Paris RestaurantsJust because you're in Paris not every restaurant is going to be great. There are a lot of amazing Paris restaurants but there are even more mediocre tourist traps with expensive and disappointing food.
If you have an iPhone there is a great free application that you can download from Apple Store called "Tell me Where" or in French "Dit moi ou". Their selection of Paris restaurants are rated by customers rather than professional restaurant critics and we've found some amazing local bistros with this tool.
Another quick tip is to check the door for award stickers. Good stickers to look for:
Michelin (red stickers)
We'll give you a list below of a few of our personal favorites which we have chosen for both great food and friendly service.
We don't eat out often enough to be a comprehensive guide to Paris's many restaurants but we've found a few great Paris food blogs, restaurant review sites and books which we're happy to recommend.
Recommended Food Blogs, Websites and BooksParis Through Expatriate Eyes
A wonderful website that has a great Bistro and Bar Guide organized by arrondissement. Updated weekly you'll find fun neighborhood resturants which have been selected for not just their food but also for good value and friendly service.
David Lebovitz - Living the Sweet Life in Paris
David also produces a beautiful food blog from Paris with the most incredible photographs, and recipes that really make your mouth water.
Clotilde's Edible Adventures in Paris by Clotilde Dusoulier
The Patisseries of Paris by Jamie Cahill
Our Favorite Paris Restaurants and BistrosFISH La Boissonnerie - Restaurant
69, rue de Seine
Tel: 01 43 54 34 69
Fax 01 46 33 15 29
Closed Monday. About 30 to 40 euros
This is one of our personal favorites because we love the combination or great food with friendly (not scary) service. Located in the heart of historic St. German this charming little restaurant is run by a New Zealander who also owns a terrific wine shop in the neighborhood.
Food is excellent, presentation is beautiful and the service is
extremely friendly. The staff are mostly American,
English or Australian but all are bilingual and happy to help you with
the menu or the extensive wine list.
Au Pied de Fouet
Also in St. Germain area is "Au Pied de Fouet" a very cute but tiny bistro tucked down rue Saint Benoit. Unbelievable good value with starters from 3 - 5 euro and main course 11 - 15 euro. Wine is also very good and inexpensive. We had an excellent dinner for four with everybody enjoying 3 courses and two bottles of wine and all for under 100 euros.
Service is also very friendly and fast. No reservations required but you might want to get there early to get a table.
This restaurant has two other locations: 45 rue de Babylone, 75007 Paris and 96 rue Oberkampf, 75011 Paris
Le 14 JUILLET - Restaurant
Le Bec Rouge
Bistro a Vins
46 Bis, Bld du Montparnasse
15 to 26 euros
If you are going out to see a movie in Montparnasse then this is a great place for an early dinner. Two course dinner menu with a glass of wine is only 15 euro until 9:00pm. Regular menu prices are 22 to 26 for two course dinner. Excellent unpretentious French food for very reasonable prices. The restaurant is very popular with the Montparnassee locals and mostly overlooked by the tourists. Staff are friendly and very efficient.
Les Grillades de Buenos Aires
Very small Argentinean steak restaurant offering an all beef menu at affordable prices. I would normally not recommend steak restaurants in France as you're usually better off with fish, poultry or pork but if you're craving some red meat then try this little restaurant tucked away between all the creperies on rue Montparnasse.
Prices & PaymentParis is an expensive city. Average lunch in a bistro or cafe will be 15€- 25€ and an average 2 to 3 course dinner 30€ - 35€. Dinner at the more upscale restaurants will be more like 50€-75€ and the top restaurants 100€ and up. These prices do not include drinks.
Lunch is a much better deal than dinner and is a good way to try some of the more expensive restaurants. Another good deal is to order the "fixed price menu" which includes an appetizer "une entree", a main course "un plat" and a dessert "un dessert" (with some menus you choose between a starter or a dessert and pay extra if you wish to have both).
All restaurants are required by law to post a menu with prices outside the door. The prices listed usually include 15% for tax and tip "service compris". It's not necessary to leave an additional tip unless you really feel the service warrents it, in which case you leave an additional 5% or if paying in cash just round off the amount (for example the bill costs 57€ and you leave 60€). If you need more help figuring out tips see our Paris tipping guide.
In France they don't always bring you water automatically but you just need to ask for "une carafe d'eau" if you would like a jug of regular tap water. Tap water is always free and don't feel obliged to order bottled water unless you prefer it.
At the end of your meal you need to ask for the check "l'addition, s'il vous plait". It would be considered rude if they brought the check before you specifically requested it.
Most restaurants accept credit cards and will bring the credit card machine to your table rather than taking your card away.
Restaurant HoursRestaurants serve lunch from 12:00pm to 3:00pm and then close until dinner.
Dinner is served from 7:30pm on but most French people don't eat out until 8:30pm or later.
Most Brasseries and cafes serve food all day just look for a sign that says "service continu".
ReservationsAlways try to reserve in advance for dinner especially if you will be more than four people. The French are still very formal when it comes to their food and they will definitely treat you with more respect if you show up with a reservation.
Check the dress code as some of the more formal restaurants may require a jacket and tie.
Different Styles of RestaurantsRestaurant
Open for lunch and dinner and generally closed in between. Customers select items from a printed menu and can choose from one to several courses. By law, a prix-fixe menu must be offered, although high-class restaurants may try to conceal the fact. Few French restaurants cater to vegetarians.
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