Have you noticed how much Paris is being influenced by American food culture in recent years? MLP picked up on this when talking to a French Mama who was lamenting at the growing number of burger joints in the city, and the challenges of convincing her offspring to have ‘fois gras’ over a juicy hamburger!
Macdonalds and Burger King are more present now than they have ever been, and can be seen crammed with French youths enjoying a taste of something quite different to their strict French diet!
Bringing a super healthy high quality option to the table is the arrival of The Food Truck. Tasty ‘meals on wheels’ pulling up to a street near you any given day of the week, offering what many consider to be ‘US junk food’ in a fresh and delicious new way.
Having first made their appearance about three years ago, The Food Trucks known as Les Camions in French are all the rage now! And the queues prove just how popular they are.
So what do you need to know?
- The first truck arrived from the US in 2011? It was called Le Camion Qui Fume (The Smoking Truck) owned by a young Californian called Ms Kristin Frederick. She spotted the opportunity and despite the initial resistance, persevered and finally won over the Parisians.
- Street food is nothing new in Paris, so what makes these trucks any different? It’s the first time that chefs have combined their high-end food couture, creativity & experience with quality ingredients and taken it to the street.
- This doesn’t sound like the Parisian way? It wasn’t! And there was plenty of persuading that had to happen to get the French on board. Not only were the Parisians perplexed by the idea of eating such cuisine on the street, but without a knife and fork? Mon dieu! Non non non! Then of course there was the challenge of ‘bricks and mortar’ restaurants, who were ‘up in arms’ about this new type of competition parked just up the road from their more traditional style businesses. And let’s not forget the ‘red-tape’ – getting a licence for such an idea…was not easy.
- How comes it’s successful? Well, The standard of the food is ‘out of this world.’ The quality ingredients which are mostly organic, combined with new secret techniques and accompaniments, have made these special meat in a bun sandwiches not only super scrumptious but sort after too. It’s something different and has its own niche. Plus, it appeals to the younger generation in a big way and that just helps make the whole concept trendy and popular and dare we say it….fashionable!
- How much are they? €10-€13 Euros! Yep, I know but there are places in Paris that charge almost €10 Euros for a cup of coffee! Context people, CONTEXT!!
Just to get you in the picture, here are a couple of quotes from Parisians that we found.
“It’s against my religion to wait for a burger,” said Guillaume Farges, “But for this one, I make an exception.”
“We see it on all the police shows on television,” said Sophie Juteau, “Eating from the ice cream trucks, the hot-dog carts: that is, like, our dream.”
- So who else offers this food truck style cuisine? There are quite a few different options available now. In fact there are at least 40! So you are spoilt for choice. Here are some of the most well know ones:
Cantine California is one (see images below) and they don’t just offer burgers they offer tacos as well – and MLP can vouch for the ‘Miam Miam’ ( yum, yum) effect! Plus, you have then option to dine at their restaurant, which we happened to stumble upon in the 3rd arrondissement. Here at least gives you have the chance to SIT eat and enjoy! Must say the food was really good and the decor boasted a relaxed ambience with long wooden tables and low lighting.
There is also La Refectoire which can be found in the 11th and the 20th arrondissement, famous for their roasted bacon syrup and caramelized onions. Also, the Wagy Burger Bus – a bistro institution in the 15th. All the burgers here are made from Wagyu beef and the recipes are gourmet.
Best to trawl the internet for more options but every weekend you will find a truck pulling up somewhere near you. A useful website we found that lists all the Food Trucks in France and where they will be could be handy too. It’s called Pouet-Pouet! You’ll notice that there are a vast range of Food Trucks available now with cuisine influenced from ever,y part of the globe! There is even a Dim Sum Food Truck….Love it!
It’s a great lunch outing for the family – but be ready to queue, wherever you decide to go.
Le bon weekend
Love MLP x