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Paris: Where to find the best burgers (à la francaise)

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There's nothing with enjoying a burger à la Francaise in Paris. Photo: Vince Kmeron
There's nothing with enjoying a burger à la Francaise in Paris. Photo: Vince Kmeron

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.

Cheeseburger, coleslaw and beer at H.A.N.D. Photo: Shok

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
Burger: €12

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
Burger: €10-12

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
Burger: €13

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:

Café Crème
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.

About the author

Bryan Pirolli

About the author: With his college diploma fresh off the press, Bryan Pirolli headed for Paris and four years later he’s still there. A journalist and a tour guide, his main M.O. is pursuing a doctorate degree in communications at the Sorbonne Nouvelle. Bryan regularly travels on a budget, experiencing the best of European culture while still trying to make rent.  So far, so good. You can follow his adventures on his blog: www.bryanpirolli.com.

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