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Fast Food in Paris

Updated on March 1, 2008

Not everyone who travels is interested in trying out the local foods of wherever they go. Personally, one of my favorite parts about traveling is trying the specialty foods from that area. But I know that not everyone is like this. I once travelled through four European countries with a family that managed to eat at a McDonald’s in every single country (including Liechtenstein, which isn’t so big).

Some people honestly want to experience new places, but aren’t interested in trying new food. Whether you have dietary restrictions, are a picky eater, or don’t want to worry about the costs of local cuisine, you have the option of grabbing fast food between your tourist activities.

Let’s face it, Paris isn’t exactly known for their quick meals. If you would rather spend your time exploring and sightseeing than spending a few hours eating a meal, then you need to know your fast food options. Honestly, Paris can be a tourist trap. If you want really great food with good service, you will probably have to go off the beaten tourist path. But if you are there for the sightseeing instead of the food, grabbing quick meals will save you a lot of time and money.

Paris Food Stands
Paris Food Stands
La Boulangerie - French Bakery
La Boulangerie - French Bakery

Paris Guidebooks on Amazon

Fast Food Ideas

Food Stands: While exploring Paris, you will come across food stands just about anywhere you go. You can grab a crepe, falafel, or a sandwich from these stands. Eat it as you walk, or sit down for a bit of Paris people watching as you take your quick meal break.

La Boulangerie: Stop by a Paris bakery for some fresh bread, tasty sandwich, or a pastry. You won’t get a four-course meal, but you will eat some wonderful baked goods that will fill you up. Honestly, if you pass one of these places the smell will trap you into buying something delicious.

Museum Food Courts: If your goal is to spend more time sightseeing than eating while in Paris, then don’t even bother leaving the museums. You will find a wide array of decent food in the food courts.

Quick: This hamburger place is similar to McD’s—burgers and pommes frites. It will be like you never left the U.S. These places are all over Paris, so you should be able to find one easily.

McDonald’s: You probably won’t be hard pressed to find a McDonald’s in Paris. The French versions of McDonald’s restaurants aren’t much different from what you will find in the United States—the food is basically the same, you pay the same way, and it is fast. The main difference you will find between a McDonald’s in Paris, France, and a McDonald’s in Paris, Texas, is that you can buy beer at the one in France. If you are having a hard time finding a Mickey D’s in Paris, ask someone where to find the MacDo, and you will be pointed in the right direction.

Oh, and the question you are dying to ask: Do they serve ketchup at French McD’s? You’ll have to find out for yourself.

Fast isn't Always Junk

Not only will finding fast food places in Paris allow you more time to sightsee, but it will probably also save you some money. A lot of restaurants will overcharge for service that isn’t so great—mainly because tourists don’t know where to go for the best food. Instead of falling into a trap, you can simply avoid the fancier restaurants.

Every time I have travelled to France, it has been with young children. Kids are not easy to take ou to eat, but especially not to French restaurants. We tended to check out fast food options, like the food stands and bakeries. Later in the afternoon, you would usually find us at a small café, with coffees and pastries. After the children were snugly in bed at the hotel, we took turns babysitting while everyone else went out to enjoy a late, leisurely French meal. To be honest, the best meals we had were often in our hotel restaurants.

Quick Restaurant: Michalak Burger Commercial


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    • Moon Daisy profile image

      Moon Daisy 

      6 years ago from London

      Nice hub. I think that the best option is definitely la boulangerie. When I was a student in France my favourite snack was a "sandwich fromage" from the boulangerie van on campus. An emmental and mustard baguette is the best thing ever!

      I also have some great memories of Quick from my student days, I even used to do my homework there. But we went to one recently, and I think it's gone downhill a lot in the last 20 years..

      And although it's true that you can get beer at lots of/most? McDonald's in Europe, sadly it's not the case in the UK. They are not licensed here.

    • InParis profile image


      7 years ago

      Brioche Dorée is a good alternative as well; this chain you can find all over Paris, and the quality is way above McD and Quick. The price is more or less the same.

    • profile image

      paul syriac 

      8 years ago

      Thanx stacie.. you made my travel much easier. i have never been to europe. i am planning my first trip in may 2011. Ive heard that eating at restaurents in europe is very expensive. especially when you are a tourist. Your information about the food court in meuseums and the idea of french bakeries is much helpful.

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      10 years ago from Seattle

      Thanks for the tip chlyn.

    • chlyn profile image


      10 years ago from Rochester, NY

      There is a fast food chain called Best Burger that is worth a try. Don't know about the burgers, but I had an excellent salad there - as nice as something that would be offered by an expensive restaurant. The one I went to was just outside the Jardin du Luxembourg.

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      10 years ago from Seattle

      Of course, I should link this to my hub about how to make healthy choices at fast food joints!

    • Drax profile image

      des donnelly 

      10 years ago from NYC....

      ahh touche... somewhere reading down the comments I forgot the hub was Fast Food in Paris... ah well, laughs... great hub Stacie thanks ..Drax..

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      10 years ago from Seattle

      Drax, you have a point. But I never wrote that McD's is great, I'm just saying it is available in Paris. And it is fast food. Just because I don't personally eat at a place doesn't mean I should leave it off of a list of places where people can eat if they are looking for something quick in Paris.

    • Drax profile image

      des donnelly 

      10 years ago from NYC....

      Stacie you are sawing your own branch here, this is like saying asbestos is great but I would not want to use myself but here I'll recommend it for you and tell you where to buy it..... ..Drax..

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      10 years ago from Seattle

      Eileen, I am not a McDonald's fan myself--but then, I don't eat meat so it really has no appeal to me. But a lot of people do like it, so it is good for them to know that they are available in places they travel to.

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 

      10 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Good article Although I cannot see what people see in McDonalds. The amount of people that cannot make their own breakfast or eat a bowl of cereal. Instead they go to (what I call ) the Dog food shop. eek. I hate it.

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      10 years ago from Seattle

      I agree about avoiding McDonald's--but, I like to incorporate eating the best of local cuisine wherever I travel. I can understand how some people just want something safe and familiar--McD's can be that.

    • cgull8m profile image


      10 years ago from North Carolina

      Cool tips, I will try them when I go there soon. I would rather avoid McDonald's in overseas countries unless I have no choice.

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      10 years ago from Seattle

      The tangent is cool. It's true that beer and wine are available at more places in Europe than in the U.S. I loved going to beer gardens in Germany, but don't really enjoy them here in the U.S. because it is like being corralled like cattle into the roped off beer garden area, after showing seven forms of ID and giving DNA just to get in to the 21 and over section.

    • Isabella Snow profile image

      Isabella Snow 

      10 years ago

      You can buy beer at most, if not all, McDonalds in the EU.. cos they don't worked up about alcohol like Americans do, lol. You can buy it in the movie theaters, too.. though I dont think Ive ever seen anyone do it. Lots of beer around, but a zero tolerance driving law that says you have to have a 0.0 blood alcohol level in most places.. so.. Good Hub, sorry to go off tangent... I like baguettes, if that helps. ;)

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      10 years ago from Seattle

      We did that a lot too Steph--it's so good, why not?

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 

      10 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Very useful article! I totally agree about not taking too much time when there is so much to see. We did the baguettes and cheese on the run, fairly often.


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