Places to eat and drink in Paris, the city of love.
I can’t claim that this is the best list of where to eat in Paris – it’s not even all the restaurants and cafe’s we visited in Paris. But it does include the wonderful brasserie we ate at on our second evening. It was a terrific and serendipitous find! What this is, is a list of a few lovely restaurants and cafe’s where we had everything from a coffee to lunch or dinner.
Today cafes, brasseries and bistros in Paris all serve a mix of homemade and bought in dishes, as you’d expect in any major world city. If you want to make sure your choice is home made on site look for the upturned saucepan logo – just like this – meaning at least one of the dishes on the menu is fait maison.
We ate at Brasserie Lorraine on our second evening in Paris after a hectic day of sightseeing with two of Hana’s cousins as our personal tour guides. To say the food was fantastic would be a prodigious understatement! Around us were platters of seafood pilled almost infinitely high with lobster, crab and all manor of crustaceans.
I ordered the baked cod fillet with with chorizo mashed potato. There’s something wonderful about pairing a strong white fish with a heady bit of pork. The mash was velvety smooth and the whole thing was brought together with a sumptuous sauce. The other dishes looked fantastic too, but I the alluring seafood platters stood out
Photo: Jeff Clavier
There’s something special about sitting in a bistro on the Champs-Élysées; even if the bistro is question is part of a small chain across Paris and Provence. Bistro Romain has a nice interior which spills out onto the Champs Élysées pavement and across into an outside area.
The food was good quality compared to most chain restaurants in England with a wide selection of French cuisine. I opted for the steak hache (cooked rare) with fried egg, chips and salad whilst Hana opted for a savoury crepe. The steak hache was very tasty and prepared rare as ordered. Good food at a reasonable price is hard to find on one of the worlds most famous shopping boulevards but Bistro Romain delivered.
Sitting around the courner from our hotel in the newly trendy area of South Pigalle or ‘SoPi’ as is is becoming known; we passed No Stress Cafe several times walking back from Blanche or Pigalle Metro stations. You’ll pass drippingly cool bars on the way to a quieter Place. The cafe is decorated in a mish-mash of French and Asian fusion which is reflected in the eclectic menu. Arrive in the early evening and you’ll hit happy hour when amongst other drinks both prosecco and champagne are included.
I ate the beef Carpaccio which came simple presented with a light salad and chips. The beef was perfectly thinly sliced and had a wonderful flavour, it was well sourced. All in all a good little place to eat.
Still in the up and coming area of South Pigalle is the Bo Man cafe. Dining here on our first evening in Paris felt like eating in a proper French restaurant. The bistro only had menu’s in French and waiting staff seemed to have more of a passing English vocabulary which all helped to make us feel it was an authentic bistro, the apparent lack of other tourists also helped. Inside the bistro is nicely decorated in a relaxed yet stylish way.
This continues with the food which was presented in an informal way but was absolutely brilliant. If there is one dish you can rely on in France it is steak and Bo Man Cafe was the perfect example of this. . Hana ordered duck confit which again looked perfectly cooked. A Crème brûlée later and I was a very happy man!
Taking it’s name from the near by Moulin Rouge and it’s lesser known sister Moulin de la Galette; this one is for fan’s of the Jean-Pierre Jeunet masterpiece Amelie. From the moment you spot it as you pass Blanche Metro station, and the touristy shops which surround it, you’ll make out the famous and familiar exterior. Walking inside feels like stepping into a movie set. The cafe has been kept pretty much the same as it appears in the film, with the absence of Georgette’s cigarette booth.
The menu at Cafe des Deux Moulins include an Amelie experience of Crème brûlée and hot chocolate. Both of which I eschewed on our visit opting for a simple coffee, well it was only mid morning.
It seems Paris is a city which neither sleeps nor stops consuming vociferous amounts of food and drink; which starkly contrasts with the demonstrable lack of overweight citizens. We arrived well past 10.30pm and the Place du Tertre was still heaving with people scoffing all manor of food. Whilst this area is much more geared to tourists (and subsequently so are the prices) you can still have some nice food.
We stopped in at Au Cadet de Gascogne, a large brasserie/ bistro on the courner as you walk up from Sacré-Cœur. We’d already had dinner so I stocked up on a little dessert. My Crème brûlée was very nice, though I suspect it may not have been prepared on the premises. All in all not a bad place eat at all and on a previous visit I had a very nice steak and chips here. If you want something a little more authentic I’d walk a bit further away from the Basilica.
Photo: Christine Zenino.
This post is part of my series on Paris, getting engaged and a lovely city break.