Anne’s Abbreviated Guide to Paris: 2012-2013
Places to Eat:
*in typical French fashion, some of these great restaurants do not have an official website, in such cases I have linked a yelp or google review
Brigout –2nd arr. website
Specializes in making traditional “made at home” classic French cuisine in a chic and delicious way. Small, chic restaurant in a great area- perfect side street to grab a drink after dinner , as well (see also: Vintage, on the same street). TO TRY: FOIE GRAS, COCOTTE, MARGRET DE CANARD
Gladines –5th arr. website
Dishes originate from the Basque region of France- tradition French food, at a relatively low-cost (~14 euro/plat). Suggestion to share a plat as they are huge! Very popular local spot, ideally located ON ST. GERMAIN- hip atmoshere, lots of young professionals. TO TRY: CASSOLET, ESCALOPE DE VEAU MONTAGNE* (*absolute must try!)
Allards-St. André des Arts – 6th arr. website
Classic Family Run French Bistro, St. Germain/ Notre Dame area. TO TRY: excellent fixed dinner menu at 35 euro (entrée/plat/dessert)
Tourn’Bride –5th arr. website*
I used to describe it as “the best French food I can afford on a regular basis.” French food on a student budget. This place taught me to love Confit de Canard. Thus, TO TRY: Confit de Canard, Escargots
Café Centre – 2nd arr. website*
Located on another “must-see” all pedestrian street in the 2nd, Montorguiel, this is the absolute epitome of a great Parisian café- go for a late dinner! TO TRY: (for the bold) STEAK TARTAR with parmesan… mouth is watering just typing about it.
Bob’s Kitchen—4th arr. website
For the vegans- for those tired of French food (or just looking for something easier on the waistline). Great vegetarian restaurant, delicious salads, fresh made juices, etc. Tiny restaurant, very local atmosphere.
Papillon—5th arr. website
For those who have watched Anthony Bordain, this is one of his favorites, too. Quite the opposite of Bob’s (Vegetarian) Kitchen this places specializes in meats… and not your typical cut. Tiny, typical, family-run restaurant only my old street (Rue Mouffetard- all pedestrian, cobblestone) Varied menu items include: stomach, lamb, pig snout, etc. Very local, amazing atmosphere-Anthony Bordain and I both suggest for the adventurous eater!
Pas Sage--2nd arr. website*
Bit more of a spotty area, but an excellent chef with varied French specialties. TO TRY: Foie Gras Cannoli
Au petit Grec-- 5th arr. website*
THE BEST CREPE PLACE IN PARIS! (That is, if you like greek food/feta cheese.) These guys are the pros. On my old street, Rue Mouffetard (pedestrian, cobblestone, wonderful). TO TRY: AUBERGINE/FETA crepe. Enough said.
Les Pipos-- 5th arr. website
Another restaurant in the shadows of the Pantheon (can you tell I lived/went to school in the 5th?) Wonderful area, just down from the "Midnight in Paris" stairs. Typical, family run French restaurant with relatively low prices, relatively casual atmosphere. TO TRY: French Onion Soup, Magret de Canard
Angelina/La Duré—(1st arr./ 6th arr.)
Looking for the French equivalent of an English High Tea? A perfect French afternoon can be spent over delicious tea, the best patisseries, and/or a café at either of these spots. Angelina is famous for its "Chocolat Afrikan," essentially melted white or milk chocolate in a carafe. A must try! Laduré is also the best macaroon spot in Paris. Great for buying souvenirs for other macaroon lovers. Because there are many Ladurés all over Paris, I suggest the one in the 6th for the best environment, the downstairs tea-room is beautiful. For Angelina, I prefer the flagship, on Rue de Rivoli.
L’as de Fallafel-- 4th arr. website*
Another great spot for vegetarians, or meat eaters a like! This gem is not at all lesser known (written up in many magazines/tour books), but well-worth the stop. Located in the historically jewish quarter (The Marais) nestled in some of the best boutique shopping in Paris, this is a great Sunday afternoon adventure, as many other places will be closed on Sundays. TO TRY: THE BEST FALLAFEL IN THE WORLD!
Cantine California-- varied locations: website
Americans missing a taste of 'Merica? Google the cantine California to see where this food truck is located. Totally UNTYPICAL lunch-only spot, of Americans testing the food truck idea in France. Really more for Americans living long term in France, missing a fat american burger. TO TRY: OBAMA BURGER
The Café Short List/Places to Have a Glass:
Café Léa- 5th arr.
Just off my old street of Rue Mouffetard, the perfect, local joint for CHEAP wine (~2euro/glass) and aperos, or a late night spot for more wine…small, beautiful atmosphere that will suck you right in.
Vintage - 2nd arr.
Vintage was my café Lea (above) of my new neighborhood, in the 2nd. Great for aperos, wine, and excellent charcuterie/cheese plates. Young professional atmosphere, can be louder- for French standards (weekends/late nights).
Petit Palais- 7th arr.
Located within the Petit Palais (just across from the Grand Palais), access through FREE ENTRY (for all!) for the museum, most around the over-the-top architecture and museum with mosaic floors and gold doors to the café on the back side. Sit, have a glass, relax and soak it in. TO TRY: wine, but also have good salads. only open until 5pm.
Café DELMAS- 6th arr.
Old Hemingway hangout, in the shadows of the Pantheon- on Place Contrescarpe. 4 addresses down from Hemmingway's first house in Paris, with Hadley where he lived during "A Moveable Feast" and began writing "The Sun also Rises.' People watch galore over a café or du vin! To Try: THIS ATMOSPHERE!
Deux Magots 6th arr.
Another Hemingway hangout, this one more chic- located on St. Germain, next to a Louis V. Another great (more chic) people watching establishment for a snack, café, or wine. A little more expensive, but again, worth the experience for the history and atmosphere.
Sugar Plum--5th arr.
Free wifi and unlimited refills on American style coffee. Great spot if you need to get some work done. TO TRY: American Treats: Cupcakes, carrot cake, rice krispy treats!
Not to Miss* Things to Do
Orangerie- 1st arr.
Museums, especially in the summer in Paris can be overwhelming (cough cough Le Louvre). This museum, however is a dose of zen- smaller, beautiful (located at the end of the Tuilerie gardens) and filled with Monet's waterlillies (360 panels in 3 different rooms!) Also, in the basement: picassos, gaughins, etc!) I love the accessibility and the works with in this great museum.
Musée de Rodin- 7th arr.
Go here on a beautiful day- the outside gardens are a don't miss! Save some room for a great salad or café in the garden café next to the sculptures!
Montmartre on a Saturday-18th arr.
My favorite church (and view) of Paris: Sacre Coeur. Don't miss walking inside the basilica, as it is done entirely in mosaics with a huge Jesus i like to this is looking over the city. Walk behind the church, up the hill to the left of Scare Coeur Artist District behind the church, especially active on Saturdays- art sales and great cafés and art venues. Do be careful walking up the hill to Sacre Coeur as it is touristy/many people trying to sell you things. But don't worry, it's worth it.
Steps of Notre Dame-5th arr.
Wait in the line (the earlier the shorter!) on the left side of the cathedral, climb up these steps for an unforgettable view- of paris and also the gargoyles who live at the top!
Pompidou Centre-2nd arr.
Largest collection of modern art in Europe- if you like modern art and have a half day (at least) give this famous structure (inside-outed) and museum a try!
Rue Montorguiel- 2nd arr.
Pedestrian street, full of cafés, patisseries, restaurants, cheese shops, chocolate shops- classic! Monet painted it on Bastille Day- and it still looks much the same. In my old neighborhood in the 2nd- (see above: Café Centre to eat!)
Rue Mouffetard- 5th arr.
Another CLASSIC French pedestrian street, this time in the 5th- shadows of the Pantheon and the Sorbonne. My first street in Paris! (107 was my old apartment!) Hemmingway also lived up this street. Many good restaurants, very small street as it was an ancient street to Rome, cobblestones and all still intact. (For places to eat on this street: Papillon, Au Petit Grec, Café Delmas- all mentioned above! with *Café Léa nearby!)
Le Marais on a Sunday--4th arr.
Awesome boutique shopping, adorable cafés and great mediterranean food (Old jewish quarter, as described in description of "L'as de Fallafel"). Espcailly great on a Sunday, as I mentioned many places in Paris close on Sundays, however- this quarter stays open and active!