Where to Eat and Drink in Paris
French food, wine and coffee are amongst the best culinary experiences in the world. I have rented a flat in Paris for the last 5 years and the food keeps me coming back. In a city like Paris, there are dozens of choices and loads of guidebook recommends on where to eat. I have found the best restaurants, bistros and cafes in Paris do not cater to tourists, but serve good fresh cuisine at fair prices and treat their customers with respect. They do not have neon signs advertising “We Speak English”. Believe it or not, I have actually traveled to Paris with someone who was not “impressed” with the food. This is sad because they missed out on some of the best food in the world by only ordering the conservative and cheapest thing on the menu (salads for the most part). Eating in Paris can be daunting, but when you get it right, you will likely have one of the most memorable meals of your life. Here are selected recommendations that will guarantee a proper Parisian culinary experience. Having a great meal, glass of wine or coffee is about finding the right place and having an open mind.
Cafe Louis Phillippe
66 Quai de l’Hôtel de ville, 75004 Paris, France
+33 1 42 72 29 42
This is our local cafe when we return to our flat. We eat here quite a bit because the food is good, inexpensive, the service is great and it’s super central (not to mention almost directly under our flat). The covered patio is nice on a sunny day and offers a nice experience of dining on the Seine. The upstairs room will fill quickly with locals for dinner.
Au Bourguignon du Marais
52 Rue François Miron, 75004 Paris, France
+33 1 48 87 15 40
I have never had a bad meal here. Of course, the dish to try is the king of Burgundian cuisine, Bouef Bourguignon. This is the best place to try the famous rich stew. Along with other classics from Burgundy, great wine and Baba au Rhum, this will be your new favorite in the Marais.
43 Rue de Seine, 75006 Paris, France
+33 1 43 26 68 15
One of my favorite cafes in Paris. The inside is the dark wood with foggy mirrors look of a classic Parisian cafe. The outside sitting area is bustling with young fashionable people from Paris. It’s the best place to sit and relax after sightseeing at the Louvre/Notre Dame. Close to Pont Neuf on the left bank.
39 Boulevard des Capucines 75001 Paris
+33 1 42 61 14 71
This is a proper restaurant in Paris with incredible service and a typical French menu. The “Hello Dolly” staircase will greet you as you enter. Bow tied waiters will guide you to a wonderful meal and plentiful wine list.
52 Rue de l’Hôtel de ville 75004 Paris
+33 1 53 01 83 84
This is the most serious coffee bar in Paris. They serve a variety of organic and free-trade coffee from around the world. It’s not the atmospheric people watching type of cafe you hear about from guidebooks. The coffee is incredibly good here. Located pretty much on the Seine. Have a coffee, go sit on the banks of the river and enjoy Paris.
Harry’s New York Bar
5 Rue Daunou, 75002 Paris, France
+33 1 42 61 71 14
This place calls me back every time I’m in the city. It has a rich history for its mere 100+ years of being in business. White jacketed bar tenders will serve you one of their expertly crafted classic cocktails that was likely invented there. Having a drink here is like stepping into a time machine. Sip away and reminisce with the ghosts of Hemingway, Gershwin and Fitzgerald who all frequented this historic bar.
6 Rue la Vrillière 75001 Paris
+33 1 42 61 43 78
This is a local bistro serves inexpensive food to local neighborhood patrons. The steak-frites and other bistro fair is good and reliable. You can’t go wrong with the classic bistro food served here. It’s the first place I ever tried steak tartare. I was encouraged by the two young ladies next to us who ordered it before me. Wine is inexpensive. Located a stones throw from the Palais Royal.
La Bourse ou la Vile
12 Rue Vivienne 75002 Paris 2e arrondissement
+33 1 42 60 08 83
The best reason to eat here is the Steak-Frites. The owner is a very cool guy and shared the delicious au poivre sauce recipe with my wife. It is the best and most perfect steak-frites in Paris. The owner also suggests great wine to go with your steak.