Ask any French person where to find the best croque-monsieur and their answer is always at home. This quite simple (and quintessentially French) sandwich isn’t too hard to prepare and everyone has their own secret ingredients to satisfy their personal tastes. However, it can be so lovely to spoil yourself and eat lunch outside, en terrasse, munching on a croque-monsieur (or madame, if you insist). For visitors of the city, very few of whom will have a kitchen to work with (who wants to cook on vacation anyway?), we’ve compiled a few of Paris’s yummiest locations featuring this sandwich of gooey gruyère, ham and béchamel sauce layered between slices of the city’s crunchiest bread.
1. La Fontaine de Belleville
The recipe at this neighborhood bistro is simple and hearty. But simple excellence is often the hardest to achieve. We suspect that the bistro butters their bread and adds a secret ingredient to the béchamel because their croques are to die for. Plus, to make you feel better about all the carbs you’re eating, there is a lovely frisée salad served on the side. — 31-33 Rue Juliette Dodu, 75010
2. Le Petit Cler
This is an American-sized croque-monsieur destination with an enormous one-slice sandwich. Usually, croque-monsieurs are made with two slices of bread, but Le Petit Cler is famous for serving one long piece of bread. In case you don’t believe us, just look up the restaurant on Instagram and you’ll see that most of their images are of their single-slice sandwiches (try not to drool). — 29 Rue Cler, 75005
3. Vins des Pyrénées
This is your upscale location for really spoiling yourself on croques made with specialty ingredients. Vin des Pyrénées makes a croque-monsieur with truffle gouda for the real gourmands. We warn you though, you might never want to eat a regular croque again after. — 25 Rue Beautreillis, 75004
4. Les Deux Magots
We tend to stay away from tourist-swarmed locations, but due to its rich history this one is quite busy with visitors, and rightfully so! Les Deux Magots serves one of the best croque-monsieurs in Paris. The cheesy, square sandwiches served here are properly traditional and the most classic version of the dish. — 6 Place Saint-Germain des Prés, 75006
5. La Comète
Heading over to Montmartre now, La Comète is another really good croque-monsieur option with traditional poilâne bread (made with one piece instead of two) layered with ham and cheese. — 19 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009 Paris.