So, I’m in Paris. And what’s the craziest thing you can possibly do there besides running the Paris marathon? Eat at Chipotle. You read that right. There’s a friggin’ Chipotle in Paris, France. Paris isn’t just the City of Lights. It’s where I purchased the smallest and most expensive Chipotle burrito ever at a whopping $12.86 after euro-to-dollar conversion. But you know what? It was one of the most damn delicious decisions I’ve ever made.
I studied abroad in Paris in the summer of 2012 and had heard rumors there was a Chipotle in Paris. However, I was too obsessed with boeuf bourguignon and croque monsieurs to care about anything else. This time around in Paris… I wanted Chipotle. Bad. Big time. I’m all for trying new foods when traveling abroad, but sometimes you just have a hankering for good ol’ American food. Donnez-moi un burrito that is bursting at the seams, s’il vous plaît.
According to Tripadvisor reviews, it appears that this Chipotle in Paris has been around since 2012. And reviews were pretty favorable. I had to check it out myself. The two-story Chipotle is situated by the Richelieu-Drouot metro station and is right at a corner next to an all-too-familiar McDonald’s. It’s in the 9th arrondisement on Boulevard Montmartre, a busy street in Paris with lots of pedestrian activity and automobile traffic. This Chipotle is definitely the largest one I’ve ever visited. When I saw it, I think I peed myself a little. Talk about excitement… “Mexican food” in Paris! Youpi! (Yay in French)
Chipotle was quite crowded at noontime for lunch. My heart smiled. I love seeing people enjoy a burrito, especially at an international Chipotle! Overall, the menu looks exactly the same: they serve burritos, bowls, salads, and tacos. But I like to order off the secret Chipotle menu. I like me a quesarito. Ready for your mind to be blown? A quesarito is a quesadilla burrito: when the server grabs a tortilla for you, s/he covers the top with cheese and then folds the tortilla into a half moon. The tortilla is then grilled to melt the cheese and make a darn quesadilla. Then they open the half moon and the burrito-making progresses. Yes, this is a real thing. I’ve even heard of people getting a 2-tortilla quesadilla and having a big fat ol’ burrito made from that.
With my sub-par French, I was going to try my very best to order this quesarito in French. I was ready to play charades if necessary to explain how to make a quesarito. Luckily, ordering at the Paris Chipotle is the same as home: choose what you want (burrito, bowl, salad, or tacos), choose your meat, then your toppings. As I got closer to the assembly line, I heard the man in charge of grilling tortillas speak English. Hooray! I can order in English at Chipotle in Paris! And I happily ordered a quesarito!
Alas, he told me it was too busy to order a quesarito. =( I’ve been told this many times in American Chipotles: No quesarito for you!…when it’s too busy. Apparently it takes too long to make a quesadilla when there are too many people waiting to order. Oh well, a regular burrito it was.
All the ingredients looked as fresh as ever and identical to an American Chipotle. My French is just “bof” right now; that means “meh” in English. So I’m lucky that my order was easy: chicken burrito with everything but guacamole. And if the server didn’t speak English very well, I could just motion with my hands to explain my order. The employees were incredibly friendly and really tried to accommodate customers who didn’t speak French.
My friends all agreed that the Chipotle tasted exactly the same as home. An added bonus: the meat comes from both France and England, so you can be sure that the taste is quality. And just like how they mark “chicken burritos” with a capital C in the USA, they marked my burrito with a P, which stands for poulet (chicken in French!). Last bonus: the tortilla was a little doughier or chewier than usual. That’s A-okay with me. My friend who ordered the barbacoa burrito said it was great, too. We didn’t try the tacos, burrito bowls, or salads, but I’m sure they taste just the same as in the United States. Although the burrito looks like it was a good size, I’m used to ginormous burritos back in the States. Everything is bigger in America, as they say. But I’m fine with paying $12.86 for this one burrito — better than flying back to the US for a burrito fix.
With two stories of plentiful seating and memorable food, I’m definitely coming back soon. By the way, out of curiosity, if I worked at an American Chipotle, could I ask to be transferred to the Paris location? You know… to grow as an employee and help the company succeed? (and eat a million croissants and baguettes while chilling in one of the coolest cities ever?)
Closest metro station: Richelieu-Drouot
Metro lines: 8 or 9
In the 9th arrondisement
18-20 Boulevard Montmartre
number: +33 1 45 23 12 54