Mar 10th, 2022, 09:00 AM

Top Four Authentic French Restaurants in Paris

By Oscar Padula
Photo Credit: Pdbreen
A refined list of underrated local cuisine

Paris: the epicenter of great food - if you know where to go. As a self-proclaimed gourmand and a senior of the American University of Paris, I have acquired a catalog of top-tier restaurants that you probably haven’t heard of. This is not a mere list for tourists looking to eat next to the Eiffel tower, but for those who seek an authentic Parisian meal. Here are my top four recommendations for unique local restaurants. Be sure not to tell too many people about these “hidden gems,” I don’t want them to become too popular.


1 Rue du Commerce 75015

. Image Credit: Allen Blackwell

This quaint burger joint offers a unique tapestry of options. The Big Mac contains a multitude of tastes, including the exotic flavor of pickles, which are like soggy cucumbers who have given up on life. Burgers are comprised of beef patties, which originally come from cows. The manager was insistent that the patty was not wombat meat. There are also satisfying alternatives such as the fish fillet or the veggie salad, a mix of green waste pulled out of the dirt. However, the prized piece on the menu is the bundle of fried potato sticks called french-fries that can be dipped into a succulent tomato paste. I only wished I knew about the tomato condiment before I threw mine on the floor and yelled “gross.” This restaurant offers a near-perfect dining experience with the exception of certain clientele. I recall a few adolescents laughed at me when I took off my shirt to wipe my face. Nonetheless, I would recommend this place first to anyone who wants an authentic French meal.


2 Rue du Commerce 75015

 Image Credit: Allen Blackwell

Unlike most sit-down restaurants, this subversive eatery allows guests to not only to pick out ingredients, but also to take them home and cook for themselves. I went inside expecting a classic French meal and left with tofurkey, yogurt, and a satchel of prunes. The eating options range from raw veggies and iced-dairy treats to shelves of canned tuna from around the world. It is a foodie’s paradise you will never want to leave, but it closes at 7PM. Be prepared for the dining ritual: exploring the various aisles, collecting food in a basket, and waiting in a long line to use an automated checkout machine. So much fun! If the line is too long, leave your basket and eat right off the shelf. The security guard may throw you out, but no worries, the back exits are poorly guarded and seldom locked.


66 Av. De La Motte-Picquet, 75015

 Image Credit: Allen Blackwell


If you need to quench your thirst with a steaming ‘cup of joe,’ this café is for you. There are a variety of pastries for your choosing, like the Oreo chocolate cake or the cinnamon roll. You can’t go wrong! If you need something more filling, try the croque madame that is still frozen in the display case. In a matter of seconds, they will stuff it in a large microwave that will perfectly heat the sandwich into a soggy dream. The coffee is so good, you will want to mask it with as many syrups as possible. Keep in mind that when the barista asks for your name, they are not flirting, so at no point should you try to tie your cinnamon roll in a knot with just your tongue or do your sexy dance on the countertop. They will call the police and may make you cry.

Chipotle Mexican Grill:

18 Bd Monmatre, 75009


Chipotle (@chipotle) • Instagram photos and videos


Don’t be alarmed by the title, this Mexican grill is more French than Notre Dame. The restaurant has an open kitchen that allows customers to view how exciting a minimum wage job in the restaurant industry can be. The person behind the counter may make the food, but the customer calls the shots. You can command the employees to add whatever toppings you desire, giving you a sense of privilege for the price of 11 Euros. I chose a burrito: A compressed baguette called a “tortilla” filled with meat, rice, and vegetables. Be prepared to scream when you see the sheer size of the burrito. I actually yelled “you want me to do what with that thing?” and laughed at my own joke, as the man behind the counter rolled his eyes. Don’t be afraid to ask for substitutions; when ordering tacos, I asked if I could add my own medication in the taco. The employee may be hesitant at first, but if you insist “it is the only way I can take my medication because I have a fear of swallowing pills,” they will eventually give in. If you need a beverage, go for the complementary tap water which rivals the delicious water of Flint, Michigan or the state of Mississippi.

After trying one of these unique Parisian restaurants, you will be fundamentally changed. One McDonalds burger inspired me to forgive my father and rekindle our shattered relationship. If you’re homesick, you may be tempted to try cafés, bistros and boulangeries; but keep in mind, you are in a city of cuisine. Take advantage of your time here and try new places, like Chipotle.