Few would call burgers a staple of French cuisine, but they still make an appearance on nearly every Parisian café menu. Maybe it’s part of the French love affair with the US (sometimes tumultuous, but definitely mutual), or maybe the burger is just a great vehicle for the hundreds of mind-blowing cheeses that can turn a normal burger into a genuinely French cheeseburger. Regardless of the reasons, there are some seriously good burgers in Paris prepared by cooks from all over the world, and these are the best of the best.
The Absolute Best Burgers You Can Find in Paris
The food truck that made food trucks cool in Paris, Le Camion Qui Fume now has a restaurant where its famous burgers require no chasing. The BBQ remains a favorite, with caramelized onions, bacon, aged cheddar, and a sizable onion ring (they call it an "onion beignet," but let’s not dance around). More "French" varieties exist, like the Bleu, with Fourme d’Ambert and a porto sauce, but Le Camion is rooted in American-style burgers, so don’t feel bad about going for a classic.
Strasbourg - Saint-Dénis
Not the most Parisian place on this list, W for Wok is basically a simple, local Asian takeout restaurant. True burger enthusiasts, however, will want to venture off the beaten path to indulge in the ramen burger, served at dinner. The beef patty is wedged between a bun made out of fried ramen, with a house mayo that's delightful -- and keeps us guessing about the secret ingredient. It’s served with a choice of sides, like edamame or sweet potato chips.
Latin Quarter (& other locations)
The closest you’ll get to a real American diner in Paris, this is the place for an authentic, American-style burger. Standout options include the Chile Con Carne Burger and the So Cal, with avocado, Swiss cheese, and mushrooms. You won’t need it after all that, but go big with a milkshake at the end of the meal: regret never tasted so good. And forget about calculating the tip afterwards -- we’re still in Paris here.
In 2010, a French restaurateur turned this basically abandoned restaurant into an American-style eatery that screams kitschy, right down to the Big Boy statue on the sidewalk. His burgers hit the mark, especially the B66, which serves up two steak patties, cheddar, bacon, and cocktail sauce with a heaping plate of fries. The owner is as delightful as he is altruistic, raising funds for cancer research after his son was diagnosed. Nowhere in Paris will eating burgers be such a benevolent act.
Montorgueil (& other locations)
One of the forerunners of hearty, cooked-to-order burgers, the Big Fernand is where you go for the most French of French burgers. You can’t go wrong with any of the concoctions, which are topped with cheeses you may never have heard of as well as a host of homemade sauces. And if you think you can, just create your own burger, choosing your meat, cheese, veggie, herbs, and sauce. Lines can be long, but the burgers come out quickly at all three locations.
There’s a distinct West Coast vibe at the Cantine California, run by a San Francisco native, right down to the organic beef used for the patties. Begun as a food truck in 2012, the Cantine has its own restaurant now, where you can grab a burger with Gouda, chipotle mayo, arugula, and avocado called The Obama, because, well, obviously. We’re holding our breath to see what The Hillary will taste like.
The light and delicious bao burgers at Siseng bring a bit of Asian fusion to the scene. Vegetarians will even be happy that there is a tofu burger available, should you be so inclined. We opt for the meat, served with perfectly prepared sweet potato fries and a peanut dipping sauce. It might not be a gut-buster like some of the American-style places, but it's a great change of pace.
The well-known Frog pubs in Paris make their own beer, and their outpost at FrogBurger pairs the brew with some of the city’s best burgers. Beef, pulled pork, and fried chicken burgers are all on the menu, and they’re all spot-on. The Da Vinci burger, with serrano ham, mozzarella, pesto mayo, and arugula, is a nod to mainland Europe, while staying true to the Frog’s British pub roots.
For more than 20 years, Coffee Parisien has been serving up American-style fare day and night. The burgers here are less fussy than some of the fancy joints: just go for a straight-up bacon cheeseburger and call it a day. If you’re feeling saturated with red meat, give the tuna burger a try.
The original Schwartz’s in the Marais has spawned two more locations... suggesting that it's doing something right with its burgers. The Chèvre has fried goat cheese and arugula with a honey balsamic sauce, while the Forestier is topped with mushrooms, Parmesan cream, and truffle oil. Sounds fancy, right? Wrong. We’re not talking elegant gastronomy here -- we’re talking large, dripping, delicious burgers that just happen to have a slightly high-end touch to them.
Hailing from Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France, King Marcel gives other local burger joints a run for their money with its shop in Paris. Using only French beef, it tops its burgers with goat cheese and Saint-Nectaire cheeses -- the stinkier the better, right? The Cerdan burger is topped with raclette cheese, bacon, onions, pickles, and homemade ketchup, ensuring that this French-American paradox will one day become a thing of legend.
Opened at the beginning of August, Five Guys has made its entrance into France with a restaurant down in Bercy Village. Fans of the chain already know what to expect, but the rest of Paris will discover burgers under 10 euros, with just four types to choose from, and a slew of garnishes like jalapeños, relish, pickles, and hot sauce. It may seem ridiculous to go for a US chain in Paris, but it’s exciting for anyone who can’t wait for a trip to the US or UK for one of these burgers... don't judge.
Sign up here for our daily Paris email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in the City of Light.
1. Le Camion qui Fume – Place de la Madeleine13 place de la Madeleine, Paris
2. W For Wok12 rue des Petites Écuries, Paris
3. Breakfast in America4 rue Malher, Paris
4. Le Fil Rouge Café3 rue René Boulanger, Paris
5. Big Fernand32 rue Saint-Sauveur, Paris
6. Cantine California46 rue Turbigo, Paris
7. Siseng82 quai de Jemmapes, Paris
8. FrogBurger19 rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, Paris
9. Coffee Parisien4 Rue Princesse, Paris
10. Schwartz's Deli16 rue des Ecouffes, Paris
11. King Marcel166 rue Montmartre, Paris
12. Five Guys42 cour Saint-Émilion, Paris
This brick-and-mortar, which started as a food truck that ultimately made food trucks cool in Paris, flips some of the juiciest burgers you'll find in all of Paris. You can get a classic American-style burger (Le Camion's specialty) with lettuce and tomato, or go French and try the fanicer Bleu, with Fourme d’Ambert and a porto sauce. The BBQ is a favorite here, which is topped with caramelized onions, bacon, aged cheddar, and a sizable onion ring (or, as they call it, "onion beignet," because they fancy, huh?).
W for Wok is your straightforward, addictive Asian takeout restaurant. It's got all your Asian favorites, but the standout on the menu here is the ramen burger served at dinner. The beef patty is wedged between a bun made out of fried ramen (!), with a house mayo that includes a secret ingredient to keep you wondering how it's so damn tasty. Venturing farther from the idea of a typical burger, it comes with a choice of sides like edamame or sweet potato chips.
Homesick for the old US of A? Slide into a booth at this American-style diner modeled off the historic roadside attractions of Route 66 and dig into a scrumptious pancake breakfast. This is also the place to go for an authentic American burger. You'll want to try Chile Con Carne Burger or the So Cal, made with avocado, Swiss cheese, and mushrooms. Top it off with a big-ass milkshake like a good American should and hide your regret as you step back outside onto the chic Parisian streets.
You know you found Le Fil Rouge Cafe when you spot the Big Boy statue on the sidewalk. The kitschy decor continues when you step inside the space, which, in 2010, a French restaurateur transformed from an abandoned restaurant into an American-style eatery. It hits all (and we mean all) the American cliches, sporting an over-the-top diner feel complete with jukebox, and hits all the flavors with its tasty burgers. You'll want to order the B66 -- two steak patties, cheddar, bacon, and cocktail sauce with a heaping plate of fries.
Big Fernand crafts tender and juicy burgers exactly how you want them, letting you choose whatever meat (beef, chicken, veal, or lamb), cheese, and toppings you're craving. Or, you can pick one of the hearty burger combos off the menu, like the beef-based Le Bartholomé, piled with raclette cheese, pork bacon, caramelized onions, chives, and homemade barbecue and cocktail sauces. This joint (and its other two locations) has gained quite a following, so lines can be long, but don't worry, these made-to-order burgers come out quickly.
Headed up by a San Francisco native, the Cantine California has a real West Coast feel to it -- from the white walls and wood accents to the organic beef used to make the patties for its scrumptious burgers. What started as a food truck in 2012 is now a popular brick-and-mortar spot, where you'll want to order one of the flavorful burgers, like The Obama, which is topped with Gouda, chipotle mayo, arugula, and avocado, or some street-food style tacos.
If you need a break from hefty, American-style burgers, head to Siseng, where they're flipping lighter but equally tasty creations with an Asian fusion. The specialty is bao burgers, which are seasoned beef patties topped with tamarind and tempura onion, or a chicken filet with coconut milk and basil on steamed Chinese buns. Even vegetarians will feel right at home here with the tofu burger. No matter which you choose, you'll be able to indulge in sweet potato fries and a peanut dipping sauce.
From the team that brought you the well-known Frog pubs in Paris comes FrogBurger, their outpost that pairs their custom brew with some of the city’s best burgers. On the menu, you'll find a wide variety of patties that include beef, pulled pork, and fried chicken varieties. A go-to is the Da Vinci burger, which is made with serrano ham, mozzarella, pesto mayo, and arugula. It may be a nod to mainland Europe, but it doesn't stray from the Frog’s British pub roots.
If you're craving a good ol' fashioned American menu, don't be fooled by Coffee Parisien's name, this Saint-Germain joint is serving up all your US-of-A favorites -- from BBQ spare ribs to eight different kinds of burgers. No matter which one you choose, you'll find that it's less fussy than what some fancier spots are flipping, like the straightforward but scrumptious bacon cheeseburger. Looking to stray from the beef route? Consider going for the tuna burger.
Schwartz's is obviously doing something right with its burgers: the original in the Marais has spawned two additional locations. Once you grab a seat at one of the red booths inside this New York deli-style spot, consider ordering the Chèvre, which has fried goat cheese and arugula with a honey balsamic sauce, or the Forestier, topped with mushrooms, Parmesan cream, and truffle oil. These creations may sound elegant, but they're among the messiest out there -- hefty, dripping burgers packed with flavor and just a bit upscale.
When it comes to burgers, King Marcel means business. It is an import from Lyon, after all, the food capital of France (so, you know, heaven). It exclusively uses French beef in its burgers, and tops them with goat cheese and only the stinkiest of Saint-Nectaire cheeses. You'll want to check out the Cerdan burger, piled with raclette cheese, bacon, onions, pickles, and homemade ketchup, creating what is basically a French-American hybrid that will likely blow your mind.
This is wrong… so wrong. But screw it: American fast food chain Five Guys is in Paris, and the French are excited. A wave of Parisian burger joints tried to mimic the kinds of burgers found in the US over the past few years, but to no avail (barring the Camion Qui Fume). Five Guys at the Bercy Village this July is destined to attract more than just expats who miss their Shake Shacks and In-N-Outs.