When we talk about French gastronomy, cheese is one of the protagonists. After all, France is one of the countries with the greatest diversity of this product in the world and the French are its biggest consumers. Whether as an appetizer, at lunch or dinner, this ingredient is always present on the table. Raclette and fondue are winter favorites.
Raclette originated around 1574 in the Valais region of Switzerland. A very mountainous region where cheese was the main source of food for farmers. In the old days, shepherds would take large chunks of cheese up into the mountains where they lived while their flocks grazed. In the evening, they would put the cheese next to the fire to melt and then scrape the melted part over bread, boiled potatoes, pickles and other side dishes.
On the other hand, fondue is a more controversial dish. Some say it originated in Switzerland and others in Savoie (the French Alps). There are no precise accounts of its emergence, but studies suggest that its first mention dates back to 1651, when chef François Pierre de La Varenne published a recipe called “ramekin of cheese” in his collection Le Cuisinier François. The recipe involved melting cheese with butter, onion, salt and pepper and spreading it on bread. Fondue as we know it today only appeared in 1699, in a Zurich manuscript by Albert Hauser, called “To cook cheese with wine”. This patent uncertainty led the French to distinguish the dish as “fondue Savoie”.
Gastronomos has selected 5 of the most popular and beloved places in Paris to eat a good raclette or fondue. Check them out!
Pain, Vin, Fromage
In the Marais district, in the heart of the capital, Pain, Vin, Fromage offers good food and a comfortable atmosphere. Baked Camembert cheese, sausage boards, Savoie fondue, raclette, tartiflette… All the winter cheese specialties are represented here. The bread comes from the local bakery and the wines have been carefully selected by the venue’s winemaker.
Open all week from 7pm
3 rue Geoffroy l’Angevin
+33 (0)1 42 74 07 52
Monbleu has become a favorite in Paris. Run by Damien Richardot, the place is part cheese shop and part restaurant. The heart and soul of the place lies in its large, convivial tables around which everyone can share a good raclette. The brand offers 100% raclette menus to suit all tastes, paying homage to winter’s most comforting dish. There are three options: “Raclette Tradi” with its assortment of raw milk cheeses and potatoes, “Raclette Veggie” and its seasonal vegetable dish, and “Raclette et Charcuterie” with a sausage board. The cheeses come from the Alps and some from the Jura, which makes everything even more special.
Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
37 rue du Faubourg Montmartre
+33 (0)1 45 89 23 96
Le Chalet Savoyard
The ideal place for lovers of melted cheese and authentic Savoie cuisine, where everything is prepared with local produce. The fondues are joined by roast potatoes and croutons and the raclettes with potatoes and cold meats. There are other house specialties, such as salmon fillet au gratin with reblochon. It’s something to eat and ask for more!
From Monday to Sunday, from 12 noon to 2:30 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
58 rue de Charonne
+33 (0)1 48 05 13 13
Le Fondus de la Raclette
A perfect space to combat the low temperatures of the season. Les Fondus de la Raclette is located in the 14th arrondissement of the capital, in Montparnasse. In this cozy chalet-like setting, which takes us back to the mountains, we can enjoy specialties such as fondues, raclettes and tartiflettes, which we love and crave in winter.
From Monday to Sunday, from 12 noon to 2:30 p.m. and from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
209 Bd Raspail
+33 1 43 27 00 13
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A friendly and relaxed atmosphere, this wine and beer bar offers every raclette fan’s dream: raclette at will and for a fixed price (20€)! Yes, you read that right! You can order potatoes and cheese as you wish during the meal and the only condition is to reserve your place in advance. It is located in the Marais.
6 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud
Monday to Saturday, 18:00 to 1:30
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