| My selection of restaurants
Here are some good places with
either good or acceptable food (but not haute cuisine) in a Parisian
"ambiance" (most of them in the very center of Paris)
Here are a few of our favorite
and not always that well-known places in Paris! Some of the restaurants
have average food but enormous historical value, others have
great food and great historical value. All of the restaurants
listed have SOMETHING to recommend them!
This is a picture of Gérard
Margeon, head sommelier at the Alain
Ducasse restaurants in Paris who taught Harriet everything
she knows about wine !
- Mama Shelter***
is a new and very innovative
hotel, with the comfort and the class of a 5-star (design by
Philippe Stark) and the prices of a 3-star, in a part of Paris
Americans don't know (and should know) : do not go where all
tourists go! 109 rue de Bagnolet 75020 Tel : 33-(0)1 43 48 48
- Hôtel des Chevaliers***, a very friendly and comfortable hotel
in a historical setting (air-conditioned, which seems to be a
must for American tourists..) 30 rue de Turenne 75003 Tel. 33-1
42 72 73 47
- Hôtel Odeon***, a charming hotel, in a very nice neighborhood
near the Latin quarter, 3 rue de l'Odeon 75006 Paris Tel. 33-(0)1
43 25 90 67 (150 to 180 Euros)
- "Authentically French" : Le Quincy, excellent food and lively service, old-fashioned 28 avenue Ledru-Rollin 75012 Paris Tel 33-(0)1 46 28 46 76
- Lively" : La Fontaine de Mars,
traditional French cooking
and the possibility to eat outside, weather permitting 129 rue
Saint Dominique 75007 Paris Tel. 33-(0)1 47 05 46 44 (30 Euros)"
- "Good" : Les
Bouchons de François Clerc,
12 rue de l'Hotel Colbert
75005 Paris Tel.33-(0)1 43 54 15 34, excellent wines, in a XIIIth
Century cellar (40 Euros)
- "Historical" : Procope : the oldest café (now restaurant)
in Paris dating from 1686. In the heart of the Quartier Latin,
13 rue de l'Ancienne Comédie, 75006 Paris, Tel. 33-(0)1
40 46 79 00. (40 Euros). Click here for its
- "Poetic" : Le
Coupe-Chou : a wonderful XVth century building also in the Latin
Quarter, 9 rue Lanneau 75005 Paris, Tel. 33-(0)1 46 33 68 69.
(45 Euros) We held our wedding lunch at Le Couple-Chou and the
experience was inoubliable.
: Auberge Ravoux
(Auvers sur Oise, 20 miles
North West of Paris) : the place where Van Gogh died. 52 rue
du Général de Gaulle 95430 Auvers sur Oise Tel.
33-(0)1 30 36 60 63. (40 Euros) : a charming restaurant and small
- "Regional" : La Galoche d'Aurillac : a restaurant
with typical products and food from Auvergne (central France)
in a very picturesque and animated street, 41 rue de Lappe 75011
Tel. (0)1 47 00 77 15
- "Traditional" :
Vagenende : a classical
"Belle Epoque" restaurant, 142 blvd Saint Germain,
75006 Paris, Tel. 33-(0)1 43 26 68 18. (40 Euros)
: Wally Le Saharien : a delicious and surprising very light
Saharian couscous, with no greasy sauce, 36 rue Rodier 75009
Paris, Tel 01 42 85 51 90
- Hôtel Malar** : 29 rue Malar, 75007 Paristel. 33-(0)1
455 51 38 46, well located, friendly and affordable (100 Euros)
- Hôtel de la Tulipe** : good value, near Eiffel Tower, 33 rue
Malar 75007 Paris Tel.33-(0)1 45 51 67 21
- Hôtel des Grandes Ecoles***, a captivating hotel with an inner garden,
ideally located in the heart of the Latin quarter, 75 rue du
Cardinal Lemoine 75005, 33-1 43 26 79 23 (100 Euros, reserve
3 months ahead of time)
- Hôtel Charlemagne** : an inexpensive
recently renovated hotel in Neuilly on the metro line. Small
rooms but comfortable. 1 rue Charcot, 92200 Neuilly. Tel.33-(0)1
46 24 27 63. From 80 Euros
- And also : Hotel du Danube***,
in Saint Germain des Prés,
58 rue Jacob 75006 Paris, Tel. 33-1 42 60 34 70, Grand Hotel Jeanne d'Arc***, in the Marais,
3 rue Jarente 75004 Paris, Tel. 33-1 48 87 62 11 or Hotel Delambre***, in Montparnasse, 35 rue Delambre 75014
Paris Tel. 33-1 43 20 66 31
- For students :
- 3 Ducks Hostel : cheap and friendly (in the 15th Arrondissement)
- BVJ has two very clean, safe
and well-located youth hostels. Louvre and Quartier Latin (Tel.33-(0)1
53 00 90 90 Fax 33-(0)1 53 00 90 91) (18 Euros/night)
Monnet, 30 rue Cabanis 75014 Tel. 33-(0)1 43 13 17 00 is
an excellent welcome center in Paris for groups of students,
with 200 rooms, a restaurant, French lessons, etc...
- Why not try a Bed
& Breakfast ? There are not many in Paris, but most
of them are very charming.
- If you travel outside Paris,
try one of the French Bed & Breakfast in a luxury castle or a charming manor. There are several
excellent chains and for the price of a traditional hotel,
you may have a wonderful experience.
- "Convenient" : Restaurant du Musée Jacquemart André : a warm atmosphere
in a beautifully furnished XVIIIth century mansion and one of
the few places in Paris restaurants where you can order only
a salad in a restaurant! (20 Euros)
- "Parisian Bistrot" : Bistrot Paul Bert : reasonably priced, traditional and friendly, 18 rue Paul Bert 75011 Paris tel 01 43 72 24 01
Catelan, route de Suresnes, in the middle of the Bois de
Boulogne : for a special occasion, this restaurant is endlessly
romantic. Harriet reports : "My husband took me there when
I got my French nationality in 1996 and it was an unforgettable
experience. If you have a special event to celebrate when in
Paris, I highly recommend it." Tel.33-(0)1 44 14 41 14.
- "Family Style"
: Chez Georges, good food,
elegant 18th Century neighborhood, 1 rue du Mail 75002 tel. 33-33-(0)1
42 60 07 11 (40 Euros)
- "Romantic" : Le
Pavillon Montsouris, 20 rue Gazan
75014 Paris, Tel.33-(0)1 45 88 38 52, a 1900 cottage in the charming
Parc Montsouris and a lovely place to eat outdoors overlooking
the park in summer. Expensive (45 Euros)
- "A Real Trip" : Le
Président, 120 rue du
Faubourg du Temple 75011 Paris Tel.33-(0)1 47 00 17 18, a huge
and authentic Chinese restaurant, with a spectacular staircase,
a traditional place for Chinese wedding parties (20 Euros)
: Chez Fred, is a quite
typical "bouchon lyonnais", i.e. the kind of small
restaurant you find in Lyon,
good food, good wines, reasonable prices (40 Euros) and a warm
ambiance : 190 bis blvd Pereire 75017 Paris, (0)1 45 74
A few DOs and DONTs about restaurants in France :
- DON'T go to a French restaurant and order ONE course : restaurants are places where you enjoy a MEAL
- unless you are sure they'll enjoy it, don't take children to a good French restaurant
- DO learn a few words to figure out what is on the menu (the translations are often whimsical) : see a short glossary
- more to come
A word to the wise: unless you are in an international chain
like the Hilton or Sofitel, you may find French hotels a tad
small. That's normal: there's less space in Europe and
space is considered less important for comfort ! In many hotels,
there is no air-conditioning and noisy traffic : select a room
on the garden...
DID YOU KNOW
THAT...? In France, in general and unless very clearly specified,
the French don't usually share the bill. This is a complex
situation and you have to be very careful about who had the idea
for the dinner, how the decision was made, etc... And remember,
if you split, divide the bill by the number of guests : anything
like "I didn't take wine" or "I had no dessert"
is a HORROR SHOW in France and considered very rude.
USEFUL TIP.... about tipping (!)..... : as you
can see on the bills, the tip is always included in restaurants,
cafés, bars, etc... (15%) and you can collect the change
and leave without the waiter giving you a dirty look. Nevertheless,
it is frequent to leave some small change on the table in cafés
and a few Euros in restaurants to show your appreciation (from
2 or 3 Euros in a small restaurant to 20 Euros in a top restaurant).
It is customary to give a tip to cab drivers (10%), hairdressers
(a few Euros), movers (20 Euros each), etc... One word about
cabs : NEVER follow a so-called "cab-driver" who sollicits
you from outside his cab. It is strictly forbidden and those
who do that are, in the best case, illegal cab drivers (and thieves)
; in the worst case, they are serial killers.
.... In Paris (like in New
York and many other places), a restaurant may be wonderful, then
successful, then a rip-off within a six-month period of time
: beware of young fame...
remember that prices in Paris restaurants are approximately twice
as high as anywhere else in France : you will have this confirmed
if you travel outside Paris...
|| Just-like-home places in Paris
- The Galeries Lafayette
: This is the Parisian department
store par excellence, with just about everything under the sun
(including a nice Sushi Café on the 5th Floor).
- The Bon Marché
in the Latin Quarter is another
typically Parisian department store which has been entirely renovated.
It's known for its spectacular "épicerie" (food
department) which is very good, but very expensive.
Galerie du Louvre : Fabulous shopping for clothes, CDs, art
objects and gift items in the gallery underneath the Pyramid.
And don't forget to go to the Louvre while you're at it!
- Oliviers & Co. 81 rue Saint
Louis en l'Ile 75004 Paris Tel.33-(0)1 40 46 89 37 gastronomical,
inexpensive and wonderful (light) gifts.
- Click here for
the French system of units (size, etc...) , for intelligent
in France and here for a letter from a
Flea Market (Porte de
Clignancourt, Sat./Sun./Monday) : It's always fun to go to the
Flea Market just for a change of scenery (but you really do have
to watch out for pickpockets : this is one of their favorite
places). There is also a flea market Porte de Montreuil (Sat./Sun./Monday),
big but it is less interesting. Another Flea market, Porte de
Vanves (Sat./Sunday), is worth the visit and much smaller.
- Want to see how the shopping
designed nearly two centuries ago ? Visit one of the Galeries
in the 9th Arrondissement ; some of them are very pretty : for
example Galerie Vivienne (jewelry, books, tea-rooms, etc...),
Passage Verdeau and Passage Jouffroy (antique shops, small shops
selling only incredible things such as mini-furnitures for dolls
or ancient canes etc..., cheap restaurants, hotels, ....) ; these
passages are very well described in Aragon's "Le Paysan
- More to come...
When homesick, you can
go places which look, more or less, like their American models
and where you can meet lots of Americans like you. Among them
- American grocery store : genuine US products available in-store
at Thanksgiving, 20 rue Saint-Paul 75004 Tel. 01 42
77 68 29
- And also : The Real McCoy, 194
rue de Grenelle 75007 Tel. (0)1 45 56 98 82
- A TexMex Restaurant: Café
Pacifico, 50 blvd du
New York Restaurant : Joe Allen, 30 Rue Pierre Lescot 75001 Paris tel.
33-1 42 36 70 13
- A New York Bar
Bar, 5 Rue Daunou 75009
Paris, famous for its election nights and straw polls (founded
Southern Restaurant : Haynes, 3 Rue Clauzel 75009 Paris tel. 33-1
48 78 40 63
American Museum : Musée
d'Art Americain, 99 rue
Claude Monet 27620 Giverny tel. 33-2 32 51 94 65 ; a well put
together collection of American painting of the times of Claude
Monet, facing the archi-famous house and garden of the painter
- For food and music,
Chesterfield Café is the best but there's also Planet
Hollywood and Hard Rock Café, not to mention
many Irish Pubs, generally friendly and affordable.
- An American
Church, 65 Quai d'Orsay, a key-landmark of the American
community in Paris
- Paris Live Radio is the only radio station in Paris exclusively
- Order American products
online, go to an American bookstores,
play paintball, visit
in Paris, play in one of the very few French
clubs or go to Disneyland Paris !
- More to come
Click here if you are not American.
| Bistrots,bars, tea rooms, etc...
- Le Batofar 11 quai François
Mauriac 75013 is moored near the National Library (very "in",
with quality DJs)
- Le Café Charbon, 109 rue Oberkampf, 75011, for the "in"
crowd, in a booming neighborhood
- Le Rosebud, 11 rue Delambre
75006, something of the atmosphere of a New-York bar
- If you have a drink at the Closerie des Lilas,
also in Montparnasse, each
table has a little copper plate on it with the name of one of
the illustrious people who had a drink at this table before you
Soutine, Picasso, Henry Miller and many others).
- The Long Hop, Place Maubert
75005 for a drink, a pool game, a quiz etc...
- Le Barrio Latino, 46 rue du
Faubourg Saint Antoine 75011, a must hang out for the "in"
- Le Petit Journal Montparnasse, 13 rue de
Commandant Mouchotte 75015, drinks or inexpensive dinner and
(very often) good jazz music
- Le Buddha Bar, 8bis rue
Boissy d'Anglas, 75008, for yuppies
- Le Sancerre, 22 Avenue
Rapp 75007, a pleasant wine bar, just in front of one of the
most beautiful apartment buildings in Paris (Art Nouveau style)
- Auld Alliance , 80 rue François
Miron, 75004, is a very friendly Scottish sportsbar in the "Marais"
- More to come...
DID YOU KNOW
THAT..... If you shop at the Galeries Lafayette, do not miss
(just across the street) the most beautiful bank agency in Paris
: a huge and spectacular Art-Nouveau hall (Société
Générale, 29 blvd Haussmann).
: shoppers are invited to view the latest styles at free fashion
shows at Le Printemps (Tuesdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. from
April 1 to October 31) and at the Galeries Lafayette (Wednesdays
11 a.m. and Fridays 2:30 p.m. from April 1 to October 31, reservation
required Tel. 01 48 74 02 30 or welcome @galerieslafayette.com).
DID YOU KNOW
THAT.....? French shopkeepers are famous for being unpredictable
and often unpleasant. The concept of service to customer doesn't
mean the same thing as it does in the USA.... When they say "non",
it doesn't always mean "no" : click here to discover what it
- A Priori Thé, a friendly
tea room in one of the most charming passageways of Paris, light
lunches, 35 Galerie Vivienne 75002 Tel. (0)1 42 97 48 75
- Among the
best tea rooms in Paris
: Mariage Frères, 30 rue du Bourg Thibourg 75004 Tel (0)1
42 72 28 11 (the Mecca of Tea in Paris, large variety of teas,
light lunches, gift shop), Crillon, 10 Place de la Concorde,
75008, very "chic", Fauchon, 26 Place de la
Madeleine, 75008, Toraya, 10 rue Saint Florentin, 75001,
Forêt Noire, 9 rue de l'Eperon 75006, la Maison
du Thé, 20 boulevard Saint Germain, 75005. If you
are fascinated by the ceremony of tea in Japanese culture, every
Wednesday at the Maison de la Culture du Japon at 3pm and 4pm
(Tel.(0)1 44 37 95 95).
DID YOU KNOW THAT...... ? Paris used to be a
very clean city but now, in spite of all the little "men-in-green"
(city Waste & Parks Department), the city is much more littered
than it used to be. The reason is what the French call "Plan
Vigipirate" (literally : "watch-out-for-pirates-plan")
implemented after the terrorist attacks in 1986. All the traditional
street garbage cans have been transformed into ugly plastic sacks,
so you could see a bomb through them if there was one. Unfortunately,
they are often torn apart. Too bad....
DID YOU KNOW
THAT....? Lively neighborhoods (and bars...) follow creators,
stylists, artists, musicians, writers : from Montmartre (XIXème
siècle) to Montparnasse (in the 1920s), Saint Germain
des Prés (after WWII) and now la Bastille and the East
of Paris (11th, 12th and 20th arrondissements). and then the
edge of Paris : Montreuil, Aubervilliers, etc...
See also outside Paris..., less known museums, Theaters, concerts etc..., local
the beaten path (some ideas....) : remember that sometimes, you can experience
To related pages : more suggested
places (#2), Where
do Americans live in Paris ?, links to American
- run businesses in Paris, Chinese
Paris, Japanese Paris, etc....
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Back to home
Rochefort writes articles and books about France and the French.
Order her books :
- "Joie de Vivre", Secrets of Wining, Dining and Romancing like the French, St.Martin's Press, New York, 2012
- "French Toast, An American in Paris
Celebrates The Maddening Mysteries of the French", St.Martin's Press,
New York, 1999
- "French Fried, The Culinary Capers
of An American in Paris", St.Martin's Press, New York, 2001
More on Harriet's books (excerpts, upcoming
events, testimonials, etc..)
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