When you're traveling, one of the best things you can do is sample the local cuisine. But everybody gets homesick, and sometimes you just need a little comfort food—especially if you're overseas for the long haul. Besides, seeing foreign takes on American food is the exact sort of thing "fusion" is for, isn't it?
- Cantine California
Okay, this is more of a "burger van" than an "American restaurant," but it's a great place to get burgers and tacos, and it's part of a larger wave of food trucks that started hitting the streets about four years ago. A lot of them have garnered acclaim, but Cantine California remains one of the most popular.
- Nick's Pizza
Pizza originates from Italy but has evolved far beyond the original Neapolitan. From New York to Chicago deep dish to Californian, there is no shortage of regional differences in pizza even in our country—how much more so overseas? Because of that, it's good to find Nick's serving up huge slices of thin-crust, New York-style pizza on Rue du Faubourg Montmartre.
- Thanksgiving Grocery Store
Not a restaurant, no, but when you're craving anything from a New York bagel to a fresh, farm-raised turkey, Thanksgiving Grocery Store has you covered. They also have guilty pleasures like hot dogs, Pop-Tarts, and Kraft Mac & Cheese. If you're not near Rue St Paul, you can (mercifully) order from them online.
Roomies is a burger place, and a much-beloved one at that. Right now, it's ranked 25th of all the Paris restaurants on TripAdvisor. That's a tremendous achievement when you consider that this is a country so protective of its culture that it has an entire council, dating back to 1635, dedicated to protecting the "purity" of the language by inventing new words for things like "microchip" so English can't creep in. Locals and tourists alike give Roomies high marks for toppings, and the veggie burger is also a plus.
- Blue's Bar-B-Q
Bulgogi is proof that Americans don't have the global market cornered on barbecue. But Americans—especially Southerners—get a little protective of their smoked meats. It comes as no surprise, then, that one of the best barbecue joints in Paris is run by a woman from Dallas. Be willing to pay a little for the fact that they import their hickory and mesquite from the U.S. But on the plus side, they import their hickory and mesquite from the U.S.
- Mobster Diner
The menu at Mobster has a small selection of carefully put together burger options with names like "Rudolph Valentino" and "The French Connection." Reviewers indicate that this is a place that goes right up to the bar with its drive for quality without circling back around into pretention. That's a good place to be. You can have a great burger without breaking the bank, and the desert options sound enticing as well.
"But wait!" you might say. "That name is very French." Well, yes. But the owners are named "Braden" and "Laura." These expats spun Verjus out of a secret supper club called The Hidden Kitchen and serve a prix-fixe small plate menu. Of course, New American and French cuisines seem to bleed into each other, but with familiar sights like sourdough and wild trout on the menu, you're sure to get a taste of home.
We're not sure if it's the cultural divide that allowed this place to happen, or if we've just reached a point far enough in the future that the 90s are fair game for nostalgic restaurants. Whichever case it is, B-Boyz is a 90s hip-hop-themed burger place that lets you order quesadillas, guacamole, and burgers named after 'Pac and Biggie. The menus, adorned with "Parental Advisory" labels, include a Kid Cudi menu. This one may we worth the visit for the surreality of it all alone.
- American Corner
American Corner's specialty is bagels, though they also offer hot dogs. Bagels are named almost exclusively after New York neighborhoods, though some, like the smoked salmon, get to stand on their own. The menu is in English (for the most part), and the variety is exciting.
- Kraft Hot Dogs
Kraft Hot Dog is considered the benchmark by which all other Paris hot dogs are judged. It's worth noting that these are hot dogs, even though you're right next door to Italy and Germany, two countries known for their inventiveness with sausages. The toppings offered are everything you'd expect and more.
- Brooklyn Cafe
Of course, B-Boyz makes a little more sense when you sit back and look at how "Brooklyn" has become synonymous with cool in Paris (and at large across certain parts of the world). Styled after New York hipster lofts and serving menus that include Ben and Jerry's and a wide variety of burgers, Brooklyn Cafe describes itself as "Cuisine New Yorkaise."
- Schwartz's Deli
Forbes calls Schwartz's the "best pastrami outside the States." Their three locations do offer burgers (yes, we know there's been no shortage of those here), but they also have chicken wings, several pastrami options, clubs, fish, eggs, and other diner and deli fixtures. If you're in the mood for a burger specifically, there are plenty of places in Paris to go, but if you want a broader experience—or pastrami—try Schwartz's.
- Happy Days Diner
Also known as HD Diner, this chain of three American restaurants wears its influence on its sleeve. Happy Days was basically That '70s Show for the 70s. That means that this is French retro kitsch inspired by what was already American retro kitsch. Decked out in pinks and teals, this is a place to go for that malt-shop experience, and the grocery store run under the same banner lets you pick up sodas and Twinkies for a little taste of home.
Do you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris? They call it a Royale with Cheese.
(featured image via Bigstock)