1. fresh ingredients – you can tell whether the fish is fresh or frozen; the salad is fresh and does not give the impression of age or packaged; the ingredients are in season; and the blend of menu items appears unique
2. pleasant atmosphere; personnel who care about your time with them; seem to spend an extra second to make sure you have a good impression (sometimes staff might have an off day; thus, I include benefit of the doubt).
3. good quality/price ratio
4. home cooking
5. Are they open on weekends if you have to work during the week!?
6. Reader Ideas for Restaurants
Paris Kosher (cacher) restaurants
Choosing romantic restaurants
A reader asked about a special restaurant, high or middle-end when the husband is surprising the wife with a one-night visit to Paris. With that criteria, these are the restaurants that I suggested:
When you are traveling, what better place for a wonderful meal, service and atmosphere than a train station! Yes, Le Train Bleu.
A spectacular sunset and evening view over Notre-Dame La Tour d’Argent.
Cozy, history and very French – even their Website is only in French Le Grand Vefour.
Of course, the Jules Verne restaurant in the Eiffel Tower provides a romantic evening overlooking Paris, but you can’t see the Eiffel Tower.
If you want to see the Eiffel Tower, consider the Restaurant Georges in the George Pompidou Centre
For a non-pretentious three-star restaurant, l’Ambroisie.
I should add Le Meurice for lunch (atmosphere, Yannick Alléno, presentation, etc.). Mr. Alléno steps out to the doorway, watching diners. Later, he visits some tables, particularly those of acquaintances. He sent out a signed book to me, which I lost, much to my chagrin!)
Non-exhaustive list of some of my favorites
The following is a non-exhaustive list of some of my favorites and the list may get longer in the future! They are restaurants worth return visits. They are listed in the order of most recent tastings.
Vins des Pyrénées
25, rue Beautreillis, 75004 Paris
Telephone 01 42 72 64 94
Open noon to 2:30 pm and 7:30 to 11:30 pm
Bar is open until 2 am
Excellent brunch. Menu changes with the seasons.
Cafés de l’Industrie **
16 and 17, rue Saint Sabin 75011
Open every day 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. non stop
01 47 00 13 53
Metro: Bastille (Line 1, 5, eight) or Bréguet-Sabin (Line 5)
Visit their website to see their a sample of their menu (carte)
This is a very popular place – packed in the middle of the week. It is set in a resdiential area around the corner from Place de la Bastille.
It is huge and began as a corner bar bistro. Then they bought the place next door, then across the street on the corner and then the place next door to that, then our dry cleaners and expanded the kitchen into the clothing wholesale shop; then the bar on Saint-Sabin — this café has become a real industry! but lively with great decor. In the morning if you want a cup of coffee or tea, buy your croissant across the street at Boulangerie Tardif (closed Friday and Saturday) and bring it with you – no questions asked.
Les Comptoirs de Carthage, Kate’s Cuisine
Les Comptoirs de Carthage is a restaurant that “mixes art and cuisine from various horizons”. Their products are organic and direct from the farm.
Open: Tuesday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; closed Monday
Kate makes an excellent couscous; their boudin (blood pudding) won raves from a friend’s first tasting. Homemade desserts and fresh-squeezed fruit juices (Jus de fruits bio pressés).
See their menu for current favorites and prices.
Address and map
27, rue de Picardie, Paris 3rd, Telephone : 01 48 04 37 37
Blues Bar-B-Q – Real Philadelphia Cream Cheese Cake
1 rue Sedaine 75011 Paris
Open: Tuesday to Thursday noon – 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: nooon to 11 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Closed Monday)
Mo makes the best cheesecake and it has variety. The cheesecake comes out different each time – in a good way. You know it is home made.
Blues Bar-B-Q also serves real hickory chip cooked barbeque for that taste away from home. Everything, except the meat from the butcher and the fresh rolls, is home made: the cole slaw, the baked beans, the brownies, etc.
Their pulled pork has a strong sauce (vinegar and pepper). Ask for plain as an alternative to the automatic sauced meat.
The interior is diner style, the exterior bistro chairs and tables under the awning.
We just dined at this great Japanese restaurant; where it is hard to get a reservation: Guilo Guilo in Montmartre – 9 courses. You sit around the counter on stools with a good view if you don’t have the stools to the back.
You watch six Japanese artists quietly working in a ballet of movement. Two are the fry chefs, two explain to the diner what they will be tasting, as well as washing the dishes and serving, one prepares all of the cold dishes as you as watch, another opens bottles of wine, tasting that none are “bouchonnés” (corked). The loudest sound from any of them was the whispered “Hai” (yes). We did not take the extra added specialty, sashimi and foie gras, which is not included in the price of the “dégustation” (tasting) menu. The menu changes once a month.
It was a dining delight. If your reservation is for 7, be there at 7 or a little before; the 9:30 seating? be there. You could end up without a front row seat at this Japanese ballet.
Don’t try and get a seat at the last minute, book in advance. The restaurant is very popular and seats about 24.
They have no working Web site. I suggest using other sites LeFooding or Figaroscope (photos) and translate them with Google.
8, rue Garreau 75018 Paris
01 42 54 23 92
La Gazzetta – at the top Open Saturday
29 rue de Cotte, 75012 Paris
01 43 47 47 05
Closed Sunday and Monday
Their Web site includes the latest evening menu, wine list and prices, and the wine of the month. and a general lunch menu. The lunch menu is posted outside the restaurant and of course, at the table.
Petter Nilsson is the excellent chef who prepares the meal as if you are his personal guest. La Gazzetta’s lunch is a two-course menu – appetizer and main course (entrée et plat). The appetizer is served in three portions (think tapas), each one original and completely different from the other two. Some main courses may require an additional couple of euros. Colleen’s Paris returns to LaGazzetta often.
29, rue Saint-Georges 75009 Paris
Telephone 01 42 80 39 13 for reservations
Open: Noon to 2:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Not only is the great home cooking, you know where the fresh ingredients come from.
The gardeners/farmers are listed on the menu. Annie Berti (Ile-et-Vilaine Bretagne/Brittany) and Joel Thiebault (Yvelines-Ile-de-France)
The fresh bread is made around the corner on rue des Martyrs at Arnaud Delmontel (first prize for best Paris baguette). Georgette Chauvelot, the owner, buys the duck from the duck farmer in the southwest of France who passes through Paris to make the delivery.
Amid a blend of kitsch and at the same time modern furnishings and dark wood beams, the black checkered curtains let in opaque lighting to enjoy a delicious lunch.
Le Grand Bleu Open DAILY
67 Boulevard de la Bastille 75012 along the Canal Saint Martin before the lock into the Seine
01 43 45 19 99
Metro: (1, 5, 8 ) Bastille or Quai de la Rapée
Summer open seven days a week, lunch and evening.
Winter hours are seven days a week, lunch and certain evenings (call ahead)
Watch the boats in the canal; have a drink, eat a good meal with a view — VERY popular. Their dining room is enclosed in a glass house and their cafe tables line the two levels under the trees and out in the sun. Very pleasant place to dine. More information on Restoparis.
Wine bar/restaurant – their lunch menu includes a glass of the wine of the moment. It is worth plunking down the extra three euros for the dessert. With the dessert, choose something exotic, be daring!
Today, chef Thibault Kapeluche, prepared for me three courses, including a glass of Viognier. The starter was a delicious pork and chicken terrine with pistachios, stewed sweet onions and ginger. Of the two main courses, I chose the fish of the day saithe (lieu noire) on a bed of fennel salad. My exotic dessert was pineapple marinated in basil with a mousse of coconut milk and lime sorbet. Look under “La Cuisine” for an idea of the current menus for lunch and dinner.
On their Web site they have a special. When you reserve in advance you receive a complimentary drink, “Cocktails Vignerons Offerts“. This means you choose either the cocktail (kir) or the wine (Muscat). I chose the Muscat and used it as my dessert wine. It is best to reserve on line (Réservez) using their handy calendar to check availability so there is no confusion about the complimentary drink.
Jacquemart-André Museum Café/Tea Salon/Restaurant Open DAILY
158, bd Haussmann 75008 Paris
01 45 62 11 59
Open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Café is open daily from 11:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Metro: Miromesnil or Saint Philippe du Roule
RER: Charles de Gaulle-Etoile
Bus: 22, 28, 43, 52, 54, 80, 83, 84, 93
On the day of our visit, the opening day of an exhibit, we decided to lunch before the visit. It is unnecessary to buy an admission ticket to go to the café/restaurant. Excellent restaurant with delicious desserts. Their lunch menu includes a main course/salad/dessert. Items available à la carte as well.
Lunch: The set lunch includes the hot quiche of the day (mine was salmon and spinach – DELICIOUS!) with side salad and pastry (I choice the caramel and chocolate mousse cake – wide selection). Items available à la carte as well.
Afternoon Tea: The set meal includes choice of pastry and a pot of tea.
Sunday Brunch: Tea, coffee or hot chocolate, fresh orange juice, the baker’s basket, poached egg with herbs, Blini and smoked salmon with a side salad and the dessert of the day
Children at Jacquemart-André
Free admission for the second child (7-17); a free activity book for children.
For children 7-12 there is “Tea-time” at the museum. Check ahead to see if the events are in English.
July and August with children: check the Web site for events in the “Family Fun Programme“
le Souk Restaurant and Salon de thé- Excellent! Open weekends
1 rue Keller 75011 Paris
01 49 29 05 08
closed Monday. Open Tuesday to Friday evenings; weekends lunch and dinner
22 rue du Grenier Saint-Lazare 75003 Paris
01 42 72 31 22
Open every day noon to 2 p.m.; 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
No annual vacation
The ingredients are fresh and from the Auvergne region. I enjoyed my meal but did not note what it was. I have been there before and enjoy it each time. Their Web site is in English and French and you can see their menus.
Tea Salon (Salon de thé) and Restaurant
104 Avenue Ledru Rollin 75011 Paris
01 48 05 75 24
Open: Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday afternoon 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Home made desserts. Excellent for something light, good atmosphere, cozy. They also have occasional exhibitions.
Le Square Trousseau Café Restaurant Open EVERYDAY
1, rue Antoine Vollon 75012 Paris
01 43 43 06 00
Open every day
Their Web site is available in French and English. The restaurant/café sits on a corner overlooking a beautiful park, Square Trousseau with its band shell gazebo. They open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner (8 a.m. to 2 a.m.), heated terrace, newspapers, and WiFi. What more could you ask for!? They have received mixed reviews, for you to decide and let me know your opinion.
22 rue du Grenier Saint-Lazare 75003 Paris
01 42 72 31 22
Open every day noon to 2 p.m.; 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
No annual vacation
During the month of August the Ambassade d’Auvergne is closed Sunday and Monday
Fresh, regional food direct from the producers in Auvergne. Excellent!!! I enjoyed my meal. Each time the dining is a pleasure and the staff personable. Their Web site is in English and French and you can see their menus.
46, rue Trousseau 75011 Paris
01 48 06 95 85
Open: Tuesday to Saturday
This is a bagel sandwich! While eating my Marseillaise pizza this bagel sandwich was delivered to the adjoining table.
Good kosher food here and if you like garlic, make sure everyone in the party is eating it! Cheese condition? No problem, they serve pizzas without cheese.
Although I meant to ask for the Popeye pizza (thumbs up on this pizza during another visit), the Marseillaise with its anchovies and camembert was delicious and fresh (too much garlic for me, but hey!)
Beer? Macabee from Israel
Busy, busy at lunch so be there by 12:45 to avoid the crush at 1 p.m.
Atmosphere? The ambiance is set with music in the background, a live web cam at the Wailing Wall, mirrored reflections of mosaics depicting rue des Rosiers, a sitting room for show on a mezzanine above the kitchen and lively discussions and negotiations at the other tables. This is like being in an antique shop with so much to look at the longer you sit.
Take a way falafel window: @5 euros
Chez Paul “Le Bistrot Traditions” Open Daily
13, rue de Charonne 75011 Paris
email: contact @ chezpaul.com
Telephone 01 47 00 34 57
Monday through Friday: noon to 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: noon to 12:30 a.m.
Closed December 24
Metro: Bastille (Line 1, 5, eight) or Ledru Rollin (Line eight)
Always a pleasure amid the red-checked ambiance. All of the expansions have not decreased the tasty items. You may have some difficulty deciphering the hand-written menu items. The servers are usually patient and the ambiance is “verry Fwrench!” We dine here often.
This restaurant is a Bastille classic in food, style, decoration. The main entrance is the original part of the restaurant and is decorated in part from old metro seats, tiles and signs. Three people can have a main course, share the “palette dessert”, a 50 cl pichet of good house wine, a carafe of regular water and spend about 83 euros. The “palette dessert” was fabulous with a tasting of five of their house desserts.
Chez Paul took the bar next door and turned into a épicerie (grocery) and patisserie replica. The patisseries and croissants are made in house. Visit their website for the menu (la carte)
12 Blanche 75009 Paris
Telephone 01 48 74 87 16
Open Monday to Saturday
Fresh, fresh – excellent lunch at Le Brigadier. I stumbled upon this “cuisine traditionnelle française” café restaurant, behind the church Trinité. Arriving before the business lunch crowd (before 1 p.m.) allows a choice of table. I was visiting the Gustave Moreau museum, which closes for lunch. Definitely worth a visit if you are shopping in the vicinity of Printemps or Galeries Lafayette.
Restaurant Lao-Lane Xang/Huong Lan
105, avenue d’Ivry 75013
Telephone: 01 45 85 19 23
Closed Mondays; Open Tuesday to Friday 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m./ 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Open Saturday and Sunday 11:30 to 11 p.m., non-stop.
Metro: Tolbiac (just a couple of blocks away from Place d’Italie).
These two restaurants, Lao-Lane Xang/Huong Lan, are run by the same family, across the street from one another. The one is casual dining, the other more formal. Tasty for Laotian, Vietnamese and Thai. I love the aromatic freshness, presentation, friendliness of the restaurants.
129 avenue de Choisy 75013
Telephone: 01 45 83 61 15.
Located at the corner of Tolbiac and Choisy.
Open seven days a week between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m.
This restaurant is a recommendation from a friend; noted for their soups.
Open 10 a.m. to midnight, Monday lunch, Tuesday to Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday night.
39, rue de Richelieu and rue Therese 75001 Paris
01 40 15 03 27
Métro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre (Lines 1 or 7)
H.A.N.D. (have a nice day) is a very popular restaurant (on the corner of Saint-Therese) with the French office workers .
Its location and a peek into its window was appetizing enough to draw me in.
When you walk in, the greeter is pleasant and the ambiance of dining activity suggests a good meal on the way.
The open kitchen with its sesame seed hamburger buns spread out on the Inox counter top are an indication of the popularity of burgers.
They offer onion rings (5 euros), Caesar salad (8.50), and various burgers. The burger Madam is suggestive of the Croque-Madam (with an egg on top). Main course dishes cost between 12 and 18 euros.
The Farmer burger is chicken with a corn flakes breading. The burgers are presented on a bed of sprouts and tomato slices. Medium rare burgers are very pink. If you want well done, ask for bien cuit.
The burgers come with two sides. Testing this type of restaurant in the USA by the cole slaw is a good indicator. H.A.N.D.’s cole slaw passed with flying colors. The French fries are home made.
H.A.N.D. is a nice place to dine with candles on the tables, suspended light bulbs in the back room’s dark blue interior; its walls lined with photos, globes, bowling pins, Campbell soup cans and British Heinz mustard jars. The lunch is filling and not too expensive. Take away is available for a picnic.
13 rue de Babylone 75007 Paris
01 45 48 72 13
Lunch only, closed Sunday
Around the corner from le Bon Marché Au Babylone is a lively place with good home cooking if you need a break from either shopping, visiting the Missionary Museum or visiting the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception (Miraculous Medal)on the rue du Bac — or if you want good food at a good price.
Walking in without a reservation, I enter this bistro (about 17 tables), with white paper covers over red checkered tablecloths.
A carafe of water is immediately brought to the table (no pretentiousness as to “flat” or “bubble” water). The food arrives quickly and hot. This is obviously a worker’s canteen for fast food — get in, get out and relax before it is time to return to the office.
Today’s “plat du jour” is a tender and ample portion of pork roast , spinach (carré du porc au jus, epinards) and bread for 11.50 euros. It is excellent and melts in the mouth.
Although the food arrives quickly, I am not pressured to leave. It is possible to take the time to look at the surroundings: the tile floor, the walls decorated with clocks and copper pots, illustrations, paintings and plates. The color of the wall is an ecru as if smoking is still permitted. Additional light is provided from reflections of the giant mirrors and the illuminated sky light.