This must be the most frequent request I have from friends and colleagues: can you give me your best tips for places to eat, shops to visit, things to do with kids in Paris. I have my favourites of course but having left Paris a few years ago, I am not as much in the know as my local friends.
So I asked them for their recommendations on restaurants, shops, cafés etc.. Here it is, the true list of the best places to go as if you were a true Parisian starting today with the restaurants.
There is also a handy map at the bottom of the post to view all of them.
The best restaurants Parisians truly like – classic French
Chic and relaxed bistrot with a menu on a black slate which adds a bit of fantasy to classic French dishes. Mr Big and I had diner there during our honeymoon and really liked the relaxed atmosphere and the good food with fresh produce.
The menu reads like a bast from my childhood: “oeuf mayo”, “escalopes de dinde à la crème”, “tarte aux pommes” and my friends tell me that it’s the best “egg mayo” in Paris. Guaranteed true French experience then.
For a bit of classic refined cuisine, my friend recommends this restaurant in the Montmartre area. I like the decor which is classy but not too formal. The chef just received his first Michelin star. Go quickly before it becomes too busy.
Located in the magnificent Galerie Vivienne (do wander around the various “passages” in Paris like this one), this wine shop has now opened a wine-tasting bar where you can choose a wine as well as choice bites: plates of charcuterie, saucisson, hams, tuna, salads. At lunchtime, their chef creates hot dishes based on the produce of the season. Booking is mandatory but you can do it online on their site.
According to my friend “a unique place, not chic but worthy of being added to the Unesco heritage list. You are transported back in time to Tunis in the 60’s. Bob makes you a sandwich ‘with everything inside’: tuna, crushed tomatoes, confit lemon, olives, chill, olive oil, capers. It’s so delicious, there are no words. When Bob dies, half of the neighbourhood will be in mourning”.. Need I say more?
Further into the 13th and you get into the Chinese neighbourhood in Paris where you’ll find this very good Vietnamese restaurant. You won’t come for the decor as the neon lights remind you of your childhood but for the Pho soups, filled with noodles, meat-balls, beef, or chicken, all served with fresh mint and basil.
Classic pancakes from Brittany are hard to find. They are nothing like American or Dutch pancakes. They are made with sourdough flour and are just so delicious. I haven’t been to this place but according to my friend, they really make them like in Brittany. You ought to try!