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Looking for casual restaurants in Paris - 6th, or 14th.

Looking for casual restaurants in Paris - 6th, or 14th.

Old Sep 30th, 2005, 11:15 AM
  #1  
aggiemom
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Looking for casual restaurants in Paris - 6th, or 14th.

We'll be staying at Le Meridien Montparnasse (near Gare Montparnasse) in mid-October. We're looking for casual, inexpensive to moderate restaurants (35-60 € per person no wine) in the 14th or 6th

I looked on www.reservethebest.com and found the following:

La Rotonde in the 6th

Apollo in the 14th

La Coupole in the 14th

L'Opportun in the 14th

Natacha in the 14th

Has anyone been to any of these restaurants? Or any other suggestions?

Merci,
mom
 
Old Sep 30th, 2005, 12:10 PM
  #2  
ira
 
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Hi am,

Here are some in the 6th:

Brasserie Lipp 151 Bld St.Germain

Le Relais de l'Entrecote. 20 rue Saint-Benoit steak and frites only

Leon de Bruxelles 131, bd St Germain 01 43 26 45 95 for mussels and a beer.

Restaurant Vagenende 142 Boulevard St. Germain 01 43 26 68 18

Fish 69, Rue du Seine
Tel : 01 43 54 34 69

La Mediterranee
2 Place de l'Odeon

Le Petit Zinc 11 rue Benoit

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Old Sep 30th, 2005, 12:47 PM
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My dining budget is a bit(!) cheaper than yours but I've read good things about Natacha as I surfed the net and forums..
La Coupole and Rotonde are a couple of the famous "literary" cafes, not sure if they might be resting on the ole laurels these days...
I think I've read about a "Chez Marcel" in the vicinity of Natacha that is supposed to be good.
I'm sure Ira's suggestions are tried-and-true.
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Old Sep 30th, 2005, 12:58 PM
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I stay in that area a bit and don't know anything in particular about Opportun or Natacha or Apollo, but the Rotonde is just a cafe and Coupole a large brasserie. There are plenty of restaurants in that area and we've had several threads on here with lots of specifics.

Just do a search on "cameleon" as that's a good one in the area (on rue de Chevreuse) and it is mentioned in lots of posts. For Russian, Dominiques is very good on Brea, of course you have the wellknown seafood brasseries (Le Dome or Bistrot du Dome, there is a famous seafood place across the corner from them, also). Also for seafood, Vin et Maree is fairly near the Meridien and rated well (it's the cheap relative of a very wellknown French restaurant on the RB, la Luna). L'O a la Bouche on Montparnasse bd is good.

There are tons, I don't plan restaurants ahead that much, there are lots of modest good places on bd Edgar Quinet, also. There is a very good Italian restaurant on Delambre (? think so), Auberge de Venise, and lots of good crepe restaurants on rue Montparnasse (try creperie Josselin).

I like the Rotonde for cafe food, they do a good job, actually. I've had better steaks there with potatoes gratinees than at some bistros supposedly known for that. I don't get the cheap special (no entrecotes), but order a faux filet or something like that. They have a good steak on the standard menu.

I don't like Coupole. I don't like Leon de Bruxelles either ugh, but it is cheap. They might do mussels okay if you are nuts about them, I don't care for them that much and had something else there. It's a big chain, no reason to go to St Germain for them, there is one right around the corner of bd Montparnasse and rue Montparnasse.

When in doubt, stop in Chez Clement on bd Montparnasse near bd Raspail -- they are a good place in your price range with a good choice and pleasant atmosphere.
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Old Sep 30th, 2005, 01:00 PM
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Chez Marcel's is good -- it's on rue Stanislaus just about a block down from bd Montparnasse. It's small.
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Old Sep 30th, 2005, 01:02 PM
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Marking for reference
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Old Sep 30th, 2005, 01:48 PM
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Here's a suggestion from a regular on the bonjourparis.com site who visits Paris regularly.

: LE CAMELEON In Montparnasse, a charming bistrot rated as one of the top 20 casual restaurants in the world. Dinner for the 2 of you with app./entre/dessert/water/wine/coffee/etc. will be less that $75 total. Only about 8 tables, so reserve. A fun, laid back, relaxing, wonderful place with the BEST food.
LE CAMELEON - 6 rue de Chevreuse - 6ème arrdt. - Métro : Vavin - Tel : + 33 (0)1 43 20 63 43

The potato purée is a specialty.

Note: can be smoky.

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Old Sep 30th, 2005, 03:52 PM
  #8  
aggiemom
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Thanks Ira, Travelnut, Christina, and Underhill for the terrific suggestions!

Ira - welcome back - you were missed!

 
Old Sep 30th, 2005, 04:49 PM
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Polidor, at 41 rue Monsieur le Prince in the 6th, is a very casual, very friendly restaurant with "down-home" French provincial cuisine (basque chicken etc). It's inexpensive and quite a fun atmosphere. You'll literally be elbow-to-elbow with fellow diners, but you'll end up meeting lots of new amies francaises. And the food is good.
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Old Sep 30th, 2005, 06:08 PM
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Not in 6th but not far away is Le Cosi at 9 rue Cujas, serving excellent Corsican food. It a place we stumbled upon a few years ago and visit every trip to Paris.
And ditto the pan of Leon de Bruxelles - if McDonalds did mussels, this is what it would be.
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Old Sep 30th, 2005, 07:05 PM
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Just wanted to say thanks for the post aggiemom. I am in Paris in November.

are you looking at the Patricia Wells books? A Parisian who works in my NYC based office uses Zagats when he goes home! Just a thought!
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Old Sep 30th, 2005, 07:54 PM
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We found most of our favorite Paris restaurants in Patricia Wells's guide--not to mention her cookbooks based on Paris bistros and restaurants.
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Old Oct 1st, 2005, 05:07 AM
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I'll third Le Cameloen.
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Old Oct 1st, 2005, 06:10 AM
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aggiemom
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I'm actually getting a little excited about food! Merci!

Maybe someone can enlighten me - what is the difference between a "bistro" (I've also seen it spelled "bistrot") and a "brasserie?"

Again, everyone, thanks for taking the time to inspire a non-foodie!

mom
 
Old Oct 1st, 2005, 06:24 AM
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I am probably in the minority here but I admit I'm not a foodie. I enjoyed the splurge of lunch at Jules Verne in the Tour Eiffel, but other than that...

we wandered and walked the city and stopped when we were hungry for a meal or a snack - okay, mainly for a rest - and were NEVER disappointed with our food or experience.

The one "guidebook" restaurant we dined at was fine - but no better an experience as the sidewalk cafes we chose to stop at. Maybe just luck of the draw.

But, based on our experience I'll do the same the next time I'm in Paris.

Having said all that, we did stumble upon the Cafe Bonaparte and had our first meal there as soon as we arrived - and I learned later it's a favorite of Fodorites on this board.

Anyone else take such a casual approach?
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Old Oct 1st, 2005, 07:18 AM
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Starvsville I hate carrying a guide book as I am walking around. I like reading before I go and mapping out the best of (my take from reading). Maybe carry the book in my luggage but leaving in the room...

I went to Florence with a food guide, it takes you to neighborhoods off the beaten path, areas you might not make it into. I went to markets, I would have skipped. I guess it was not simply a zagat type guide. I can understand your point with that.

The guide I used offered language translations for menu items. It was written by a resident who incorporated local uses of items, taught me about regional spices that were sold cheaper than home. I also learned about dishes that were regional, that I would not have known about. This makes it a richer experience for me. I would suggest you look at a Patricia Wells book (have not read myself) and see if you missed much.

I have been to Paris twice without food guides (long time ago) and just now I am learning about common regional specialties. Just a thought! A way to test your approach of walking and finding. A fine approach I have taken when I have left on the spur.

aggiemom have you been reading about the regional before and after dinner drinks? There was a thread on here and there are books about it.
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Old Oct 1st, 2005, 07:36 AM
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aggiemom
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Hi Sarah - I'm just beginning to explore the possibilities. I don't want to spend lots of time eating and I'm not really into food, but I am looking forward to maybe sparking an interest. I do enjoy wine (although I know nothing about that, either!), and I'm sure I'll have fun with that!

My husband is more adventurous than me and I'm researching mostly for him. We will be spending four days in Provence, as well.

We'll probably wander around a little and choose a place on whim, but it will be nice to have references also.
 
Old Oct 1st, 2005, 08:03 AM
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I think a "brasserie" often specializes in Alsatian food (German influence) or Seafood, has a broad menu, no '3 course' expectations, and is open early to late.

A "bistro" is more like a small restaurant that has a small staff (could be a husband/wife team), may be open for lunch then closes until open for dinner, and probably wants you to order the menu, or multiple courses, rather than "just a salad" or "dessert and coffee".

La Coupole would be a brasserie and Le Cameleon would be a bistro. That's my take.
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Old Oct 1st, 2005, 10:20 AM
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starrsville, your approach is not unique.

We have been to London and Paris enough that we have a few restaurants we visit each time. Some have been eliminated over the years because of a change in management or because they have gotten too pricey. We decided after our trip to London last fall to eliminate one that we have visited since 1993 for the latter reason. Just got too popular and, even though the food was just as good, we felt it had gotten too expensive.

This means we must find new ones. We generally stay at hotels that are too small to have a restaurant so have found the desk staff to be very helpful with recommendations. This is also true when staying at BnBs. The Paris hotel recommended two this last year that we would certainly frequent again. In fact, we ate at one 3 times during our 7 night stay. It had been open less than a month and the menu was limited to 3 each of appetizer, main course and dessert. They changed each night so it was always exciting.
Other times it is just picking a place while walking around and deciding the menu, ambience and clientele look interesting.

We often have lunch in the museum or church we are visiting. England in particular has some excellent choices. Other times we just pop into someplace on our walks: The Ring (pub) while walking from the Inperial War Museum to the Tate Modern, the bar across from the entrance to St. Denis Basilica in Paris, a tiny bar in Venice not too far from the fish market, a sausage with all the fixings from a cart in Odense, Denmark. Very often we are the only tourists.

Travel is fun when you do it this way.
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Old Oct 1st, 2005, 11:02 AM
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Hi mom, a bistro is a small restaurant that was once a mom and pop place, usually one at the stove the other at the cash register but it's changed these days. The Menu is limited and on a black board or a printed copy,.
These are simple places except for the beautiful Belle Epoque bistros that
are so dazzling with the zinc bars and a carafe of wine available.
Brasserie is French for brewery. Most have the Alsatian beers, bright and noisy but fun. The menus include choucroute. These are places to go to when out late as they will be serving .
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