Black market restaurants thrived in Occupied Paris. German authorities castigated the French for their failure to shut them down, claiming that profiteers consumed luxurious fare in restaurants at the expense of hungry Parisians waiting in marketplace queues. Paris restaurants merit closer attention for the evidence they provide on the conflicts and relative powers in Franco-German “collaboration,” for the glaring inequities in food distribution exemplified by these restaurants that discredited Vichy food management policies, and for the creativity of Parisian restaurant owners in finding methods of alternate supply and service for their clients. The restaurants provide material for a case study to highlight the development of black markets and the frustration of control efforts, the reasons for popular sentiments of injustice in food supply, and the critically important role of German demands in the development of black market activity.

Les restaurants parisiens du marché noir ont prospéré pendant l’Occupation. Les Allemands ont fustigé les autorités françaises pour leur incapacité d’arrêter ce commerce, soutenant que les repas luxueux consommés par les trafiquants du marché noir privaient les Parisiens des denrées essentielles. Une étude des restaurants parisiens du marché noir pourrait nous aider à éclaircir la nature des conflits franco-allemands sur le ravitaillement et le pouvoir relatif déterminant la « collaboration », à expliquer l’exacerbation progressive de l’opinion publique contre le régime de Vichy, et à mettre en lumière la créativité des restaurateurs qui trouvaient des méthodes alternatives pour alimenter leur commerce. On y voit aussi l’importance des exigences allemandes qui provoquaient l’étendue des activités du marché noir.

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Author notes

Kenneth Mouré is professor of history at the University of Alberta. Since publication of his The Gold Standard Illusion: France, the Bank of France, and the International Gold Standard 1914–1939 (2002) he has been working on economic controls, food supply, and black markets in wartime France, with recent articles published in the Historical Journal, the Journal of Contemporary History, French History, and French Politics, Culture and Society.

This article was first presented as a conference paper for a panel honoring the work of Dominique Veillon at the Western Society for French History annual conference in Portland, Oregon, in 2011. The author would like to thank Sara Norquay, Erika Rappaport, and Jack Talbott for their helpful comments and to thank Bertram Gordon, Erica J. Peters, and the editors of and referees for French Historical Studies for their valuable guidance in revising the article for this special issue on food in French history.