Recently in Restaurants category

L’Hippo Burger

hippo burger

I’ve been craving a big, fat, piled-high juicy hamburger for the last few weeks. I don’t know why. Romain told me, “C’est normal et culturel, Daveed.” I’m not entirely sure about that since I’ve never been a big beef eater. But lately, just the idea of lifting a hefty, rosy, big mess-of-a-patty of seared meat wedged between two fluffy, lightly-grilled cushions of bread with plenty of fixin’s, has been first and foremost in my little mind.

While l’hamburger is available at more and more cafés and restaurants in Paris nowadays, too often the dried-out burger is paltry, the bun is lame, and the much-anticipated le hamburger that arrives is wildly overpriced and nothing more than a glorified, microwaved sandwich.

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#1: La Briciola Pizza

During the next week, I’m going to do a series: Five Great Places in Paris That You Might Not Know About. In a city that hasn’t been overrun by chain stores and restaurants, it’s nice to be able to profile some of the smaller places around town that I frequent.

pizza

When I’ve had friends come to visit and suggested we go out for pizza, they balk.

Pizza? I didn’t come to Paris for…for…pizza!”

To which I always want to reply, “Honey, well I didn’t come to Paris to listen to you diss my dining suggestions.”

But when you live somewhere, no matter how good the local cuisine might be, one cannot live on duck confit and galettes de sarrasin slathered in butter forever, you know.

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Two Delicious Dining Guides to Paris


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Clotilde Dusoulier is the ultimate Parisian insider, one who shares her tasty tales of life in Paris on her blog, Chocolate and Zucchini. In this very handy guide, a native Parisian happily leads us around Paris, taking us from little-known specialty food shops and classic bistros to authentic Japanese noodle bars and venues for wine tastings.

One of my favorite parts of Clotilde’s Edible Adventures in Paris are tips on how restaurants and food shops work here. For example, knowing that you’re not a “customer” but a “guest” explains a lot of things to foreigners, who are used to the Customer is King attitude.

Other cultural tips, like keeping your hands on the table while you’re eating and not resting your bread on the edge of your plate, are explained so you can avoid making a faux pas, as I did shortly after I arrived in Paris and was scolded for my bread infraction by the host at a dinner party. And I always thought it was rude to scold guests! Who knew?

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Racines

racines

No complaints about the food at Racines. In fact, it’s one of the best places I’ve eaten in Paris in a long time.

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Unfortunately I took some of the worst pictures of one of the best-looking—and probably the most heavily-inked—restaurateurs in Paris, so you’ll have to go meet Pierre Jancou for yourself.

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Sunday Dining in Paris

Couscous

Here’s a list of some restaurants in Paris that are open on Sunday. Note that some are quite basic while others may fall into the slightly touristy category. Nevertheless, I still think they’re worthy of a visit. All but the most basic restaurants prefer that diners make reservations.

Another Sunday dining option is to visit one of the outdoor markets and make up a picnic. Markets open on Sunday morning (9am-2pm) include Richard Lenoir (M: Bastille), Aligre (M: Ledru-Rollin), Raspail (M: Sèvres-Babylon), and Place Monge (M: Place Monge).

Astier
44, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud (11th)
Tél: 01 43 57 16 35

Breizh Café
109, rue Vieille du Temple (3rd)
01 42 72 13 77

Excellent buckwheat crêpes served in a casual, yet sparse setting. Especially busy at prime lunch hours.

Café des Musées
49, rue de Turenne (3rd)
01 43 72 96 17

Excellent French food, especially the house-made terrine and steak-frites with bernaise sauce. Desserts always good, and wine by the carafe make everything go down better. (UPDATE: Café des Musées changed owners in the Fall of 2014 and I’ve heard mixed reports from locals and visitors. I haven’t been back since the change of proprietors so an unable to provide a personal report about any changes. But I will update this post when I return.)

Chez Paul
13, rue de Charonne (11th)
01 47 00 34 57

This traditional French bistro flies under the radar of many but is a great choice for Sunday lunch, especially after a visit to the nearby Richard Lenoir market. Hearty fare.

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Le Jules Verne

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Alain Ducasse recently took over la direction of Le Jules Verne, the high-end restaurant in the Eiffel Tower that had lost its reputation and luster as a fine dining destination during the past several years. I hadn’t ever eaten there, since its reputation had preceded it. But this week, I finally got my chance to dine there.

foie gras

We waited patiently for the private elevator of the Tour Eiffel to lift us up to mid-tower, over four hundred feet in the air, above Paris.

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The Pâtisseries of Paris: A Paris Pastry Guide

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There’s a nifty guidebook to the bakeries, chocolate shops, and tea salons, called The Pâtisseries of Paris. This handy little book is full of great addresses and tips, and is just small enough to slip in your shoulder bag when hitting the streets of Paris, should you come to Paris on a mission for sweets.

I was surprised at how in-depth this guide takes you. Naturally, the usual suspects, like Ladurée and Stohrer, are in there. And chocolatiers like Jean-Charles Rochoux and Patrick Roger are always a stop whenever I’m on the Left Bank, so I was happy to see the nods toward them.

There’s few places that aren’t quite worth the calories. Such as Au Panetier bakery, where the pastries don’t make up for the glorious art nouveau tilework, although it is gorgeous.

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Vegetarian Restaurants in Paris

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In the last decade, the vegetarian dining scene has blossomed in Paris and you can pretty easily find vegetarian food. A number of years ago, I had a vegetarian friend, Gideon, write up his favorites (which are listed farther down below) and I’ve updated the list of newer places and they’re here:

Bob’s Juice Bar (15 rue Lucien Sampaix) is a lively, fast-paced vegetarian restaurant and juice bar where you dine at a communal table. Owned by an American, the place is genial and the food is delicious. Think tofu sandwiches, muffins, and futomaki. The same owner, Mark Grossman, runs Kitchen (74, rue des Gravilliers) as well.

Two other good bets are Rose Bakery and Bread and Roses. Both serve very fresh food, much of it vegetable-oriented, in a casual atmosphere.

The hip Eastside Burgers has vegetarian hamburgers and hot dogs.

In the Batignolles covered market, there’s My Kitch’n.

La Bonne Heure (72, rue de Moulin des Prés, Métro: Tolbiac) is a cozy, all-organic neighborhood spot and a flashback to the 80s, with rice plates piled with vegetable stews. The freshly-made vegetable tarts with whole-wheat crusts are nourishing, if not revolutionary. Still, it’s a sweet place and the staff is warm and friendly.

I’m very fond of Saravanaa Bhavan, an Indian restaurant (170, rue du Faubourg Saint Denis, Métro: Gare du Nord.) The food is great and the restaurant is completely vegetarian.

Tuck Shop: 13 rue Lucien Sampaix, Tél: 09 80 72 95 40 – Casual café with an Australian Bent, and very good coffee.

Green Pizz: 8, rue Cadet, Tél: 01 48 00 03 29

Soul Kitchen: 33, rue Lamarck, Tél: 01 71 37 99 95

Café Pinson: 6, rue du Forez, Tél: 09 83 82 53 53

Pousse-Pousse: 7, rue Notre Dame de Lorette, Tél: 01 53 16 10 81

Soya: 20, rue de la Pierre Levée, Tél: 01 48 06 33 02

Gentle Gourmet Café: 24, rue de la Bastille, Tél: 01 43 43 48 49 – A purely vegan restaurant, located in the Bastille.

Le Bar des Artisans (Vegan): 23, rue des Vinaigriers, Tél: 01 42 01 03 44

Thank you, My Deer: 112, rue St Maur, Tél: 01 71 93 16 24 – Tiny gluten-free bakery and café with very good coffee.

Vegan Follies: 53, rue Mouffetard, Tél: 01 43 37 21 89 – Vegan cupcake shop on the rue Mouffetard.

The Superfoods Café: 29, Avenue de Ségur, Tél: 07 50 27 99 34

Loving Hut: 92, boulevard Beaumarchais, Tél: 01 48 06 43 84 – vegan and vegetarian foods.


This guest entry is from my friend Gideon Ben-Ami, who graciously stepped in and wrote this post about vegetarian dining options in Paris…david

A you can imagine, being a vegetarian in Paris can be a challenge. During my 5 years in Paris I’ve witnessed many die hard veggies succumbing to the sins of the flesh. The usual excuse is that it’s just too hard (or the temptations too great) in the self-proclaimed food capital of the world. “I never ate meat till I tried the duck,” one friend told me while another announced, “Technically I’m still a vegetarian, though sometimes I do eat steak.”

If you’re dining at a neighborhood bistro, you’ll probably get by okay if you eat fish. But if you’re vegan, then you might need to smuggle in a nut cutlet or two under your raincoat as you’ll soon get tired of munching on side salads. Unlike many other European capitals, restaurants here don’t necessarily have a vegetarian option on the menu.

Paris does, however, have its fair share of vegetarian restaurants. Are they any good? I donned my corduroy jacket, slipped on a pair of sensible shoes and criss-crossed the streets of the French capital to find out. What I found came as a pleasant surprise—there’s quite a lot on offer and something for every palette.

Here is a list, in no particular order, of some of the most well-known vegetarian restaurants in Paris:

Le Grenier de Notre Dame

18, rue de la Bucherie (5th). On the Left Bank a stone’s throw from Notre Dame this is the oldest vegetarian restaurant in Paris, it’s a friendly place with a cozy atmosphere and a varied menu catering for vegetarian, vegan, and macrobiotic customers. English menu, serves alcohol.

Le Potager du Marais

22, rue Rambuteau (3rd), Métro: Rambuteau. A lacto vegetarian place near to the Centre Pompidou. The restaurant is very narrow with all the tables put together into to make one long community table. Looking down the restaurant I felt I was entering a Michelangelo painting. Our supper (maybe not our last) was quite tasty with a mainly French menu including classics such as French onion soup all made from organic produce. The desserts were especially good. English speaking staff, serves alcohol.

Grand Appétit

9, rue la Cerisaie (4th) Métro: Bastille. Closed weekends. Serves vegan, macrobiotic food. The food is a pleasant mixture of French and Far Eastern dishes such as soups salads quiches, lentils, vegetarian sushi. This place has a rather austere look to it, feeling more like a church hall than a restaurant. Has a macrobiotic shop next door.

Krishna-Bhavan

24, rue Cail (10th) Métro: La Chapelle. Indian vegetarian restaurant serving Thalis, Dosas, Pooris and all the South Indian favourites. Food is refreshingly spicy, which is not always the case at Indian restaurants in Paris. Good value with lunchtime menus from 9.50€.

Tien Hiang

92, rue du Chemin Vert (11th), Métro: Père Lachaise or Voltaire. Small Chinese vegan restaurant that with a large menu, food is tasty and freshly prepared with many mock meat options. Inexpensive.

Green Garden

20, rue Nationale (13th) Métro: Porte d’Ivry. Chinese vegan restaurant run by devotees of Ching Hai (known as The Supreme Master) whose pictures adorn the walls. Nice food with friendly service and a small store inside. Closed Tuesdays.

Maoz

8, rue Xavier Rivas (5th) Métro: St Michel. Maoz is an international falafel chain has a take away stall in Latin quarter. (Check out David’s write up on Maoz.) Also try the rue de Rosiers (Métro St Paul) several options including, L’As du Fallafel “as recommended by Lenny Kravitz” and Chez Hanna “The best fallafel in the world”.

Visit Gideon at his websites; Let Them Talk, a French-English language school and conversation exchange program in Paris, and at his blog, Paris Talk. Photo above courtesy of Gideon Ben-Ami.


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