The prefect way to end a day of wandering with a great meal in a really friendly atmosphere. They do a fantastic soup as a starter which is served inside half a crusty loaf of bread - ie the bread becomes the bowl - it really works and you won't end up with soup in your lap. Lively music and staff, with great artwork and writings all over the walls. Seek it out.
12 rue du Bourg-Tibourg, just south of the Marais.
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!
A fish restaurant - La Menu del Dias is very cheap and popular with the locals so must be good!
Just on the road out of Alcala towards Granada. You get a bottle of wine with the meal all for little more than an English fiver. Only Spanish- speaking so take your translation with you.
On the road from Alcala La Real, Jaen, to Granada.
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.
Recently renovated inside, the Flinders Pub has moved to improve its eating areas with a formal dining room in addition to the bistro.
The pub is a favourite of motorcycle riders (it's a great place to start or end a ride) who frequent the bistro but the dining room is a nice place for those wanting something more formal... nice thick linen and quality tableware. It's a nice place to eat for those who have been tramping the wineries in the area or having a hit at Flinders Golf Club.
Walk to Notre Dame and continue past it off the island to the other small island, Ile St Louis. There’s one main street that goes down the middle. Take it almost to the end to find this charming restaurant. It’s very reasonably priced and has excellent French food. There are other restaurants on the island besides this.
You can also use metro stop Pont Marie, which is on the right bank. Cross the river to the Ile St Louis and look for 30 rue Saint-Louis en l’Ile.
30 rue Saint-Louis en l’Ile
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
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.
The new owners of bar Antoine in Rue de la Prefecture have certainly changed the place; it’s cleaner, more sophisticated and with a less varied menu, but: it is still a very French atmosphere with lovely food and good service.
Try the Parma ham freshly sliced to order in front of you. The duck is good too and the truffle risotto to die for. It’s still one of the busiest restaurants in Old Nice, a place where every other doorway leads to a restaurant, so book a table and enjoy.
Rue de la Prefecture
On our first trip to Paris, we went to a restaurant in Les Invalides called L'Esplanade. We had left finding a good restaurant until very late, and all the options that we had been given were booked solid. The only one we could get into was L'Esplanade, for a 10:30pm booking.
A little aprehensive, as we expected a near empty restaurant, we turned up, only to find we were among a number of groups waiting for tables to clear! The restaurant was still accepting new diners as late as 2am, and we finally left at 3am, drunk, happy and well fed.
The food, not typical Parisian food, was delicious. Some reviews have called it fusion, however, being from Sydney the styles presented were just good combinations of tastes and textures.
The standout was the potato mash (of all things). I have heard of Joel Robuchon's mash made of 50% butter, I tasted something similar here, and it was magical!
I have had friends make their way to this restaurant only to sample this starter! The staff were very efficient and friendly, particularly as we were liable to murder their native language whenever we opened our mouths. The clientele were also quite entertaining, with a good spread of celebrity/wannabes and crusty old French diners, you would look to the door to see who was next.
Café de l'Esplanade 52, Rue Fabert, 75007 Paris Fax : +(33) 1 47 05 23 75 - Reservations : +(33) 1 47 05 38 80
A restaurant called 'Le Chiberta' which is just off the Champs Elysees. It was the most amazing meal I've EVER had and even a year later, I still drool about it. It wasn't that expensive either. It was about 125 euros for two of us, but that included my husband ordering the most expensive glass of wine in the history of wine drinking! My mouth is watering now!
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org