Blogathon June 19
Below, I’ve compiled a relatively up-to-date neighborhood restaurant list of my favorites. Most are all reasonably priced, generally non-touristy, and very good.
I’ve noted some of the meals I’ve had with friends—no guarantee that they are still good by the time you go, or that your taste and mine are the same.
If you are looking for fancy, expensive Michelin rated restaurants, look elsewhere. But if you want a good local meal with decent wine at prices that won’t break the bank, then look below. Most also have a low decibel level and thus are easy to have a conversation in without shouting.
A few other notes:
- Except for brasseries, most French restaurants don’t start serving dinner until 7 or 7:30 PM. So, if you get hungry early, find a brasserie (most serve all day) or eat a
- A strict no smoking ban exists inside restaurants. If you enjoy dining outside, expect smoke.
- The best deal dollar-wise is usually the plat du jour.
- Many small French restaurants do not have their own website, which is why a few websites are missing below. But you can usually find out more about them through websites such as TripAdvisor.com. Just Google them and information will usually pop up.
- I have listed phone numbers, if you want to make a reservation, but if you are worried about your French, don’t; many owners speak English. Or try reserving with the French
equivalent of Open Table, la fourchette: http://www.lafourchette.com/.
Restaurants are organized by arrondissements:
9, rue Duphot
Phone: 01 42 60 36 07
This first one is the exception to the pas cher list; it’s pricey, but exceptionally good. Friends Arnaud and Dan recommended it, and Noel and I had a great meal here in May this year. Fish is the specialty of the house. Noel had Belen oysters then the monkfish grilled in a stew with mushrooms. It was outstanding. I had a crab frothed appetizer that was good but a little rich and weird, then grilled salmon on a beetroot concoction. Tasty but Noel definitely picked the winning dish. There are nice little touches with bread stick crudities and crusty baguette rolls with an anchovy butter. The ambiance is low key but stylish with velvet banquettes, wood-paneling, and even elegant bathrooms with mosaic décor.
Domaine de Lintillac
10, rue Saint Augustin
Phone: 01 40 20 96 27
This restaurant is all about duck and is a typical French bistro that mostly locals know about. It’s a lively neighborhood place, good food, good vibes, but note: The French always like to prepare their duck on the rare side. To get around this (if that doesn’t suit your taste), I always have Confit de Canard (has to be well-cooked). You usually need a reservation.
38 rue de Bretagne
Phone: 01 44 54 03 30
Typical French neighborhood café in the Marais with a lively crowd. My friend Adrian (it’s in her neighborhood) and I had grilled salmon with veggies, Noel had veal Milanese. Three of us ate here for 84 Euros including three glasses of wine and a beer. Very good, light meal.
47 Rue de Bretagne
Phone: 01 42 72 36 26
Couscous and more here. A neighborhood joint that’s busy and noisy, but entertaining. It’s walking distance from the Centre George Pompidou. It has a limited menu but consistently good grilled fish and other fare. I usually have the grilled swordfish. Waiters are friendly and fun.
L’Ange 20 restaurant
8, rue Geoffroy L’Angevin
Phone: 01 40 27 93 67
This is a tiny restaurant so make a reservation. It used to have a waiting list of a couple of months, but I think it’s not quite as popular as when it first opened. It’s creative but a bit inconsistent. The restaurant sits twenty in a square space with diners packed in like sardines and an open kitchen at the back. A waiter, a chef, and a sous chef serve up entrees, plats, and dessert for about 30 Euros fixed price. I’ve had delicious meals there that included a smoked salmon salad with potato salad on the side. Main dish was a blanquette du veal dans sauce crème avec champignon. I’ve eaten there about four or five times. Each time the food was great, but the most recent time was a bit disappointing and uneven. But if you’re planning to be near the Centre Pompidou, it’s worth the walk down the nearby street, which looks deserted and a little iffy, but it’s perfectly safe.
15 Rue Pecquay
Phone: 01 42 72 14 51
I ate here for the first time this past February with my Parisian friend, Isabelle, who is also a wonderful artist (http://www.isabelle-bonzom.org). Tiny, old-time, neighborhood bistro near Centre Georges Pompidou on a nondescript, deserted side street. An online review I saw called it “a hole in the wall” (just so you know what you are getting into). I had a delicious goat cheese salad–it’s quite large so easy to share with someone else, then excellent Confit de Canard. Isabelle had a tasty lamb dish and we shared a side of potatoes au gratin. An excellent meal, reasonably priced with wine. If you go, don’t miss the potatoes au gratin.
Le Petit Bofinger
6 Rue de la Bastille
Phone: 01 42 72 05 23
This is the baby version of the larger brasserie across the street. Both are very close to the Bastille. Charming. Typical French fare of meat or fish.
Les Fêtes Galantes
17, rue de l”Ecole Polytechique
Phone: 01 43 26 10 40
Traditional family-run French bistro. Tiny joint with tables close together. Charming but quirky: Postcards, business cards, and dollar bills cover the walls, and women’s bras hang from some of the rafters. The street is a bit difficult to find but worth the effort. I’ve never had a bad meal here. You might get lucky and get a table, but it’s best to call for a reservation.
20 Avenue de Gobelins
Phone: 01 43 31 39 51
Excellent seafood. I’ve had two very good dinners here, but it’s been a few years. With its Art Deco décor it’s more upscale and a bit more expensive than the others.
28 rue Des Fosses des St-Bernard
Phone: 01 43 29 87 65
Best quenelle—a ground fish loaf that’s poached—you will ever taste. Ever. Recommended by a Parisian friend. Lives up to its reputation. It’s family-run, home-style Lyonnais cuisine so there are other menu options, but I usually just have a salad and the quenelle. It’s a small space so make a reservation.
La Maison du Jardin
27 Rue de Vaugirard
Phone: 01 45 48 22 31
This one is a lovely discovery near Luxembourg Gardens, a block or two away. Typical fare: grilled sea bream, lamb stew, braised veal, duck pate, spinach and smoked fish salad. Meals here prepared in classic French style and the staff is quite pleasant.