Paris Favorites: Eating, Drinking and Shopping

A number of folks consult the site for information about Paris, but it’s always best to get some second opinions. So I asked a few friends and in-the-know colleagues about their favorite places around the city, and I’m happy to share them with you.

paris

Included are links, when available, for complete addresses and additional contact information. Hours change and places close in Paris without notice so it’s best to call first before visiting. For restaurants and wine bars where food is served, reservations are strongly advised.

If there any Paris favorites that you’d like to share, please feel free to do so in the comments. I’d love to hear about them.

lucques olives


Favorite Outdoor Market

“Paris markets are one of my favorite subjects. I can go to the same market every day of the year and still always find something new. I regularly visit the boulevard Raspail market, a “regular” market Tuesday and Friday, organic (and expensive!) on Sunday. The fish merchants there are incredible on all days, and I adore the poultry people at the Tuesday and Friday market. I love testing one fish market or cheese stand against the other, grading them on each purchase. For 20 years I lived near the rue Poncelet market and still have a soft spot there, especially for Alléosse cheese and coffee beans from Brûlerie des Ternes.”

“When I have time, I also love the President Wilson market on Wednesday and Saturday, where of course one finds the famed produce from Joël Thiebault but also wonderful fish, fresh crêpes, and Lebanese specialties. The market is near my dentist’s office so I always schedule a Wednesday morning appointment.”

Patricia Wells, of Patricia Wells.com
(Author: Bistro Cooking and The Paris Cookbook)

Favorite Steak Tartare

“As an American in France, getting into the French staple of steak tartare means getting past it’s resemblance to an uncooked hamburger patty. At Les Fines Gueules (2, rue la Vrillière, 1st) near place des Victoires they have cap-and-gowned the French standard by hand chopping Limousin beef (the best in France) and tossing the raw meat with white truffle oil, parmesan and sun dried tomatoes. Certainly not a traditional preparation, but an unbelievably delicious part of this American’s weekly diet.”

Braden, of Hidden Kitchen

Wine Bar

Favorite Wine Shop

“I’d highly recommend Caves Augé (116, blvd Haussmann, 8th.) Allegedly the oldest wine shop in Paris, this shop is very strong in “natural” wines. Don’t be put off by the sometimes prickly staff and be sure to ask for their help since the basement of the store is a wine geek’s treasure trove. Also not to miss are the massive producer tastings in the spring and fall that spill–and spit–onto the sidewalk.”

Tyler Colman, of Dr. Vino
(Author: A Year of Wine)

Favorite Romantic Restaurant

“My favorite romantic restaurant is Lapérouse (51, quai des Grands Augustins, 6th.) It has beautiful historic decor, the food is fabulous without being absurdly expensive (especially at lunch), the service is formal but friendly, and — best of all — you can reserve a very private table for two in one of the “salons privés”. Oh la la!”

Heather Stimmler-Hall, of Naughty Paris
(Author: Naughty Paris: A Lady’s Guide to the Sexy City)

jambon

Favorite Place to Buy Oil

“For nut oils, my favorite place bar none is the Huilerie Leblanc oil shop on rue Jacob. Their oils are simply a privilege, in both flavor, texture, and color.

If you are talking about extra virgin olive oil, my favorite place is anywhere I find excellent quality. In Paris that is often Oliviers & Co. because I like their focus on small producers.”

Susan Loomis, of On Rue Tatin
(Author: The French Farmhouse Cookbook and Cooking at Home on Rue Tatin)

Favorite Off-The-Beaten-Path Bakery

“While researching my favorite off-the-beaten-path bakery in Paris, at Véronique Mauclerc, a delightful boulangerie near the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, I may have found a new favorite which just happens to be even more out of my way. This temple to organic, whole-grain, wood-fired oven breads has spawned a new boutique on the charming market street that is rue Poncelet, at number #11. Closer inspection reveals that this shop specializes in German and Austrian pastries, the window filled with pretzels, cheesecakes, and rustic fruit-filled tortes.”

“The linzer tart is a good afternoon snack, and the flaky strudel makes a great breakfast. But the cheesecake! I think I giggled a little bit when the first forkful passed my lips, it’s that good. Much lighter in texture than the American cheesecake I’m accustomed to, it scratched an itch I didn’t even know I had. While I love the fact that Véronique Mauclerc is woman succeeding and thriving in the male-dominated boulangerie field, I love her bread and Bavarian-style pastries even more.”

Camille Malmquist, of Croque-Camille: Food Adventures in Paris

Favorite Ethnic Grocer

“It’s tough to pick a favorite ethnic place in Paris, more so because of the ambiguity of the word. I mean, American – as in from les États-Unis – could be defined as ethnic, so let’s just say non-Western. While les deux Chinatowns are fairly well known, as well as a few Japanese and Korean grocers, one of my favorite ethnic sources in the city is the Philippine Mini-Mart (81, rue Boissière, 16th), just off Place Victor Hugo. The arrondissement’s network of Filipino housekeepers, nannies, and drivers steadily stream into the tiny, immaculate storefront for their favorite brands of bagoong guisado (sautéed shrimp paste) as well as fresh produce including green mangoes and baby bitter melons. I always get a sack of locally fried chicharrones – delivered daily – which are huge and crunchy with a fair amount of tender fat still attached.”

Louisa Chu, of Movable Feast

Favorite Place to Share a Plate of Oysters

“When a craving for oysters strikes, I head to Huîterie Régis (3, rue de Montfaucon, 6th), a compact (there are only 14 seats when the terrace is closed), pristine (almost everything in it is white) and friendly place with perfect oysters – they serve just about nothing else – and a small selection of good go-with-oysters wines. That it’s in the heart of Saint-Germain des Pres, in view of the covered market and just steps from Pierre Hermé’s patisserie, makes it not just excellent, but convenient for a quick oyster-break after a day of shopping, sight-seeing or macaron munching.”

Dorie Greenspan, of In the Kitchen and On the Road with Dorie
(Author: Paris Sweets and Baking: From My Home to Yours)

Favorite Candy Shop

“My favourite candy shop is in the 9th, called A l’Etoile d’Or (30, rue Fontaine, 9th.) The woman who owns it is wonderful and is has an excellent selection of the best chocolate and candy from all over France. You can indulge in a caloric tour de France in her shop. A visit to this shop is great fun and full of delicious surprises. The owner is charming and her shop with its period floor and counters is highly atmospheric.”

Alison Harris, of Alison Harris
(Photographer: The Pâtisseries of Paris)

Favorite Cheese Shop

“My favorite cheese shop is Fromagerie Chez Virginie (54, rue Damrémont, 18th). This bright and charming cheese shop is owned by a passionate, third generation Maître Fromagère/Affineuse who specializes in raw milk cheeses produced on small farms all over France. The shop has an impressive and varied selection and is a recommended destination in Paris for any cheese lover.”

Jennnifer, of Chez LouLou

jambon corse

Favorite Brasserie

“If the question were, “Which Parisian brasserie would I miss the most were it to close?,” my answer would be La Coupole. If the question were, “Which Parisian brasserie would I recommend to visiting relatives?,” my response would be Bofinger. But since I am being asked for my personal favorite and the year is 2009 rather than 1929, I single out the comparatively young, obscure, smallish and unglamorous Le Chantefable (93, avenue Gambetta, 20th) for all the wonderful ways it is not like La Coupole and Bofinger.”

“In the heart of the bobo 20th, Le Chantefable is not a part of a restaurant group and so its food and service are not formulaic. Its habitués are creative Parisians who don’t speak only in the passé composé. Most are certain their best work is still to come and I feel the same is true of myself when I am slurping oysters and sipping Muscadet beside them.”

Daniel Young, of Young and Foodish
(Author: The Bistros, Brasseries and Wine Bars of Paris)

Favorite Good-Value Restaurant

Au Gout Dujour (12, rue Beaugrenelle,15th), which is closed on Sundays. With the €20 menu and €7 wine pitcher one exits at €27 for terrific food.”

John Talbott, of John Talbott’s Paris

Favorite Parisian Bistro

“My newest favorite Parisian bistro is Jadis (208, rue de la Croix-Nivert, 15th), which is well worth
traveling to a way off the beaten track corner of the 15th to discover. I am really awed by the intense mixture of technical precision and culinary creativity that young chef Guillaume Delagedeploys in his cooking. Every meal here is a revelation.”

Alec Lobrano, of Hungry for Paris and Gourmet
(Author: Hungry for Paris)

milk chocolate-black pepper ice cream

Favorite Ice Cream

“It’s hard to name just one, but I will name Caramella (47, rue des Martyrs in the 9th), “Le Glacier moderne,” a pretty ice cream parlor that sells artisanal gelati. Why? Because their stuff is made fresh and on the premises, because they offer a good mix of seasonal classics (raspberry, lemon, gianduja, yogurt) and unusual flavors (PB&J, mojito, spéculoos) at exactly the right temperature. Because there are a couple of tables on the wide sidewalk where you can sit if you like, and because it’s just a few blocks from me and I’ve waited so long to have a good glacier in my neighborhood. The one downside is that their opening hours are unpredictable (in true Parisian style), so call ahead (tél: 01 44 53 09 56) if you’re coming from the other side of town.”

Clotilde Dusoulier, of Chocolate & Zucchini and Edible Adventures in Paris
(Author: Chocolate & Zucchini and Clotilde’s Edible Adventures in Paris)

Favorite Restaurant Wine List

La Biche au Bois (45, avenue Ledru-Rollin, 12th) is a restaurant that feels like home. Traditional dishes executed with generosity. Clearly one of the best value restaurants in town. Their wine list is provocatively inexpensive – pure temptation!!”

Oliver Magny, of O-Château and Stuff Parisians Like

Favorite Cookware Store

Kitchen Bazaar (multiple locations), because they’ve got everything I need, and more. The store is designed for easy shopping, the staff is generally well-informed and there are always new gadgets to intrigue me.”

Paule Caillat, of Promenades Gourmandes

Favorite Coffee Spot

“I find most of the coffee served in Paris cafés undrinkable, so I’m grateful for the existence of Soluna Café (52, rue de l’Hôtel de Ville, 4th), otherwise known as the Caféothèque. Here, they take their coffee so seriously that you can even take part in an hour-long tasting involving vials of scents commonly found in coffee. It’s run by a woman from Guatemala, and my favorite beans so far have been from her home country.”

Rosa Jackson, of Edible Adventures and Edible Paris
(Editor: Time Out Paris Eating & Dining Guide)

Favorite Neighborhood Restaurant

“Sometimes it’s fun to travel to “remote” areas of Paris to have dinner. La Veraison (64, rue de la Croix-Nivert, 15th) is certainly worth the trip. It’s casual and small — the one-man kitchen is up front, and you’ll see the chef cooking as you walk in. Excellent selection of wines (the chef will obligingly zip out from behind the stove to help you make a selection). The food is a modern take on traditional French cooking. The neighborhood is residential and we were the only non-locals dining. My veal was excellent and the chocolate and creme caramel dessert was fantastic. Highly recommended.”


Andy Herbach
, of Europe Made Easy
(Author: Eating & Drinking in Paris and The Best of Paris)

Favorite Baguette

“I did a stage with Arnaud Delmontel (39, rue des Martyrs, 9th and 57, rue Damrémont)), who won the best baguette in Paris in 2007, so perhaps I am partial. But in the relatively recent tradition of baguettes made with a long delayed fermentation, with a crisp exterior, pliable crumb, and pronounced interior holes, his are winners. If you pine for the mild acidic notes of levain (sourdough), with a slightly more pronounced crust, I’d direct you to Du Pain et Des Idées (34, rue Yves Toudic, 10th), where Christophe Vasseur is making waves.”

“And though he has something of a bread empire, the airy, light baguettes with a hint of levain made by Eric Kayser (multiple locations) still rank very high. Finally, outside the realm of baguettes I’d recommend Véronique Mauclerc, whose exceedingly dark, rustic, wood-fired organic loaves leave a lasting impression.”

Samuel Fromartz, of Chewswise
(Author: Organic, Inc.)

chocolates

Favorite Gourmet Store in the Marais

“It’s Goumanyat (3, rue Dupuis, 3rd), they carry luxury goods for professionals in the hotel industry but sell to individuals, too.”

Pascal Fonquernie, of Paris Marais

Favorite French Fries

“My all-time favorites can be found at Café des Musées (49, rue de Turenne, 3rd). They’re hot, homemade and heavenly: firm, thick, non-greasy, crispy on the outside and flavorful with a melting texture on the inside.”

Heidi Ellison, of Paris Update

Favorite Vegetarian Restaurant

“It would be Tieng Hang (92, rue Chemin Vert, 11th) It’s an inexpensive Asian vegan restaurant with a vast menu serving faux “chicken”, “beef” and “pork” dishes prepared out of ingredients such as soya protein. Food is fresh and spicy. A meaty heaven and yet they didn’t harm a single hair on a poor animal’s head at this cosy family restaurant.”

Gideon Ben-Ami, of Paris Talk

Favorite Unusual Dining Experience

“Drinking a glass (or three) of vin naturel makes any Paris dining experience unusual. That’s because you never know what you’re gonna get with these small-batch untreated organic wines. The flavors are alive – never flat or boring. With each glass, I feel like I’m learning something new, as well as sustaining small artisanal producers… how’s that for justifying a habit? My favorite local places to drink vins naturels include Racines, le Baratin, le Chapeau Melon, la Garde Robe, Autour d’un Verre and les Fines Gueules. These wines are generally not stable enough to ship outside of France, which is all the more incentive to enjoy them while in Paris.”

Meg Zimbeck, at ParisbyMouth.com

Favorite Café to Write In

“My favourite café to write in would have to be Café Charlot (39, rue de Bretagne, 3rd.) Because it looks across the street to the always colourful Marché des Enfants Rouges, because the waiters don’t mind if you sit on a single espresso over a four-hour period, because its regular clientele of tragically-hip fashionistas from the local quartier makes for fascinating people-watching and because there are plenty of electric plugs for my laptop (and as an experienced café-hopper, I cannot understate the importance of this last point.)”

Bryce Corbett, of Bryce Corbett
(Author: A Town Like Paris)

Favorite 3-Star Restaurant

“My favourite three star restaurant– that’s a difficult question. First, my favourite restaurant in town today is most probably le Cinq, but it is only two-star. I think that the two most recommendable three-stars in town are Ledoyen (1, ave Dutuit, 8th) and l’Arpège, and I would probably tend to emphasize l’Arpège because it is a much, much more festive place. But Ledoyen in general has better food.”

“My favourite three star in Paris used to be Lucas-Carton, and Jamin before that. I also had some of the best food of my life at l’Ambroisie but I consider the place to be both unreliable and obnoxious. Ledoyen has that old lady feeling, the smell almost. I think I’d have to go for l’Arpège in the current state of things, which is unsatisfactory for me. La Grande Cascade is also higher on my list than it is in the Michelin.”

Julien, of Julot: Ze Blog

chairs

Related Posts and Paris Links:

Paris dining guides

Sunday dining in Paris

The ice cream shops of Paris

How to survive Paris in the summer

Finding a hotel in Paris

Where is the best duck confit in Paris?

Two delicious dining guides to Paris

Where to find a good cup of coffee in Paris

My five favorite travel items

My Paris

Paris restaurant archives

59 comments

  • I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant, I was in Paris 13 years ago so my memory is kinda hazy…but I remember it being on the street called “Charles de Gaulle” because I remember we went there after seeing L’Arc De Triumphe. That restaurant had great steak et frites…yum!

  • Thank you so much for this. I’m happy there are so many recommendations in the 15th, since I now live on the 7th/15th border … so many things to discover!

  • how about “Les Petits Mitrons” in the Rue Lepic? Not far from L’Etoile D’Or and the tartes are out of this world (but then almost anything I tried in Paris was).

  • Your entire blog is full of recommendations but I love how you involved others to make this recommendation list unique! Fun…

  • wonderful list…I couldn’t agree more with the baguettes
    I miss Paris; all I really want, first tthing when I arrive is a good croissant and latte, then I’m good to go.

  • Thank you for that; we are staying in the 15th (because it was where I lived when I first came to Paris some 30-mumble years ago; after that, I had a studio in the 7th), and we might well explore one or other of the two restaurants you recommend there.

    Only 13 days to go!!!

  • ooh fun list! I ate at La Biche au Bois and they had the most amazing fries that I have ever eaten. I did not know that fries could be so good.

  • Fantastic information! Sadly, when my Dad and I traveled to Paris a few years ago I don’t think we really sought anywhere out, nor did we make a note of any places…I just remember tons of fabulous fruit.

    NAOmni

  • Great list! That ham looks so wonderful, I almost went to grab a fork!

  • What a fab list… I’ll tuck it in my bag for my next trip to Paris (in 2 months and 3 weeks, not that I’m counting, of course!). I couldn’t agree more about Soluna; I stumbled upon it a year ago and it’s a true find.

    A few of my favourites:

    Coffee place: I can’t recall the name, but there’s a little shop on rue des Petits Champs (between rue Richelieu and rue Chabanais) where you can get a fantastic espresso for a mere euro! You have to drink it standing up, but for the quality and the price (to say nothing of the little squares of dark chocolate aux eclats de poire) it’s not much of a sacrifice.

    Out-of-the-way boulangerie: Boris Portolan (29 avenue Secretan, 19e). The baguettes are to die for and the fruit tarts are among the best I’ve had anywhere.

    Market: the Batignolles marche biologique

    Vegetarian restaurant: not strictly vegetarian, but Tashi Delek in the 5th has excellent and numerous vegetarian options. Just avoid the yak butter tea, unless you’ve already acquired a taste for it…

  • My parents are huge francophiles, and spend at least a month of every year in Paris (this year they’re spending the year in London, and frequently jaunting to Paris for the weekend (all their grand plans to visit Prague and Dublin have flown out the window given the lure of Paris) — I will send them this post.) Anyway, my mother always brings back olive oil and other specialty items from Oliviers & Co. — often as gifts. I’ve told her many times that a) we live in California, and can get excellent olive oil here, too, and b) there are several Oliviers & Co. stores here, as well, including one three blocks from my office. Just makes me giggle.

    My other little anecdote is that the first time I ever got drunk in my life (I was 17) was during a 6 course dinner at Laperouse.

    There’s a great boulangerie in the 12th on the Rue de Charenton — makes excellent baguettes. I’ve completely forgotten the name. And the best chocolate eclairs I’ve found in Paris are at Gargantua on the Rue St. Honore in the 1st. And Cafe Marly at the Louvre makes a great croque monsieur but it terribly snooty.

  • this makes me want to go to paris, like, right now. it’s been so long… amazing list, david, thank you for posting!

  • holy crap, David. I’ve been subscribed to your thing here for a while, and always enjoy it, but this post is just fantastic. I’m going to search the archives for kid info, then make some travel plans!

  • What a great guide! When I head back to Paris, I am totally hitting up these places.

  • I started reading your blog about three weeks ago, and let me tell you, it is a heaven sent! I am going to Europe this summer to celebrate finishing my BSc. I knew I wanted to include Paris in my trip, but I really had no idea what to do… but its Paris! How could I backpack across Europe and not go to Paris? Then I started reading your blog, and the list of places to go/things to do in Paris has expanded exponentially… I just hope I can do it all!

  • You forgot “Favourite Croissant” category! For that, Pierre Herme, hands down. All the croissants of the past 2 years have been measured against that one perfect pastry. Favourite Eclair: Caramel Eclair at Maison du chocolate. Oh, my that’s my happy place.

  • I am crazy about Brasseries Bofinger and La Coupole, but for a more rustic taste of old Paris, there are two places that I hope never change: Cremerie-Restaurant Polidor, 41 rue Monsieur-le-Prince, in the 6th and Robert et Louise, 64 rue Vielle de Temple in the Marais. I can get “nouveau” at home but these places were introduced to me by Parisian friends and there is no equivalent anywhere else.

  • Great compilation! The recommendation by Andy Herbach of Eating & Drinking in Paris (if you don’t have this great pocket guide, you should get it before you leave for any trip to Paris) is spot on! This little restaurant is just the kind of place that interesting people visiting Paris should check out.

  • Your timing is perfect – my husband and I are headed to your fair city for a week in May. I’ve already found a number of great tips on your site (we just made our reservation at Hidden Kitchen, thanks to your FAQ), but I’m definitely bookmarking this page.

  • My favourite restaurant is Guy Savoy’s Les Bouquinistes but go for lunch for 28 euros for 2 courses plus wine it is a wonderful and unbeatable lunch. Ze Kitchen just behind it is also a great restaurant for a little Asian fusion.

  • Whoa – this is quite a list! Thanks for letting me play along.

  • Wow! Fantastic round-up, David! I am so excited by this list.

    I share the love for many of your choices, including Huiterie Regis, which my husband and I adored, L’Etouile d’Or and Denise Acabo – she is such a doll and boy does she have the goods – and Le Coupole.

    Some of my favorites not mentioned in your list are:

    Favorite Steak Tartare: Le Coupole

    Most Romantic Restaurant: L’Auberge Nicolas Flamel, Le Souffle

    Brasserie Balzar in the Latin Quarter, for the onion soup, roast chicken and frites, crazy waiters and pushy maitre ‘d (I have a blog post on this coming soon.)

    Coffee Spot: Cafe Verlet

    Frites: Chez Dumonet – Josephine, and Brasserie Balzar

    Favorite Unusual Dining Experience: La Fontaine de Mars – I never would have thought that one of my favorite foods from Paris would be an egg poached in red wine. Also, picnics, and shopping for them.

    I am going to add one that is not food related, and that is…

    Favorite View: Tour Montparnasse. The stunning 360 degree, 56th floor view of Paris justifies the horrendous architectural faux pas of the building itself. It is not crowded, there is a snack bar style cafe, it is open late, and it is only 10€, with no queue. Oh, an La Coupole is just down the street, along with Creperie Josselin (and a ton of other creperies), Le Timbre, Monsieur Lapin, and Le Dome.

    Thanks for this list. I look forward to trying some of the places I haven’t yet tried.

    XOXOXOX,

    ~ Paula
    (…a fellow melon washer :)

  • Janelle: That’s a good idea, although most of the inexpensive places are ethnic and I’m not sure many visitors come to Paris looking for that kind of food. Still, it’d be great to compile a list for those that do, and us locals.

    TamiM: I did do a post The best croissant in Paris but I think if I asked around, there’d be too much controversy!

    Kate: I wonder if that bakery is Bazin? If so, I agree. I love their bread.

    AmySherman: Polidor is certainly a trip. I went there once and our spinach salads were full of grit. Romain told the waitress and she just shrugged; “C’est comme ça…” Still, it’s fun to go for the decor. And the rack on the hostess, which is legendary.

    Paula: Isn’t Josselin great? There’s so many crêperies in that quartier but that one really stands out. I always order the buckwheat galettes there, which are excellent. Breizh Café is another favorite, in the Marais.

  • Mmmm… Buckwheat galettes. Want!!!

    Oh David, I loved Breizh Cafe, and went because of you, actually. I blogged about the experience, as well. I love their caramel au beurre sale dessert crepes, and I owe it all to you. Although, I certainly did not get a hands-on lesson in exchange for a tub of ice cream,as you did.

    And that, dearest David, is one of the many reasons why you rock the Casbah, and I am merely your devoted follower.

    Ciao,

    ~ Paula
    XOXOXOX

    P.S. I believe ciao translates as “your humble and devoted servant,” or something along those lines, which is why I rarely use it. Unless it is entirely appropriate.

  • Oooh, wonderful list. Will definetely be going back to Paris before I return to the states. I have to say, and maybe this is old news that goes without saying, that when I went to Paris one of my favorite things was Le grand epicerie, which is right next to Le bon marche (which is anything but bon marche much to my dismay). I’m something of a grocery store fiend and always love finding a good one. This one is amazing. If you enjoy food and like to browse the aisles of a good supermarket, this is possibly the most fun one I’ve ever set foot in.

  • Sorry for the stupid question but do you know where can I find a Bialetti coffeemaker in Paris?

    I use one, too! They sell them at the BHV department store and I’ve seen them at Habitat as well. -dl

  • Funny to see the chantefable there… I used to live in that building.
    To be honest, I spent a lot more time sitting at a table with a cup of coffee or having a glass of wine than I did actually eating their food. This was 2000, so I’m sure that things have changed since then, both in the restaurant and the ‘hood (which I didn’t think was all that ‘bobo’ back then).

    In any case, glad to see this as ‘favorites’ rather than as ‘bests.’ I’ve never understood how people could talk about the ‘best’ anything in a city with as many offerings as Paris. But everyone who spends significant time there has to pick some favorites.

    Noah: I’ve often asked what “the best____” is (fill in the blank) and I avoid giving an answer because it’s hard to say one place that I might like is better than somewhere another person prefers. I know visitors often are more time-pressed than those of us that live here, to see more in less time, so lists can be handy. I’m hoping these suggestions provides perspective and advice from other folks whose opinions I trust. -dl

  • I think the first comment by Laura was referring to L’Entrecote at Porte Maillot in the 17th, just down from Arc de Triomphe. They have a “secret” sauce that is really good to dip the fries in. Take a walk down Rue Mouffetard (in the 5th) for open street markets of cheeses, breads, roast chicken, wine shops and just about anything delectable you would want. There are many places along there to stop for a glass of wine or to dine. During those hot spells you’ll find lots of places to eat outdoors when it is unbearable to dine without air conditioning. For olive oil and spices, I go to Izrael at 30, Rue François Miron, in the Marais (St. Paul Metro). It is very small and overpriced for many things, but they have great spices and have wonderful tubs of olives and other delights sold by weight. I bought some sea salt there that I found at the BHV at 1/3 the price on the very same day, so stick to the unusual and know your prices. You can find Nicolas Alziari olive oil there as well as at Le Bon Marche. I really enjoy going to Parc Monceau (in the 8th) for a walk and petite picnic. In the same area at 158, bd Haussmann, is Musee Jaquemart-Andre, where they serve lunch and tea overlooking the formal gardens. Being a Francophile, I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here. Bon appetit!

  • This is a keeper. Will print off this post the next time I plan a trip to Paris… probably not as soon as I’d like it to be.

  • David,
    I thank you for the wonderful list!!! but I must congratulate you for being in Amanda Hesser’s NYTimes article on Maida Heatter’s Popovers.
    Here is the link: Sugared Puffs

    I am looking forward to your latest book, “The Sweet Life in Paris.”
    Yesterday, I made your Great Chocolate Chip Cookies (the best!!!) and today I will make the Sugared Puffs.
    I thank you very much.

  • Great list David – Thanks for taking the time to put this together — it had to have been quite a bit of work, but it’s fabulous seeing all the foodies’ recommendations! I love the mix. Fun fun fun!!

  • This is my first comment as I only discovered you blog a couple months ago. Your timing for this post could not be better as I leave the sunny Caribbean to visit Paris a week from today. Thanks so much! I haven’t been in 2 years, but last time I was there, my brother introduced me to the Baron Rouge, just off the marche d’Aligre as the place to go for oysters with a street party atmosphere on a Sunday. If they still do it, only on Sunday, the brother of the owner (or so I was told) drives in from Brittany with his own oysters and sets up on the sidewalk of this genial wine bar! I also have a memory of a wood fired bakery, perhaps on or near rue St Antoine, which I would love to find again. The oven was a large single round rotating disc, Very cool, with the wood piled up right there in the shop. Anyone know the name or address? Thanks again David for the great links!

  • Yay! Another fresh list of Paris favorites! The more I go over the longer my must-try list grows. This is not a bad thing, far from it!

    So happy to see Au Gout Dujour mentioned–delicious, inventive, sympathique, reasonably priced….and enough out of the way (but not THAT remote) that there are always empty tables. Give the man some well-deserved business!

    Thumbs-up to Bazin bakery, especially the fabulous Bazinette 5 graines. And I can’t wait to try the recommendation for steak tartare, my current obsession. Any other more conventional St.-T. suggestions?

  • Hi David,

    I am really glad this subject came up because we will be in Paris this weekend! Is there a free press in Paris? Something like the Village Voice etc. I speak french so I don’t mind if it’s in French. Not that I don’t love your advice, but I would like to visit some clubs too while I am there !!

  • A note on L’Etoile d’Or, that few may know…

    Toulouse Lautrec’s Paris apartment is located in the hallway in the back of the store. If you chat her up, Denise Acabo who owns the store may just show it to you, as she did for us.

    Second note: The fastest way to Denise’ heart is good taste in candy, not touching the Bernachon chocolate bars with your warm hands, and most importantly… mentioning David Lebovitz!

    Denise was quite warm to me before I mentioned I was one of David’s readers (and as long as I kept my intense body heat a few feet away from the chocolates – I am a hot blooded girl, what can I say?), but after the mention… she was my best friend! And, what a friend to have!!!

    We had such a fun time with her! We must have spent an hour in her little shop of heaven. We left with two large bags full of candy, which wasn’t nearly enough.

    Trust me. Stock up on the Bernachon chocolate, and all of the Le Roux caramels you can get your hands on. If she recommends something, try it! Also, she has stuff like candied angelica that you may want to stock up on, too, as I did.

    Not far from her shop on Boulevard. Montparnasse, is an off-the-beaten-path museum (for the naughty/adventurous at heart), which is well worth the short stroll: Musee de L’Erotisme.

    Cheers,

    ~ Paula

  • we just got back from paris last night and thanks to you we had a wonderful time. my husband went for the history, i went for the food. 90% of the places we ate/shopped at came from your site- and i have got to say you are my kind of guy. the mr. insisted i drop you a line to say merci and grazie. please let me send you some jars of crema di pistacchio! we live in sicily and it would be my pleasure. thanks again!

    ps i considered going to berthillion but it was too cold! (by italian standards- we were obviously not parisians as we wore winter hats all week)

  • As a relative new-comer to Paris life, I have to say that my favorite local restaurant is Le 24 on the rue St. Andre des Arts in the Latin Quarter. It has the most incredible coq au vin and cassoulet I’ve ever eaten, and the manager, Guillaume, is attentive and friendly. The small setting and relaxed atmosphere, along with amazing food, make for a great dining experience every time. Did I mention that they also have a great play list? From funk to Edith Piaf, there’s never a dull moment at this place.

  • What a wonderful list. Many thanks to you, and your colleagues, for the terrific information. I await my return to Paris with even more anticipation than normal!

  • What a fantastic post! Makes me want to return to Paris, with this printed list in hand.

    By the way, I received my copy of Perfect Scoop in the mail today, and my Cuisinart ICE 20 is ready to go. Now all I have to do is decide which recipe to make first.

  • FABULOUS new profile picture, David! You look wonderful.

  • I am reading this post with a pen, lol… so many great suggestions!

    I’ll throw one in: my favorite neighborhood restaurant is Le Refuge du Passé on rue du Fer à Moulin in the 5th. It’s tiny and specializes in hearty southern cooking… everything is incredible!

  • Oh, Paris. How do I love thee? Best place we ate at was a teeny tiny restaurant on Rue Marie Stuart, just off Rue Montorgueil. There were two things on the menu and one had sold out so it was brochette d’onglet washed down with a zingy bottle of Beaujolais (we were there in December).

    They made their own bread too. Flavoured with sesame it was one of the tastiest morsels I’ve ever tried, perfect for wiping clean the plates. Can I remember the name of this gastro-wonder? Like hell I can. *sigh*

  • Yes! Got it. La Cocarde, 7 rue Marie Stuart

  • My husband and I have a favorite restaurant in the WORLD and it just happens to be in Paris. Le Petit Zinc in Ste. Germain de Pres is an outstanding find. It isn’t that the food is the best we have had, that the service is the best, that the location is perfect, but somehow, like a perfect creme brulee or salad nicoise, everything comes together to create a perfect experience.

    Enter the courtyard with the church on your right, walk straight back over the cobblestones to the cafe, turn right, follow to the end of the block and there it is. The bouillabaisse cured our airplane colds and the salad a crottin was the best we had outside of the one at the old cafe in Chateau D’Oex in Switzerland.

    Enjoy!

  • Great list. Though you did forget to consult another very important in-the-know Parisian (aka moi). Here are some spots I adore: lafleurdeparis.blogspot.com

  • Priceless David. I’m going to link to this, it’s just fantastic. Thanks!

  • Thanks, David. What a great list and just as I’m planning my trip to Paris in May.

    Now, if only you knew a great medium-priced hotel in the Marais, I’d be all set.

    Karen: Check out Finding a Hotel in Paris with some recommendations. -dl

  • It has been about ten years since I lived in Paris, so no guarantees that my faves are still around, but I did always enjoy going for an Adelscott at Cafe Cosmos in the 6ème. The best baguettes that I can remember were from a boulangerie attached to the Fontenay /s Bois RER station. I knew what time they came out of the oven and would have devoured 1/2 by the time I walked home! The best crème brulée that I can remember was at Cafe Ruc Univers near Palais Royale/Louvre.

  • What a great list, I have filed it away for my next trip to Paris.

  • My friend in Paris introduced me to “Les fils de la ferme” in the 14th. David, I believe you tried it after I mentioned it here some time back. It is a very nice restaurant with an easy atmosphere and delicious, innovative food.

    http://www.filsdelaferme.com/index.html

    It’s also VERY convenient to the Mouton-Duvernet metro stop, line 8.

  • My husband and I are heading to Paris for the first time and managed to book a trip that includes May Day. What will be open or closed? Of course I am most worried about missing a meal in Paris. Will I need to stock my hotel room with goodies? David is there anything I can bring you from NY?

  • What a great list. Merci!

    I will def. use it when I finally make it back to Paris. I haven’t been since the late 80s.

  • Hi, great inspiration here ! :)
    May I add a category ? since I’m living in the 13th arrondissement where there are loads of asian restaurants, I would like to recommend Lao Lane Xang, in the avenue d’Ivry. They serve laotian, cambodgian and vietnamese food. All plate are delicious, prepared with care and served with a smile. There are 2 other restaurants just across the street, held by the same family (Lao Lane Xang 2 + Rouammit). They even have surprising asian desserts, which is quite rare in asian restaurants. And the decoration is elegant, nothing to do with usual chinese or vietnamese cantines. Only normal thing… : the price. You can eat a full meal for 25 euros.

  • Oh my goodness!!!!!!! Thank you so much for the Philippine Mini-Mart tip!!! As a Filipina American living in Paris for the past two years, forever searching through the chinatowns for some bangus, this is a true godsend! Don’t get me wrong, I do love all my cheeses and pastries– it’s just sometimes I crave that comforting filipino soul food. Thank you!!!!!!

  • Just got back from a two week vacation in Paris and this post was incredibly helpful. Tried out Au Gout Du Jour and La Veraison. Both charming, great service and incredible food.

  • Hello David,

    I sent this to you on Facebook, then read you don’t check your inbox, so here is this:

    I am traveling to Paris for the first time and will be there Monday, and all I want to do is stuff my face. I don’t give a fig about tourist attractions. So I have been perusing your blog among others, and I want to thank you. I have been putting together a food map from all the Parisian food blogs. Maybe that is something you can add to your blog in the future? You can do it through Google maps. If you click on my name, you will see the one I compiled so far.

    I am staying in the 17th, and need a sense of what is around me and where everything is exactly, as I know my friend and I will be doing a lot of walking. I think it is good to know what to hit area by area so she and I aren’t backtracking or wasting time. Obviously I am not going to hit everything (nor do I have the room in my stomach), and I don’t want to uberplan my vacation, but I like to get a sense of what is good and where to stop in if she and I are in a certain area.

    Thank you for your expertise.

  • I was wondering, is the quote about Le Cinq in the “Favorite 3-Star Restaurant” category yours? My husband and I’s first ultra-fine dining experience was at Le Cinq during 2005 while I was attending pastry school at LCB. It was incredible, and has always been the scale by which we’ve measured other fine dining establishments since. I had been dying to go to a certain very highly regarded Yountville, CA restaurant since 2001, when I first heard about it as a developing foodie at the age of 22. I was finally able to do so earlier this year to celebrate my 30th. I feel like I’m really going against the grain here when I say that we were pretty disappointed…it was no Le Cinq! Over four years ago, and I can still vividly remember the taste of each dish at Le Cinq. Less than four months later, and I could hardly remember any of the meal at the other place. That had my husband and I wondering, were we just in awe of our first ultra-fine dining experience? We will be in Paris in January, with fine dining at the top of the to do list, and are seriously considering going to Le Cinq again to find out, even though I have a long list of other restaurants that we haven’t been to yet.

  • Hello, I must not let foreigners leaving Paris without having some lunch or dinner in a somewhat old and a little “rather old fashioned” place where everyone can taste a full soufflé menu, innovative and original cooking, depending on the season for natural flavoured products (such as mushrooms or else). For a gorgeous lunch with two courses, a glass of wine and a coffee (served with chocolates and candies) you ‘ll be charged 24€ only and according to me you’ll never forget it. A very singular restaurant, a few minutes’time from the Place de la Concorde, near the Rue de Rivoli.
    Its name is simply Le Soufflé (reservation highly recommended at any time), rue du Mont Thabor. I do not give this information too frequently because it’s part of my secret addresses, Mr. Monet (one of our impressionist period painters) would regularly come over there when living in Paris… Have a try and keep it for you. Sincerely yours, J.

  • You are the best. Thank you for sharing, David.