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
Baker Pascal Barillon won this year the prestigious Best Baguette Award for his baguette 'tradition'. He got a score of 19.5/20. He is also known for his patisserie creations such as L’Abbesse, a chocolate mousse and orange peel on a truffle paste. Now, run!
6, rue des Abesses, Paris (18th) 75018
Google map: bit.ly/ldezGo
Here is an authentic local café with formica tables and a tasty menu du jour. If you’re a football fan, you’ll be able to discuss with the sportive owner. This café sits on a very poetic corner of Paris, it is precisely where Rue de la Fidélité becomes Rue du Paradis. I often wondered if the Haussmanian city planners did it on purpose.
Corner of rue de Paradis and rue du Faubourg St Denis, Paris (10th)
Villa Spicy is located few steps from the Champs Elysees. We stopped there after a long afternoon walk on the Champs Elysees and it looked nice.
We really enjoyed the atmosphere and our meal. Very fresh food with good seasonings.
I've had a lot of meals in Paris, some good and some mediocre, and this place was one of my best in Paris.
They show a great attachment to quality, and was a good value for around 50 euros.
Pizzeria with a difference. Arrive early or late- it is very small and gets packed quickly. Delicious and cheap pizza by the slice in a great area for a few drinks, not far from the Nouveau Casino club and bars such as Le Café Charbon.
2 Bis Rue Neuve Popincourt, 75011 Paris
+33(0)1 43 38 12 00
Google map: bit.ly/lrRbMy
When I was in Paris for an exhibition recently I took a couple of American customers to this restaurant because it combines a famous landmark with French cuisine. I thought it would be an unforgettable experience for them and I was not disappointed.
It is on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower so at night the views are spectacular especially if you can get a table by the window. It is quite avant garde in the way it is designed with a sort of circular swirling purple light above which sounds strange but it is all done in the best possible taste. The lighting is quite subdued so that people can see the city and there are candles on the tables so the atmosphere is wonderful.
I am not easily impressed in restaurants becuase I do a lot of entertaining all over the world but I thought the food and the service here was excellent. We had the cheaper of the menus (not that any of them are exactly "cheap") but it was just great and as far as I was concerned it was certainly worth it.
You'll skip the queues at the bottom and go straight up to the first floor in a lift. If you are looking to do something in Paris for your partner or customers, you can't beat this.
A basic Southern Indian restaurant specialising in parathas (stuffed pancakes) located in the heart of Paris's little visited Indian quarter. It is cheaper and more relaxed than the now all too touristy falafal in the Marrais.
The Masala Paratha at just €4.50 includes a large gently spiced Paratha with a fiery dahl along with a couple of dips. There are selections of authentic Southern Indian snacks which you can buy to take away. Friendly service and the sure fire sign of quality - largely frequented by the local Indian population.
Quick, filling and perfectly placed for a pre or post Eurostar meal it is the best value meal I know of in Paris.
189 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin
75010 Paris, France
+33(0)1 40 34 30 70
Google map: bit.ly/lTygle
After a walking through the very chic neighbourhood of St Germain where cash is king, switch to the Quartier Latin for a meal solely based on tartes. It is cheap, very cheap, it is cheerful and above all, the chocolate and raspberry tarte is so good it may make you tear up.
53 Rue Mouffetard, 75005 Paris, France
+33(0)1 43 37 21 89
Google map: bit.ly/gN0ak3
Brunch/lunch café. Menu serves (among other items): fruit cocktails and smoothies, home-made muffins, salads, packed massive sandwiches, veggie maki and my favourite: delicious, taste-bud exploding gazpacho. Oh yum. Free coffee if you eat in-house.
All is organic, all is vegetarian, all is fun as you banter with the service (they love it).
For lovers of vintage film posters and stills going back to the early days of cinema, Cinedoc is the place to head to. Drawers of amazing french vintage film posters vie for your attention competing with scene stills and photographs of the stars of all nationalities. The shop is crammed from floor to ceiling - a treasure trove. Cinedoc is in the Passage Jouffroy, a wonderful almost secret network of covered glazed shopping arcades dating from the nineteenth century. Each of the 30 passages has its own architectural style - some like the Galerie Vero-Dodat are very grand with black marble columns and painted shopfronts. Others such as the Passage des Panoramas are a little run down but contain delightful bric-a-brac shops and stamp dealers. The Passages of Paris are hidden gems well worth discovering away from the traffic clogged boulevards.
45-53 Passage Jouffroy
T: 01 48 24 71 36
Located off Boulevard Montmartre
Metro: Grandes Boulevards
This Marché de la Gare is 10 minutes from Chatelet on RER A (station - Nanterre Ville, direction St Germain en Laye). Nanterre is just to the west of la Défence and is home to a huge plethora of different cultures, many west and north African. The market has its fair share of cheap household tat outside but venture inside the big hall to bustle and hassle with all the others. Veg, meat, spices, smells noises, indefinable languages, and bargains galore and not a tourist in sight. No need to stay nearby. The market is right next to the station and is open 08h to 13h30 wed and sat. Great fun, great food and something a bit different. Oh, and prices at a half of the centre of Paris!
Train RER A from Chatelet/Auber to Nanterre Ville (direction St Germaine en Laye. Station is next to market.
Don't go to the Coffee Parisien if you're looking for a typical French place. It's a diner where you'll have a good American brunch on weekends. They do great eggs benedict, pancakes and burgers.
Several locations in Paris but I prefer the one in St-Germain.
4 rue Princesse
Tel : +33 1 43 54 18 18
Amazing place in the Richelieu wing of the Louvre. There's a nice terrace with a view of the Louvre pyramid. Nice cocktails and club sandwich but you go there for the location not really for the food.
93 rue Rivoli
Behind place des Vosges, a very nice cozy bistrot. The service can be abrupt and sometimes hectic but the food is very good. Typical French cuisine.
Reservations recommended, check if they accept credit card
2 rue Roger-Verlomme
Lots of reviews said they serve lovely cake/sweets at Fauchon at Place de la Madeleine. I went there and was disappointed - the cake I had just didn't have the 'wow' factor, if you like.
Also, I witnessed something I couldn't believe. Two ladies sitting next me were leaving just as I was settling down, I guessed they were just having coffees and cakes and they left 50 euros for a tip, would you believe it!
I'd recommend going to Angelina instead, or Mariage Freres on the rue De Bourg-Tibourg for a nice cup of tea.
This is a website I just stumbled upon this morning, which is dedicated to Paris top restaurants. Worth a visit, especially for its list of the very top French cuisine restaurants and their worldwide acclaimed chefs (Michelin-starred, etc).
Great French restaurant full of locals and great atmosphere! It is massive with two floors and the menu offers many dishes at cheap prices. Great for families travelling on a budget who want to visit a traditional French restaurant. Go early to avoid queues, however it shouldn't be a long waiting time.
7 rue Faubourg, Montmartre, Paris
It is very romantic for couples, also a great treat for the family. The four-course meal is fantastic, also you get to see all the Paris sights as you take your time eating dinner and drinking wine and listening to the sounds of the piano. A great way to spend lunch or dinner.
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