Paris Travel Guide I

by - Friday, October 16, 2015

Two months have passed since I moved to the city of love, lights and food. I have a huge list with places I want to visit, tons of books about Paris that I still need to read and every day I see more bars and restaurants that look very lovely.

To know:
1. I only write about the places I really do recommend
2. That's my personal and subjective opinion as a food-addict
3. Click on the names to get to the respective web or facebook page (some don't have any)

Breakfast - or the petit dejeuner:

Breakfast doesn't seem to be as big in Paris as it is in the US. You do not really have the typical brunch thing here, where you eat tons of pancakes and bacon just to roll back into your bed afterwards. I got the impression that it is really the Croissant and Cafe au lait in the morning that makes Parisians happy. 
Even though I am still about to discover the nicest breakfast spots in Paris, so far, many places that try to imitate American, British, Australian or even German brekkies are quite expensive and not that good. 

Frenchie to go: 
Small place in the 2nd arrondissement serving American inspired breakfasts. Good granola, eggs Benedict were also good. Price Range:10-15€; 6€ for a granola, 12€ for eggs Benedict with pastrami.

Lunch and snacks- or the dejeuner

If you are trying to get a spot in a nice restaurant around lunch time you should probably better make a reservation since whole Paris is outside having lunch. Why? Because all over the city you can get a decent lunch menu for around 12-25€ ranging from simple to more special ones. Here are my so-far favourite spots, which I think you should not miss.

Blend: Very tasty burgers with fresh and aromatic ingredients. Around 5 different burgers with assorted ingredients and individual recipes. I recommend the 'Signature' - Burger with spinach, onion confit, blue cheese, Emmentaler and bacon Price Range: 12€ for lunch menus, 15€ for dinner menus. Good to know1. 4 locations, each one has a different special burger 2. Order the burger "saignant" if you want it medium-rare, which I think is the best way to go 3. Open 7 days a week.
Closest Metro Station: Depends which one; Menilmoltant, Republique, Saint Sebastian Froissart

Au Pied De Fouet: Small, basic french restaurant to have lunch and dinner at. Close to St. Germain des Pres and other locations. Price Range: 10-15€ for a main course. Good to know: Can get busy, so be prepared to wait a bit, but normally it is not very long.
Closest Metro Station: St Germain des Pres

Mouette à bord:
Bretonne galette and crepe restaurant in the 15th arrondissement, serving delicious salty as well as sweet french pancakesPrice Range: 8-16€ Good to know: Lunch menu is 12,90€ including a salty and a sweet pancake as well as a glass of orange juice, apple juice or cider.
Closest Metro Station: Rue Emile Zola, Commerce, La Motte-Piquet-Grenelle

Galette with emmentaler cheese, ham and an egg

Marcovaldo: Located on rue Charlot in the 3rd arrondissement serving good coffee, cakes (a bit expensive though) and delicious sandwiches, salads and small and bigger plates for lunch. Price Range: 10-20€ Good to know: They have lunch menus for 16-18€
Closest metro station: Filles du Calvaire

La Patache: Wine/charcuterie place and restaurant close to Canal St Martin in the 10th arrondissement. Price Range: 14€ for a big charcuterie platter for 2. Good to know: 1. The wine bar and the restaurant are two different places located next to each other, with the restaurant having different opening hours, serving dinner from 19.30h onwards 2. Wine happy hour at the bar from 16.30-20h.
Closest Metro Station: Jacques Bonsergent

Mixed charcuterie platter

Le Jeu des Quilles: Small restaurant located in the 14th arrondissement with a weekly-changing menu, serving local and seasonal inspired french dishesPrice Range: 21-45€ for a meal without drinks. Good to know: Lunch menus for 21€ (Starter, main, dessert)
Closest Metro Station: Denfert-Rochereaut

Le Mercat: Located next to lovely Square Trousseau in the 12th arrondissement, close to Bastille, serving only lunch. Fresh ingredients, vegetarianPrice Range: 12-15€ Good to know: Lunch menu (main, dessert) 15€
Closest Metro Station: Ledru-Rollin

Veggie burger and japanese rice with salmon teriyaki and avocado

Quinoa salad with hummus and feta

The Beast: Texas BBQ place in the 3rd arrondissement. Delicious meat, could be a bit hotter though, tasty sides and good beer Price Range: 15-25€ Good to know: 1. Lunch menu for 15€ including 1 kind of meat, one side and a drink. 2. Go for the beef brisket, baby beef ribs, pulled pork and BBQ beans and you certainly won't be disappointed. 3. The BBQ sauce is delicious!
Closest Metro Station: Temple; Republique

bottom left: beef brisket and BBQ beans; top left: Baby back ribs, pulled pork and potato salad

Dinner - or the dîner:

"Hey Vic, wanna have dinner at 19.30h?" "Excuse-moi?" Never make the same mistake that I am doing over and over again. French people simply don't have dinner before 20.30/21h. My roommate normally eats around 22h, when already 3 hours have passed since I ate my last meal of the day. Of course, I am flexible and if I know in advance (haha) I am fine with eating late. But please let me know before so I can get stuffed with one or five Macarons before. German at heart, I'd say!

Ober Mamma: Pasta, pizza and a purely italian vibrant atmosphere. Fresh ingredients and reasonable prices. Price Range: pasta 10-18€; pizza 10-20€. Good to know: 1. They don't do reservations. They open at six, you can stop by let them write down your name and you get a time slot. During that time you can either explore the area or have one of their fancy cocktails with which you get a small appetizer plate for free. 2. There is also another restaurant belonging to this one called "East Mamma", but I like this one more.
Closest Metro Station: Oberkampf


Lemon pasta and pizza with mozzarella

Ma biche: French restaurant in the 17th arrondissement, close to Sacre Coeur. Good tartar for a reasonable price, the rest is tasty but a bit overpriced. Price Range: 15€ for a Tatare.
Closest Metro Station: Pigalle

Tatare and burger

Ellsworth: Tapas like concept and food with American and South American inspired dishes, but still with a French touch, cosy atmosphere. Price Range: 60-70€ for dinner for two. Good to know: 1. Their homemade bread is amazing. 2. 4-5 dishes for two people are recommended, but this might be little for big boys or girls with proper appetite. 3. Make a reservation! 4. They serve lunch and even brunch (on weekends).
Closest Metro Station: Pyramides

Left: fried clams with jalapenos and creamed corn; right: beet root salad with roasted hazelnuts

Duck enchilladas

L'Ange 20: French cuisine with a lot of delicious meat and fish located in the Marais, close to place des Vosges.  They have changed locations, I like the first one a big more, because it was smaller and more traditional, but this one has the better location. Price Range: 17€ for a main; 26€ starter and main and 35€ starter, main, dessert. Good to know: 1. Reserve 1-2 weeks in advance. 2. When you can, try their duck, it is very tender and tasteful and normally comes with good side dishes.
Closest Metro Station: Chemin Vert; Bastille

Top: Braised lamb; bottom: pan fried duck with mashed parsley

Le grand Pan: One of my favourite ones!!! Don't be put off by the slightly unappealing website. French restaurant ran by a butcher's son serving delicious, good quality meat and a range of interesting starters. Price Range: 60€ for this huge piece of meat below with fries and salad, for two. Good to know: 1. On the opposite side of the street there is 'le petit pan' serving Tapas-like dishes for a smaller price. 2. Make a reservation.
Closest Metro Station: Convention; Plaisance

Cote de Boeuf with salad and fries

Artichoke with tuna

Le Tajine: Very cosy, family run Moroccan restaurant serving traditional dishes such as lamb tajine or merguez. Price Range: Great price value; 9,5€ for a tajine with couscous Good to know: 1. Try the lamb tajine with prunes, have a fresh mint tea. 2. Their desserts are fine, but you won't miss anything not getting one. 3. Make a reservation. 4. It's a byob place. They don't serve alcohol, so feel free to bring your own.
Closest Metro Station: Denfert Rochereauch

Merguez sausage and moroccan salad

Lamb tajine with prunes and almonds

Patisserie and other douceurs:

Ok, so this is the hardest part. There is so many good, sweet, rich in calories and irresistible things in Paris. Macarons, chocolate, pain au chocolat, brioche, creme de marron, well and my list could go on and on. It is really hard to pass a bakery or a patisserie and not end up buying a Madeleine or a lovely looking, artfully designed piece of cake. When I visited Paris the first time four years ago with my dad, all the pastries seemed a bit expensive to me. But don't worry, you'll get used to it and after three or four weeks in this (expensive) city 5€ for an Eclair will seem the most normal thing on earth to you. 

Berthillon: I scream, you scream, well, they sell the best ice cream in town, family run, traditional business. Mainly sold on Ile St Louis, next to Ile de la Cite. Price Range: 2,5-3,5€ for a scoop. Good to know: 1. Go to the original Berthillon cafe located in the middle of Ile St Louis, the scoops there are the cheapest (2,5€) and they have the biggest selection. 2. No matter what happens, try the Vanilla ice cream!
Closest Metro Station: Pont Marie

On the right: raspberry-rose; left: apricot

Maison du Chou: Little puff pastries with a crispy crust on top filled with one of five ingredients (classic, caramel, chocolate, praline and the last one I don't remember). Located on Ile St Louis Price Range: 2€ for one, 5€ for 3 choux. Good to know: Go for the praline one.
Closest Metro Station: Pont Marie

Popellini: Also puff pastries, but a bit different. All kind of fillings and colours available. Price Range: 2,10€ for one. Good to know: 1. Eat them fast while the cream is still cold, otherwise it might all end up on your T-Shirt. 2. My fav's: Lemon, pistachio, passion fruit and chocolate.
Closest Metro Station: Depends on shop: St Georges; Filles du Calvaire

Eclair de Genie: Fresh and truly delicious, artfully designed Eclairs sold in a small shop in the 9th arrondissement. Price range: Around 5,50€ for one Good to know: Try them all! But first vanilla.
Closest Metro Station: Havre-Caumartin; Opera

Vanilla Eclair

Liberte Patisserie Boulangerie: Lovely bakery close to Canal St Martin selling fresh and crispy bread and baguette and small cakes and tartelettes. Price Range: 3-5€ for a small cake. Good to know: Try their chocolate bread, their clafoutis and their lemon cake on a cookie.
Closest Metro Station: Jacques Bonsergent

On the left: cheesecake; right: little strawberry cake

Les Petites Mitrons:
 Traditional french tarte and cake shop in Montmartre with changing seasonal, fresh tartes. Price Range: around 3€ for a Tarte.
Closest Metro Station: Pigalle 

Bontemps Patisserie: Little patisserie in the 3rd arrondissement selling cakes and small, cute tartes with all kinds of fillings. Price Range: 1,6€ for a small one.
Closest Metro Station: Arts et Metiers

Left: lemon curd, chantilly and raspberry with passion fruit filling; right: pralinee

Ble sucre: One of the best bakeries in Paris, close to Bastille in the 12th arrondissement. Selling delicious cakes, tartes AND Madeleines. Price Range: 2-7€ Good to know: 1. They have seating outside. 2. Try the tarte tatin and definitely buy a pack of their Madeleines with icing.
Closest Metro Station: Ledru-Rollin

Sugarplum cake shop: American bakery close to the Pantheon in the 5th arrondissement, selling delicious carrot cake and coffee. Price Range: 4-8€
Closest Metro Station: Cardinal Lemoine

Ernest et Valentin:
Closest Metro Station: Dugommier

Aux Merveilleux de Fred: Little meringue balls covered with chocolate pieces or nut brittle. Price Range: 1,6€ for a small one, 3€ for a chocolate or sugar brioche Good to know: Go for the nut brittle one and try the sugared brioche!

Patisserie Des Rêves: Stylish bakery selling artfully constructed mini cakes in all kinds of variations. Price Range: 5-9€ Good to know: They also have one in London.

Food Shopping:

You're a foodie? Well, then Paris is the place for you to be! Fresh vegetables, cheese, wine, ham and baked goods are not a rarity here and there are many, many places that seduce you to buy at least something.

La Grande Epicerie de Paris: Big, stylish, a bit expensive food store, simliar to the one in Harrods, KaDeWe, or elsewhere. Good to know: They have a fresh fish bar, a cheese stand and also water for 60€, but you can also get cheaper things.

Maison Plisson: Deli and cafe/restaurant selling wine, fresh cheese, meat and vegetables. Good coffee and cakes.

Fauchon: High-quality deli serving savoury eclairs as well as macarons and other baked goods. Good to know: Try their Canele de Bordeaux

Jean-Francois Dubois Fromagerie: Several kinds of fresh, intensive and tasteful cheese close to St-Germain-des-Pres

..and a lot more on rue Cler, rue de Martyrs and rue Daguerre and others.

Third wave coffee and other cafes:

I have talked a bit about third wave coffee HERE, otherwise THIS is quite a good article, too.
When it comes to coffee, Parisians are quite special. They don't really like the American style take-away way and prefer to take their time, sit down with a coffee and go when it's finished.

That's most probably why there are almost no 'modern' coffee shops on the left bank of Paris, but are all rather centred in the 10th, 11th and 12th arrondissements, the more hipsterish areas - and there, believe me, you have loads of these cafes. 

I am not gonna write extensive descriptions about each coffee place, Price Range normally is around 4-5€ for a latte, capuccino or flat white and they are all good, worth a visit.

Merci concept store: Two-storey concept store in the 11th arrondissement with two cafes and a restaurant. My preferred one is the used book cafe where you can borrow and buy books while enjoying a cup of coffee. Good to know: Cakes are a bit expensive here - I think 7€ for a loaf of banana bread is a bit overpriced.
Closest Metro Station: Filles du Calvaire

Fragments: Good to know: 1. They also serve brunch 2. Waiters are very nice 3. They get coffee from Coffee Collective, Copenhagen; Five Elephant, Berlin and others and are serving filter coffee.
Closest Metro Station: Chemin Vert

Fondation Coffee
Closest Metro Station: Republique

Coutume and Coutume Instituutti: Good to know: Two different locations, one of them is in the 5th, based in the Finnish centre for culture, which is also a great location to get some stuff done for university.
Closest Metro Station: Either: Sevres-Babylone or for the Instituutti: Cluny-La Sorbonne

Cafe Kitsune: Japanese music label and clothing store selling coffee in their shop on Boulevard Beaumarchais and delicious matcha latte in their cafe in the Jardin du Palais Royal. Good to know: I prefer the one in the Jardin du Palais Royal, because the baristas are friendlier, coffee is better and the location is beautiful.
Closest Metro: Palais Royal-Musee du Louvre

Cafe Craft: Cafe and co-working space close to Canal St Martin. Good to know: For co-working it is minimum 3€ consumption.
Closest Metro Station: Jacques Bonsergent

The Broken Arm: Clothing store next door.
Closest Metro Station: Temple

Ob-La-Di: Little, cosy cafe in the 3rd arrondissement, serving great coffee as well as several breakfast and healthy lunch dishes.
Closest Metro Station: Filles du Calvaire

French-American Bakery FAB: Serving lunch combos, banana bread, smoothies and good coffee.
Closest Metro Station: Chateau d'Eau

Toraya Salon de The: Japanese tea salon close to the Tuileries and the Louvre serving matcha tea and japanese pastries as well as (expensive) lunch.
Closest Metro Station: Tuileries

Other nice spots:

  1. Canal St. Martin
  2. Parc Buttes Chaumant
  3. Bois et Chateau de Vincennes
  4. Palais de Tokyo
  5. Jardin du Palais Royal
  6. Ile St Louis

On my to-do list and (hopefully) soon on the blog:
Urfa Durum, 52 Strasbourg St Dennis, Claus, Boot Cafe, Folks and Sparrows, Bespoke, Telescope, Le Chateaubriand, Seb'on Montmartre, Holybelly, Au Passage, Le Dauphin, Rosemary, A la cloche d'or, Julhes, Cafe Sesame, Le Baranaan, Moonshiner, Kotteri Ramen Naritake, Du pain et des idees,
Des gateaux et du pain, Dose, Shakespeare and Company

...and others. If anyone has any more suggestions I am very happy to hear them. Always love to get recommendations by locals or other foodies. 

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  1. vielen Dank, jetzt hab ich Hunger :D cooler Post.

    beste Grüße