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)
The appearance of this chain of restaurants can be a little off-putting to tourists looking for the 'authentic' Paris, but if you can get past the American-style decor and the packed tables you'll be pleasantly surprised. I can't vouch for all branches, but the restaurant in the Opera district was a real eye-opener; the quality of the food was excellent (the fantastic creme brulee is especially recommended). Very reasonable fixed-price 'menus' add to the appeal.
1 Blvd. des Capuchines, Metro: Opera
www.hippopotamus.fr/accueil/ (website content in French)
If you are in Paris and are travelling on a limited budget you can sometimes find some brilliant cafes and patisseries. However, for cheap, quick and tasty food go to a Pomme de Pain, for great baguettes and lovely French puddings. They have restaurants across the French capital, including on the Champs-Elysees. If you're stuck for time, cash or both give a Pomme de Pain a try.
Restaurants across Paris;
The Roissybus is an express bus service running between Terminals 1, 2 and 3 of Charles de Gaulle airport and the centre of Paris (corner of Rue Auber and Rue Scribe in the Opera area). At around 45 minutes, the journey is longer than the train service that's also available, but if you're staying in the Opera area it’s worth it for the convenience.
Traditional bar/restaurant. Atmospheric and reliable - immortalised by Juliet Binoche in Kieslowski's Trois Couleurs. Open every day from 8.30 (great coffee and croissants) and all day and evening.
Corner of rue Mouffetard and rue de l'Arbalète; nearest metro: Censier-Daubenton
This street in the Latin Quarter has many quirky shops, from fromageries to organic bakeries and oriental accessories and clothes shops. Ideal for a stroll and some window shopping before a day at the Jardin de Plantes.
Rue Monge, 5th arrondisement
This awe-inspiring structure is dedicated to the French citizens who were deported to concentration camps by the Nazis. As you approach, it doesn't look like much, but as you descend the stairs into the memorial you begin to feel a tremendous sense of claustrophobia.
The way it's constructed makes you think about the fate of the victims of the holocaust in a much more emotional way than I've experienced at any other memorial site - it's unsettling, but I'd go back anytime I'm in Paris. We owe it to the victims of the Holocaust to remember them.
Behind Notre Dame on the tip of the Ile de la Cite
So hip, it's bordering on tragic. Decor-wise it's all Philipe Starck transparent chairs with Hello Kitty-esque faces printed on them, huge geisha print on the ceiling, and a panoramic roof-top view of Paris from this ultra-stylish restaurant on the top floor of the Kenzo building by the Pont Neuf. My foie gras and steak were both superb, however you're more likely to be won over by the cool factor than anything else. Cocktails are very good, and yes, it was THAT restaurant in Sex & The City!
1, rue du Pont Neuf; nearest metro: Chatelet or Pont Neuf
Two hour lunch cruise on Bateaux Parisiens, wine included, €50-70 per person. We chose the €70 option and had a table at the front of the boat, good quality food, good wine, excellent service and serenaded. What more do you want?
Quai below the Eiffel Tower; www.bateauxparisiens.com/english/fr_dejeuner.html
Contemporary art gallery with great exhibitions - opens from noon to midnight and has a nice bar and restaurant and a great book shop. In summer there are seats outside and you can sip beer and look straight across at the Eiffel Tower. Sometimes bongo-players and fire blowers converge provide impromptu and frantic dancing opportunities.
Nearest metro: Iena
Simply the loveliest department store in Paris or anywhere else, with a beautiful selection of fashion and homeware (even the haberdashery is stunning). The food hall is wonderful.
Rue de Sevres, Paris 7e; nearest metro: Sevres-Babylon; www.lebonmarche.fr/
This museum is off the beaten track but well worth the visit. It has probably the greatest array of Monet's work anywhere in the world. Much less crowded than the Louvre, you have time to appreciate the art.
2, rue Louis-Boilly, 75016, Paris; www.marmottan.com
A beautifully decorated, trendy, yet unpretentious bar just off the well-trodden Rue Oberkampf. Great music, delicious cocktails and arguably the most beautiful man in the world works behind the bar towards the end of the week. Wonderful local atmosphere, but completely welcoming. Paris doesn't get any sweeter than this.
4, Rue Neuve Popincourt; Metro: Parmentier or Oberkampf; Bus: 96
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.
Very small "restaurant familliale" in St Germain des Pres. Daily menu changes, with hectic service. Lots of locals (but increasingly more tourists) give a great atmosphere with absolutely no frills but maximum "Frenchness".
Rue St Benoit, Paris 75006; nearest
metro: Ste Germain des Pres
Just in front of the Jardin des Plantes, the huge Mosquée de Paris is a pleasure to visit, especially on Sunday morning after a big night out. This peaceful temple shelters a gorgeous tea salon where Parisians enjoy a cup of mint tea on comfortable sofas or in the colourful courtyard.
Forget about the hurried waiters and focus on the Arabic atmosphere and the honey cakes.
You can lose the extra calories by strolling through the botanic gardens across the road or by trying the Hammam next door.
39 rue Geoffroy St. Hilaire, 75005; Tel: 01 43 31 18 14; Métro: Censier-Daubenton; Open all week except Friday, 9-12 and 14-18. Hammam for men Tuesdays and Sundays, all other days only women.
When I was a happy Sorbonne student, me and my "Amphithéâtre" mates used to meet up at this hidden but crowdy pub after class. Drinks are cheap, the landlord's pitbull doesn't bite and the setting is great. Inside, the Pantalon (Trousers) looks like a microscopic Parisian street where all customers can leave their artistic touch or simply stick their chewing gum under the table. Happy hour between 17h30 and 19h30. Open at 10 am till 2 am, everyday.
Le Pantalon, near the Panthéon 7, rue Royer Collard 75006. RER or Métro Luxembourg. Tel:01 40 51 85 85
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