Gastronomy in Paris Region

May your mouth water and your tummy rumble! Head for the place that attracts hedonists, fine gourmets and would-be food critics from across the world. Paris and its region beckon you for a dining experience bursting with flavour.
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Gourmet experiences across Paris Region

The very best in gastronomy in Paris Region

The very mention of Paris conjures two thoughts: shopping and hedonism. This time, let’s put haute couture to one side and take a closer look at an art that carries just as much international influence: gastronomy. From gourmet restaurants to fine-food stores, not forgetting the pastries and chocolates, the French culinary passion takes on multiple forms. You’ll find gourmet outlets and delicious cuisine in every corner of Île-de-France. Take a seat and get ready to try dishes prepared by local chefs who put heart and talent into their cooking.

Paris, the gastronomy capital?

You may be surprised to learn that the city of Paris is not, historically speaking, considered to be the world capital of gastronomy. This title has been held by the city of Lyon since 1935. However, by its diversity of epicurean hotspots, Paris is in many respects a key destination for anyone wishing to experience the culinary expertise of France. It’s no coincidence that the French TV show Top Chef is broadcast from the City of Light! Some of the contenders have even opened their first restaurant here.

The ultimate collection of gourmet restaurants

Since we cannot judge by colour and flavour, let’s look at the figures. In March 2023, France had exactly 630 restaurants boasting stars awarded by the Michelin Guide. Our nation is runner-up in the Michelin rankings, second only to Japan. Of the French regions, Île-de-France stands at the top of the winners’ podium, with a total of 134 Michelin-starred restaurants in and around Paris. Among these culinary references, 9 have been awarded 3 of the shining stars. At this level, surgical precision is required in the kitchen, where the chefs unleash their imagination to remain on the highest echelon that a restaurant can achieve. You may be familiar with names like Christian Le Squer, Bernard Pacaud, Arnaud Donckele or Yannick Alléno. No? Then it’s time to visit the Michelin Guide website.

Parisian gastronomy

Do you know the definition of the word gastronomy? The term generally refers to meticulously prepared dishes, ingredients dosed with great precision and perfectly balanced flavours. But in its purest etymological sense, gastronomy means the ‘art of good eating’ (according to Collins). So, first and foremost, it is indeed about taking pleasure.

A sometimes guilty pleasure that can be enjoyed in the specialities of Paris and, more widely, of Île-de-France. Let’s go over some of the delights that any visitor to the region absolutely must try:

  • Croque-monsieur: a classic cheese-and-ham toasty that goes instantly upmarket with the addition of a hint of truffle.
  • Oeuf mayonnaise: as any great chef will tell you, it’s sometimes the simplest dishes (like this egg and mayonnaise starter) that we enjoy the most.
  • Hachis parmentier: the French answer to shepherd’s pie, the ultimate comforting dish.
  • Macarons: a delicious petit-four and a symbol of the sweet-toothed capital.
  • Rum baba: whose creator also happens to be the founder of the oldest patisserie in Paris.

This is just a glimpse of the pleasantly familiar Parisian specialities typically served in the city’s bistros. Many of the best restaurants like to revisit these classics.

French gastronomy without eating out

Gastronomy of Paris Region straight from the source

Luxury food can be enjoyed anywhere. Instead of dining at a gourmet restaurant, check out Paris Region’s grocery shops and markets. These fine-food sources are strategically used by many a chef. Follow their example and explore Paris district by district to determine your favourite outlets. Or for a simpler approach, go to our web page devoted to markets and delicatessens.

Do you enjoy contact with people and the friendly, buzzing atmosphere of the market? In that case you’ll love purchasing directly from the producers of Île-de-France. Food tastes even better when it’s presented to you by the farmers in the flesh, proud of the fruits of their labour. And transparency goes without saying! It’s impossible to be misled on the origins of the produce.

A little of what you fancy does you good

Chocolates, with runny, fruity, tangy or praline centres, are among the addictions to which we’re happy to succumb. Highly popular with the approach of Christmas, the chocolate shops of the French capital make an enthusiastic contribution to the international reputation of Paris on the gourmet scene. The expertise of certain chocolate makers has reached such heights that works of art might be a more appropriate title for their creations.

Patisserie is another star that dazzles the French and international gastronomy world. As the nation that created the macaron, the millefeuille, the Paris-Brest and the crème brûlée, France makes the whole world’s mouth water when it comes to sweet delights. And the advantage of these cakes and pastries is that they can be enjoyed as dessert when dining out, or on the go as a delicious sweet snack.

Gastronomy, the ultimate French experience

If we talk about gourmet restaurants, gastronomic voyages and culinary imaginations, it’s because the relationship between French people and cooking is truly one of passion. With the passing of time, this quest for culinary happiness has changed the way we eat. Dining has become an experience. An experience comprising lots of little pleasures, like appreciating a food-and-wine match, succumbing to the temptation of a slice of cheese, taking the time to savour our food, mopping up the sauce with a piece of bread… All these details combine to paint an image of France that we are proud to flaunt, as the country that loves good food.

Also to be discovered

  • Copyright images: CRT IDF/Laurin, Adobe Stock/Davit85