By Bryan Pirolli in Paris—
The long Parisian culinary tradition takes a sharp turn when it comes to the most quintessentially un-Parisian food, “le burger.”
I can hear the groans of purists who wince at the very thought of ordering “un burger” in Paris. But for better or worse, the hamburger has become something of a French staple, adopted mostly from the great American version.
Sadly, many French chefs who excel in delicious parmentier de canard and perfectly cooked steak frites have difficulty wrapping their head around the burger. Those of us aching for a diner-sized cheeseburger topped with cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomato will be disappointed, but that’s not to say that all hope is lost.
If you’re not ready to empty your wallet at Ralph Lauren’s restaurant (173 Boulevard St-Germain) for an “authentic” American version, have no fear. Armed with €15 at the most, you can fill up on a burger and fries à la française in some of these favorite spots:
1. Super Nature
12 rue de Trévise, 75009
Super Nature, in the center of Paris’ right bank, is not a tourist destination at all. Located on an unattractive street in an otherwise dead zone of the 9th arrondissement, this all-natural restaurant boasts a pretty good burger. While not organic, like most of the restaurant’s offerings, the perfectly medium-rare burger is sandwiched between a delightful bun with a bed of alfalfa. The accompanying potatoes, reminiscent of tater tots, are a welcomed side dish. And it all just feels healthy.
2. H.A.N.D. (“Have a Nice Day”)
39 rue de Richelieu, 75001
There are several American-style diners in Paris, but H.A.N.D – Have A Nice Day – is the one to try for a cheeseburger. Reviews are often mixed, but the burgers are “correct,” as the French say. While slightly small and with a mediocre bun, the Canadian bacon makes a nice, addition to a juicy burger. The fries are just fine, but get the onion rings for an extra dose of American nostalgia.
3. Le Floréal
73 rue du Faubourg du Temple, 75010
Le Floréal, a newly renovated café conveniently located down the street from me, is one of my favorite places, and not just because of its close proximity. This seemingly trendy but not-at-all intimidating spot does a mean burger. The meat was nestled between a perfect bun with plenty of cheese and onions to keep me satisfied. Paired with a cold beer, their burger is the perfect indulgence while people-watching from the café terrace.
More burgers to try
Some other addresses worth noting for a burger and fries under €15 euros while wandering other neighborhoods of Paris:
4 Rue Dupetit-Thouars, 75003
Coquelicot (with a review)
24 Rue Abbesses, 75018
Coffee Parisien (with a review)
4, rue Princesse, 75006
Your favorite burger?
So Cheapos, what other places are there in Paris to get a classic – or not so classic – burger?
Also in our Paris Guide: If you’re planning your next trip to Paris, please check out our reviews of the city’s best inexpensive hotels. Our editors have visited, inspected and photographed more than 70 budget-friendly hotels in central Paris. Read more in our Paris hotel guide.