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France Guide


Restaurants in Paris France Dining Guides

Cafés, bars and restaurants line the streets of Paris, hang out on corners and appear in most of the parks. A Paris restaurant could be an old church or in a mosque; a Michelin starred affair or a stall selling crepes.

The important thing to remember is that food is France's biggest love affair and so, when on holiday in Paris or anywhere else in France, you really need to break bread in the same way the French do in order to fully appreciate the country and culture.

In Paris there is a huge variety of types of food available, mainly due to the cosmopolitan nature of the city's population and large numbers of immigrant communities. You can eat Thai for breakfast, Caribbean for lunch and North African for dinner one day, then Italian, French and Greek the next. Whilst you might want to try all the different regional cuisines available in France when you are travelling around, in Paris it is worth spending a few days trying out the different international varieties of food, and eating in different sorts of establishments. The diversity of Paris restaurants doesn't extend to vegetarian cuisine, however. Either try a specialist vegetarian restaurant, like La Petite Légume (36 rue Boulangers, 5e) or make up a vegetarian meal from omelettes and salads in the more traditional restaurants.

Pop into an upmarket brasserie like Lipp on the Boulevard St Germain one day, a tapas bar the next or a family run Italian place like Cécilia on the rue Caulaincourt in Montmartre. Generally, restaurants in extremely touristy areas are not the best value, such as those around the place du Tertre or in the most picturesque bits of the Quartier Latin. Eating on the Champs Élysées, the Boulevard St Germain, the rue de Rivoli or other such smart areas will cost you the same for a snack as a whole meal costs in a couscous bar in the 20e.

It is possible, however, to eat out for relatively little if you opt for the fixed price two or three course menu (called the menu) as opposed to choosing individual dishes from the carte. At lunchtime there are usually some very good offers on (the menu is sometimes called a formule at lunchtime) and so why not take advantage of lunchtime prices and splash out? At lunch a good menu may cost €12 whereas the same thing will cost €15 in the evening. In the €20 to €30 price bracket you should get a better choice, and from €30 the food should approach gourmet standards.

A Paris restaurant will generally open from noon to 2/2.30pm for lunch, then from 7.30 to 10.30/11pm for dinner. There are some late night options, including Chez Gladines (30 rue des Cinq Diamants, 13e, til 1am) and Le Grand Café Capucines (4 bd des Capucines, 9e, all nighter).