Whether you came to Paris to dine in Michelin-starred restaurants or consume your body weight in macarons, millefeuilles, and crepes, when you’re out and about, pounding the streets and taking in the sights, sometimes all you really want to eat is a sandwich. From classic ham and butter baguettes to gourmet kebabs, our list has the best addresses in town for a lunch or dinner on the go.
Chez Aline, the only outwardly remarkable feature of which is its oversized neon Z, is the place to go if you’re looking for the textbook definition of a French sandwich. This former horse butcher was transformed into a sit-in deli by Delphine Zampetti in 2012. The décor is pure vintage – Formica surfaces, retro tiles, and even the odd item of taxidermy – and the Prince de Paris ham and Borniambuc butter sandwich is as traditional as it gets. The price tag of €4.50 might seem high for such a simple meal but it’s quality all the way.
One for ham enthusiasts, Caractère de Cochon in the 3rd arrondissement is the only shop in the entire city that is 100% dedicated to the pig in all its forms. The shelves are packed and the ceiling hung with every kind of cooked and cured ham imaginable, sourced from all over France. There are also pâtés, terrines, antipasti and sausages by their dozens. The lunchtime ham and butter sandwich costs €5 but you have your choice of meats to fill it with.
Freshly opened in autumn 2016, Pressing is a gourmet panini café in the lively 10th arrondissement. It’s open for lunch and then, after a brief pause, into the early hours, making it a perfect pit stop during a night on the town. The bread is sourced from Gontran Cherrier, an amazing artisan baker, and the seasonal recipes are designed by some of the city’s top chefs. For €7.50, you can try Les Arlots head chef Thomas Brachet’s pork belly, snails, parsley, and horseradish panini or the avocado, carrot, pickled onion, and tandoori sauce creation of Galen Emery, formerly of KGB.
To get that chilled out, southern feel from your Parisian sandwich experience, head to Les Niçois. Sitting on the corner of the gorgeous Square Maurice Gardette in the 11th arrondissement, this bright and airy restaurant specialises in pan bagnat, a Provençal sandwich famous for its round bread, juicy tomato, rich olive oil and strict absence of mayonnaise and salad. To further transport you to the Côte d’Azur, owners Luc Sananes and Olivier Chini have even installed a petanque ground in the basement. Open for lunch and dinner, you can enjoy your €4 sandwich with a refreshing glass of pastis.
Another great spot for pan bagnat is Bagnard, a small, pretty shop with a blue and white striped awning on the Rue Saint-Augustin in the 2nd arrondissement. Celebrity chef Yoni Saada is behind this Mediterranean venture and, as you’d expect, the food is top notch. From Wednesday through Friday, you can also stop by in the evening for an apéro and some nibbles.
Over on the other side of the Palais Royal, tucked down a pedestrianised street, is Miss Bánh mì, a colourful canteen specialized in, you guessed it, bánh mì, the traditional Vietnamese sandwich. The crusty bread comes from the swanky bakery Eric Kayser and the standard fillings of grated carrot, daikon, homemade soya mayo, cucumber, coriander, chilli and fried onion are delicious in their own right. Add in beef with sake and pepper or roast veal with ginger, lemongrass, and coconut milk and you have an €8 sandwich that is to die for.
Miznon, the new project of Tel Aviv’s rockstar chef Eyal Shani, is at the center of the historic Marais’ super trendy food scene. His pitas, filled with succulent lamb, ratatouille, beef bourguignon, minute steak, or stuffed cabbage, offer an amazing taste of the Eastern Mediterranean. If one sandwich isn’t enough (and when is it ever?) you can always have a dessert pita of chocolate and banana or Tarte Tatin. These €5 sandwiches are made in front of you with the freshest ingredients and are utterly unforgettable.
There are plenty of fast-food joints up in Pigalle, few of them worth stepping foot in. But if you’re in the neighbourhood and in need of a quick bite to eat then you are in safe hands at Zarma. This gourmet kebab shop is also famous for its 100% gluten-free fries.
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