Parisian Living

Eat with Locals in Paris

by Emily Dilling

Paris is full of great options for eating out. With its world-renowned restaurants, cute corner cafés, and neo-bistros, visitors to Paris have an abundance of options when it comes to choosing where to eat in Paris. While most travelers have a bucket list of restaurants to reserve, there is a growing trend of tourists seeking out alternative dining options like where to eat with local Parisians for a more intimate experience with the city’s food culture.

A male traveler to Paris, laughing and enjoying dinner with Parisian locals at sunset.
Featured Image: Paul Robert/ Above: Raw Pixel

If you’re tired of sitting in restaurants surrounded by English-speaking tourists, want an authentic Paris dining experience, or are looking to make new friends, you may want to try one of the various meal-share platforms that bring tourists and Parisians together at the same table. Here‘s where we like to go to eat with locals in Paris.

How to eat with locals in Paris, which is particularly handy when you want to know where to go for the best ice cream in summer like this visitor to the city, sitting close to the River Seine (left). Know where to go to eat with Parisians, wherever you are in the city (right).
Stephan Valentin/ Valentin B. Kremer

VoulezVousDîner

Present in 120 different countries, VoulezVousDîner pairs local home chefs and foodies with tourists looking to have a unique dining experience while abroad. With VoulezVous Dîner, you’ll get the chance to enjoy a meal prepared especially for you by a local in their own home. The diverse selection of Paris meals includes an authentic Indian option (24€), intimate dinners with a view of the Eiffel Tower (72€), and a vegetarian lunch (23€). So if you want to eat with locals in Paris, it doesn’t get better than this. Enjoy a cultural exchange over a home-cooked meal and gain insight into the everyday life of Parisians.

Eating with locals in Paris gives you a glimpse into what Parisian apartments are like, including the feature wooden staircases that spiral up to each floor (left). Make sure to always bring a small gift like a plant (right).
Alessio Lin/Samuel Zeller

eatwith

With its platform proposing dinners, cooking classes, food tours, and supper clubs; eatwith has something for everyone. The website offers another great way to eat with locals in Paris, while giving you a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how Parisians shop for food. Try an outdoor market tour and lunch experience (144€) where your host takes you food shopping at a local market and teaches you how to rustle up a tasty French meal with the produce. Classes like a macaron-making course (140€) and learning the art of the soufflé (96€) guarantee that you’ll be able to recreate your French foodie experience when you get back home.

Visitors and local Parisians clinking glasses over a home-cooked meal in Paris.
Raw Pixel

Meal Sharing

Meal Sharing promises to help users discover home-cooking in over 150 countries, including several cities in France. The Paris local meal-share options are limited at the moment, but sure to grow with time. What makes them interesting is their diversity—vegetarian tourists will enjoy the Italian vegetarian experience (20€) and those looking for an interesting fusion experience will want to book the Palestinian-French dinner (40€). Meal Sharing offers affordable meals (for instance, you can book a Brazilian lunch in Lyon for 5€) and honest experiences with home-cooks and food lovers who are eager to share their knowledge and time with you, making this another great way of eating with Parisian locals.

Eating with locals in Paris often involves cheese and wine (left). Enjoying a home-cooked meal at a Parisian's apartment gives you a glimpse of what's behind those beautiful building facades (right).
Raw Pixel/ Meax

Airbnb Experiences

While most travelers are familiar with Airbnb as a way to find lodging while on the road, many have yet to discover Airbnb Experiences. After launching in late 2016, Airbnb Experiences have steadily been on the rise and are now offered in thousands of locations across the world. The Paris offering is vast and includes a variety of tempting options for the foodie tourist to eat with locals. Take a croissant and coffee walk (37€) with a Parisian in the morning, then make new amis in the evening with a Belleville-based wine bar crawl (75€). 

Meeting locals in Paris can be done over a meal, here's our list of top meal sharing sites.
Raw Pixel

With Locals

As its name implies, With Locals aims to bring tourists and locals together over great food, making it so much easier for visitors to the city to eat with the local Parisians. Currently offering over 80 private tours and activities in Paris, the website features food-focused experiences in addition to cultural activities. Mom and dad can enjoy a private cheese tasting (57€) by a local host before taking the kids to Family Masterpiece: Montmartre & Art Workshop or the Bonjour Paris!- Fun Family Intro Tour.

The best way of seeing Paris is with locals, like this girl who's being shown around the city by a local.
Raw Pixel

In addition to the family friendly aspect of this platform, With Locals also works closely with its hosts to offer a wide range of ways to discover and learn from the history, architecture, hidden secrets, and food culture of Paris. 

When eating with local Parisians, expect there to be lots of ham and bread (left). Dining at a local Parisian's apartment helps you discover new neighborhoods like this quiet off-the-beaten-track area (left).
Raw Pixel/ Jan Antonin Kolar

Please note: All prices were verified as of March 2019.

Related Links

Know how to eat with locals in Paris, from home-cooked meals to picnics (left). Eating with Parisians is the best way of getting to know the city and its inhabitants like this stylish man sitting on the stoop of an apartment building while on the phone (right).
Rishabh Varshney/ Sergey Bulgakov

Written by Emily Dilling for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation, or long term, rental in Paris, Italy, France or elsewhere in Europe.

Written By

Emily Dilling

Emily Dilling is a France based writer and author of My Paris Market Cookbook: A Culinary Tour of French Flavors and Seasonal Recipes. In 2005 Emily moved to Paris from her native California and began exploring the cities markets, restaurants, and cafés. In 2010 she founded the blog Paris Paysanne, where she writes about her favorite addresses and artisans in the city. Emily currently lives in the Loir-et-Cher region of France, where she writes and works in the grapevines. View Website

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