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!
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!)
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 Bankert (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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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Written by Neil Kreeger for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Plum Guide and our Marketplace for fabulous vacation rentals in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long or short term, or buy in France? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates or click here. Looking to bring France home to you or to learn online or in person? Check out our marketplace shop and experiences.