This fabulous family-run creperie in a street FULL of creperies is by far the best - and always the busiest. Tables are squashed together so don't expect to stretch your legs out but do expect delicious fillings like roquefort and walnut or ratatouille and egg, and if you're REALLY hungry, go for a double. Cheap and perfect with some dry Breton cider after seeing a film in the area or before a wander in the nearby cemetery, where amongst many others, you'll find Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre and Serge Gainsbourg buried.
67 rue du Montparnasse
This unassuming place on a street corner near Bastille has been here for years and can always be relied upon to provide the best peppered steak in Paris, and anything else I ever tasted in there has been simply delicious. Its interior isn't trendy, just old, in a "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" kind of way. Just be aware you may need to book - or wait and salivate as you watch everyone else being served...
Chez Paul, 13 rue de Charonne, Bastille area tel: 01 47 00 34 57
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!
The most magical hours of a glorious, fun-filled trip to the City of Lights were spent on the terrace of Pizza Milano with my boyfriend, Martin. We drank in the magical night time atmosphere of the latin quarter, eating good food, well prepared and very reasonably priced. Service was attentive and friendly and there was no wait for a table. To turn unexpectedly to find the stunning view of Notre Dame across the square, its gothic stature lit against the late summer sky, was a 'Can you believe it - you and me - we're really here...' moment.
Place St Michel, Metro Saint Michel,RER B et C, opposite Notre Dame cathedral.
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
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
This restaurant is on the very top floor of the Tour de Montparnasse (the Montparnasse Tower) - one of the tallest buildings in Paris - and offers one of the most stunning views of the city possible. You look directly out onto the Eiffel Tower. Go there for an aperitif to enjoy the view or why not treat yourself to dinner - the cuisine's very good. Just been on their website and they say it's 'the highest restaurant in Europe.' They do a three course set menu at £37.27 per person. Not the cheapest place to eat in Paris but the view and the pleasant welcome make it worth it. You won't see a better view than this from a Parisien dinner table.
Not a great setting tucked away off the vibrant Plaza Alfalfa. But this Cuban-inspired bar has great vegetarian and non-veggie food. Black-eyed beans and cheese-and-onion pastries are delicious. Lunch for two including beers €26.
3 Calle Golfo
Celebrated bar with waiters from the Manzanilla sherry producing town of Sanlucar de Barrameda. Bustling with well-dressed Sevillianos. It serves good fish dishes and manzanilla at just over a euro a glass.
11 Calle Albareda
I came across this little cafe/restaurant during my visit to Istanbul and felt moved to write to you about two ladies I met there - Ayse Cetin and Emine Tuncel. They are the sisters who run this establishment located just 350 metres from Taksim Square. We stopped in for a drink to escape the city bustle and discovered a wonderful garden hidden at the back. Both the ladies were born and raised in the 100-year-old apartment, the ground floor of which is now the business. We even saw their 90+ year-old mother sitting in the garden reading her paper.
Emine spoke good English as she had lived in the UK for over 30 years and both sisters were so helpful when we badgered them with questions and requests for tips on things to do. In an area that was crowded with bars/cafes and restaurants, we found this place to be excellent value and quality and we ended up eating breakfast, lunch and dinner there on separate occasions. I would recommend a visit here to anyone. You couldn't hope to meet a nicer pair of Istanbulites in an authentic atmosphere.
96 Siraselviler Cadesi (opposite the German Hospital)
Tuck into the simple, yet scrummy selection of dishes on offer on Pollo de Alcalá's menu which is printed on an enormous piece of tarpaulin, and hangs from the red-brick wall of this huge, old, converted mechanics’ workshop located on the edge of the historic centre of Alcalá de Henares.
Roast chicken cooked with herbs and apples, 'Sascha's' prize-winning, mouth-watering mini omelettes (watch them being prepared), crisp green salads with a tasty vinegarette (a nice change from the usual do-it-yourself oil and vinegar option), chicken kidney kebabs, potato croquettes and bowls of chips. Wash it all down with a jug of beer or wine and be pleasantly surprised when the bill comes.
Vía Complutense, 32, Alcalá de Henares
Tel: 91 881 30 70
Fax: 91 880 73 00
Open: Tues-Thurs 1pm-12am / Fri-Sun 1pm-1am
Wheelchair friendly / Cards accepted
Alcalá de Henares train station on Cercanías line C1/C3/C7A from Chamartín/Nuevos Ministerios/Recoletas/Atocha
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
Small wooden hut selling genuinely fresh fish at good (but not great) prices. Not just a salesman, his knifework was exemplary. The two fillets extracted from an enormous seabass were absolutely delicious later that evening.
Far better to give your custom here than at the Tesco megabore on Church Road. And there is no chance of getting fish that fresh from the supermarkets.
Literally on the beachside directly behind the Bowls club at Hove. About 100 yards west of the King Alfred Sports Centre. A small wooden sign points the way down the footpath from Kingsway, between 2 of the bowling greens
Located on the very pretty canal of Prinsengracht this is a great place to chill out on the terrace in Summer or warm up in the eclectic interior (wooden tables, ethnic style soft-furnishings, plants and low-hanging lamps) in winter.
The menu includes Mexican, Middle Eastern, Italian and other European dishes. Starters include humous and pitta bread, vegetarian pate, guacamole and tortilla chips. Main courses include Burritos, pasta and - a particular favourite - the Vegan Platter. This gives you tasters of four or five different dishes on one plate -for instance brussel sprouts or courgettes in a soya milk sauce, barley and beans, shiitake mushrooms and soya - combinations are often unusual but always interesting and well cooked. For a dessert try the chocolate and pear tart or the devilishly tasty Banana Cream Pie.
Service is very friendly and efficient, the atmosphere is relaxed and, as some tables are shared, it can be a good place to meet people.
It does get busy so it may be worth booking a table and it does NOT accept Credit Cards do make sure you have enough cash.
A three course meal for two costs approx 50 euros
Opening Hours: noon-10.00pm
Phone: 626 18 03
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