What do you think of when you think of Paris? Love? Lights? Cheese? Macarons? Have I made you feel hungry now? Sorry…
The French capital has a lot to offer for food and drink, and when I went to Paris last month, even though only for a weekend, I still managed to fit in a lot of eating and drinking – all in the name of research of course…
I’ve listed all the places we visited and the pros and cons of each place, it’s a little different to my usual style of posts, but I hope it gets across the general feel for each place, and whether I would recommend. If there’s anywhere quintessentially Parisian that I have missed off the list, please let me know in the comments!
SO, without further ado please find below my round up of the restaurants, bars, shops and stops I visited during my time in Paris, and would recommend if you’re planning on visiting the city of love/light/cheese anytime soon.
Where? 6 Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, 75116 Paris, France (i.e right next to the Eiffel Tower)
Best Bits: Location, outdoor/greenhouse area, which has the warmth of indoor heaters, but huge glass windows so you can people watch. Great menu full of classic French dishes, and can confirm their Croque-Madame was delicious.
Not-so-best Bits: Look up the phrase ‘Daylight Robbery’ in any dictionary, and it will state ‘a waiter charging you 8 euros for a bottle of EVIAN water’. Seriously, specify that you want tap water, or you’ll be charged 8 EUROS. FOR WATER. Quelle horreur.
Where? 7 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009 Paris, France
Best Bits: Proper french-feeling restaurant, where there is traditional french cuisine on the menu. It’s very reasonably priced. The service is great, the waiters write your order on the table and are very polite when your French pronunciation isn’t great. The interior decor is really nice, and has a train-carriage vibe. The steak frites were great, and the garlic snails were as great as I can imagine snails can be… Seems like real Parisians were eating amongst us so that’s always a good sign.
Not-so-best Bits: Could be seen as a ‘best bits’ thing if you like but you get put on a table with strangers, and depending on how you’re feeling and who you’re with you can have a good chat, but otherwise can be slightly awkward. Also there was quite a big queue when we left (which is also a good sign) but maybe make sure you’re a bit earlier than usual so you don’t have to wait.
Where? 69 Rue Lepic, 75018 Paris, France (Montmarte)
Best Bits: Interior decor/coziness, great service, the servings of prosecco are larger than I’ve ever even poured myself, jazzy toilet decoration and complimentary charcuterie.
Not-so-best Bits: Prices are quite high, but it is a wine bar so you’re getting quality wine for your euros. If you don’t like walking up a hill, or aren’t able to, then the location might not be ideal.
Where? 29 Rue des Trois Frères, 75018 Paris, France (Montmarte)
Best Bits: Food is absolutely delicious, and very rich. Service is great, and you get the sense that this little restaurant is cute and cosy, and the food seems all handmade. I had duck potato gratin, and I’m still dreaming about it right now.
Not-so-best Bits: Nothing really, other than there were unspecified walnuts in my dinner, which isn’t great if you’re allergic.
Where? 17 Place du Tertre, 75018 Paris, France (Next to the Sacré-Cœur)
Best Bits: Location is great, especially to sit outside in good weather and people watch as people have their portraits drawn by the artists in the square. The decoration of the place is also quite cool, as it’s all in red, white and blue which really makes it stand out. Oh, and they actually served a normal cup of English Breakfast tea which was hard to come by in Paris.
Not-so-best Bits: Quite pricey, but as with everywhere in Paris you do spend a lot in popular areas with a good view. Overall I think it’s worth it.
Where? Shops all over Paris!
Best Bits: To be fair it’s not a restaurant, but it has a huge range of macarons, and the few that we picked up really were delicious. They’re dotted all around Paris, so you can pop in and pick up a few (dozen) if you wish.
Not-so-best Bits: You can’t actually sit inside and eat your macarons, it’s essentially a take-away macaron shop. But maybe you can eat them and walk at the same time, burning off the calories before they’ve even entered your system…
Where? 17 Rue des Trois Frères, 75018 Paris, France
Best Bits: Lots and lots of cheese. If you’re a chatty person and don’t mind sitting among other people, it’s a great way to meet other tourists (we met three fun girls from America) and get chatting. The cheese fondue is very good, but very, very rich. They have two long tables going down the length of the restaurant which means if you’re finished but the 10 people either side of you aren’t they help you climb over the table, which is fun but maybe not if you’ve eaten so much cheese you’re worried the table might collapse.
Not-so-best Bits: They serve their wine in baby bottles (apparently to get around the glass tax in the city) which is novel but also really weird. The service isn’t that great to be honest, but it’s a very busy restaurant with few staff so they’re probably overrun. They did forget about us for a bit, and when I asked the difference between the cheese and meat fondue the answer was “well, what do you think?”. Charming.
Where? 32 Boulevard Poissonnière, 75009 Paris, France
Best Bits: Gorgeous interiors, with beautiful wallpaper, plants everywhere and a proper old-timey bar. Kind and helpful staff dressed in proper bow-tie attire. Aperol Spritz’s served the size of your head. The ‘outside’ bit is a green-house area with large windows and heaters, where you can sit and drink and watch the world go by.
Not-so-best Bits: Quite pricey for drinks, but the Aperol Spritz was truly, truly massive.
Where? 40 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris, France
Best Bits: The view! My mantra (as you can read here) is why not have a great view with a glass of wine in hand? And this place definitely delivers. It’s great to sit and grab a coffee, a glass of bubbly or something to eat if you wish.
Not-so-best Bits: Pricey! But you are on a rooftop bar on the French equivalent of Selfridges, so it comes with the territory. Personally I believe it’s worth it, and definitely worth doing if you don’t fancy paying to go up to a viewpoint.
Where? 6 Place Saint-Augustin, 75008 Paris, France
Best Bits: The interior is gorgeous – velvet chairs, velvet curtains. Has an outdoor area with heat lamps if you want to sit outside and enjoy the weather. Great service and a really good-looking menu. I had croquet madame whereas my boyfriend had the foie gras and truffle croquet Monsieur, which is the most indulgent thing I’ve ever heard of. You also get a LOT of fries with your order, which gets an A* in my books.
Not-so-best Bits: Pricey! But as it’s relatively close to the Champs Eleyees it’s not unexpected. The main menu is quite expensive but the ‘snacks’ section (or ‘lunch menu’ to you and I) isn’t too badly priced.
Has that post left you feeling hungry? Because it has with me to be honest, so need to go and find myself a snack… I hope this helps any of you who might be going to Paris and would like to know where is good to eat/drink/pick up some macarons.
If I’ve left somewhere VITAL off this list please let me know in the comments. And in the meantime – and for more travel AND food pics – you can follow me on Instagram @ GrundyTravels.
Until next time, Au Revoir!