This is a very famous restaurant in Paris, with a stunning art deco interior (and linen tablecloths) and good food, in a hearty French way. However it’s always very busy, you have to queue to get in and it’s very noisy inside. And you are expected to speak French as many waiters do not speak English. And it’s packed with tourists and you will be seated on a shared table and rushed when the place is full. To make things easier it does not take bookings or credit cards either. All this withstanding, the food is quite good and not expensive and service is quick, and it opens early and on Sundays which it can be very handy.
Le Chatier 7 rue de Faubourg Montmartre Métro: Grands Boulevards Tel: 33 01-47-70-86-29 Opens: (daily) 11:30am-3pm and 6-10pm
Restaurant: Rene-style waiters scribble your order onto the tablecloth, simple but delicious food and wine which is extremely good value - less than £40 for three courses inc wine for three people. Fabulous mirrors and atmosphere. No bookings taken so get there early and they will seat a lone diner at any spare place!
Tucked away on the left at 7 rue du Faubourg-Monmartre, 75009 (off Bvd Monmarte)
After enjying the array of impressionist masterpieces, go up to drink a lovely viennese hot chocolate in the Musée d'Orsay's cafe, and look out across to the Sacré Coeur through the huge glass clock face of the old railway station. Magic!
A beautiful ornimental park to take a run in along with many chic (and often skinny) Parisien runners, before breakfast.
A wonderful place to walk, do tai chi, sunbathe and picnic on the many metal chairs. I can spend hours in this park it's also great for children with sand pits, toy sailing boats for hire and a huge (pay-in) playground. Not to mention a couple of reasonably good cafes to take coffee or lunch.
Jardin du Luxembourg, boulevard Saint-Michel, 75006 Paris, France
Directions for Visiting: Rue de Vaugirard, Metro Luxembourg
Festive carnaval atmosphere at this Brazilian restaurant. Try the native bbq (churasco) and remember not to let go of the delicious fresh fruit caipirinha. Caliente all the way through the week, with special emphasis on carnaval-inspired electro at the weekends. Colourful decor and don't bring muddy shoes, it'll look out of place when you're dancing on the tables.
18 rue du Faubourg du Temple, 75011: 00 33 (1) 40 21 38 14: Metro Republique
Just as you can't not visit the Eiffel Tower, you can't not dine at La Coupole when you're in Paris. Ridiculously big (some say the biggest restaurant in France), noisy, brash, overly lit, and the food ain't the best (though it's certainly not at all bad) - but these are all the very reasons why you have to go there.
Every famous Parisian has passed through its doors at some point, from Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir to Jean Cocteau and Ernest Hemingway, and though its best days are certainly behind it, it's well worth dropping in, especially as it's open until 2am.
When I was there, we dined next to an odd couple - a poorly dressed old Italian man with a stunning combover and his porcelain-doll-like young companion - who helped us to choose from the menu, and then spent the rest of the night whispering sweet nothings to each other. Inevitably we ended up picking a seafood mix of langoustine, oysters and salmon, washed down with a couple of cracking bottles of white.
The waiters were also uncommonly friendly and generous about our stumbling attempts to order in French. Oh, and the profiteroles were great. You'll leave feeling fat, which is as it should be.
108 blvd de Montparnasse; Tel: 01 43 20 14 20; Metro Vavin
Run by the same chef as the more upmarket Chez Michel almost next door, this is the bare-table, stripped-down, half-price and totally delicious Paris bistro par excellence.
6 rue de Belzunce, a few 100 yards from the Gare du Nord; Tel: 01 48 78 28 80
For those in need of a bite and desperate to get away from the screeching tourists and leery old men around the Moulin Rouge, head down to La Marmite bar/restaurant for an affordable steak and then across the road to the uber-cool La Fourmi for a demi.
Between Pigalle and Anvers metros, just off the main boulevard.
While many parts of central Paris are exclusive, beautiful but unrepresentative of the vibrant ethnic mix of today's France - Belleville is where it's at. You can arrive here by métro at the station of the same name, but I prefer to get off at métro Pyrenées and walk along to the top of rue de Bellville. At the top of this steep hill, you can see the Eiffel Tower (time it on the hour and you will see it sparkle in the distance).
Walk down the hill and you will soon pass a house upon whose steps Edith Piaf was born. A little way farther down, make a left onto rue Piat. Fifty metres down on your left you will come to a belvedere with a great view of Paris. It overhangs the Parc de Belleville, a stretch of green in this urban area.
Go back onto rue de Belleville and keep walking down hill. You will pass an increasing number of Chinese restaurants. Continue till you reach the busy crossroads where you will find Belleville metro. Cross the boulevard de Belleville (there is a twice-weekly foodmarket here, which is worth a look at) and if you are hungry, stop off for a reasonably-priced Chinese meal at the Belleville Institution Le Président. Walk down rue du Faubourg du Temple and take in the hustle and bustle of the Chinese supermakets, cafés serving thé à la menthe where you can smoke 'la chicha' (waterpipe with flavored tobacco) and many discount fabric and clothes shops.
You can end this walk at métro Goncourt, or continue on to the picturesque and arty-trendy Canal Saint Martin.
Start from métro Pyrenées
This beautiful Viennese salon serves what can only be described as the greatest hot chocolate in the world. Don't bother ordering any of the delicious pastries - half a cup of this is enough to wipe out the most demanding appetite. Decadent, indulgent and glorious.
226 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris; Metro: Tuileries; www.angelina.fr/
This place is an oasis for 'picky eaters'. In a city where organic and vegetarian options are extremely limited, Le Jardin is invaluable. Specialising in unusual and often vegetarian or vegan pasta dishes, it's ideally placed for a meal after a day out in the Latin Quarter.
The only downside is that, like many in Paris, this restaurant is likely to be closed between 2.30pm and 7.00pm.
4 Rue Lacepede, 5th Arr. (Near the Jardin des Plantes)
What a gem. Extremely friendly, brilliant food and great value. Need I say any more? Owner and staff spoke English which helped as well. We had wine, starters (the onion soup with goats cheese is well recommended) and two mains (sea breem, lamb on the bone) for €60 and that included service! One of the best places we've been to. Very quiet 7pm - 8pm and fills up after that. Go to Cafe Mabillon before/after for a few drinks as it's only a few mins walk away.
9 rue Gregoire de Tours 75006 ParisTel: 01 43 29 84 05Off Boulevard St Germain parallel to Rue de Seine. Nearest metro is Odeon only a few mins walk.
Fantastic crêpes, good quality food, mesmerizing decor, interesting music, accommodating young waitresses, very good prices. Not to be missed!
33, rue Saint-André-des-Arts,75006, Paris
Métro : Métro : Saint-Michel/ Bus : 24, 27, 38, 85, 96
Dine in the open under the stars in this former drapers shop. The sliding roof is almost as good as that in the Millennium stadium, and the very French and inexpensive food isn't half bad too.
51, rue du Commerce, 15th arrond. Paris. Metro: Emile Zola
One of Paris' more renowned maisons de thé and always my first point of call. Head upstairs to the café for afternoon tea and patisserie, Parisian style or a light lunch where all the dishes have a definite tea influence. Don't be overwhelmed by the intimidatingly large selection of teas on offer, both in the restaurant and the shop downstairs.
There are 3 locations in Paris, my favourite is 13 rue des Grands-Augustins, Paris 6ieme Tél. : +33(0)1 40 51 82 50 www.mariagefreres.com/
In the Indian quartier, down a hidden archway is an uncompromising and overcrowded bar-canteen. Be sure to get in just before 8pm and you'll get free mussels'n'chips or couscous, cheap beer and good quality Arab or house music to go with in. Very friendly atmosphere with impromptu dancing on tables - must be the free food.
3 cour des Petites Ecuries, 75010: 00 33 (0) 1 47705708
Between a Kubrick cycle and the latest Sofia Coppola, you can taste unpretentious food that won't overshadow the high quality or originality of the films, but mean you can chill out (on the patio if you're lucky) for just over the price of a ticket to the cinema (French prices!).
7-9 rue Francis-de-Pressense, 75014: 00 33 (1) 45 40 60 70: Metro Pernety
A paradox of a restaurant, hidden in the tranquil villagey part of the 14th arrondissement and very "vieille France", it is known by students who populate its cobbly streets as the ideal casse-croute. Why? Cheap-as-chips grub and free eye-candy as local beauties escape the neighbouring model agency.
34 rue des Plantes, 75014: 00 33 (0) 1 45404336: Metro Alesia
A welcoming canteen in the new quartier to be. Run by twinz, Slim and Sami, backed-up by cutting edge of French cinema, Matthieu Kassovitz and Vincent Cassel, everything seems to be home-grown: (try the melting tuna steak with mango), the staff, the customers. Locals we met said it was more a place for the St Maur posse to hang out rather than a people-watching spot, although we did encounter a few fashion-victims probably on the look out for Vincent Cassel or Monica Belucci.
101 rue Saint Maur, 75011: 00 (0) 1 40 21 03 37: Metro Saint Maur
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