Stuff in Paris
June 9, 2005 1:30 PM   Subscribe

I'm in Paris until Monday, and I want recommendations on restaurants, etc.

I'm staying in Clichy (17th/18th Ar.), but advice for anywhere is good, as most of my time is spent in other arrondisements.

Restaurants: generally value for price is what I want; a meal for 10 euros is great, 15 is okay. Places with great traditional French cuisine and international places are all appreciated. Anything special I should look for? Any one place I should splurge (~30 euros) on?

I have a lot of letter writing to do, so are there any super special dark well-worn cafes at which I should spend my time?

Also, are there any non-restaurant/cafe places I shouldn't miss that are off the beaten path? I've seen most of the touristy stuff, so now I'm trying to find cool and novel insider places.
posted by The Michael The to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You can get a bowl of soup (it's a whole meal) in Chinatown, or a falafel in the Marais - try Chez Marianne. For the grand meal, try the Pied de Cochon or Toulemieux. Otherwise, I think there was a thread on this subject recently in AskMefi.

Oh, and at a guess, you're not in Clichy, but around the Place de Clichy. The town itself is just outside Paris; I know, I live there.
posted by TimothyMason at 1:40 PM on June 9, 2005

Restaurant Chartier on Faubourg-Montmartre has a great atmosphere and is reasonablly priced -- the food is average by French Standards, which still means it is pretty damn good. Or was 15 years ago, at least.
posted by Rumple at 2:11 PM on June 9, 2005

For years I've been sending folks to the Auberge de la Reine Blanche on Ile St. Louis with wonderful classic French food, always a reasonable prix fixe menu - especially for lunch - and a welcoming atmosphere. This is probably closer to the 30 euro end.

30, rue Saint-Louis en l’lle, 75004 Paris

posted by garbo at 2:12 PM on June 9, 2005 [1 favorite]

Oh man, do I envy you a first trip to the food superstore known as Fauchon (address and map in link).

A gastronomic Mecca, where you can find absolutely anything. The house foie gras is perfection, and the pâtissier will likely send you into a coma just by looking at wall after wall of the fresh pastries. House truffles... mmmmmmmmmmmm. High honors go to the Paris-Brest, a pastry wheel loaded down with healthy stuff like buttercream, pastry cream, hazelnut paste, and almond praline.

Not cheap as a rule, but that's why you should go for plenty of bite-sized morsels. Amazing and rare teas, coffees and even private stock champagne. There's a brasserie and tea room where you can sit and chow, but I usually just raid the pastry section and eat one or two standing before taking the rest with me.
posted by the_savage_mind at 3:07 PM on June 9, 2005

My favorite restaurant in Paris is Chez L'Ami Louis in the Marais (32, Rue du Vertbois; (33) On the splurge end of the scale.
posted by ericb at 6:10 PM on June 9, 2005 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I live just off the Place de Clichy, on rue d'Amsterdam, although I am not there now. Otherwise I'd offer to tip a glass with you. I fact, I just left a week ago. I'll concentrate on that area then -- I think you'll find more in the archives.

Close by, for a true neighborhood café, (the owners, soon retiring, are from the Auvergne) is the Brasserie des banques on rue de Bruxelles (self link). Go for lunch. Check the special but a good standby is the bavette or the tartine de l'Aubrac.

Good market on rue Lepic (lower portion) on Sunday morning (buy from the butcher with the chickens roasting on the left hand side as you enter the store). The patisserie just up the street from them makes some killer tarts. Stunning organic market on Blvd des Batignolles on Saturday. The best baguette and pain au chocolat in the area is at the Place Dublin. Another good choice is on the rue des Dames near the Avenue de Clichy.

Bistro des Dames (rue des Dames) is good for a simple meal. You can have nice plate of charcuterie and wine. Au Virage Lepic (rue Lepic -- the upper portion) is good classic French fare.

Go to La Parisienne des Grands Vins (Blvd des Batignolles) for wine/scotch. Tell the owner the American architect sent you. For cinéma, check out Le Cinéma des cineastes or Studio 28. There's a good, youthful bar down at the Church of the Batignolles (at the end of the rue).

Good North African on a little street (rue Aristide Bruant or Audran) off the rue des Abbesses. Left hand side. Another good place on the corner with rue Veron. Good Thai on rue Capron.

Best choucroute I've ever had? Possibly the best in Paris -- a longer walk from Place de Clichy than others I've mentioned above: L'Alsaco, 10 r Condorcet 75009. Go hungry and don't be put off by the strong-willed owner. It's more cold weather cuisine, I know, but I understand it's chilly in Paris right now.

A cousin introduced that to my wife and I and recently followed this up with another interesting choice; I've forgotten the name but it is at the end of rue des Dames, near the rue de Rome.

If you want to splurge, try the Petite Sirene de Copenhague at 47, rue de Notre Dame de Lorette.

Both the Batignolles and the west side of Montmartre are great neighborhoods to wander in. Fans of modern architecture will find a villa by Adolf Loos on the Ave Junot.

I'm curious, where are you staying? I'll check in Friday -- maybe I will have more then...
posted by Dick Paris at 8:07 PM on June 9, 2005 [3 favorites]

One more thing. Looking at your profile... I think the name of the place I want to mention to you is Deyrolle -- 46, rue du Bac.
posted by Dick Paris at 8:12 PM on June 9, 2005

Willi's Wine Bar is great, though maybe out of the price range you mentioned.
posted by mikel at 9:02 PM on June 9, 2005

As mentioned above, Chartier -- just so you can say that you've been there. Essential Paris experience, not too dear, not too difficult to get in, great fun, food passable. Ever read Down and out in Paris and London? The sort of place Orwell used to work at as a dishwasher.
posted by Wolof at 10:22 PM on June 9, 2005

My favorite restaurant here is Le Pré Verre. You can get away for under 30 if you skip either the wine or the appetizer. My French food snob friend and I were blown away by the food here yet again on a recent visit a couple of weeks ago. The value for money here is phenomenal. Inside the restaurant is noisy, so you might be better off outside - however, the outside tables are close to the street so there are a lot of cars passing by.

Willi's Wine Bar is nice, but I personally prefer their sister establishment right around the corner – Juvenile's. It's more casual and a lot less expensive. The focus is on wines from outside of France there though.

DickParis is right on about the Batignolles organic market. It's pretty expensive for a market but in this case worth it, and less than eating in a restaurant. In the 17th you should try the market at rue Poncelet, metro Ternes, so pretty close to where you'll be staying (although the 16th, 17th, and Clichy encompasses a pretty large area so I'm not sure how near it is exactly). You must go to the cheese shop Alleose at this market. Many people consider it the best in town, and I'm one of them! The German shop there, Stubli, is also surprisingly good, but watch out for the first fruit and vegetable shop as you enter the market – crazy prices! Also in the 17th, you can find mind-blowing handmade chocolates at Charpentier, 87 rue de Courcelles. They won the grand prize at the chocolate salon competition a few years back. My favorites are the lavender chocolates, but just get a mixed selection.

It would be great to have a mefi Paris meet-up! I live here, and will be here this weekend, but leave Tuesday morning for a work trip. If anyone's interested, my email is in my profile. Dick Paris, when do you get back?

On preview - yes, I third Chartier! Cheap, with amazing decor and great atmosphere.
posted by hazyjane at 10:41 PM on June 9, 2005

I’m currently reading The Paris Cookbook, by Patricia Wells. The recipes come from Parisian restaurants and markets. It’s making me hungry, and nostalgic for Paris. Two excerpts:

Le Mauzac is a lively lunchtime café/wine bar tucked along a romantic tree-lined street in the busy Latin Quarter. Their onglet—flank, or hanger steak—is one of the best I’ve ever sampled. Following tradition, the quickly pan-seared meat is served with a mound of golden, delicious French fried potatoes. 7, rue de l’Abbe-de-l’Épée Paris 5. Tel: 01 46 33 75 22

Olivier Pateyron and his wife, Annette, are an energetic pair who run a lovely small restaurant, Les Allobroges, hidden at the edge of town. Such sublime and simple fare as roasted Bresse chicken with a potato gratin, and meaty lamb shanks flanked by whole cloves of garlic, can usually be found on the brief menu. I sampled these tender shanks on my first visit years ago, and I keep coming back for more. 71, rue Grands-Champs, Paris 20. Tel: 01 43 73 40 00

It’s been many years since I’ve been in Paris, but I still remember the taste of Bresse chicken and the lively rue Mouffetard, with its markets and bistros. Don’t miss the Picasso museum.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:03 PM on June 9, 2005

Best answer: hazy, my schedule is spotty for being in Paris during most parts of the rest of the year although I will be there for some of July.

Looking at your question again I see you're looking for sites/activities off the beaten path. You've been around the rue Mouffetard (mentioned above) - rue Monge area? Had tea at the Mosque? Been to the Natural History Museum? Place de la Contrescarpe? Wander around the tool and hardware stores of the Faubourg St Antoine (check out the courtyards that are open). Stare into the windows of the luthier shops on the rue de Rome. Wander, wander, wander I say.

If you are quite close to the Place de Clichy, poke your head into the pool hall just off the place on the rue Clichy. A great belle epoque space -- when I first went in it had the air of a relic -- I don't know if that spirit has changed. (It's harder to pop-in now than when I first moved to that neighborhood.)

Check out Parc Montsouris and the small street nearby, the Square Montsouris. Has some lovely "cottages" -- does not look like Paris at all -- and at its end is a house by Le Corbusier. If you're interested in modern architecture but know nothing of it, take the one hour trip the the Villa Savoye. You can walk from the train station at Poissy.

Look in the Pariscope/Zurban (available at newsstands) to see if there are any open studios (portes ouvertes) this weekend. Likely arrondissements for this are the outer ones of the snail shell. Look for flyers as you enter cafés and such.

Tonight are also the "designer days" of Paris. This will be around the Blvd St Germain -- design/furniture stores are open late with snacks and drinks.

If you skate, you can take part in the Friday Night Skate. (I don't know where to rent skates aside from a stand adjacent the Viaduc des Arts during the day.)
posted by Dick Paris at 5:04 AM on June 10, 2005

Response by poster: Well, I've tried Auberge de la Reine Blanche (great), and I tried to go to both Brasserie des Banques and Au Virage Lepic, but the former was closed tonight and the latter was full, so I ended up at La Divette du Moulon further up r. Lepic, as recommended by the guys at Au Virage Lepic. It was good, not great.

For those that asked: I'm staying on Rue Martre just off the Mairie de Clichy metro stop.

DickParis: thanks for the great advice. I've been wandering, don't worry; that's pretty much what I do while traveling. My feet are the worse for wear because of it, but hey, what can you do?

Thanks to all of you.
posted by The Michael The at 1:07 PM on June 11, 2005

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