More on the Paris Burger Wars – Razowski’s, Schwartz’s, and the Cantine California

I tested two more burger joints in the last couple of days and I am telling you, the competition is really heating up! Now, the ones I am listing here serve other food than just burgers which was the criteria for my first list. BTW, I learned from that post that cross-posting on Facebook can have very positive effects on blog traffic – I had my biggest day ever when I posted to Big Fernand’s Facebook page and collected 300+ hits (a lot for a micro-blog like this one) almost entirely off of that page.

Razowski’s on the Place du Marché St Honoré

A couple of weeks ago, I tried Razowski’s (note that the link seems to be broken for some reason) and was not all that impressed. Maybe it is not too fair because I had to bike back home so the burgers weren’t all that warm when they were served, but still, it seemed to be pretty standard burgers and pretty greasy fries. I was not really all that impressed. I believe they serve other food than burgers including salads and tuna but I think they are most known for these burgers. Well, it was good (and would have been better warm) but rather small portions and rather expensive as well.

Schwartz’s in the Marais

This week I had lunch at Schwartz’s in the 4th. This place is so amazing. Actually, I had to try the “Very, very best pastrami sandwich” and my friend had the burger but we shared. Now, the name of the place and particularly its location in the Marais are a dead giveaway to the Jewish origins of the restaurant and the decor is clearly New York, so I had high hopes for the pastrami and was not disappointed. This article however is about burgers so let me say that I tasted a bit of the burger that my friend ordered and was blown away. Delicious, huge portion (my friend had trouble finishing it), well-prepared and seasoned burger patty, fresh buns…and crispy onion rings – one of the best burgers I have had in a long time. Maybe better than the Big Fernard but at the least very close. If you are in the Marais, duck into Schwartz’s on rue des Ecouffes and you will NOT be disappointed.

Jordan and his Cantine California

There was an article posted by the guy from Goody’s that commented on the original burger post and this article was written all about the explosion of food trucks around Paris and even in other cities in France. I reviewed the Camion qui Fume last time and have honestly not made it to Goody’s yet (they were in Saint-Ouen today or else I would have gone there), and they mentioned yet another burger truck called Cantine California that I did not know on the chic Marché Raspail in the 7th. I spoke with Jordan who is in the photo here on the left and seems to be at least the part owner of the truck. He has been doing the burger truck thing for about 6 months working with fresh, organic beef, artisanal buns, and cuts his own potatoes every day. They serve tacos in addition to burgers so I’ll have to go back for those some time soon. The burger was delicious – just the right size, cooked medium rare as I asked with a light bbq sauce and some roquefort cheese if memory serves. Honestly, I preferred this burger to the one at le Camion qui Fume and I don’t understand why Jordan has only 3500 Likes on Facebook to the 13k or more for Camion qui Fume. In any case, they are great burgers as long as you either (a) are wealthy enough to live in the 7th and thus can take them home before they get cold or (b) don’t mind eating standing up because there is nowhere to sit and no peaceful park close enough to walk with warm burgers. I’d love to see what they would do with a more permanent space, especially since in that case, they could serve California beers or California wines (Jordan explained that the open container laws in Paris forbid the purchase and consumption of alcohol on a market. They can do wine tastings and they can sell wine but they cannot sell you a bottle and allow you to drink it there).

So there you go, another three burgers reviewed. I think my favorite for the ambiance (80’s music 🙂 is Big Fernand, for the flavor is Schwartz’s, and for the rugged, outdoor feeling would be Cantina California. Which one do you prefer?


About mfinocchiaro

IT Architecture Guru for large PLM software company but dabbling in Web 2.0 and other stuff.
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13 Responses to More on the Paris Burger Wars – Razowski’s, Schwartz’s, and the Cantine California

  1. yo78 says:

    Hi, I did also tried the three burger joints and in my opinion, Cantine California offers very nice and big burger. I chose the Half moon bay burger with Bleu d’Auvergne cheese. Although I do not like very much cheese, I can really distinguish the very special smell of this cheese and it was OK. No big queue, I did not wait long and I ate near a table while standing up. Big Fernand offers a very nice burger but the size is smaller than Cantine California’s one. Their fries were a little cold and not enough. They offer Hot dogs just next to this place. I ordered a beer with the menu. I tried twice burgers at the Camion qui Fume, ordering the BBQ and Campagne, near la Madeleine and MK2. Big queue. They offer Mountain Dew drinks but for 3euros. Only Le Camion qui fume does not ask how well you want the burger to be cooked. Their fries were good, a little bit salty. You can expect to pay 10euros for burger+fries. I would rank in order: Cantine California (+ for service, quality, waiting time, place, extras like the cup cake), Big Fernand (+ for the seating, beer, service, waiting time), and le Camion qui fume (+juicy burger). I have yet to try Schwartz place.

    • mfinocchiaro says:

      Thanks for the feedback! You should try Blend as well! I am impatient to try Goody’s. You are totally right about the fries being too salty at Camion qui Fume, I forgot to mention that. I think that Blend has the best fries with a close 2nd for Cantine California because there is a little bit of spices added at Blend if memory serves. My reference for fries is Five Guys in the US (see the post about that from August 2011) so I am biaised towards spicy, cajun-style fries. Again, thanks so much for the comment 🙂

      • Yo78 says:

        Thanks for the lead. Will try Blend or Goody’s next time. I went to NYC and found that the best burgers can be found at a place named Burger Joints, very tiny and secret place. I tried another place which is on the upper scale of those restaurants, The Palm, offering 2000 calories burger, enough for the whole day!! I do not know whether this restaurant offers organic foods like in Paris.

  2. olivier.t says:

    After trial and retrials (Le Camion qui fume, Schwatz’s, Blend, Big Fernand, etc.), I finally stop trying to find the perfect spot, wich would have the best burger, in the best location, with the best ambiance… And I only go now to Cantine California. The reasons are: the best burger, definitelly. Organic food. Really nice and welcoming guys there. The war is over, in my opinion!

    • mfinocchiaro says:

      I don’t know. I haven’t tried East Side Burgers for a veggie-only option and I am still curious about Goody’s…and I have heard great things about H.A.N.D…plus there is Breakfast in America which I have only – oddly enough – at breakfast at and apparently they are also great for burgers…you know, this war isn’t about winning as much as it is about tasting 🙂

  3. Pingback: Finding the Perfect Pizza in Paris (well in the 9th anyway) | Fino's Weblog

  4. Lionel Tran says:

    I went to Schwartz’ deli for a burger at Paris 16° near Trocadero. We were luck to get a table upon arrival because after that the place was packed and people waited inside the restaurant while watching us eating and telling us, hurry up… I agree that the burger is huge but somehow I was disappointed by the missing sauce. I do not want to force myself to finish a burger so I would say that I prefer eating a good burger (at food trucks) that just fills you up with a side order. The service is great but honestly, having to eat with the people standing next to you makes you feel unpleasant and uncomfortable. Beside, the French Fries there look frozen food. Too bad and we did not want to order dessert because we were full.

    • mfinocchiaro says:

      Hmm, I didn’t have that experience at the one in the Marais but can see what you mean. I am not big on eating in a huge crowd either. I seem to recall some yummy bbq sauce on the burger I tasted but mostly appreciated how the beef was prepared. I still gotta try Goodie’s…
      Thanks for the comment! 🙂

  5. Pingback: Paris Burger Wars, Part 3: H.A.N.D. (Have A Nice Day) – Definitely a contender | Fino's Weblog

  6. Pingback: Paris Burger Wars, Part 4: East Side Burgers – the Vegans enter the arena! | Fino's Weblog

  7. mmzen says:

    Burgers at Loulou’s are worth it:

    • mfinocchiaro says:

      Great suggestion, thanks! I need to nail doen Goodies and this new suggestion LouLou! Anyone have something good to say about burgers at Café Parisien? I have been told that it is overpriced and the burgers are just so-so.

  8. Pingback: Paris Burger Wars Part 5: PNY (Paris New York) – great ambiance, OK burger | Fino's Weblog

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