If you are a vegetarian desperate for some French-tasting sustenance, try Le Potager du Marais near the Pompidou Centre, Metro Rambuteau.
It is a wonderful change to eating pizza or falafel and really makes you feel like you are taking part in France's famous cuisine.
The downside of a weekend in Paris, people say, is that it closes on a Sunday. Not around the Rue des Martyrs it doesn’t.
Just by St Georges Metro, fifteen minutes from the Gare du Nord and Eurostar, lies this wonderful untouristy very French part of Paris with a Sunday morning market to buy your pastries, cheese, charcuterie, fish, wine, chocolate and second hand books.
Stay in the Trois Poussins hotel for discreet affordable luxury, and who could resist the No Stress Café across the road which does exactly what it says on the tin?
For something really out of the ordinary in the ancient heart of Paris, go to Nos Ancetres les Gaulois on the Ile St Louis.
It's an all-you-can-eat-and-drink restaurant, with a dark ages theme - skins on the ancient stone walls, rough-hewn wooden tables, help-yourself-to-wine from the barrel kind of place, labrynthine and bacchanalian in atmosphere - musical floorshow with lots of audience participation.
All-in for 39 euros; unbeatable fun and totally unexpected in its rarefied surroundings; a perfect ending to a day of trawling around the museums.
Probably the best 22 euro steak on the planet! The side of a cow smothered in immaculate sauce served with endless frittes. And the salads are not bad either. With impressive North African wines. It has a real feel, an authentic old Parisian atmosphere. It is where I proposed to my wife, and where I return at every available opportunity. You cannot beat it. Just remember, no reservations so get in early before the Parisians.
47. Rue de Bretagne
Imagine an authentic, reasonably priced, local French restaurant bang in the middle of the 1er, within a Wilkinson drop-kick of that concrete beast, the Forum des Halles.
Imagine such a place festooned in rugby memorabilia - permanently, and not just in Rugby World Cup year. Such a place exists. It's called Le Gros Minet (The Fat Kitten) and it's on Rue des Prouvaires (+33 1 42 33 02 62).
It's small, so book to avoid missing out on such treats as canard aux myrtilles. As any rugby fan would tell you, it's got to be worth a try!
Slightly off the beaten track, the Grand Mosque at the 5th Arr. has a large, sunken garden, fountains and a 33-metre high minaret.
The internal courtyards, lined with Andalusian mosaics, are offset by dark eucalyptus and cedar trim. The mosque's adjoining cafe and restaurant, serves excellent north African cuisine such as couscous, tajine and sweet mint tea to all.
For an absolutely wonderful dancing and dining experience when in Paris, off the beaten track and not listed in all the tourust guides is a beautiful restaurant called Le Chalet du Lac Saint Mandé. It is located in the Orée du Bois de Vincennes in the park by the lake.
Le Potager du Marais restaurant, just round the corner from the Pompidou Centre, is a funky little veggie restaurant. The staff are really friendly, the atmosphere's cosy, the food's wonderful (with some of the best vegan food in Paris). Cosy means small, so book at least a few hours in advance.
Gourmet goodies: forget the opéra, éclair and tarte au citron. The macaron is the ultimate indulgent délice. Find these bite size mise-en-bouche adorning patisserie windows in rainbow colours: shocking pink, peach, sunshine yellow.
Head to Gerard Mulot on Rue de Seine: the haunt of true Parisian gourmands. Your senses will lead you to this treasure trove with the warm scent of almonds, cream and sugar wafting towards St Germain des Pres. Macarons au nougat, a l'abricot and a la fraise et au rhubarbe are some of the scrummiest. Nibble away the crisp outer shell to reveal soft, squidgy almond within.
If you enjoy duck then you will love 'Le Petit Canard Restaurant' at 19 Rue Henri Monnier, 75009 in Paris. They serve duck reared on their family farm in a vast variety of interesting and tempting ways. But beware if one of your party does not like duck as your visit could turn out to be like the Monty Python 'SPAM' episode as virtually all dishes contain duck to varying degrees. However the duck is delicious and I would recommend a visit.
19 Rue Henri Monnier, 75009
When recently in Montmartre we found a tiny shop called Manani, Rue des Trois Frères, selling bags made with the most beautiful African prints before making our way down to Fuxia which is such a simple and beautiful deli.
If ever you find yourself on Rue des Martyrs take a peek at their amazing array of wine, pastas, salads and vegetables. The beautiful waitresses are also very knowledgeable about the best bars and places to dance in Paris. Try happy hour at Fluid (same street), charming waiters and beautiful music, the perfect place to become a regular.
Hot chocolate and chestnut cream cakes at Angelina's - an absolutely must-do event in Paris.
It's a traditional teahouse - with fin-de-siecle decor and mouth-watering cakes on display cabinets by the entrance that will have even the most die-hard savoury fans entranced. It's on Rue de Rivoli, opposite Tuileries, so you can have a wander round the gardens and over to the river when you've had your fill.
A great little restaurant hidden in the back of the wine shop here - walk through the wine shop and up a couple of steps, open the curtain and there are about seven tables.
You can eat good food and drink the wine from the wine shop - very smoky but snug and secretive.
A culinary gem serving ONLY a simple salad start with two rounds of stesk and chips to follow but with oodles of Parisian style. Right in the heart of St Germain, a great place to begin an evening.
20 bis rue St. Benoit, nearest metro St. Germain des Pres
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