastry, profiteroles, custard, whipped cream and caramel and pays tribute to the famous namesake street and to the saint of bakers, Saint Honoré.


Small, buttery pastries, sometimes flavored with rum or lemon peel, that might owe their fame to Marcel Proust, who immortalized the little cakes in his book ‘In Search of Lost Time’. In the novel, the narrator dips a madeleine into a cup of tea. The taste of the pastry triggers deep memories of his childhood and a great feeling of happiness in him. In French, something that evokes happy childhood memories is called a madeleine de Proust.

Chocolat and raspberry madeleines on a tray.


Want to know the best places to try them all? Mention this when you fill out the form for your bespoke guide and we’ll send you our personal recommendations.

Looking for vegan-friendly French cuisine? Our ‘Le Vegan’ guide knows it all.