Eat like a Parisian from your Airbnb
So you’ve made it to Paris and found your dream Airbnb, now it’s time to live like a true Parisian for awhile. One big plus of staying in an Airbnb is that you have access to a kitchen and won’t be confined to dining out for every meal. This is the perfect opportunity to try your hand at some French cooking and eat like a Parisian from your Airbnb.
The motto in Paris is metro boulot dodo, which translates to “metro, work, sleep”. And while this fast-paced lifestyle may not represent all Parisians, it’s certainly becoming more prevalent.
After a long day at work, or of exploring the city, you don’t always want to hassle with restaurant reservations or cooking a complex meal. Well, you’re in luck because Parisians know how to eat well, and simply.
So, here are some easy ways you can eat like a Parisian from your Airbnb.
Shop like a Parisian: Visit the Local Market
Paris is full of incredible artisanal shops and farmers markets, and taking advantage of these neighborhood gems is the simplest way to eat like a Parisian from your Airbnb.
Each neighborhood or quartier in Paris has its own farmer’s market, and this is the spot where the locals come to do their grocery shopping.
If you’re going to be eating simply, it’s the quality of the ingredients that count the most. And the farmer’s market has the best produce around. You’ll also find cheese and dairy stalls, rotisseries, florists, butchers, fishmongers, bakeries, takeaway food and everything in between.
This is where you’ll want to stock up on basics like your favorite produce, cheese, and meat if you eat it. My advice is to go for simplicity and versatility; after all, you want to eat like a Parisian from your Airbnb.
But I know that a trip to a bustling market in a foreign language can be a little bit of a struggle. So if it’s your first time, I’d plan on getting there early and giving yourself plenty of time to browse and take in the sights, sounds and smells of the market.
Have a look at this website for more information on markets near you, and their hours.
The Cornerstone of a Parisian Meal: Bread
You simply cannot eat like a Parisian from your Airbnb without including bread in the equation. Known for producing all ranges of amazing baked goods, the French hold bread dear to their hearts. Really, I don’t blame them, there’s just something incredibly simple and versatile about bread. Parisians don’t hesitate to enjoy bread with every meal, and you’ll find that all all the typical restaurants all serve a basket of pain to accompany your order.
Do as the locals do and head out first thing in the morning to get your hands on a freshly-baked baguette.
For breakfast, you can make a tartine, which is an open faced baguette topped with butter, jam or your preferred spread.
Loaves of bread are ideal for a picnic lunch, just bring along those meats, cheeses and fruits you picked up at the market, and voilà.
Bread can also be served with apéro (more on this in a minute) or with dinner.
The best bread can be found in local bakeries, so you should definitely pass on the mass-produced baguettes sold in the supermarkets. There’s a bakery on almost every corner, so you’ll have plenty of options. And if you’re gluten-free? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with this whole list of gluten-free spots in the city.
If you still need some ideas, here are a few of my favorite bakeries in Paris:
Let’s Keep it Simple
As I’ve mentioned before, a delicious meal doesn’t have to be fancy. In fact, keeping it simple is the key to eating like a Parisian.
A Parisian breakfast tends to be easy, usually a coffee and a croissant, or tartine. More healthy options are fresh fruits, or museli with either fromage blanc or yogurt which you can buy at the market!
Typical lunches and dinners include multiple courses, but I promise you can do this simply and without too many ingredients!
For lunch, you can whip up a quick salad with mozzarella and tomatoes from the farmer’s market. Top it with a drizzle of olive oil and some basil if you have it. First course done! Meat or fish is traditionally served as a main dish. But simple, quick solutions like sandwiches are becoming more commonplace. Put together a parisien sandwich with just four ingredients: baguette, butter, ham and cheese! Delicious, fast and easy.
Dinner is often viewed as the most complex meal of the day. But it doesn’t have to be! Dinner follows the same pattern as lunch, usually a starter and a main course. Some classic starters or entrées include a green salad with vinaigrette, toasted bread with paté, or any number of soups. All of these are easy to make, so you’ll definitely eat like a Parisian from your Airbnb.
Now onto the main dish for dinner. If you’re a meat-eater, you can never go wrong with a steak from the butcher, or a filet of fish from the market. Ask your butcher or fishmonger to recommend different methods of cooking, they really know their stuff! Still no ideas? Sear the steak or fish in olive oil, season with salt pepper and your favorite herbs. Serve with lemon, butter and veggies on the side.
If you’re a vegetarian, a popular French classic is asparagus topped with a poached egg. You literally only need two ingredients! What could be easier?
Make Time for an Apéro
Ahh the Apéro, perhaps one of the most sacred French traditions! The word apéro is short for l’apéritif which is basically a pre-dinner drinks and snack sesh. Not something you want to miss in this city of culinary delights!
Traditionally, apéro hour starts around 17-18:00, around the time people get off work. The next few hours are spent enjoying drinks, snacks and good company. A quick word of warning: many an apéro hour turn into an entire evening before you even notice.
Definitely set aside an evening to enjoy this tradition yourself! In summer months, you’ll spot Parisians flocking to café terraces to enjoy an apéro. Personally, I think it can be even nicer to do as a picnic, or at home.
Grab some baguettes, charcuterie, cheese, olives, pickles, whatever you like, and have yourself a little apéro at your place. This is super simple to prepare, An apéro is one of the ultimate ways to eat like a Parisian from your Airbnb. Plus, there’s no set rules on what should be served, so get creative. It’s all about sharing good times with friends!
What’s for Dessert?
Now it’s time for dessert! The French are known for their decadent pastries and intricate desserts, but they don’t indulge every day. The typical Parisian dessert will again be very simple. Strawberries topped with fresh Chantilly cream are a classic favorite, as are simple fruit tartes.
If you have a toaster oven or oven at your Airbnb, you can even make your own fruit tartes. They are seriously super simple and only take three ingredients. The fruit of your choice, a bit of sugar and a pie crust. For convenience sake, just buy one! You can pick up a pre-made, ready to bake pie crust at any supermarket for around €1.
Simply dice up whatever fruit you choose, and add sugar to taste. Lemon can make a really tasty addition too!
Then just grab an oven proof baking dish, cut the dough to the appropriate sizes and add in your diced fruit. Then all you have to do is wait for it to bake, and enjoy! Voilà, it’s not as hard as you thought to eat like a Parisian from your Airbnb.
If dessert isn’t really your thing, how about an after dinner cheese course? Enjoying some fromage after your meal is pretty common here, and usually takes the place of dessert. Choose whichever cheeses you like the best (from the market!), and serve with fig jam or grapes. Don’t forget the bread!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article, and that you’ll try some of these easy ways to eat like a Parisian from your Airbnb.
As always, we love hearing from our readers. So be sure to let us know if you have any questions or comments!