In case you haven’t noticed, food is something that I feel strongly about. When on holidays, I’m the lunatic tourist who scours the Tripadvisor app trying to find the best value restaurants to go to. On reflection, I think that around 70% of my Erasmus grant in Lyon must have been squandered on eating out with other equally food appreciative (or lazy..) friends. Wasn’t that the entire point of the Erasmus grant though? To pump it back straight into the EU economy? (Gulp.)
As much as I enjoy trying new restaurants, I’m the first to admit that I sometimes just crave something reliably good. In that case, I usually opt for chain restaurants in France. While they’re certainly not particularly fancy, it means that no matter which French city I’m in, I can have a fair idea of what food to expect in the restaurants. Here’s a few of my old reliables:
I absolutely love this restaurant. While it’s not particularly cheap, prices are pretty average (€10 for a salad, etc) I am totally obsessed. I am a bit of a fruit and vegetable enthusiast and the food here is genuinely healthy and fruit and vegetable focused, as the name suggests. Typical menu options are juices, salads, sandwiches and a fabulous dessert menu. I find that eating out in France can be often quite unhealthy and heavy, so this chain is a really good intervention. There are around nine outlets in Paris and also in the major French cities.
I somehow manage to find myself in here every time I visit France. The food is really simple- I usually get the grilled chicken- but it’s reliable and fairly priced. A word of warning- when you order chips as a side you get unlimited refills. I’m still slightly annoyed that I didn’t figure this out until after I left Lyon (after a whole year of going all the time) but in hindsight, it was probably for the best…….
The next offering isn’t strictly a restaurant- rather, a magical chocolate shop chain that is really common in France. It’s a bit like Lily O’Briens and sells their gorgeous chocolates individually too. It has particularly gorgeous offerings at Christmas and Easter. It also sells ice-cream….miam!
Paul is a chain of boulangeries in France. Expect to also find it in metro stations- there’s really no escaping the bread in France. I still dream of their lemon meringue tarts and poppy seed sandwiches….
Do you have any other chain restaurants that you love in France worthy of the list? Let me know!