As a chef, Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. An entire day centered around food and subsequent left-over sandwiches of tasty turkey, cranberry relish, and roasted vegetables? Yes, please!
In the States, my family gathers with all our kin, neighbors, and friends on the Chesapeake Bay for Thanksgiving. Our numbers fluctuate but we are typically a flock of twenty to thirty. Everyone’s got their own way of cooking a certain dish and that’s exactly what we do. This often results in multiple renditions of the same dish, but hey, who are we to complain? The most famous Thanksgiving multiple at the house is the turkey: one roasted, one fried, and I can say with all sincerity that they are equally delicious.
Living in France, Thanksgiving is the holiday I miss the most. Fortunately the French are always ready to join in any food-related fun and rounding up expats and Frenchies alike is very easy. Finding the ingredients, on the other hand, is a bit more tricky. Here are my professional tips for making your Thanksgiving planning a little easier and less of a headache.
Whole turkeys are often tricky to find in Franceso I suggest calling ahead to your local butcher and requesting a special order. If you’re out of luck and cannot find a turkey, guinea fowl or chicken is a wonderful option and can be found at most butchers, even outside of Paris.
Here are some high-quality butchers in Paris that I greatly respect, who source their award-winning meat responsibly from excellent farmers:
Serge is a champion butcher in all senses of the word. I live for his grand “Hello!” and bisous every time I visit.
You can never go wrong at this “Butcher of the Stars”; everything is delicious.
At 30 years old, Romain became a lauded Meilleur Ouvrier de France. He definitely knows his product!
Boucherie Le Bourdonnec
Impressive quality and the staff often sneaks in a little cooking advice.
My local. These gentlemen are true pros and have the best lard fumée I’ve ever tried. Wrap that around your bird!
Boucherie Terroirs d’Avenir
100% Guarantee your bird is straight from the farm. Terroirs is also great for vegetables, cheese, and bread.
The best option for vegetables in terms of quality and price will be an outdoor market. You’ll find several types of squash in the market this time of year. My personal favorites are the potimarron (which has a slight chestnut flavor, thus the name, a hokkaido variety), the classic butternut, the courge de Nice (a special variety of pumpkin from the south of France), the green kabocha, or acorn squash. Epicurious has an excellent pumpkin visual guide, if you need assistance.
Below is a list of my favorite markets around Paris and a link to all the market schedules and a market that is perhaps closer to you in the city here:
Marché Bastille (Thursday – 7:00 – 14:30 / Sunday – 7:00 – 15:00)
The best bang for your buck.
Marché d’Aligre (Tuesday – Friday – 7:30 – 13:30 / Saturday – Sunday 7:30 – 14:30)
Open almost every day, great for anytime shopping. Visit the organic bakery, Le Pain au Naturel, around the corner.
Marché Place Monge (Wednesday & Friday – 7:30 – 14:30 / Sunday 7:30 – 15:00 )
So charming and has several farm-direct stands, which is a rarity in Paris.
If you’re really craving that true American flavor and can’t bear to think about swapping out your cranberry relish for a red currant chutney, here’s a list of places that will save you:
The aptly-named establishment also has turkeys for pre-order.
La Grande Epicerie
This luxury food store has quite a few American ingredients, as well as excellent vegetable, cheese and butcher counters. It could be your one-stop-shop but you’ll walk out penniless.
This British boutique, tucked away in the 10th, also stocks American products.
A few alternatives, if you’re not able to cook at your apartment:
This American-owned restaurant is famous for their beautiful Thanksgiving dinners.
Never be alone on Thanksgiving! Owners Jen and Joseph are always up to something fun for the holidays and will make you an excellent well-drink.
Take a Thanksgiving themed cooking class!
Serge Caillaud – 4 Rue Lobineau, 75006. Tel: 01 40 46 02 42. Open: Tuesday-Saturday 8am-1pm and 4pm-7:30pm, Sunday 8am-1pm. Metro: Mabillion,
Hugo Desnoyer – 45 Rue Boulard, 75014. Tel: 01 45 40 76 67. Open: Tuesday – Friday 7am – 1pm and 5pm to 8pm, Saturday – 7.00 – 17.00. Metro: Mouton-Duvernet
Romain Leboeuf – 37 Avenue Felix Faure, 75015. Tel: 01 45 58 29 43, Open: Tuesday – Saturday 7am to 1pm, 3:30pm to 7:30pm, Sunday 7:30am-12:30pm. Metro: Boucicaut
Boucherie Le Bourdonnec – 172 Avenue Victor Hugo, 75016. Tel: 01 47 04 03 28. Open: Monday – Saturday 9:00am – 8:30pm, Sunday – 10:00am to 1:00pm. Metro: Victor Hugo
Boucherie Gardil – 44 Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île, 75004. Tel: 01 43 54 97 15, Open: Tuesday – Saturday – 9:00am to 12:45pm, 4:00pm to 8:00pm, Sunday 9:00am to 12:45pm. Metro: Sully – Morland
Boucherie Terroirs d’Avenir – 6 Rue du Nil, 75002. Tel: 01 85 09 84 48, Open: Tuesday – Saturday – 9:30am to 8:00pm , Saturday – 9:30am to 7:30pm, Sunday 9:30am to 1:30pm. Metro: Sentier
Thanksgiving – 20 Rue Saint-Paul, 75004. Tel: 01 42 77 68 29, Open: Tuesday – Sunday, 8:30am to 7:00pm. Metro: Saint-Paul
Le Grand Epicerie – 38 Rue de Sèvres, 75007. Tel: 01 44 39 81 00, Open: Monday – Saturday, 8:30am to 9:00pm, Sunday -10:00am -to 8:00pm. Metro: Sèvres – Babylone
L’Epicerie Anglais – 5 Cité du Wauxhall, 75010. Tel: 01 42 00 36 20, Open: Monday – Friday, 10:00am to 7:00pm. Metro: République
Verjus – 52 Rue de Richelieu, 75001. Tel: 01 42 97 54 40, Open: Monday – Friday, 7:00am to 11:00pm. Metro: Pyramides
Red House – 1bis Rue de la Forge Royale, 75011. Tel: 01 43 67 06 43, Open: Monday-Sunday 6:00pm to 2:00am. Metro: Faidherbe – Chaligny
La Cuisine Paris – 80 Quai de l’Hôtel de ville, 75004. Tel: 01 40 51 78 18, Open: Monday – Saturday 10:00am tp 6:00pm. Metro: Hôtel de Ville
- Having French guests at your Thanksgiving dinner? Check out our blog post on French Dining Etiquette.
- Would like more dining out ideas for Thanksgiving in Paris? Check out Vogues Where To Eat Thanksgiving Dinner Paris.
- Timeout reviews A true taste of America in Paris.