Food Lovers' France: 2004
Snails... horse meat... tongue... goose liver paté... stinky cheese.... Even people who like American fast food might enjoy Europe's top cuisine. Share your best treats in France.
L'As du Falafel
My favorite place for a cheap, quick meal in Paris is l'As du Falafel in the Marais (rue des rosiers I think). Not very French, but VERY Parisian (this will be evident by the huge lines and crowds of people at meal times, especially on Sundays). Make sure you go to l'As du Falafel (toujours imite, jamais egale) and not the tons of other falafel places on the street. For 4 euros the Falafel Special pita sandwich is a complete balanced meal (and utterly delicious). My mouth is watering just thinking about it...I think Rick mentions this one in his book...
Paris, France Fri 12/03/2004
Went to Georges Pompideau modern art museum and followed Rick's recommendations for FLUNCH. WOW! We were blown away by this inexpensive cafeteria. Lunch for two--crunchy fish fillets, and all the pasta and veg we could pile on, plus two small individual bottles of wine, and a shared chocolate dessert for less than $18.oo. Tap water and complimentary sauces were to be had after the cash register. What a lovely, convenient place to relax (and of course people watch)!
Sewell, NJ USA Fri 11/19/2004
Eating & Drinking in Paris
My boyfriend and I spent a wonderful two weeks in Paris and found the food amazing and delicious. The following were our favorites and on two of them, we went back a second time. I strongly recommend them:
Chartier, 7 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009, 9th Arr. (Tel 01 47 70 86 29). The food is incredible here and very affordable. They change the menu everyday and the pre-fixe menu is usually under 20 euros per person. I would recommend arriving early either for lunch or dinner. It's very popular amongst European tourists and they don't take reservations. The escargot was wonderful, along with the tastey sausage entree and seafood entrees. I would also recommend bringing along a good menu-decoder as the entire menu is in French and most of the waiters do not speak English. We ordered a la carte and the bill still came out to 35-38 euros for two.
Mannekin-Pis, 4 Rue Daunou, 9th arr near the Opera House (Tel 07 47 042 85 03). The pre-fixe menus are written on the windows and are extremely affordable. For only 12 euros, my boyfriend and I had a seemingly bottomless bowl of steamed mussels, French bread, and beer. It was so incredible, we came back for more! The manager/owner and the waiters are extremely friendly. When they saw us reading our menu-decoder, they helped us out and explained everything in English.
Harry's American Bar, 5 Rue Danou, 9th arr, right across from Mannekin-Pis. The drinks aren't inexpensive here, but well worth it for the experience. The bartenders are incredibly friendly. Order a mint julep and watch them make it from scratch as they pound mint leaves, sugar and other ingredients to make a mint-type concentrate, then add the alcohol. It was an experience to just watch them make it. They also do the same with a mojito. Just be prepared to spend about 15 euros per drink. It's definitely worth trying at least once.
Le Train Bleu, Place Louis Armand, 75012, in the Gare Du Nord train station. (Reservations are recommended. Tel - 01 43 43 09 06) If you're willing to splurge, this is a great restaurant to do it. It's incredibly beautiful like a museum or church complete with breath-taking paintings on the ceiling and plush dining furniture. The food was just too good to describe. For the pre-fixe menu for lunch, it was 43 euros per person. Not bad for what seemed to be a decadent meal.
And of course, La Varangue. Although wonderful Philippe has become quite popular with Rick Steve's followers, I strongly recommend this restaurant. The food was like homemade French food and it was just too delicious. We made the long trek there from the Opera district on a rainy day. It was well worth it and I only wish we had the time to dine there again before we left. Philippe is wonderfully kind and friendly.
CA USA Tue 09/28/2004
Some recommendations for restaurants:
ParisL'Ardoise - R. Mont Thabor in the 1st which runs parallel to R. de Rivoli - their menu changes periodically but they do a wonderful pumpkin soup, escargots, canard au vin rouge, and very delicious sorbets. Menu is only 23 euros.
Le Vieux Bistrot - in the 4th across from Notre Dame. Excellent veal filet, but the escargots were cold. A bit pricey, but good food and generous servings. They put us in the English speaking room, but....
L.Argenteuil - in the second not far from Ave. de l'Opera. Probably our favorite Paris restaurant this trip. In addition to a reasonable 26 euro menu, they gave us starters of mushroom soup that was out of this world. It also doesn't crowd its patrons.
L'Auberge d'Aveyronaisse - in the 12th just around the corner from the Cour St. Emilon metro stop on the new metro line. The aligots (cheesy - very cheesy - mashed potatoes) are their signature dish and it's entertaining to watch how they're served. There's so much cheese in these potatoes you have to develop a technique to eat them!
The Loire ValleyI must confess that after having the magret du canard at La Rosairie (in Chenonceaux), we decided Sophie & Laurent would get all our meal business - and they never disappointed us. Their duck was my favorite meal of the trip. I can't forget to mention the lovely fresh raspberry tarte with the decorative spun caramel "snood".
Mont St. Michel - Hotel Du Guesclin - on the island part way up on the right hand side of the "rue". Excellent moules. Their cafe Nourmand with calvados and cream was just the thing to ward off the cold from the wind and rain outside. The omelettes are huge so it's a good idea to split one. This was the 16 euro menu too!
Bayeux - Le Table de Terroir - just off Rue St. Jean had the best tarte tatin w/creme fraiche. Very reasonable at 21 euros.
Le Lion D'Or, probably the most expensive meal we had on the trip - but it was excellent. 45 euros for prawns, a heavenly salmon dish and the most amazing dessert of strawberries and cream in a spun sugar bowl.
RouenThe Mirabelle at 3 Vieux Marche is now the Terre-Neuvas, but it has the same phone number and still specializes in seafood. The most amazing entree - escargots in puff pastry. Too many escargots to count! The crepes with chocolate chaud were a perfect cap to the meal.
Notes: if you got to Angelina's in Paris for breakfast the croissants are large enough to split.
At La Table de Terroir - don't order cafe gourmand, if you want hot coffee. They put a large scoop of vanilla ice cream in it which though delicious, is not hot.
Annapolis, MD USA Tue 09/28/2004
We took Steves' recommendation and went to Piedoie. It was outstanding. The server (who I assume is also the owner) could not have been more gracious and helpful. The menu is in French, but he answered any questions we had about the selections. I had the Lobster stew and it was fantastic. The restaurant is very small, only about 8 tables, but good spacing between tables and nice Provencial decor. Also, L'Epicerie was a good place for lunch. Food was good, service was a little slow.
Canton, MI USA Fri 09/24/2004
La cage and Polidor
Just back from ten days in paris , Normandie and Bretagne !First a discovery : la Cage at 25 Quai de la Tournelle. The 21 euro menu was dlicious : foie gras or garlick cream escargots , steak tartare or veal ctelette à la provencale. For dessert we had a selection of crême brulé , chocolate mousse , green tea île flottant , rasberry fool. They brought us a little shooter of something strong at the end of the meal. Remy and Nicolas are fantastic host. Please note that this is a gay owned restaurant , but the clientèle is mixed. A very good evening !
We went to Polidor as well at 41 Monsieur Leprince , in the odeon distric. Not a roamtic spot , but a Paris classic (since 1846) the lentils and foie gras cream , and the pig cheeks (yesss!) in a curry sauce are delicious. The Tarte Tatin is gigantic and there cassis ice cream a true delicacie ! (19Euro menus at night, and cheaper for lunch !)
Montreal, Qc canada Thu 09/02/2004
Ice Cream in Paris
My daughter and I ate a lot of ice cream during our week in Paris and I wanted to pass on one suggestion. At the Rivoli cafeteria on the 5th floor of the Bazaar de l'Hotel de Ville department store, we found wonderful ice cream at half the price it was everywhere else in town. The fancy sundaes (coupes)that are 6-8 Euros in cafes were around 3 here, and individual scoops (boules) were .80 each, with whipped cream or chocolate sauce available for an additional .50. So for 2.90 we shared three scoops of ice cream with whipped cream, compared to 3.50 for two scoops and no whipped cream at a little cafe the day before. The ice cream was wonderful - very intense flavors. (The cafeteria was also a good place for lunch, with quite a variety of food at very reasonable prices.) We also found the soft ice cream sold on the streets to be much better than American soft ice cream and in more interesting flavors - the standard vanilla/chocolate swirl (but with more chocolatey chocolate), but also vanilly/strawberry swirl and a variety of more unusual flavors.
Denver, CO USA Tue 08/17/2004
Port-en-Bessin (Normandy) Restaurant
We had a wonderful dinner in Le Vauban restaurant in Port-en-Bessin (6, rue du nord, tel 02 31 21 74 83). they specialize in seafood. My wife had the mussels in white sauce as an appetizer -- there were at leat 50 mussels, ameal in itself!! everyone had a different seafood dish and they were all great.
Hanover, PA USA Sat 08/07/2004
good eats in paris
I think that the area in St Germain des Pres is good value. There are many restaurants in Rue Princesse. My French friends like this area. Some restaurants they always go to are:
Balzar (great chicken and pomme frites and service all day on Sundays)
Fish on Rue de Seine and its cousin across the street called COSI which had wonderful sandwhiches for a picnic on the nearby Pont Des Arts
PAUL a chain which uses only organic eggs and lettuces and grains and has a line out the door of locals waiting in morning for bread, croissants, and Brioches (they often run out early in aft) this is a popular place with locals because the food is delicious and the price is right.
Another great place is Ze Kitchen Gallerie. For a treat with a great view and wonderful wines by the glass and a place frequented mainly by French try GEORGES when at pompidou centre. We have been there twice for lunch and had wonderful food both times (and great views of Paris, some of the best in Paris, definite worth it splurge).
Near the louvre, try Le Souffle and L"ardoise, both on Rue Mont Thabor. Near Eiffel tower try Au Bon Accueil and for a splurge Violin Des Ingres. All these places are wonderful and have food unlike the usual tourist places.
Epi Dupin is a wonderful place near to Rue Cler that is usually all French (but the help does speak English and they are very helpful and friendly). If you love wines, a bargin place in the fifth is Boucherons de Francois Clerc. Another wonderful place in the fifth that is an old bistro with wonderful prune ice cream is CHez
Fairfax, Ca USA Wed 07/21/2004
Restaurant in Avignon
There was a great little seafood restaurant in Avignon called Le Pretite Peche, in the old section. The fish is fresh every day.
Vallejo, Ca. USA Tue 07/06/2004
French onion soup
We were in Paris for several days last week, and we found the world's best French onion soup in a little cafe on Avenue Bosquet. It is called Le Bistrot de Papa, and the address is
We received a very large serving of the soup, hot, delicious, and satisfying. In fact, we went back a second time and had the soup by itself for a late dinner. Absolutely wonderful!!!
Fort Myers , FL USA Mon 06/28/2004
Highly recommend eats:
Les Adrets (30 Rue du Bouf, in Vieux Lyon)
Reasonable prix fixe menu, even for dinner(starts at under 20E). Excellent & extensive cart de vin (you can get that rare Bordeaux can't find in the US but it will cost you). Try the cassoulet (sp?) The perfume of truffle sauce on the beef is heavenly. Fish is great, too--awesome attention to detail in texture, sauces--you can't go wrong. They serve that citrus sherbet thing in between courses to clear your taste buds.
Also if tempted to try Bocuse's brasseries in Lyon, might want to skip. It's kinda like going to any one of Puck's outlets (doesn't match up to orig Spagos). It's ok and all, but align expectations to food that's prepared for 200 people.
Final note: A lesson we learned after traveling there mainly to eat. Either eat well and splurge for a good (not necessarily fine dining)restaurant, or picnic and create your own meal from charcuterie, fromaggerie, grocery. Eating in between that price range (e.g. at those less expensive looking cafes) will just get you an average meal. And you're not really in France unless you're eating well.
USA Thu 06/10/2004
Don't miss these!
Just returned from Paris-I want to go back. Don't miss Harry's American Bar at 5 Rue Daunou-old haunt of Gershwin and F. Scott Fitzgerald-birtplace of the Bloody Mary. Great wait staff. Also, Bistro de Papa, 81 Avenue Bosquet, 7e near Eiffel Tower-wonderful food,reasonable prices and excellent wait staff.
Greensboro, NC USA Sun 05/16/2004