A Travellerspoint blog

Restaurants in Paris

What to expect - Budgeting - Favorite Restaurants and some others (At the end, you'll find addresses and links to a few nice restaurants)


View Dordogne and Occitanie & Around France and through Switzerland 1998 & Provence 2014 & Pays de la Loire & Bordeaux, Basque country and the Dordogne 2017 & Around France with Jean 2000 on Beausoleil's travel map.

Café Le St. Germain near our Metro stop

Café Le St. Germain near our Metro stop

Service is different in France.

Restaurants in France are required to post their menus outside so you don't have to worry about sitting down and discovering you can't afford anything on the menu. The French cruise the menus. You can do that too. Look until you find what you want to eat at a price you like. Try not to go in, sit down and then decide you don't want to stay. That just isn't done and there is no need since the menu is posted outside.

If you want to eat, sit at a table set for a meal or wait to be seated. If you just want a coffee or other drink, choose a table that is not set for a meal. If you order only a drink at a table set for a meal, expect to be asked (politely) to move. It's the same in and out.

Check below for some restaurants we've enjoyed in Paris.

*****

Le Petite Hostellerie on rue de la Harpe

Le Petite Hostellerie on rue de la Harpe

Most waiters in France are very professional and very proud of doing an excellent job no matter what the prices are in the restaurant.

On the other hand, don't expect French waiters to introduce themselves to you when they arrive at your table. "Hi, I'm Jacques. I'll be your server today." It just won't happen. They will take your order. You will receive your order. No one will come back (when your mouth is full) and ask if everything is okay. They expect you to have enough sense to tell them If something is wrong. If there is, tell them and they will fix it. You will not see them again unless you call them. They think it is intrusive to interrupt your meal so they leave you alone to enjoy i t . . . nearly forever unless you realize you won't get the bill until you ask for it. What many people regard as poor service is just a cultural difference. They will not try to hurry you. The table is yours until you ask for the check. If you don't ask for the check, you can sit there all night. Funny!

If there is a problem with your order, tell the waiter as soon as possible so he can take care of it. We've always found them to be very helpful and sympathetic.

*****



Le Cabanon de la Butte in Montmartre

Le Cabanon de la Butte in Montmartre

A menu in France is called a carte. The word Menu refers to a selection of courses at a fixed price that are listed on the carte. There are usually two or three choices at different prices. When you order, you simply ask for the 15 euro Menu. If there is a choice of appetizers or any other courses, the waiter will ask your preferences, but the cheaper the Menu, the fewer your choices will be. If you like the fixed choices, it's a great bargain and one we often use. (Sometimes the fixed price offer is called a Formula or Special du Jour instead of a Menu.)

If you don't order a Menu, you order a la Carte (or off the menu card) and it can be more expensive depending on how many courses you choose and their price but you are free to order anything on the menu.

Fun Story: Once in Brittany we walked into a little country restaurant and without thinking asked for the menu. After a decent interval, the waitress brought out a starter. We were quite surprised as we expected a printed menu to make our choice, i.e. the carte. This was followed in due time by a wonderful roasted chicken dish and a lovely tart. We noticed most of the people in the little restaurant were eating the same thing and that they all knew each other. Our waitress didn't speak English; she wasn't used to dealing with tourists as all the patrons were local and to her, the menu that we asked for was the "Special Menu" of the day. They didn't have a choice of menus at different prices. Each day there was a special and that was your choice unless you ordered a la carte. Fortunately, we loved the meal... and quickly realized we were back in France!

Pain et Chocolat, near the Eiffel Tower

Pain et Chocolat, near the Eiffel Tower

How do you budget for food in Paris?

On the Forum, people ask how much to budget for food when planning trips. We just returned from a month in Paris and found excellent meals at 10.90 euros; however, once we paid 45 euros (didn't return there) for a meal. Interestingly the 10.90 euro meals tasted a lot better than the 45 euro meal and we returned there often. [This particular trip was in 2014 so the prices will be higher today. Check web sites.]

My husband (who paid the bills) says on that trip, our average price per meal was 25 to 35 dollars. He thinks in dollars and I think in euros but you will be paying in euros so check the exchange rate near the time you are going. (You can usually find a Menu du Jour or Formula in the range of 12 euros up to 35 to 45 euros.) There are also places with fixed price menus of 10.90 euros and the one near where we stayed was fabulous. We loved it. Good food; good service; good price. It was our go-to café when we didn't have other plans. We tried all their daily specials and they were all good. In fact, we ate there nine different times over the month.

We usually get the fixed price menu, either a starter and main course or a main course and dessert. If you want three courses, it will cost more. If you don't want the fixed price menu, it will cost more. The fixed price menu usually does not include your drink. We usually get a glass or small pitcher of wine with each meal. You may also ask for a "carafe d'eau" or bottle of tap water for free and no one will think you strange. On our last trip (a few months ago), this was being brought to the table automatically and was chilled. France is changing . . .

The restaurants post their menus outside or in the window so you can check the menu before you enter. If you don't see something you will enjoy eating at a price you are willing to pay, walk on to the next restaurant. The French do this and you can join them. My husband loves cruising menus.

Boulangerie les Deux Frères in Montmartre

Boulangerie les Deux Frères in Montmartre

Can you eat for less than this? Yes, of course. Walk a few blocks from tourist sites and prices go down. Street food is nearly always good and in Paris you have a lot of different choices. Most boulangeries (bakeries) have a few deli-type items like pizza or sandwiches and most epiceries (grocery stores) will have some deli items. Any charcuterie (deli) will have many picnic-worthy items. You can find a park bench nearly everywhere in Paris and join the Parisians having their own picnics. There are crepe stands and sandwich vendors . . . all very reasonable. Ethnic restaurants can often be less expensive if you are feeling adventurous. You can spend a little or a lot in Paris. It's your choice.

*****

Restaurants we have enjoyed over the years

La Bastide d'Opio, our favorite Paris restaurant

La Bastide d'Opio, our favorite Paris restaurant

La Bastide d'Opio - A bit of Provence in Paris and our very favorite restaurant (unfortunately, now closed)

We've eaten in this little restaurant many times and every time it has been a wonderful experience. It's tucked away on rue Guisarde in the St. Germain district (6th arrondissement). We first discovered it when staying nearby at Hotel Clement but since then we make a point of getting there at least once on each trip to Paris. Once when we were spending a month in Paris, La Bastide d'Opio was our Sunday dinner restaurant since it was close to St. Sulpice where we enjoy the church with an organ recital after the service.

The decor reminds us of Provence, as it is supposed to, and the ambience is pure Provence including a very good wait staff. It is all warm woods, Provencal fabrics, the soft sound of crickets (recorded) and an upstairs room for the overflow crowd. There is always an overflow crowd.

La Bastide d'Opio, our favorite Paris restaurant

La Bastide d'Opio, our favorite Paris restaurant


I love the eggplant starter and my favorite main dish is the rabbit stewed with olives. However, the last time my husband and I had duck and it was melt-in-the-mouth fabulous. The most fun experience was with our youngest daughter who ordered the marinated beef brochettes. The shish-kabob arrived hanging on a stand suspended above her plate. We had a good laugh, grabbed our cameras and took pictures. She wrestled it onto her plate and reported it was delicious. Our older daughter got a pasta dish and loved it but often we have pasta at home so I've never tried it there. I usually skip dessert but once when one daughter was with us, we ordered two chocolate cakes with chocolate filling and a crême brulée that were all excellent. I've had dessert a few times now and it's always been very good. [The brochettes are no longer served on a skewer since a child poked himself in the eye while playing with one once. Child and eye are okay; skewers are not. I had an unskewered brochette on a recent trip and it tasted excellent but wasn't nearly as much fun!]

The menu is moderately priced and everything we've tried has been excellent. It does change with the seasons but it should.

*****

Restaurant La Bonne Excuse in Paris

Restaurant La Bonne Excuse in Paris

La Bonne Excuse - A wonderful new restaurant in Paris

We found this new restaurant down the street from our apartment and love it. We planned to go to another restaurant (across the street) and accidentally walked into La Bonne Excuse without looking at the name and made a reservation for our 50th anniversary dinner. That evening we walked down and entered to discover while chatting with the waitress that we were in La Bonne Excuse, a new restaurant. The welcome had been so warm and we had checked the menu before reserving and knew we could get what we wanted for dinner so didn't worry about it.

As it turned out, the service was fantastic, the food was delicious and they even brought our desserts out with sparklers for our anniversary. It was the perfect anniversary experience. We couldn't have done better if we had planned it. Serendipity . . .

Lamb with my vegetable choice

Lamb with my vegetable choice

They serve traditional French cuisine but with a modern twist and all their food is organic. It is a bit more than we usually pay for a dinner but it was a special night and it was truly worth the cost.

For our anniversary, I ordered the saddle of lamb but asked for the vegetables that came with the pork. I saw the waitress discussing this with the chef and he came out to discuss it with me. He didn't feel the vegetables with the pork would be suitable with the lamb so he asked me what vegetables I like and asked me to trust him. I was very glad I did. The succulent lamb came out with a melange of my favorite vegetables covered in edible flower petals. It not only tasted great; it was beautiful.

My husband did get the pork and loved his vegetables but I could see why they wouldn't have gone with my lamb. Both meals were excellent, fork-tender meat. I don't even remember what we had for dessert, just that it came out with lit sparklers. It was a complete surprise and great fun. Everyone in the restaurant wished us a Happy 50th annniversary and that was fun too.

This is a chef who cares about what he serves but is still flexible.

Interestingly, we returned 18 months later. We were in Paris and had such great memories that we decided to splurge and go to La Bonne Excuse again. They recognized us when we walked in which was a complete surprise. It felt like coming home and the food was equally good the second time. It has now become one of our two favorite restaurants in Paris and while we can't afford it often, we try to eat there at least once on each trip.

Address: 48 rue de Verneuil, 75007 Paris
Price Comparison: more expensive than average
Directions: Near the Musee d'Orsay on rue de Verneuil
Other Contact: [email protected]
Phone: +33 (0)1 4261 5021
Price: US$31-40

Website: La Bonne Excuse web site

*****

Brasserie Lipp

Brasserie Lipp

Brasserie Lipp: Yes, it's touristy, but it's also literary!

There are three famous cafés near the Church of St. German des Pres, the Deux Magots, the Café Flore and Brasserie Lipp. All are mentioned in literature and connected to the marvelous era when Hemingway was in Paris. We decided to ignore the fact that they are considered tourist traps and eat in one of them just to say we'd been there. If you can't have fun being a tourist in Paris, why go there?

We couldn't find the posted menu at Deux Magots and it was very crowded. Café Flore was crowded beyond all belief so we headed across the street to Brasserie Lipp where the afternoon coffee crowd had left and the evening dinner crowd hadn't arrived and got a table (after making sure we could afford it). It was a cold, rainy November night and the outside menu tempted us inside with fondue . . . comfort food if ever there was comfort food.

The waiter was very nice and seated us in the back near a table of German businessmen, a French family and a lone French woman. We were subsequently joined by another French woman with what appeared to be her grandson or young nephew. It was warm and quiet and the waiters were friendly and efficient.

We had an excellent dinner, very well served, for more than we usually spend, but we decided it was worth it. The lighting in the restaurant is subdued and the three waiters in our section obviously enjoyed their work. It was warm and friendly and worth every penny we paid. When we left several hours later, we noticed the cafe was completely full so If you don't have a reservation, go early, 7ish perhaps.

Prices: Special du Jour from 22 to 29 euros; plats (main course) from 18 euros
Phone: +33 (0)1 4548-5391
Address: 151 Boulevard Saint Germain, 75006 Paris, near St. Germain des Pres
Directions: Just down the street from St. Germain des Pres church and on the opposite side of the street
Click here to check their menu: Brasserie Lipp web site

*****

Café de L'Empire in Paris

Café de L'Empire in Paris

Café de l’Empire

We spent the month of June in Paris and rented an apartment. Fortunately for us, there was a marvelous little neighborhood restaurant a block from us and we managed to eat there nine times during the month. It was that good.

The kitchen is open so, with the right table, you can watch the chef. The wait staff were unfailingly friendly and we noticed all the local shopkeepers and workers eat there daily. After our third visit, the manager waved to us when we walked by on the street.

What brought us back, however, was the food. They had a daily special for 10.90 euros and it was always excellent. I tried them all and loved them all.

Favorite Dish: Here are some of my Journal entries for days we ate there. The first time we had just landed in Paris and I was determined to have confit de canard so we walked around to all the nearby restaurants and checked menus and prices. The menus I liked were way out of our price range so we retreated to L'Empire because they had the confit I wanted and the price was ridiculously low compared to the other places nearby. It was fabulous! We were so glad we found it. Here are some of my Journal entries:

"It was very late for lunch, almost the two o’clock witching hour so we walked back to our apartment and left hats and things before walking quickly to L’Empire a block away. Ed got the chicken I had had the other day and I got the daily special, pintade (guinea fowl), and both meals were perfection. I got the chocolate cake and ice cream for dessert and Ed got an amazing combination of prunes, ice-cream and passion fruit. This little café is a delight. Meals were 10.90 euros each . . . unbelievable."

". . . we walked down to Café L’Empire for another great meal. The daily special was pork with couscous . . . an odd combination but delicious. Portions were so generous neither of us could finish our meal and we skipped dessert."

"She gave us the English menu but we have it memorized so didn’t even notice. We both had the excellent chicken and got the nougat ice cream with very dark chocolate sauce. It was great, as usual." (I will note here that I have trouble reading English menus so we always ask for the French menu so we know what we are getting since they don't always translate them accurately into English. That's why I mentioned the English menu here, but if you need an English menu, obviously, they have one.)

Address: 17 rue de Bac, 75007 Paris
Directions: On the corner of rue de Bac and rue de Verneuil
Phone: +33 (0)1 4015 9118
Price: US$11-20
Website: Café de L'Empire web site

*****

Au Lys D'Argent on the Ile St. Louis

Au Lys D'Argent on the Ile St. Louis

Au Lys d’Argent Salon de Thé

This was another of our happy accidents. We were looking for a restaurant I had chosen near Notre Dame and simply couldn't find it. We wandered over to the Ile St. Louis and while I was looking at menus, my husband spotted Au Lys d’Argent Salon de Thé. He found me and we walked around to Au Lys d'Argent and entered. It's small but very homey inside. There were a few regulars who had their own seats and then a few tourists who wandered in. In theory it is a salon de thé and creperie but neither of us likes crepes so we ordered from the menu.

We both had a hot goat cheese salad, quiche Lorraine and Berthillon's ice cream for 10.90 euros each. Honestly, we were very surprised at the price on the Ile St. Louis. This is prime tourist territory and the prices usually reflect that. The best part was the charming waitress and the delicious food. We felt like we were eating in someone's home.We both decided this is a real find and we'll be back.

^^^^^

Au Lys D'Argent on the Ile St. Louis

Au Lys D'Argent on the Ile St. Louis


Address: 90 Rue Saint-Louis en l'Île, 75004 Paris
Directions: Cross Pont St. Louis and take the second right onto Rue Saint-Louis en l'Île
Phone: +33 (0)1 4633 5613
Price: US$11-20
Website: (no web site but you can do a search for photos)

*****

*****

*****

Le Petite Hostellerie on rue de la Harpe

Le Petite Hostellerie on rue de la Harpe

La Petite Hostellerie

This is a tiny hotel in the Latin Quarter with a restaurant on the ground floor. We noticed it because it was a cold, rainy November night and we wanted a nice warm cheese fondue. When we walked past this place which looks quintessentially French, we saw fondue on the menu and it looked very warm and friendly inside. We went in and it was filled with locals and a few tourists. Several people were singles and obviously had their own tables and knew the wait staff. It was warm and friendly and the fondue was excellent. We later met our waitress on the street and she remembered us and stopped and chatted. I can see why people return. UPDATE: I've read this restaurant has changed hands and reviews were mixed. We walked by a couple weeks ago and they have added tables outside that looked nice but it wasn't time to eat so we didn't check the food. We'll check it next time we're in Paris and give another update . . . or send me your opinion. Further UPDATE: We revisited the restaurant on our last trip to Paris and it has been redecorated and appears much cleaner but the food didn't seem any better for the change. It was adequate but we've found much nicer restaurants in the same price range so if you are in the area, it's adequate but certainly not worth a trip out of the way to eat there. We were visiting the Cluny Museum up the street (a favorite) so it was a good place for lunch.

The first time we had the cheese fondue which was on special that night. We returned two nights later and ordered from the carte. I don't remember what we each ordered but I do remember it wasn't as good as the special. The last time we ate there I had lamb and my husband had a pork filet. It was all okay but not outstanding. The desserts were excellent but it's hard to get a bad dessert in Paris. I suspect if you go here that you should order the special rather than just ordering from the menu. That's what the locals did and they seemed to keep returning so that must be the trick. It's not a bad policy for any restaurant but especially in the lower price ranges. They can't afford to disappoint their regular customers and these are the people who nearly always order the special.

Address: 35 rue de la Harpe
Directions: It's about halfway down rue de la Harpe on the east side of the street with a new green awning.
Phone: +33 1 4634-3950
Price: US$11-20
Website: (no web site but you can do a search for photos)

*****

Pizza del Castello in Vincennes across from the Château

Pizza del Castello in Vincennes across from the Château

Pizza del Castello

We took the #1 Metro line to the very end which is the Chateau de Vincennes and happily explored the huge, medieval chateau all morning. By the time we climbed up and down all those stairs, we were hungry. We left the chateau by the Metro entrance and turned left down ave. de Paris past an array of restaurants. We carefully checked menus for selections and prices and kept walking. At the corner of ave. de Paris and rue Robert Giraudineau we found what we wanted. Something different. We had been eating French food twice daily for a while and it was time for a change. We looked at the menu at Pizza del Castello and cheerfully entered. It was busy but not frantic and the waiters were pure Italian.

We weren't quite up to a pizza so ordered the daily menu which was excellent. We had a lot of fun watching the pizza chef (yes, they have a pizza chef) making the pizzas and putting them in the wood-fired oven. It is not gourmet cuisine and it certainly is not French cuisine, but if you want a change for a meal, this is perfect. It is also very convenient for the Chateau de Vincennes (across the street) and the Parc Floral de Paris if you intend a visit there. Our meals were excellent and I must admit the pizzas looked and smelled fantastic. Must admit I forgot to take any photos so here is a Google Map photo. Do check the restaurant web site because the pictures are absolutely what you will see.

Address: 26 ave. de Paris
Directions: Directly across from the statue of St. Louis in front of the Chateau de Vincennes
Phone: +33 (0)1 4328 3357
Website:Pizza del Castello web site

*****

Le Lutetia Cafe, Ile St. Louis - Paris

Le Lutetia Cafe, Ile St. Louis - Paris

Le Lutetia on the Ile St. Louis

We found Le Lutetia on our second trip to France. We arrived, foolishly picked up our leased Peugeot (took 2 trips to learn not to get the car until leaving the city), checked into our hotel after parking illegally, walked off our jet lag and decided we needed food. We were staying near Place des Vosges that year and as we walked toward the Ile de la Cité, we found Le Lutetia on a corner facing the Seine on the Ile St. Louis . . . idyllic. It was a lovely July day and the menu was perfect. Service was pleasant and prompt, the food delicious and the view of the Seine magnificent. We've eaten here three times on three different trips, one including our adult daughters. We thoroughly enjoyed it each time. The food has been good and the service excellent. The views are outstanding. You can't beat the location. We will return, I'm sure. (As a post script, yes, we've returned several times.)

My journal entry for our first visit states, "We had salmon with noodles and I had a Greek salad. Great lunch."Of course since it's on the Ile St. Louis, one of their dessert offerings is Berthillon's ice cream. I would eat there just for the ice cream. It is fabulous . . . and if you're in Paris in August, Berthillon's is on vacation and you have to get the ice cream at a local restaurant. Berthillon's don't have a web site so all I can suggest is use a search engine for reviews.

Address: 33, quai Bourbon 75004 Paris
Directions: Ile St. Louis in Paris, Corner of rue de Bellay and Quai de Bourbon
Phone: +33 (0)1 4051-8030
Website: Le Lutetia Restaurant web site

*****

Le Nemours at Place Colette

Le Nemours at Place Colette

Café Nemours

Right on Place Colette at the Palais Royal-Louvre metro station (the bubbly one), this cafe-brasserie is a great place to stop for a coffee . . . or a meal. Our hotel was just around the corner so we walked over for a celebratory kir when we arrived back in Paris after being gone a month. That day there was a full string orchestra playing on the square so we sat, drank and enjoyed. Another morning we decided to skip breakfast at our hotel and visit Le Nemours for breakfast. Not only was it excellent, it cost less than the hotel breakfast and we had the fun of watching all Paris go to work . . . while we vacationed.

View from Café le Nemours

View from Café le Nemours

They make a nice kir, an excellent coffee and hot chocolate and their breakfasts are wonderful. The wait staff is very considerate and realize you are there for both food and the never-ending show walking through Place Colette either to the Louvre or the Palais Royal Gardens. If you want something, they are there. If you want to be left alone, they leave you alone to enjoy yourselves. They have the usual croque madame and croque monsieur, quiches, pastries, salads and probably many other things and their prices are amazingly reasonable considering the location. If you want a light lunch . . . or late supper, it's a great place to go because the Place Colette is always busy and fun. One December day we stopped for a quiche and Croque Monsieur on our way to the train for Strasbourg. It's more fun when it's warmer and you can sit outside and enjoy the constant parade of interesting people and I'm always fascinated by the very gaudy Metro station at Place Colette.

Address: 2 Place Colette, Paris 75001
Directions: It's right behind the Palais Royal-Louvre metro station on Place Colette.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +33 (0)1 4261 3414
Price: US$10-20
Website: Café Le Nemours web site

*****

Le Grand Colbert in Paris

Le Grand Colbert in Paris

Le Grand Colbert

This lovely restaurant is hidden away in the 2nd arrondissement just off the first. It's in the area behind the Palais Royal Gardens and near the lovely galleries Colbert and Vivienne. It has the typical Paris bistro-type store front. You walk in and are transported back to Belle Epoque Paris with wood paneling and lots of mirrors and brass light fixtures. It is just beautiful.The wait staff were attentive and polite and all seemed to truly enjoy their job . . . and it was crowded. It was our last night in Paris on our latest trip and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Can't wait to return and take our daughters to dinner there.

My journal entry for the meal: So sad, our last night in Paris for a while. We went to Le Grand Colbert, 2 rue Vivienne for a marvelous dinner. It is Belle Epoque Paris with an excellent wait staff, excellent food and ambience to die for. We both got magret de canard cooked to perfection and since we were stuffed, I simply got two boules of ice cream for dessert . . . café and chocolat and they were intense! Just a lovely last night in Paris. There are no people in the restaurant in the photos here because we opened the place. We like to eat early so it was 7ish. By the time we left a few hours later, it was completely full so if you eat at a normal hour, make a reservation.

*****

Le Grand Colbert in Paris

Le Grand Colbert in Paris

Address: 2 rue Vivienne, 75002 Paris
Directions: Directly behind (north) the Palais Royal Gardens. I suspect you can get in via the Galerie Colbert but we entered from rue Vivienne
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +33 (0)1 4286 8788
Price: US$11-20
Website: Le Grand Colbert web site

*****

Street market near La Corniche Restaurant

Street market near La Corniche Restaurant

La Corniche

We were exploring the Parc Monceau with our daughters and started looking for lunch. It was May 1st which is Labor Day in France and many places were closed. We rounded a corner and saw this Tunisian restaurant open. All of us enjoy couscous so we decided to see what it was like in Paris. The welcome was warm and friendly. Nearly all the patrons were large families there for their holiday dinner. The waiter explained all the menu offerings to us and the four of us managed to agree on our orders. Then the fun began. It is all served family style so we got tastes of everything . . . and there was a LOT. We couldn't begin to finish it all, but we had a great time trying. It is not far from the Arc de Triomphe and would be worth the short walk. (Restaurant closed on Sunday.)

Here is my journal entry for lunch: We walked back to blvd. de Courcelles where we found Restaurant La Corniche and had a really fun meal in a friendly neighborhood restaurant serving couscous specialties. We ordered family style and got crudités to start . . . all served in individual dishes. Then they brought out a huge platter of couscous, another huge platter of chicken brochettes, sausages and vegetables, a bowl of garbanzos in sauce, a separate large bowl of sauce and a small pot of a rich spicy sauce as seasoning. It was all very good . . . so good we were too full for dessert. We decided Tunisian cuisine in Paris is a very good thing.

Address: 77 blvd. de Courcelles
Directions: on blvd. de Courcelles near Parc Monceau and St. Andre Nevsky Russian Orthodox cathedral
Email: http://www.harissa.com/D_bouffe/
Phone: +33 (0)1 4227-3897
Website: La Corniche web site

*****

View from Café le Saint-Médard

View from Café le Saint-Médard

Le Café Saint-Médard

We arrived in Paris after a very long flight (from California) and it wasn't late enough to check into our hotel. We stopped at the hotel and left our luggage with them and started out to find lunch as near as possible to the hotel since we were tired. We rounded a corner onto Rue Censier and spotted a pleasant café at the end of the block. Lunch! We checked the menu and were happy with it. There is a nice variety of choices. You can eat outside and there is a lovely fountain at the foot of Rue Mouffetard and you can watch people coming and going from the very colorful and active market there. Service was excellent and the location couldn't be better. Prices are reasonable. It's also a good place to stop for a glass of wine or a coffee in the afternoon.

We both had an open-face Toscana Tarte and salad and it was lovely. Our young waiter was fun, friendly and helpful. The passing crowd of shoppers going to the Rue Mouffetard Market was great fun and there were people sitting on the nearby fountain eating sandwiches and talking. They offer croques, omelettes and quiches and a vast array of salads along with a regular menu. This is not gourmet fare, just good Paris cooking for a lovely lunch, especially handy if you are shopping at the adjoining market. Take time to visit St. Médard Church across the street while in the area.

Address: 53 rue Censier, 75005 Paris
Directions: At the foot of the Rue Mouffetard Market at Rue Censier and the fountain
Phone: +33 (0)1 4331-3299
Website: Café le Saint-Médard web site

There are a dozen restaurants reviewed here which gives you a good start. When looking for restaurants, and we are looking for restaurants with good food that won't break our budget, we ask people we meet during the day where they like to eat. The secret here is to ask where they actually eat, not what they recommend. If you ask for recommendations, you usually get a popular tourist spot. If you ask where they actually eat instead, you will find some very nice, small neighborhood restaurants. And then there is serendipity . . . .

Tips

Posted by Beausoleil 16:14 Archived in France

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Comments

Excellent round-up - both the general advice and the reviews. I only wish you'd posted this before our recent trip! But we will be going back soon I suspect, and when we do La Bonne Excuse will be top of my list :)

by ToonSarah

Sorry, I meant to say that the link to La Bonne Excuse isn't correct - it seems to be a restaurant with the same name in Lebanon!

by ToonSarah

I have just bookmarked this page for future reference. Very useful! There are so many restaurants in Paris and most of these are unknown to me. But I have been to Café le Nemours and the one in Vincennes.

by Nemorino

Hi Sarah. Thank you. The web site worked when I entered it but they seem to have changed it in the interim. I put in the new web site but it's not nearly as attractive. The photos are accurate as is the menu so I guess it's okay. At any rate, right now there is a viable web site on my blog entry. Hard to keep up with all the links so thank you very much.

by Beausoleil

It is hard to keep up with links, I agree. Sometimes I wonder if I should include them, for that reason, but it's so helpful when people do :)

by ToonSarah

Sarah, this is interesting. I got a completely different (and lovely) web site on my computer. I opened it on my phone and then on my tablet and it was bare bones. Then just now I tried it on my laptop and it's a very nice web site. I think they just upgraded to a nicer web site as I posted so the first link didn't work. This link works but what you see depends on whether you use a mobile, tablet or computer. At any rate, try the current web link on your computer (laptop or desktop) and you should get a nice web site for La Bonne Excuse. Sometimes I get a little annoyed at mobile web sites . . .

by Beausoleil

Hi Sally. I was using my laptop when I got the wrong site this morning, and now you've changed it I get the one I found by Googling, so all seems OK now :)

by ToonSarah

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