Le Petit Vendome exterior in Paris France

Le Petit Vendôme

In preparation for any trip to Paris, I always start with a visit to David Lebovitz’s blog. David has devoted an entire section of his website to short, concise summaries of his Paris restaurant visits. I’ve had good luck following his reviews in the past. This time I was searching for recommendations for a sandwich shop (ideally with some interesting vegetarian options) when I discovered this post , “The best sandwich in Paris, at Le Petit Vendôme.”

In it he says:

“They use high-quality ingredients and the staff is always good-natured (especially if you hang out at the bar and have a glass of wine with it)” and “The place is packed full of locals and when people tell me they want to “eat where Parisians eat” I always [suggest] Le Petit Vendôme.”

We arrived around lunchtime and chose a small table outside, beneath a red canopy. The green neon sign above the door welcomed us to the “Le Petit Vendôme.” I was hungry and excited. I had a feeling that this place was going to be great.

The waitress arrived and handed us two menus. We were surprised at the selection—there wasn’t a single sandwich on the menu. I was crushed. Admittedly, the David Lebovitz article I’d referenced was dated March 2011. That was over ten years ago. Perhaps the restaurant had changed hands and no longer offered sandwiches. Who knows. But we had a nice seat on the street, so we decided to just roll with. Whatever we chose was probably going to be good, anyway.

As we were about to place our order, Rob asked the server, “Do you offer any sandwiches?” The waitress repied, “Bar only.” So, we got up and went inside.

Interior of Le Petit Vendôme

LuckY for us, there were two empty bar stools.

We grabbed our seats and reviewed the sandwich menu board and bar taps. A woman was hard at work assembling sandwiches behind the counter. Next to her was jovial chap, who greeted us and took our order. Two pints of Pelforth Blone, one ham and cheese baguette, a second baguette, this one with smoked salmon and marscarpone, and a side of french fries to share.

Our food arrived and everything was amazing. The beer, the sandwiches, the fries. It was everything we were looking for and more. We could have stayed there all day. It was so good, in fact, that the next day we returned for lunch again. This time the smoked salmon was no longer available, so instead they put a slab of blue cheese on a baguette and added a few pickles. It was fantastic.

Le Petit Vendôme does not claim to be a vegetarian restaurant. In fact, there isn’t a single vegetarian sandwich on the menu. However, they were accommodating to this vegetarian, graciously creating something amazing on the fly using their everyday ingredients. We’ve been to a lot of restaurants that claim to make good sandwiches, but, for me, this is the one to beat.

Le Petit Vendôme

8 Rue des Capucines, 75002 Paris, France
Website

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