What Do Olympic Athletes Eat For Dinner?

By Martha Davies

3 weeks ago

Catering will look a little different at the Paris Olympics

Curious about the kind of diet you have to stick to if you’re a world-class athlete? Well, those competing in the Paris Olympics will be banned from eating French fries – and much more, in an eco-focused overhaul of the menu on offer in the Olympic Village. Here’s what kind of food you can expect at the Olympics this year.

What Kind Of Food Will Be Served At The Paris Olympics?

After a long day of training, athletes need somewhere to refuel. Anyone dropping by the restaurant in the Olympic Village, however, can expect a rather non-traditional menu. 

At the dining hall in the Olympic Village in Paris – a 700 foot-long room that is essentially the world’s largest restaurant – athletes will be treated to a largely vegetarian selection, with few classic French dishes in sight. Gone is the possibility of pomme frites, foie gras and buttery mashed potatoes; instead, guests can opt for the likes of beetroot falafel, grilled aubergine and plant-based beef bourguignon, all providing a multicultural take on French cuisine. 

While this might feel like a surprising gastronomic choice, organisers have cited environmental and ethical concerns as the primary reason for the new menu. Head chefs Stéphane Chicheri and Charles Guilloy are keeping animal welfare in mind by avoiding dishes like foie gras, and they’re also conscious of the carbon footprint attached to certain ingredients. In fact, it’s been reported that none of the produce will be transported by plane – though bananas will arrive by boat, apparently.

Eiffel Tower at sunset, with the Olympic Rings in front.


Food waste is another central issue, so there will be no single-use utensils or plates in sight. There’s also fire safety to consider: chips have been banned, for example, as they would have to be prepared in enormous deep-fat fryers which aren’t suitable for the Olympic Village’s kitchen (the restaurant is housed in an sprawling warehouse that began life as a power plant before briefly functioning as a film studio). The space can hold a whopping 3,500 people, and it’s predicted that around 45,000 meals will be served every day once the Olympics begin. 

Yet with all this in mind, diners can still count on a few traditional offerings: speaking to the New York Times, Stéphane Chicheri revealed that, despite her team’s left-field offerings, the menu will be rooted in French staples (think baguettes, French cheese and veal). So, while French fries are a no-go, hope is certainly not lost for the Olympians.