Paris Restaurants

Old Jan 24th, 2001, 01:05 PM
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Paris Restaurants

Can anyone recommend some good but affordable restaurants in Paris? I have all the guidebooks recommending the very famous restaurants but were wondering whether anyone can recommend an authentic, non-touristy spot. I am not on a tight budget but also don't need to spend a fortune on every meal. Left Bank suggestions would be particularly appreciated.
Old Jan 24th, 2001, 01:16 PM
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For wonderful ice cream (second only to Italian gelato in the world), go to Berthillion on the Ile de St. Louis just over the bridge from Notre Dame. Everyone goes there, but it's an absolutely delicious and inexpensive snack to get a cone and walk.
Old Jan 24th, 2001, 01:22 PM
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we used fodors guidebook two years ago and found two restaurants which were exceptional.toutunes on the left bank and le grizli near notre dame. reservations are essential and the food and ambience were superb. we are returning to paris this fall and will likely go back.they are not cheap but not outlandish either.have fun!
Old Jan 24th, 2001, 01:30 PM
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Ilene, have not been there yet but following the recommendation of an astute contributor, we are going to Les Amognes in March. I did exhaustive research and came up with Lescure, 7 rue de Mondavi in the 1st, Les Amognes, 243 rue de Faubourg-St. Antoine and maybe Balzar 49 rue de Escoles in the 5th (Sunday night). What I have done is made a list of eligible (by my criteria) places and then intend to check them out early in the day - all restaurants have to post menu outside. This gives us the flexibility of seeing something we like and going there but having recommended back-up. However, I will make reservations for Saturday night. Check out - Paris - lots of information and there are beaucoup other sites on Paris restaurants.
Old Jan 24th, 2001, 01:57 PM
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You can also try Polidor's on rue Monsieur le Prince (6th). It's a couple of blocks from the Odeon stop in the direction of the Luxembourg Gardens. Good home-cooked meals for very little--189ff for three course dinner. But be prepared to share a table with some locals. Also like L'Atlas on rue de Buci, also in the 6th.
Old Jan 24th, 2001, 02:01 PM
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In re Brasserie Balzar mentioned above - it is one of my favorites, and I recommend it highly, but I routinely can spend $100 American there for 2 people for dinner - not exactly budgetish.
Old Jan 24th, 2001, 02:45 PM
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Finding good and affordable restaurants in Paris has been my goal since my first visit in 1990. Balzar ($100 for two, what did they order! - or have the prices gone haywire since it was taken over by Flo?) and Trumilou are two of my favorites. On the last trip I used Sandra Gustafson's Cheap Eats in Paris, and despite the regrettable title found it a reliable guide. A good deal and a great meal is the fixed price lunch at Les Bookinistes, which is one of the bistros operated by Guy Savoy, whose eponymous restaurant has two Michelin stars.
Old Jan 24th, 2001, 03:48 PM
Bob Brown
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On our last two trips to Paris, we ate at Bistro de la Gare. The prices were reasonable, under $50 for two people having a dinner with a dessert.
I think you could eat for a little less than that if you selected by price.
I had salmon (good quality) with fried potatoes on a fixed price menu. There is also a veal dish on the same menu. My wife one night got a good, ample salad with chicken.
The Bistro is fairly large, and it has a non smoking section as well as outside tables. You get a general mix of people there, some Parisians and some tourists.

It is located on Boulevard Montparnasse, to the west of where rue de Rennes intersects. There is another restaurant whose name I cannot recall to the east on Montparnasse that must be affilitated with Bistro de la Gare because the menus were identical.

If you go to the Bistro before 7 PM, you should be able to find a table without much trouble. If you are there later, the place can be crowded.

One thing about the menu -- it does not change much. It was the same last September as it was in September of 1999. But there are enough selections that we did not eat the same thing even though we were there for 3 dinners.

For lunch, our favorite was to have a sandwich at La Brioche Doree. For about 3.5 euros you can get a good tuna salad sandwich on a demi baguette. The problem with La Briochee Doree is that it is impossible for me to pass up the pastries!! The strawberry tart is quite good, as are other goodies.

Another suggestion is that the Cheap Eats in Paris book by Sandra Gustafson is suggested by other contributors to this forum.
Old Jan 24th, 2001, 03:56 PM
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Undeniably there are many restaurants to choose from in Paris as I have 'lived' between Paris and DC for years...and some of these suggestions I've never heard is impossible to keep up and I am a foodie. Big Time. I've been recording amd researching every restaurant I can get my silverware into, and I still can't keep up.
I have found, that guide books are just
that, designed to 'guide'....I use them to guide me in and out of neighborhoods, and to give me guidance into what is available! As Larry said, it is law that menus are posted outside.
There is a skill to 'cruising' the menus posted, but if you are out and about during the day and you see something interesting..take notes, compare and if possible, make reservations to go later for dinner.

Les Bouquinistes is wonderful, Bistro Mazarin is full of local artwork and local artists and filled with French yuppies, Guy Savoy off of the Arc de triomphe was a living out of body experience (I'm STILL not over this one!)and the Buddha Bar was very trendy...but interesting. I cannot imagine what a guide book comparison would give any of these..which is why personal taste and experience should reign...and win.
Bon appetit,
Old Jan 24th, 2001, 08:16 PM
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Wendy: Please give addresses for these places that you're so enthusiastic about. Thanks.
Old Jan 25th, 2001, 02:54 AM
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Bistrot Mazarin:
42, rue Mazarine
6th (just off of the foot of the Pont des Arts at the foot of rue genegaud)

Budda Bar:
8, rue Boissy d'Anglas
8th (on the corner of HotelCrillon/Amercian Embassy off of place de la Concorde)

Guy Savoy,
18, rue Troyon,
17th (off of the arc de Triomphe)

Old Jan 25th, 2001, 03:06 AM
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I know I should do a search (and I will!) but any comments on the E. Tower restaurant? I thought I remembered reading that it was A.) pretty good and B.) not too expensive...??
Old Jan 25th, 2001, 03:11 AM
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Hi Ilene

I second the recommendation for Bistro Mazarin. I had a wonderful meal there last time I was in Paris. It has a great outdoor terrace.

On the same visit, I had dinner with a friend of mine who lives in Paris. She took me to a lovely restaurant called Le Cafetiere, also in Rue Mazarin. Fantastic Italian food, including the best Carpaccio I have ever had. Very un-touristy.

For a splurge, Le Cercle Ledoyen just off the Champs Elysees is wonderful.
Old Jan 25th, 2001, 05:52 AM
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there are two restaurants in the Eiffel Tower that I know of
one is called Altitude, it is
moderately priced at least compared with the other, and the food is so-so
I've heard adjectives ranging from
bad to acceptable
The other is the Jules Verne
a very highly-rated formal restaurant,
with very high prices indeed
well over 700FF per person for dinner and you can easily spend twice that
They do also serve lunch
Reserve months in advance
Old Jan 25th, 2001, 06:47 AM
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I, too, wish Sandra Gustafson's book were called something more like "Good Value" restaurants. We enjoyed all the places we tried and found her descriptions very accurate. A better resource, though, for lower priced restaurants is Leed's Good Guide, well worth the download price. There are some spectacular bargains at very nice places included in it. We went to Bistro de la Gare on our last trip. The decor is positively stunning, particularly if you like Art Nouveau. The food is plentiful (really) and cheap, but not the highest quality. If you want to fill up cheap in beautiful surroundings, this is a fabulous place to do it. Note also that it's busy and loud and, unlike most Paris restaurants, service is very speedy.
Old Jan 25th, 2001, 07:08 AM
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Dear Joe,
You were right to question what we ordered at Balzar that came to $100 - it was all three courses for both of us, with bottled water and a bottle of wine. I neglected to mention the very important variable that you can eat for a lot less money if you don't drink bottled water, if you only eat 2 courses (or eat from available carte du jour specials) and don't swill down an entire bottle of wine.
Thanks for keeping me accountable, and giving me a chance to clarify!
Old Jan 25th, 2001, 07:12 AM
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I've got an impression that any place in Paris that a) looks good, b) is not in the travel guides, c) does not have a menu in foreign languages has a good food and decent prices. Just learn a couple of French words.
Old Jan 25th, 2001, 08:32 AM
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Last September a French friend of mine met me at my hotel and we spent the day together. For a late lunch he took me to one of my best restaurant experiences in Paris and it was very reasonable. Three course meal 120F, bottle of wine 80F (price for dinner was the same). The decour was simple but elegant and the food was exceptional. I think they were open 11:00 to 2:00 for lunch and opened 7:30 for dinner. The restaurant is located a few blocks west of Bastille. Ledru-Rollin Metro. The following is the name, etc.

La Table D'Aligre
11, Place d'Aligre
75012 Paris

01 43 07 84 88

Bon Appétit!
Old Jan 25th, 2001, 12:52 PM
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Thank you all so much for the information, especially for including addresses and phone numbers.
I am looking forward to my trip and particularly to eating well. I recently moved to Boston and am very disappointed by the lack of good but unpretentious restaurants here.
Old Jan 25th, 2001, 01:05 PM
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Really? I'm surprised Boston doesn't have more...but I live in DC, and I'm always going to NYC for good restaurants!

Are you going to the big author food / restaurant show this week in Boston?
I work with several great Italian chef/authors who will be there pairing up with restaurants.... could be interesting!?


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