The exciting prospect of lunch hits you as you begin your saunter down Rue Monge on a Sunday market day. Head to a rotisserie where the chickens are plump and the sweet aroma of freshly roasted meat is most enticing. Bird secured, walk the six or so blocks to Jardins de Luxembourg, find a bench with a view and have an al fresco lunch among Parisians with napkins at the ready. A simple and hugely satisfying lunch in one of the finest cities in the world.
Place Monge Marche, 5th arrondissement
Google map: bit.ly/YLbxPf
Since 1869 they've been preparing decent French food at decent prices, with phenomenally good service here. The first time I was taken there I was as a 9 year-old on a "Paris Travel" coach holiday to the city and it made a lasting impression on me. The elegant dining room with its hat stands and mirrored walls, the cramped tables where a stranger is likely to be sharing a table with you once it starts to fill up and the waiters memory skills and tradition of annotating your order on the paper tablecloth, then jotting down the addition to work out your bill. When I went there last year, over 30 years since my first visit, none of that had changed and I sat with a smile on my face through the whole meal. It is all standard French fare, but well cooked and reasonably priced and I could happily spend a whole week going back every day to work my way through the menu. The wine by the glass, pichet or bottle is tasty and inexpensive.
Trying to expose my children to maximum Frenchness they started with snails, while I ordered the steak tartare last time I was there and we all loved it. I suspect it'll still be unchanged when my kids are taking their own children there in 30 years time.
Bistro in Paris 15 - open all day until around 11pm. Very varied menu with some interesting and unusual daily choices. Large terrace. Friendly service. Nearest metros Charles Michels and Boucicaut. Has a very good, reasonably priced, wine list. Lots of people and a really good atmosphere
167 Rue Saint-Charles, 75015 Paris, France
+33 1 45 58 31 63
Google map: bit.ly/X0asSV
Try the fortified medieval town of Provins 1h25 by train (from Gare de l'Est) to the south-east of Paris. Away from the usual foreign tourist route. You tend only to find French visitors. Great with kids as there's a donjon, ramparts, underground passages. In summer there are lots of events such as jousting knights, etc. Plenty of restaurants from the good and cheap crepe (Le Fleur du Sel in the old town) to the fancier place with lovely outdoor dining areas.
With its clean air and tranquil pace, a day in the medieval town of Provins is the perfect antidote to hectic city life. Take in the view from La Tour César, enjoy a reasonable menu 'prix fixe' in the square of this old fair town, and check the website for medieval shows taking place. Lounge on the deck chairs in the intoxicating rose garden before enjoying their café speciality of thé gourmand (rose tea, delicate macarons and rose ice cream) before you feel ready to face the city again.
With warm weather comes the opportunity to partake in the favourite past time of many Parisians: le pique-nique. The possibilities for picnics in Paris are endless, though my favourite spot is the Pont des Arts. This pedestrian bridge stretching out over the Seine from the Louvre is a perfect place to join the families, friends and lovers for an impromptu picnic; bunched on blankets laid across the wooden slats, while the sun sets behind the Eiffel Tower further down the river. Free of traffic, you can enjoy your picnic to the sound-track of the gentle hum of boats and barges that pass beneath and the the soft ripples of the river lapping the banks below.
Pont Des Arts. Metro: Pont neuf (line 7)
Google map: bit.ly/LwX98t
One of the best yet reasonably priced Italian restaurants in Paris. Great pizzas and even better pasta with traditional Sicilian sauces, always a feast for the eyes and palate. The service is absolutely wonderful and the atmosphere warm and unpretentious.
138 rue de Vaugirard 75015 Paris
+33(0)1 47 83 37 28
Google map: bit.ly/JW8VZZ
After a summer's morning walking the streets of Paris this cafe is a real find. Part of the Mosquee de Paris, it is tucked away in a tranquil, shaded courtyard. Waiters bring trays of perfect mint tea and sweet pastries and you can while away the time admiring the ripening figs overhead. Once refreshed you can take a stroll around the nearby Jardin de Plantes, Paris's beautitful old botanical gardens.
Discovered this very good restaurant and winebar on the way back to Gare Du Nord. Its only 10 minutes on foot from checking in for the return Eurostar journey to London.
A godsend! Calm, pleasant environment with extremely tasty meals and wine. The serving staff were pleasant and helpful.
We will be back!
This is the best meal I have had in Paris. It is near Gare de l'Est at 2 rue St Laurent 75010 tele. 42 05 98 20. It is not open at weekends. The menu is limited but the food is awesome. It is also a wine bar and the wines are as good (and as reasonably priced) as the food.
2 Rue St Laurent, 75010 Paris, France
+33 1 42 05 98 20
Google map: bit.ly/HdKad3
If you want authentic high-quality cooking by one of France's greatest chef's, but for a fraction of the price, then make sure you book a table at Alain Ducasse's traditional bistrot in Paris, Aux Lyonnais. As the name suggests all dishes are traditional Lyonnaise fair, including Quenelles a la Lyonnaise, sauce Nantua (yum) and Tarte et île flottante aux pralines roses (even more yum). With set menus for lunch costing as little as 30 euros, this really was a gem of a find. Tucked down a quiet side street, the 1890 decor makes for a sumptuous setting that was clearly good enough for Hollywood, as it recently featured in Woody Allen's film Midnight in Paris.
After winding your way through the Marais district, behind the Place des Vogues on the corner of a street, is a small bistro bursting with colour, ambience and delicious food. You can wait for a table by the bar, which has a fabulous range of Provencal wines and then nestle into one of the chairs or benches, under large bright prints with scenes from the French Riviera. Starting with some tasty olives, the food is fantastic, especially the classics such as the mussels, steak and duck; somebody at your table (even if it’s for one!) has to have the chocolate mousse. Although very popular, this bistro seems to be off the tourist track, humming with local chat and is so quintessentially French, it has become a favourite place to visit in Paris.
This is a warm and friendly French bistro that we found by accident when walking away from the tourist crowds through the back streets of Montmartre (we almost walked past the wooden frontage of the restaurant!) It's a lovely little spot with a great atmosphere, reasonably priced and very tasty classic dishes (around 15 euros for a main course). The wine list has a good unpretentious selection of wine too. Make sure you try the chocolate parfait for dessert! We went around 9pm when it was quite buzzy, and it seemed to go on until quite late - we loved it as the clientele were pretty much all French with the odd tourist dotted around (presumably they had got lost and found it by happy accident like us!)
Typically we stumble on the best restaurants on the last night of our trips, and invariably they are right under our noses. Such was the case with Le Basilic. It is intimate, atmospheric, inviting and affordable with a three set menu for 23 Euro's or the Parisian staples of escargot and duck from the a la carte menu. After feeling ripped off in the majority of Parisian eateries, Le Basilic restored our faith in French bistros, especially considering its location within a mile of Moulin Rouge and Sacre Coeur (both of which are worth a post dinner stroll). We first found Le Basilic in 2000, were delighted that it was still open when we returned to Paris in 2008 and we make a beeline for it whenever we are are near Montmartre.
It is a small welcoming French bistro in a side street in the 11eme, a bit off the tourist track
The menu is short and the food good and the wine list has something for every pocket.
It is not often that you can find an excellent bistro in Paris at very reasonable prices, but Chez Germaine certainly ticks all the right boxes.
Directly in the heart of Paris (7th district), the restaurant exudes class and authenticity with its simple, yet elegant interior. Likewise, with its daily special set menus and extremely friendly (and English speaking!) waiters, there is no wonder why Chez Germaine is so popular for both locals and tourists alike.
If it is classic French dishes you are after, I would recommend a homemade terrine to start with, followed by pork with lentils. If you are still not full after that (doubtful), I would top the meal off with a papillon au chocolat. Glorious!
Suitable for both romantic dinner dates and a family lunch, though one final tip would be to book in advance as it is a little small and obviously always crowded!
Set lunch and dinner with three courses- €18.60.
30 rue Pierre Leroux
+33 (0)1 4273 2834
Metro station: Vaneau.
Google map: bit.ly/y28SXR
Situated on the famous “rue Mouffetard” in the heart of Paris, right next to the Panthéon, this fabulous boutique is typically French, and prides itself on selling products that are original, yet quintessentially French and, above all, of the very highest quality. The delicatessen boasts an array of products, such as Fauchon, Hédiart, in addition to delicious products sourced from small French manufacturers. A wide range of designer kitchen tableware is also available on sale. A very pretty boutique, perfect for indulging yourself, or indeed, others. A beautiful selection of luxurious products at prices which won't break the bank.
4, rue Mouffetard, 75005, Paris, France
Google map: bit.ly/pxyyLZ
Say what you want about Italian ice creams, and God knows they are divine, the real apex for me is called Berthillon. And you’ll find their glaces in the St Louis island of Paris. Each boule (scoop) is small and pricey but there is no word to describe the ecstasy of their gianduja with orange peel, verbena sorbet and raspberry à la rose. You can enjoy Berthillon ice cream at the salon de thé or just in cornets from their stands.
I saw this bistrot recommended in a 2008 Guardian article as one of the 'Top 10 Paris bistrots on a budget'. I can gladly say that it continues to please. We were superbly attended to from start to finish by the friendly owner/ waiter making us feel very welcome. We ordered the three course menu (€18.50-very reasonable for an evening meal in Paris) and let the owner suggest a wine, which went perfectly with the fish we ordered. A constant supply of chilled water was brought to the table and baskets of wonderful fresh bread. The chocolate pudding and the tiramisu were delicious. As a digestif we had the excellent homemade Vanilla rum (€4.50).
30 Rue Pierre Leroux, 75007 Paris
+33 (0)1 42 73 28 34
Google map: bit.ly/l0TGpp
Tourists may be queuing up in front of Ladurée for its famous macarons but Parisians often shlep to the bucolic and authentic Daumesnil quartier to get the best Mille-Feuille in Paris, at Vandermeersch’s. A Mille-Feuille (literally, thousand leaves) is a landmark of French patisserie. Its « leaves » must be light and crispy and its cream delicately perfumed with vanilla and a touch of rum.
278 Avenue Daumnesil, Paris 12th
+33 (0)1 43 47 21 66
Google map: bit.ly/kxdncA
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com