People occasionally ask me where to eat in Paris, so this is a brief guide with some of the places I've been. Prices are estimates of the price I would expect to pay if I went there (no wine, I don't drink). Details (exact location, phone number, etc. are included in the link). The approximate location is given by the arondissement (e.g. 13th).
- Cave la Bourgogne. 5th. €20. My local bistro, probably the place I end up eating out at most often. It's a jolly place and the food is reasonably good. No need to book.
- Le Pré Verre. 5th. €30. Probably some of the best food I've had in Paris at this price range (3 courses for 30 euros). Notable for mixing French cuisine with Japanese influences. I particularly like the suckling pig with cabbage and spices (including star anise), and the sesame ice cream that comes with the moelleux au chocolat. Book a few days in advance.
- L'Alchimiste. 12th. €30. Very nice bistro with a 3 course menu for 30 euros, good food and good atmosphere. I recommend the gambas with caramelised mango to start with, the duck pastilla for main course and the moelleux au chocolat for pudding. Book a few days in advance.
- L'Astrance. 16th. €70. Possibly one of the best restaurants in Paris, with three Michelin stars and featuring highly most years in the top 50 restaurants of the world list (although the list is a bit dubious as they take donations from some of the restaurants listed). Go for the lunch menu at 70 euros, as the dinner menus are much more expensive and the lunch menu is basically as good. At around 13 courses, expect to be there for around 3 hours. The lunch menu is a surprise, and features whatever the restaurant plans to serve that day, however they will give you different things depending on which wines you order (or if you have allergies, etc.). Note that it's a very small restaurant, and only open Tuesday-Friday so you'll have to book a long time in advance (a month, say).
- Au Trou Gascon. 12th. €45. Good value 5 course dinner at around 45-50 euros. One Michelin star. Book a week or two in advance.
- La Cerisaie. 14th. €35. Southern French, meaty fare, good selection of game. Book a few days in advance.
- L'Avant Gout. 13th. €31. Can be very good, uses unusual spices etc., but occasionally misses. Book maybe a week in advance.
- L'Ourcine. 13th. €30. One of the first restaurants I went to in Paris - an auspicious choice. Fixed price menu, changes frequently, usually very good. Book a few days in advance.
- Ribouldingue. 5th. €30. An extraordinary restaurant that basically only serves offal. Go there if you're brave and don't mind eating udder salad (really!), testicles, brains, etc. Having warned you, I can say that despite being slightly scary, the food is very good.
- La Biche au Bois. 12th. €30. If you love game, and you love big portions, go here and eat with some of the happiest and fattest people of Paris! Make sure to go in game season if you can though.
- Pierre Gagnaire. 8th. €130. Another three Michelin starred restaurant, this one rather more expensive, but equally fantastic (and open slightly more often than L'Astrance). Again, the lunch menu is considerably less expensive than the dinner menus, and you can only book one month in advance so its worth doing so at the first opportunity.
- Le Chiberta - too expensive at around 100 euros but extremely good.
- Le Violon d'Ingres - too expensive at around 70 euros but very good.
- Buisson Ardent
- Coco de Mer
- Temps des Cerises
- Le Sirocco
I've been to these and thought they were OK, but can't remember them very well.
- Le Pergolese - nice, but not wowing.
- Les Papilles
Some posh restaurants I've been to that were disappointing.
- Helene Darroze - my first trip there was excellent, but they changed the menu and the format and it's a bit disappointing now.
- Senderens - not worth the price.
- Itinéraires. 5th. €40-50. Used to be one of my favourites, but I think it changed hands recently and wasn't very special on my last visit.
Just a little selection of food shops I wouldn't miss in Paris.
- Patrick Roger (best chocolates I've ever had, particularly the lime ones, 6th arondissement)
- Pierre Hermé (best macarons, particularly the olive oil and vanilla ones, several branches)
- Jacques Genin (best caramels au beurre salés, unfortunately rather expensive, near Republique)
- Michel Chaudun (very good chocolate, near Les Invalides)
- Hediard (all round food shop, pricey but good, Place de la Madeleine)
- Patisserie Aoki (japanese/French fusion patisserie, very good, 13th/5th I think, maybe Boulevard Arago)
- Rue Mouffetard (many food shops)
- Le Palais des Thés (very good tea, several branches)
- L'Empire des Thés (more very good tea, 13th)
- Grom (Italian ice cream)
- Berthillon (French ice cream)