Le Bistrot Paul Bert and its neighbor L’Ecailler du Bistrot are owned by the same family. Le Bistrot Paul Bert is the quintessential Parisian neighborhood restaurant. It serves traditional French cuisine—vegetarians might want to skip this place—with a penchant for meat served rare. They like it blue (that means very rare as in barely warm inside) but you can still order it your way. If you crave red meat and fries head for Le Paul Bert’s entrecôte-frites (rib steak and fries). This is a typical French bistro frequented by regulars as well as tourists — it’s been written about everywhere. It’s very lively and if you have a late dinner you might get to hear rowdy French people sing in English. I would highly recommend the decadently buttery Tarte Tatin or the sinfully creamy Paris-Brest (said to be one of the best in Paris) to finish on a happy note. The lunch and dinner menus are 34€ for an appetizer+main dish+dessert (or 21€ for a main dish only and an additional 8€ for an appetizer or a dessert), to choose from the regular menu, with a cheaper lunch option at 16,50€ for an appetizer+main dish+dessert (or 11€ for a main dish and an additional 4€ for an appetizer or a dessert), to choose from a smaller selection of dishes. These prices do not include beverages. Reservation is highly recommended; Le Bistrot Paul Bert is a very popular place.
Bistrot Paul Bert
18 Rue Paul Bert
Tu-Sat: 12pm-2pm / 7.30pm-11pm
Closed on Sunday, Monday and one month in summer.
If you saw the movie “Paris, je t’aime” then you have seen the inside of this lovely turn of the century café-restaurant located right across the street from the pretty square Trousseau—a perfect view from the heated terrasse. My favorite time to hang out at Le Square Trousseau is during off-hours when there is always a free table on the terrasse (and not too many smokers around) and for l’apéro or breakfast. They serve good coffee and some of the best croissants and pain au chocolats (voted best in Paris) that come from the very popular bakery next door, Blé Sucré.
The restaurant fills up pretty quickly for lunch and dinner so I would recommend making a reservation. If you want to try a dish that makes this restaurant more than worth going back to, try the seven-hour lamb. Oh, and the hamburger looks delicious. Le Square Trousseau restaurant can also accommodate private parties up to 18 people in the restaurant’s adjacent private dining-room. The food is good, the staff is great, the place is very charming, the atmosphere is peaceful, there’s free Wi-Fi and magazines, Le Square Trousseau is always open—it’s a great address.
Le square Trousseau
1 Rue Antoine Vollon
M-Sun: 8am-2pm (lunch/dinner menu from 12pm until 12am non-stop)
L’Ebauchoir in Paris is a classic bistro, right off the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, that has never ceased to live up to its reputation. It is a popular restaurant among the neighborhood’s artisans and artists who fill it up at lunchtime, while other regulars and first-timers crowd the room for dinner. Their fish or meat dishes are always cooked to perfection and the wines that accompany them are always good. The desserts at l’Ebauchoir are delicious and you might find yourself ordering seconds. The 13,50€ lunch menu is for an appetizer+main dish+dessert with a set main dish, or 25€ for an appetizer+main dish+dessert with a main dish to choose from the regular menu. Count about 20€ for a main dish at dinner.
Check out their blog for pictures of their dishes. It offers some recipes too.
43 Rue de Cîteaux
Tu-Sat: 12pm-2.30pm / 8pm-11pm (Opens at 7.30pm on Friday and Saturday)
Closed on Sunday
When I feel like eating a hamburger I head straight for Café Charlot in the Marais, right across the street from the Marché des Enfants Rouges, on rue de Bretagne. Here it is served with the right kind of bread, a soft sesame seed bun, a perfectly cooked burger (medium-rare by default), with everything it should have inside, and crispy French fries. It’s actually a cheeseburger and it costs €15. For the same price you can also order a delicious, and organic, chicken burger, also served with fries. Among the other gourmet sandwiches are the BLT, the hot sandwich Charlot (cheese, beef and grilled onions served on a french roll) and Café Charlot’s own take on the classic croques: le croque jeune homme and le croque jeune fille.
That’s for the sandwich section, there are also some classic French dishes a la carte such as bavette à l’echalotte or swordfish steak served with green beans. Aside from the food, the service is amicable and fast. If you stand out and like to be noticed you are more likely to be stared at, just as much as you can entertain yourself checking out the very Parisian crowd that itself cries for attention!
Other good places in the neighborhood that I recommend are Rose Bakery (another “trendy” place) and Breizh Café (a refreshing bowl of down-to-earthness!)
38 Rue de Bretagne
Metro: Filles du Calvaire
M-Sun: 7am-2am (Food is served all day until 12am)
At Café des Musées, the food is seasonal, straightforward and comforting. Whether choosing the Entrecôte à la plancha with fries and salad in a tarragon dressing (17,50€) or the 19€ dinner menu with its artichoke (served with both crème fraîche and vinaigrette), mackerel and rice, and the plum tart of the day, you will find yourself enjoying a simple meal very well crafted, in a relaxed atmosphere. For dessert try the red currant clafoutis for its perfect balance of sweet and sour (the caramelized hard crust makes it more of a crème brulée than a clafoutis, but that’s just one more reason to order it!) The service is very friendly and the servers are more than happy to speak English. The menu offers a good selection of classic French dishes reasonably priced and for lunch the prix fixe menu is a bargain at 12€. The Café des Musées is open all day and serves breakfast until noon.
Café des Musées
49 Rue de Turenne
Metro: Fille du Calvaire
Au Vieux Chêne is a typical French bistro serving traditional food. The restaurant owners are against intensive agricultural practices and the ingredients they use are seasonal to ensure freshness and quality. The food is delicious, whether it be the plate of charcuterie (16€), the suckling lamb shoulder for two, served with a perfect gratin dauphinois and some mixed greens (48€/2 people) or the monkfish cheeks on a bed of buttery spinach that melts in your mouth (24€). “A meal without wine is like a day without sun” says a sign on one of the restaurant’s walls. At Au Vieux Chêne the wines and the Champagnes are excellent and very reasonably priced (wines go from 14€ to 120€ a bottle). Whether simple or elaborate, the dishes are always carefully crafted. For a less expensive meal try their lunch menu: 14€ (appetizer+main dish or main dish+dessert) or 17€ (appetizer+main dish+dessert), and respectively 28€ or 33€ for dinner menus.
For dinner, I recommend making a reservation.
Au vieux Chêne
7 Rue du Dahomey
M-F: 12pm-2pm / 8pm-10.30pm
Closed on Saturday and Sunday
Le refectoire means refectory. The water glasses are the same ones that French kids drink out of in the school cafeteria (the ones that have a number at the bottom.) The dishes served overall are traditional bistro food, sometimes with a twist such as the hachis parmentier (a ground beef-mash potato dish) made here with boudin noir sausage instead of beef. It would have been perfect if served a bit warmer. The hamburger comes with bacon, cheese and avocado and is served with good fries. The place gets very busy around lunch time and quickly empties as people go back to work. Le Refectoire is open all day every day of the week, the wine is cheap and good, there’s free WI-FI, the atmosphere is nice, the servers are very friendly and the few tables on the sidewalk (I’m not going to call it a terrasse) get a lot of sun. You might even get the unsolicited company of the house cat.
80 Boulevard Richard Lenoir
Metro: Richard Lenoir, Saint-Ambroise
M-Sat: 8.30am-12am (lunch: 12pm-2.30pm
Franco-British couple Mr. and Mrs. Rose had a child. They called it Bakery. A Rose Bakery was born in London. Then they decided to move to Paris and they gave birth to a second, and recently a third, Rose Bakery. Rose Bakery is the name of their very successful—hence the new addition to the family—bakery/restaurants. The third Rose Bakery restaurant is in the hands of chef Kaori Endo, a 34 year-old Japanese cook who just published a book of recipes and who will be on T.V for eight cooking shows. At Rose Bakery they use quality ingredients, lots of organic and carefully chosen goods for their savory tarts, quiches, healthy salads (lentil salad, carrot salad, potato salad, baked beans, duck pot-au-feu…) and their delicious desserts (carrot cake, cheesecake, vegan fruit cake, lemon cake, green tea-raspberry cake, banana nut bread, scones, muffins, brownies…) They serve breakfast during the week and brunch on the weekend (eggs, pancakes…). In other words, Rose Bakery is a perfect place for breakfast, lunch, brunch and afternoon tea and pastries. It’s healthy, good, pretty and it is located in two great areas of Paris.
Rose Bakery 3rd arrondissement
30 rue Debelleyme
Metro: Filles du Calvaire
Tu-Sun: 9am-6pm (kitchen closes at 4pm)
Closed on Monday
Rose Bakery 9th arrondissement
46 rue des Martyrs
Metro: Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, Pigalle
Tu-Sun: 10am-6.30pm (kitchen closes at 4pm)
Closed on Monday