Before I came to France, I was really worried I'd have to give up my favorite foods for a solid 4 months, things like curry, burritos, and rice dishes. I even asked my brothers what kind of foods I should expect to be eating, since they've travelled to France before. They said that Mexican food was very rare, but Asian food was fairly easy to find. That got my hopes up somewhat. These past few months, I've been exploring Nantes for cheap, weird, and delicious foods. So far, I've found a Mexican place (YES!!!), kebabs, a Vietnamese restaurant, and an Indian place. However, I plan on exploring more and finding some of my other favorite types of food (like Thai!). Firstly, the Vietnamese place has become like a second home. The food there is so cheap and most of it is vegetarian friendly. I usually get vegetable samosas, which are less than 5€ for 4 reasonably sized samosas. I haven't felt the need to stray from the usual, but I've been told that some of the noodle dishes are delicious. The kebab place is also a usual, since it's also very cheap. The vegetarian options are incredibly filling and satisfying; you can pick from an egg and cheese sandwich or a falafel panini, with or without fries (but why would you ever not get fries). The sauces inside are delicious, and their ketchup is very different than in the US; there's a certain spicy/vinegar taste to it that makes it so much better. Next is the Mexican restaurant, where a reasonably sized vegetarian burrito is only 4€. Tacos and other burritos are around the same price, with nothing over 9€ on the menu. My favorite part of this place is that they put their guacamole in a caulking gun type contraption, which is amazing and hilarious. This place is slowly becoming my favorite since it is extremely hard to find retried beans, let alone any type of bean, in any supermarket. The burritos definitely fill a hole in my empty, burrito loving stomach. Lastly, the Indian restaurant. I've only been there once, but it was really good. I definitely wouldn't consider it cheap food, but it wasn't ridiculously priced either. All the vegetarian plates were under 10€, but the meat plates were a little bit more expensive. The portion sizes were a little small and I didn't have a completely full stomach when I left, which was a little disappointing. But the food was amazing so I can't complain too much. Last but not least, I found an Italian/American restaurant, where I found an amazing vegetarian pizza, with eggplant on top! It was a huge pizza, so it was definitely worth paying around 10€. I'll definitely be going back.
I'm still on the hunt for a good non-sushi, Japanese restaurant, which might be kind of tricky, but I haven't tried that hard. There are certainly foods from the states that I miss dearly, like chili, mac & cheese, fake/vegetarian meats, Chipotle, In-n-Out, and so many more. But I think when I go back to the states I'm going to miss so many French foods, like fresh baked pastries and bread, the different types of vegetables, and all the types of yogurts and desserts. Both countries have their pros and cons, so I am definitely going to try and replicate some French foods when I go back home. The cooking workshops and gastronomy classes have helped with that immensely, and I will talk about them in an upcoming blog post!
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<p>I'm Iggy Takahashi, a junior studying biochemistry and French studies at the University of Portland and studying abroad in Nantes, France. I love baking, cooking, travelling, exploring, and of course spending time with my family and cats. I have traveled to Spain, China, and throughout the United States, and I hope to continue to do so after graduating!</p>