In France everything that has to do with food and eating is taken very seriously. Fresh Produce in the markets are better appreciated than supermarket produce. When you buy vegetables, you know where in the world they came from. There’s a strict control over the quality of products starting with wine, cheese, meats and even salt! This system, called AOC, meant to protect both the customer and the producers. You should buy your meats in the Boucherie (but more specifically the pork products in the Charcuterie and the poultry in the Volaillerie), the bread in the Boulangerie, the pastries in the Patisserie, the cheese in the Fromagerie and so on.

Eating times are also still very traditional: Lunch is 12:00-14:00 and dinner is 19:30-22:00. Order of the meal is something you can’t mess with: Apperetif, amuse bouche, entrée, plate, fromage, dessert, cafe. Minimum meal would be entrée + plat / plat + dessert.

French don’t like to eat on-the-go and would prefer to sit down and eat properly even if they are alone. Tables of one for lunch and dinner in restaurants of all ranges are very common. Eating with their hands? No, everything is eaten with knife and fork (the right knife of course), even pizza and burger. When you go to a bar, you can see people ordering burger and eating it with fork and knife. I think French Fries are an exception and allowed to eat with the hands.

Gradual changes in eating concepts are being introduced to French people and they seem to like it, like “Mcdo” (McDonald’s) and “kebab”. But lets face it, there’s not a lot of street food in France, it’s not part of their culture. I was actually very much surprised when I attended “La nuit blanche” and could not find any food stalls in the streets, just long long queues of people.

The original street food of Paris, the Crêpe, is the one thing you can actually eat on-the-go. But to get the better quality interesting fillings crêpe you would have to sit down in a real restaurant. The “Kebab” which is like Shawarma, is pretty shitty to be honest. American food trucks are new in Paris and looks like they have a bright future by the long queues they make.

I tried some of the options available in the city and these are my results:


Boca Mexa: Fast Mexican food chain. Expensive for what you get and very basic, every extra costs more. I took the quesadilla, I guess the burrito is a better choice as it comes with sour cream and lettuce and when I asked for some fresh vegetables inside my quesadilla it was not possible.

The wall of spicy sauce is nice touch thought. It was 8.5 euro. In this price I think you better go to Candelaria which is at least interesting and home made at the same prices.


The Vietnamese Banh-mi is a nice Asian sandwich to go. I had an awesome one few month back. This one, at Tang Gourmet was spicy beef in ginger and lemon grass. Definitely a good barging for 3,80 euro including coconut juice. The problem is that it’s hard to find around Paris in the non-chinese areas.


Parisian classic for a late snack while you’re walking the streets drunk and happy: Crêpe with nutella and banana.

Be sure always to ask for a freshly made crêpe (made in front of you) and never agree to a re-heated one. It’s a tourist trap! Our nice Crêpe maker suggested some finger inside as well but we declined.

Sweet pleasure!

Sitting down for a crêpe. David said it’s the best place for a crêpe in Paris. I doubt that. It was okay that’s all.

Pear, Chevre and bacon. The problem was that the proportions were off. Not moist enough. For 8.5 euro I think I better make one at home. The positive: buckwheat flour batter.


In the Marais you can find some Falafel places. On a sunny Sunday there’s a huge queue to get your hands on it. It’s well known that the l’As du Fallafel is the best. Surprise surprise: they don’t have a free salad bar like we do in Israel and unfortunately no pickles as well. You can’t ask whatever you want inside, just say spicy sauce or not.. No hummus as well. I asked for extra tehini sauce and some spicy. It was a nice fallafel with a lot of vegetables inside, sour cabbage red and white and a balanced flavors of tartness and salty with a crispy fried fallafel balls. The pita bread is average. Price: 5,5 euro. Glad to say there’s a lot better in Israel, and cheaper as well.


Argentinian meat Empanada with red wine at “Cueva del Diablo“. This was not really a street food because we ate that as part of a Tango night with a live band. I still consider Empanada as the ultimate street food. It was good, baked instead of fried. And the one with cheese and onion was also good! With the wine and the live show for 5 euro – totally worth it!

Live tango band

Some dances as well


Last street food I tried lately was the food truck “Cantine California“. They followed the last year success of “Le Camion Qui Fume” with the same concept. I did not try the later yet but just happen to walk by the Cantine California truck one evening made me stop even though I was just partly hungry.

The manager taking orders

The menu: 10 euro for a taco and 11 for a burger and fries. We arrived around 19:30 and as soon as we got there (no queue) we were told there were no more burgers, just tacos. It was disappointed because the burgers sounded delicious but we settled for a “carnitas” pork taco.

Sadly I was not happy with the dish. Nothing was right. They used pork shoulder and it was dry and boring (why not use pork belly??). Not seasoned enough, no salsa, not enough cilantro and the beans were just okay. I put a lot of hot sauce to make it better for my taste.

They pride themselves for using only organic products. Is this a good thing when you’re eating a burger or a tortilla? I’m not sure but I heard this is how it goes in California nowadays. I also figured out some of the failure must come from the lack of ingredients at this hour. The tortilla we got was not “home made mais tortilla” as was written in the menu, but rather a wheat ready made bought tortilla. Makes a lot of difference. Also it looks like they were running out of vegetables and herbs, this is why we got just a sample of it. This was not professional. You ran out of ingredients, don’t sell it anymore, better than selling a bad dish. On top of all this: eating taco is a messy business. Give us wet wipes to clean our hands! There were none of course and we had to walk 15 minutes to the closest Macdo to wash our hands. Was it worth 10 euro? No way.

My friends went some other day, early at noon to get their taste of the food truck and were more satisfied. From their pictures I could see they got the actual home made tortilla and a decent amount of cilantro. The meat looks more juicy but I can’t compare that by the picture. Also they said the burger was a lot better compared to the taco. Thanks Belle Maitai for the picture!

I think a place has to deliver what he writes in the menu. This is why I posted a complaint about the tortilla issue on the Cantine California tweeter account but did not receive any response yet. I’m not going back to check out the burger, maybe will try the Camion qui Fume’s burgers instead.


Paris has still a lot to learn about making quality street food. But no pressure because it still has the best sit down restaurants in the world and we love her for that.


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2 Responses to Street Food? In Paris?

  1. […] is a girl who finished Ferrandi few years ago. Recently I mentioned the newer food truck Itried, Cantine California, trying to replicate the Camion’s […]

  2. […] stalls, especially if you arrive from France, where there’s almost none (see my post about it here). The view from the Eurostar tunnle Arriving in London’s St. Pancreas train station Meeting […]

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