Food

Where to Find the Best Comfort Foods in Paris

by Neil Kreeger

With spring around the corner, the temperatures are easing up a little. However, one way to make the most of the remaining cold days is to indulge in some of the city’s tastiest winter comfort foods – otherwise, you’ll have to wait a whole eight months to tuck into a gooey joy-inducing raclette or home-cooked boeuf bourgignon

Left, a burger placed on a wooden board with a knife in it. Right, three colorful doughnuts stacked on top of one another.
John Fornander / Kobby Mendez

These five places, which together represent about four inches on my waistline, offer scientifically proven remedies for the misery of what remains of the winter. (Disclaimer: They’re not really scientifically proven, so please, indulge in moderation!)

Left, doughnuts covered in pink icing. Right, a burger oozing melted cheese is one of the comfort foods to eat.
Katherine Sousa / Chad Montano

Boneshaker

Yeah, that’s right… I’m starting with dessert, deal with it. I spend a lot of time in this tiny doughnut joint run by (young) mom and pop Amanda (DC-born, Cordon Bleu-trained) and Louis (Ireland-born, ex-OECD). Now friends, I hang out for hours on end (the stool to the right as you walk in is MINE), goofing around with the couple and customers.

Left, burger and fries on a plate on a wooden table. Right, a pillowy stack of powdered doughnuts.
Louis Hansel / Gerold Hinzen

Most flavors are constants (fluffernutter – oh my goodness), although every month brings a new special and some change with the seasons. But what they all have in common is that each bite is roughly equivalent to a mini orgasm, so you’ll want to eat them slowly in public to avoid bringing attention to yourself. Pop in before lunch for the largest selection. 

People enjoying plates of burgers and fries in Paris.
Dan Gold

Sold Out

You’d think that by now the Parisian burger wave would have crashed into the shore and gone back out to sea, but that’s not the case. Jean-Roch, (another friend of mine who spent several years working in different burgers joints stealing their best ideas) and his associate have just opened Sold Out, a little shop by the Canal Saint-Martin in northeast Paris.

Burgers are one of Parisians' favorite foods, especially in winter.
Jakub Kapusnak

The menu: cheeseburger. Yup, it’s so good they didn’t even bother to think of any alternatives. Well, you can add bacon for one euro more and of course there’s the fries and sodas and beers, but this “dirty burger” is just perfect, mainly because it contains no pointless salad or tomato; just meat, cheese, pickles, onions, and sauce. Mark my words: This is going to be huge. 

On left, poutine being poured in a paper bowl. On right, crumbly cheese. Both photographs courtesy of Maison de la Poutine, found in Paris' 2nd and 11th arrondissements.
Maison de la Poutine

La Maison de la Poutine

Fries, cheese, gravy. What’s not to like? Exactly. Such are the three basic ingredients of the classic Québécois dish, poutine, the perfect winter comforter. Formerly only available at the handful of Canadian pubs in the capital, this outfit, which has grown to four Parisian branches in just over two years, offers a delicious taste of French Canada to warm your cockles.

Left, warm fries ready to eat. Right, poutine being carefully prepared at Maison de la Poutine, a poutinerie with locations in Paris' 11th and 2nd arrondissements.
Maison de la Poutine

As well as their original recipe, whose sauce is made with chicken, beef; and BBQ sauce, they have other, more liberty-taking options such as “La Bûcheronne,” which features lardons, caramelized onions, fried onions, and mustard, as well as a vegetarian poutine. To keep things fresh, they also bring out specials on a regular basis, while during the week they offer sodas for a euro with all lunchtime poutines!

Left, the sign outside of the Maison de la Poutine in Paris. Inside the Maison de la Poutine with its royal blue interiors and booths. There are locations in Paris' 11th and 2nd arrondissements.
Maison de la Poutine

Les Apôtres de Pigalle

Owned by three Parisian brothers who now all work at the restaurant, this is the only place I’ve chosen for one particular dish. Opened in the summer of 2016 in what was previously a traditional Auvergnat restaurant, it’s loved so much by locals and tourists alike that it’s the highest ranking restaurant in the whole country on TripAdvisor! Les Apôtres (“the apostles”) is a place for sharing, where customers tick the dishes they want on a paper menu and then split the plates amongst themselves. But there is one in particular which is to die for: the truffle mac and cheese. Cooked like a risotto so that the result is creamy heaven rather than pasta gratin, I can’t get enough of this simple yet addictive dish, which is sure to rid you of the blues in just a few mouthfuls.

A man serving gooey cheese raclette on a plate, one of the best winter foods in France.
Claudio Schwarz Purzlbaum

Le Chalet Savoyard

What if I told you there was a place where you can scrape an unlimited supply of melted cheese onto potatoes, meat, and pickles, no questions asked? You’d think I was crazy, right? Well, while I may be a little mad, when it comes to food, this boy don’t lie.

Fondue is a favorite winter comfort food adored by Parisians.
Angela Pham

Raclette is at once the name of a Swiss cheese and a dish in which a half-wheel of cheese is heated by a lamp on its exposed side so that it melts and can be scraped off onto your plate with the traditional accompaniments. Le Chalet Savoyard, a Paris institution, is the only place I’ve ever been for raclette and that’s not about to change. You can choose between blue, goat, and truffle cheese, amongst others, while they’ll keep bringing cheese and potatoes as long as you keep finishing them. If you don’t fancy the physical act of scraping then you could always go for a fondue or tartiflette. 

Adresses

Boneshaker Doughnuts – 77, rue d’Aboukir, 75002

Sold Out – 2 rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010

La Maison de la Poutine – 11 rue Mandar, 75002

Les Apôtres de Pigalle – 2 rue Germain Pilon, 75018

Le Chalet Savoyard – 58 rue de Charonne, 75011

Related Links

Written by Neil Kreeger for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates.

Written By

Neil Kreeger

Originally from London but living and working in Paris for more than 10 years, Neil started out as a travel journalist mainly reviewing hotels all over the world for an online magazine based in Paris. While he still writes for various publications including Luxos Magazine and Pullman Hotels' Junction Magazine, he has more recently turned his attention to the food and beverage industry and has worked at several well-known restaurants in Paris. View Neil Kreeger's Website

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