Good Food in Paris
9 carrefour de l'Odeon
33 1 43 29 12 05This restaurant, run by chef Yves Camdeborde, is what is referred to as "new" French cuisine - a modern take on the classics so revered around the world. During the week, dinner is kind of pricey at 50 euros for a 5-course dinner. However, the better option is going for lunch: you get the same great food, but at much more affordable bistrot prices. I never go without ordering the Salad Niçoise - if you don't like salad niçoise, it's probably because you've had the garbage that is usually served in the states. Come here and try the real thing, I promise you'll never look at it the same way.
|The well-rounded cheese plate offered with the weekday dinner at Comptoir du Relais.|
27 Rue Malar
7th ArrondissementThere's no denying, the chef at this restaurant knows what he's doing when it comes to meat. There's a pretty reasonable 35-euro prix fixe menu (three courses), and while some of the first courses are gastronomical with foams and other sophistications, the main courses are all top-quality, braised or sauteed cuts of meat that melt in your mouth. Plus, there is a rice pudding for dessert that will stay on your mind long after having finished it.
3. Aux Lyonnais
32, rue saint-marc
01 42 96 65 04This casual Alain Ducasse (famous French chef) restaurant, featuring cuisine from Lyon, a city about 3 hours south of Paris, boasts fantastic sauces, meats, and a nice wine list. There is a good atmosphere and everything seems to be made with care. Last time I went, I had great scallops with endives braised two ways - delicious!
45 rue Oberkampf
01 48 05 04 89
This very casual bistro, usual filled with a pretty hip Parisian crowd, changes its wine list nightly, and offers great wines by the glass. This restaurant is essentially a French tapas restaurant, serving French meats, vegetables purees, and fish dishes in small portions to be shared among friends or acquaintances. The best part is, it's a great deal; I paid 16 euros for two glasses of wine and about 9 tapas shared between 4.
5. Rose Bakery
46, Rue Martyrs
33 1 42 82 12 75Open for lunch and brunch only
Rose Bakery appeals to me because of its fresh and simply made meals. However, I found that charging 15 euros for a dish of scrambled eggs and smoked salmon to be unnecessary; I recommend selecting the lesser-expensive dishes on the menu, especially ones that feature seasonal produce (I'm thinking in particular of a fantastic butternut squash soup I had this fall for 7 euros).
6. Pierre Herme
72, Rue Bonaparte
33 143 54 47 77This bakery is good but very overpriced; I recommend going and splurging on one or two things (after all, you are in Paris!) His olive oil-flavored and rose-flavored macarons are really unique and big hit. His pastries are also amazing, especially his coffee-flavored millefeuille (I admit it, my mouth is watering just thinking about it).
34, Rue des Rosiers
33 1 48 87 63 60
If you're in Paris for over three days, I think I would hold it against you for not going here. Especially if you're in Paris on a Sunday, when the Marais, the Jewish/gay quarter of Paris which houses this magnificent establishment, is bustling with locals, tourists, and shopowners. Hopefully it will be a nice day, and you can walk around while stuffing your face with fried chickpea balls (don't worry, everyone else is doing it too). Rue des Rosiers has four or five different fellafel places, and they all compete for your business. The line at this one is usually the longest, but it goes fast, and it is well worth it. Trust me, it's the best one.
8. Curio Parlor
16 Rue des Bernardins
33 1 44 07 12 47
Metro: Maubert-MutualiteThis cool and subdued bar is a great place to either grab a few drinks or hang out for an entire evening; their best-known Strawberry Fields cocktail, comprised of champagne, fresh strawberries, vodka, and mint, is an absolute delight. I wrote a more comprehensive review on the bar, which you can check out by clicking here; I would also recommend checking out the two other bars run by the same owner, Prescription Club (23 Rue Mazarine) and Experimental Cocktail Club (37 Rue Saint-Saveur). The cocktails are not cheap (about 12 euros per drink), but they are made-to-order and the decor, rife with stuffed birds and other once-living creatures, is so fabulous it's worth checking out at least once.
10. Il Vino
13 boulevard de la Tour Maubourg
01 44 11 72 00This restaurant is certainly not easy on the wallet, but it's well worth any dent it might create in your financial accountability. With a world-renowned sommelier as the restaurat owner, you can be assured that your meal will consist not only in the highest-quality ingredients (award-winning foie gras, fresh-caught local fish, tender beef cheek, pure dark chocolate) but also the perfect wine pairings, that have been worked through to a tee. I can't tell if he picks wine to go with the food, or if he creates a menu to pair with his wine - either way, everything comes together in perfect harmony.