Paris Bar & Restaurant Guides – Updated for Summer 2012!
It’s that time again! While I generally try to leave my lawyer persona out of my blog, I do adhere to a quarterly update calendar for my restaurant and bar guides. Below are the latest bars and restaurants that I have added to my guides. As always, “**” signifies some of my real favorites. Purchase the updated print-ready PDFs of my bar and restaurant guides, as well as my Mini Guide to Paris here.
- A Casaluna (1st) 6 Rue de Beaujolais, Tel. 01 42 60 05 11. Along the northern side of the Palais Royal, this Corsican restaurant combines fine dining and an excellent wine selection with friendly service and the chance to try a regional cuisine that is not so easy to find in Paris.
- Frenchie (2nd) 5-6, rue du Nil, Tel. 01 40 39 96 19, Mon–Fri 19h-22h30. Frenchie is one of the latest “in” places in Paris and it’s well deserving of all the acclaim. In an adorable and cozy setting, the prices are lower than you might expect. It’s not easy to get a reservation – you must call to reserve between 15h and 17h Mon-Fri. The wine bar across the street is a good alternative, however, if you want lighter and cheaper fare or just a drink.
- Le Petit Marché (3rd) 9, Rue Béarn, Tel. 01 42 72 06 67. Open daily 12h-15h and 20h-midnight. This bistro is less touristy and more authentic than its popular sister establishment, Chez Janou, but the food is just as good if not better and the location, just a block north of Place des Vosges, is just as atmospheric.
- Le Balzar (5th) 49 rue des Ecoles, Tel. 01 43 54 13 67, Open every day 8h – 23h45.You may have noticed that I am not a huge fan of brasserie food, but this is one exception where the food is of a high quality (although the price is farily high as well) and you do have to try a brasserie at least once during your visit to Paris.
- **Restaurant Semilla (6th) 54 rue de Seine, Tel. 01 43 54 34 50. This new addition to Saint-Germain combines traditional and innovative food in a setting that also combines traditional and modern-industrial design. Dishes are categorized not based on courses but based on preparation styles. Ingredients are incredibly fresh and service very friendly. Open every day.
- Vivant (9th) 43 rue des Petites Ecuries, Closed Saturday & Sunday, Tel. 01 42 46 43 55. A small and cozy bistro in a traditional setting. It’s been hyped up a lot in the press and I don’t think it is deserving of quite so much praise, but it is still an excellent choice for fresh, high quality home-cooking in a traditional setting and a good value for your money if you skip the less-than-tasty organic wines.
- MBC (17th) 4, rue du Débarcadère, Tel. 01 45 72 22 55. Gilles Choukroun’s restaurant offers €39 euro 5-course set menus for lunch or dinner that make gourmet dining accessible to everyone if you are willing to eat anything. But do not expect traditional French decor: it is eccelectic, with graffitied walls and flashy accent pieces.
- **Sugarplum Cake Shop (5th), 68 Rue du Cardinal Lemoine, Tel. 01 46 34 07 43. An inviting space for a cup of tea and good old American baked goods. The carrot cake is delicious. They often hold special events such as book signings. And if you are in the market for a personalized cake for a special event, this is the place to come.
- Le Stube (1st), 31, rue de Richelieu, Tel. 01 42 60 09 85, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For take-out or eating sur place, you can eat well and cheap here. Soft pretzels, inventive salads, traditional hearty German dishes and (what I am most drawn to) the delicious strudels. Open Mondays 10h to 15h30 and Tues-Sat 10h to 22h.
- **Wrap N Roll Sushi (9th) 10 rue Budapest, Tel. 01 56 92 02 13. It was very tempting to keep this place a secret, but reluctantly I am sharing. For everyone who misses “California-style” sushi (spider rolls, dragon rolls, etc.) this is your place. And the prices are amazingly cheap for the high quality of the fish.
- **Le Bambou Royal (17th) 8 Rue Troyon, Tel.: 01 43 80 86 06. Neither the interior nor the location are anything special, but it’s the best Chinese food I’ve had in Paris. Don’t get the fixed price menu – order à la carte and don’t hesitate to ask for the dishes spicy (épicé) if that’s your style. I especially like the shrimp with black mushrooms and the sizzling shrimp or sizzling scallops. The wonton soup (soupe aux raviolis de crevettes) is also quite good.
- **Le Bois Le Vent (16th) 59 rue de Boulainvilliers, Tel.: 01 45 27 62 23. This Lebanese restaurant delivers all over Paris, and will even cater for larger parties. They offer a good variety and the food is fresh and tasty.
- **Caveau Montpensier (1st) 15 Rue de Montpensier, Tel.: 01 42 60 12 89. Along the Palais Royal, this French wine bar meets Moroccan lounge is cozy and spacious at the same time. A friendly place to grab a drink both pre-dinner and post. Be sure to say hello to “Blue”, the resident Dalmatian.
- Le Ballroom du Beef Club (1st) 58 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Tel.: 09 52 52 89 34. Hidden in the basement, the elegance of this place is surprising. It’s not cheap, but no cocktail bars in Paris are. Not pretentious as some of these new-trend bars are though. Be sure to look up at the tin ceiling.
- Victoria Cross (1st) 23 Avenue Victoria, Tel.: 01 40 26 15 68. This friendly place is an odd mix of modern, British and American diner. The pizzas are not the best in Paris but good by pub standards and for later night food, and the music will be sure to boost your mood.
- Le Déli-cieux (9th) 64 Boulevard Haussmann, Tel. 01 42 82 62 76. This roof top terrace above Le Printemps department store has basic cafeteria food and drink options but the view of Paris from way up there is spectacular. Don’t forget your camera!
- Mojita & Bob (11th) 3 rue Oberkampf, Tel.: 01 58 30 88 59. A lively spot for drinks where you can also snack on delicious Spanish-style tapas. Open Tues-Fri 12h-15h and 18h-2h, Sat 18h-2h, Sun 16h-midnight.
Have you tried any of these restaurants listed above? What did you think? Where should I try next?