#1. SOURIRE (5ar – Notre Dame)
During my last trip to Paris, this small restaurant in the very city centre has been a great discovery for me. Its French cuisine (a little revisited and modernised) is matched with a concept, similar to that of the Spanish tapas, although here the portions are much more abundant. On average the dishes (not many) cost € 8-9 each. Thanks to the price and to the “tapas format”, you will be able to enjoy more than one course.
The atmosphere, the kindness of the staff and the quality of the food make this restaurant one of my favourite culinary destinations in the ville lumière. When I went here on Saturday it was full, so I suggest you to make a reservation.
MY ADVICE: easily reserve your table at thefork.com, in order to avoid an international phone call.
WHERE: 27 Rue Galande, 75005 Paris.
#2. Bistrot Le P’tit Troquet (7ar – Invalides)
If you want to spend a romantic evening after (or before) a walk under the lights of the Eiffel Tower, this is the perfect bistro! The exquisite cuisine and the rétro atmosphere perfectly embody the French tradition. As a further confirmation of its quality, this restaurant, which has already collected many excellent reviews, is also mentioned in the Michelin selection. Of course, it is not one of the cheapest restaurants in Paris, but it is in line with the standards of the city and it is absolutely more affordable than many others.
MY ADVICE: don’t miss the traditional Boeuf Bourguignon.
#3. Chez Zhong (8ar – Tour Eiffel)
Exhausted for having walked for the whole morning, my friends and I were looking for an affordable good restaurant not far from Eiffel Tower to have lunch. And it didn’t sound that easy! Don’t judge this restaurant by its rather anonymous appearance, because inside you will discover a well finished, even elegant, and not touristic at all (all the customers were French) dining room. Its rich (maybe too much!) menu includes dishes of the Chinese and Thai cuisine at pretty competitive prices. Very good service. We spent a relaxing and regenerating lunchtime.
MY ADVICE: low budget? Choose the noodles! Among the meat dishes, chicken with curry, coconut milk and vegetables with rice is excellent!
WHERE: 69 Avenue Kléber, Paris.
#4. Le ciel de Paris (14ar – Montparnasse)
This restaurant gives an unforgettable experience that you cannot lose if you are in Paris! Because of its extraordinary location, the 54th floor of the Montparnasse Tower, I suggest you to go there in the evening, in order to enjoy the view of the Eiffel Tower and Paris illuminated under your feet. They will leave you breathless and you will never get tired of admiring them. I also suggest to avoid the week-end (we went there on Saturday and we had to wait a long time to get in).
MY ADVICE: if you prefer not to “invest” in the dinner, have just a drink! You will enjoy the same view of those having dinner and, if you are lucky, you’ll find a table right at the window wall.
WHERE: Tour Montparnasse, Paris.
#5. Cafè Pinson (4ar – Le Marais)
First of all, I must confess that I haven’t found the brunch menu particularly exciting. The food was top quality, but it had a bit too unconventional taste, which took inspiration from the vegan philosophy, that the restaurant follows. By the way, I’ve put it in this list because it’s a good alternative to the traditional American brunch. The menu offers lots of different warm drinks; bread, butter, jam and chocolate cream; a big dish of salty specialities and one of sweet ones. Portions are huge! Young, hipster and cool atmosphere, this café is pretty popular.
MY ADVICE: highly recommended for those who appreciate vegan recipes and flavours. For me, I’m sorry, it was a bit too healthy! 😉
WHERE: 6 Rue du Forez
#6. La Durée (8ar – Champs Elysee)
This is the undisputed symbol of the patisserie parisienne, so, walking along he Champs Elysée, say yes to a sweet pause at La Durée! At a first sight, La Durée looks more like a jewellery than a patisserie/tea room and, indeed, what you’ll see inside won’t disappoint you. You don’t need to purchase tons of pastry, you can simply order just one macaron and nobody will find it inappropriate. On the other hand, enjoying your macaron (the one you prefer among all the flavours), you will be able to cross off also this experience from your travel checklist!
MY ADVICE: do you want to take home some macarons as a souvenir? Check if in your departure airport there is a La Durée shop, so that you avoid walking around Paris with this fragile masterpieces in your bag and they will arrive home safe and sound!
WHERE: 75 Av. des Champs-Élysées
#7. El Nopal (10ar – Canal St. Martin)
Not bigger than “a hole in the wall”, this tiny take-away restaurant offers Mexican/Tex-me specialities. My favourite ones are the tacos: they are small so that you can choose 3/4 meat varieties and try them all.
MY ADVICE: if the weather is fine, enjoy your meal on the banks of the close by St. Martin canal!
WHERE: 3, Rue Eugène Varlin
#8. Chez Marianne (4ar – Le Marais)
Located in the heart of the Marais, the Jewish quarter, in the well known Rue des Rosiers, this restaurant offers excellent kosher specialties. The absolute king of this street (you will easily recognize it because of its never ending queue) is the As du Felafel, but if you don’t feel like waiting for a long time or if you simply prefer not to have your meal standing in the street, Chez Marianne is a great alternative: the atmosphere is friendly, prices are fine and felafels and hummus are delicious!
MY ADVICE: excellent choice for vegetarians as well. In general, you can also choose the tasting menu or one of the main dishes, which include different recipes so that you can try many different specialities.
WHERE: 2 Rue des Hospitalières Saint-Gervais (angolo Rue des Rosiers)