“People who love to eat are always the best people.”
There are more restaurants in Paris than I’ve seen anywhere else! A lot of great options with a lot of great food! I particularly loved the variety of food genres we found while visiting. There is of course classic French, Indian, Asian, African and yes, even Mexican. Again, just as in my London post, I have to apologize that we didn’t take pictures of our food or some of the restaurants. I wasn’t planning on creating this blog while we were traveling in Europe. From now on, I promise pictures of the food and the restaurants. So, let me take you away on a culinary tour of our restaurant experiences in what is not only known as the city of love, but as the city of food…
1) Pizza Pino
31/33, av. des Champs-Elysées – Paris 8e
Located on the Champs-Elysees this place can get busy! I suggest a phone call in to make a reservation if you can. We arrived there about 5:30/6:00 pm and were seated within 5 minutes (I think this might be due to the fact that most people in Paris eat dinner around 7:00-8:00 pm). It’s an adorable 2 story restaurant with a big pizza oven in the center of the facility. We opted for the second floor so we could look out over the Champs-Elysees while we ate. The atmosphere was bright and delightful – the views even more so. Our drink orders were taken immediately but it did take them a while to come back around to get our dinner order, dessert order and finally the check. While dining we needed a few things (extra napkins, an extra fork) and we had a very hard time getting someone’s attention. I’d say the service of all the employees was fairly mixed, some being very eager to help with a smile and others seemed bothered we would ask for something. The food was delicious! I ordered the Penne Arrabbiata (Italian for “Angry Pasta” as it is pretty spicy), which is just penne noodles in a tomato sauce flavored with garlic and red chili peppers and my husband and son split a Margherita pizza (tomato sauce, cheese & basil). Overall, I’d say go if you can! Between the location, atmosphere and menu choices we would definitely return and for the quality of food it’s not a bad price.
15 Rue Dauphine, 75006 Paris, France
There is not a website I can find for Fajitas Mexican Restaurant, but if I ever do find one I will be sure to post it.
This adorable little hole in the wall restaurant is a must go for any Mexican food lover. The owner is a sweet man from Mexico who moved to Paris and started this little joint with his wife. I loved the decor, atmosphere and the fact that there was an open kitchen. Our beverage order was taken upon us being seated and our server (believe it or not was the owner – what a treat!) was friendly and fast. Well, with a name like “Fajitas” what would you order? BINGO! We ordered some chicken fajitas and some beef nachos. My estimate is that our family has eaten at about 200+ Mexican restaurants and this one takes the cake. The salsa was fresh, spicy and delicious. The fajitas were perfectly balanced in flavor and were a large enough portion to feed all 3 of us. Finally, the nachos – perfection! The nachos had a great ratio between chips and condiments. I didn’t feel overwhelmed by the amount of toppings or underwhelmed by the lack there of. The prices were not bad at all and the restaurant would’ve been well worth a second trip had we had another day in Paris. If you love rice, beans and chips this is a place you must work into your vacation time! Here is a link to the yelp.com reviews photo page.
3) Chez Ribe
15 Ave de Suffren, 75007 Paris, France
Hmm…what can I say about our visit to Chez Ribe other than it was unique. This cute little cafe is about 2 minutes walking distance from the Eiffel Tower and opens up early by Paris time standards (about 7 am…so definitely a place to grab some breakfast – which I hear by the way is fantastic). I love that they have an outdoor patio as well as what you could describe as an “indoor patio” next to the street side wall but it is actually all glass windows so it feels like you’re outside but you are still away from the elements (should it be rainy or cold). Our waiter was the sweetest older man I think I’ve ever met and was patient with us as we tried to figure out the menu and what we wanted to order. We finally decided what we wanted, put our order in and waited, and waited, and waited…finally our food comes out and our starving little stomachs just can’t handle another minute longer so we dive in just to be utterly…disappointed. I ordered the ham and grilled cheese sandwich (also known as a Croque Monsieurs) and my bread was burnt, the cheese wasn’t melted all the way and the ham tasted like something you buy in a box in the refrigerator section at the store. We also ordered the french onion soup and it was less than lackluster. I thought we over paid for the food and neither of us even ate half…we actually went to a nearby crepe stand and had crepes as a late night snack (these damn crepe stands are the reason I put 12 pounds on while in Paris…they’re just so delicious!!). To make the experience complete, we noticed a cat wandering around the restaurant…at first I thought maybe a stray walked through the open door but our waiter informed us the cute (and friendly) fat kitty was there to catch the mice! YIKES! Needless to say, I cannot recommend Chez Ribe based on our experience but as I stated earlier, we have heard from several other people their breakfast is amazing so if wandering cats catching wandering mice doesn’t bother you then you may want to try out their eggs and lox.
4) Le Bailli de Suffren
7 ave Suffren 75007 Paris, France
We walked to this small cafe from our hotel our first morning in Paris. Located about 2 minutes walking distance from the Eiffel Tower they offer a great outdoor seating area, indoor seating and a full bar. I ordered crepes (Nutella & banana), our son got “pancakes” (essentially crepes) and my husband got a traditional breakfast with eggs, hash browns and a croissant. The food was good (but then again it’s a pretty basic order) and our service was great. My biggest complaint is they charged 8 Euro for 1 coke and the menu was in general over priced. There are a lot of bad reviews online and multiple people saying their waiter brought some fresh croissants to their tables telling them to “try them, they just came out of the oven.” and then later charging the customer for the croissant basket. Our waiter did do this same ploy but we were never charged for the basket of croissants on our bill (maybe he forgot to charge??). I think it’s a great place to grab some breakfast but I would just beware the “fresh from the oven” tactic and politely refuse the croissants.
5) Pizza Tina
73, Avenue Bosquet – 75007 Paris
Okay, now I hope I don’t overstate this one but THIS IS THE BEST PLACE IN PARIS TO EAT AN ITALIAN BITE AT! – I hope I wasn’t being too dramatic there…In all seriousness, Pizza Tina was our absolute favorite place in all of Paris and probably the reason why there aren’t more restaurants on this page to review as we ate there 4 or 5 times while vacationing in Paris. We couldn’t get enough of Pizza Tina. This small restaurant is something I wish we could’ve folded up and packed up to bring with us back to the states. It’s a small yet spacious restaurant located only a few blocks from the Champ de Mars park. It’s warm, inviting and friendly. The owner’s son took care of us while we ate there (every time we visited) and was fun and provided great service. He spoke very little English, a little French and a lot of Italian so figuring out our order was a fun adventure. Ultimately, I ordered the Penne Arrabbiata with a Caprese salad (this quickly grew to be our favorite dish and was eaten every other time we visited Pizza Tina), Scaloppina Milanese, a Parmaggiana Pizza and Rigatoni 4 fromages. I literally have no complaints about the food we ordered, the service we received or the price we paid to dine here. The interior is very classic Italian with paintings all over the walls, mirrors throughout and cute little doodads everywhere. It is family owned and the love and care really comes out through their service and their food. We still desperately miss it and my husband swears that whenever we go to Italy we are taking the train to Paris just to dine here once more. At the mention on Pizza Tina my family’s faces light up with wonderful memories and grumbling bellies. I cannot say enough good things about this place. I highly recommend you make a point to go here and try it out. Perfection.
6) Le Cafe Gustave
23 Avenue de la Bourdonnais, 75007 Paris, France
While Gustave’s offers a great view of the Eiffel Tower while you eat your food that’s the extent of their greatness. It’s very small inside and the servers are quite rude. We ordered a cheeseburger and a breakfast platter with a banana and nutella crepe for the little one. While we waited for our food we gazed out the front windows admiring the business of Paris and the view of the tower when I happened to notice our waiter outside cleaning up after another customer and putting their left over baguette in a basket and then walking that basket to the counter where he added more bread to it and then brought it over to our table to serve to us. YUCK! Pointless to say, but we didn’t eat any of the bread after knowing someone else had their hands in there while eating God knows what and putting their dirty fingers in the basket to grab the same bread he was now serving to us. It doesn’t help that I’m a germaphobe but come on…that’s gross, right? So anyways, our food is served and it was decent – it would’ve been more tolerable had the prices been lower but definitely not worth what they were charging. The hamburger was overcooked and dry (the french fries were good though), the breakfast platter was good but lacked seasoning and the crepes of course came out perfect (you can’t screw those babies up!). I would say to pass on this place as none of the areas (service, food, price point, quality) really exceeded any kind of rational expectation.
7) Le Cafes de la Pyramide
Located inside The Louvre
This is a little food outlet located in the middle of the Louvre museum under the glass pyramid. They have awesome pre-made sandwiches, soups, casseroles, steamed veggies, yogurts etc. at great prices! It’s the perfect place to catch a 20 minute break and refuel before taking off to finish your art explorations. If you are in The Louvre and running low on energy I’d say this is the place to stop as we were all satisfied with our meals. Quick, easy and healthy.
8) Ulysse en Gaule
28 Rue Cler, 75007, Paris, France
This little creperie is on my favorite street in Paris, Rue Cler (for more info on Rue Cler check out my sight-seeing for Paris page). We weren’t even that hungry but I saw this little building had a crepe cart out front on the patio with all the chairs and tables and I just had to watch them make a crepe for me. I ordered the lemon and sugar crepe (Believe it or not, I liked it better than the Nutella & banana crepe!) and it was perfect…the thickness of the pancake was ideal, the balance of lemon and coarse sugar was a whirlwind of delight for my taste buds. We also ordered the ham and cheese crepe for a savory treat and it was just wonderful. I really enjoyed sitting at our table next to the crepe stand and watching the guy make our crepes. Another thing I loved was being able to sit and face Rue Cler as we ate so that we could people watch and study everyone doing their grocery shopping. Everyone we had interaction with at Ulysse was polite and kind. I believe there is also a Greek cafe in the interior of the building and the crepe cart is outside, but I cannot say with certainty…either way I say it’s a must go if you’re on Rue Cler!
9) Ronde des Pains
3 Rue du Champ de Mars, 75007 Paris, France
While strolling down Rue Cler we came upon Ronde des Pains…not by sight, but by smell! Fresh baked baguettes, croissants and other bakery items…how could we stay away? Their prices are great and the baked goods are out of this world. I bought an entire baguette and ate it out of the bag as we went about our day and it stayed fresh and delicious until it was gone. They also have an assortment of sweets (we bought some macaroons) that are just as tasty! I think this is a great spot to grab some breakfast pastries and a cafe au lait (coffee with milk). They have a great outdoor seating area to soak up the day and people watch while you dine. If you love anything bread, this is the place to be!
10) Boulangerie Poilane
49 bd de Grenelle, 75015 Paris, France
This little bakery was just awesome! Sometimes we would go in the morning or in the evening to get snacks to keep in the hotel. We bought baguettes, doughnuts, chocolate croissants and more! Everything we had was delicious and made for great snacks through out the day. It’s not too pricey and considering the great quality of everything we had I think it’s worth every Euro spent. There is no seating inside or outside the establishment so only go there for food on the go or food for later. I was told everything is baked fresh daily on the property. I miss this little bakery as I have yet to find one of equal caliber here in the states. I think it’s worth at least one stop for you and it helps that there are multiple locations as it is a chain. Check it out and see if there is one near your hotel it will be well worth it!
11) L’Entrecote Du Xveme
23 Rue Desaix, 75015 Paris, France
This is the first place we ate at in France after our train arrived at Gare du Nord and we checked into our hotel and after a long day a good dinner just sounded wonderful. They have pizza, spaghetti and sandwiches. We all decided to split a pizza and bread. It was mediocre but tasted great since we hadn’t really eaten all day. We never went back even though it was walking distance from our hotel. I would say it’s a no go unless you are truly hungry!
12) Jardin de France
55 Avenue de Suffren, 75007 Paris, France
Okay, in all fairness this is not a restaurant, it is a supermarket but I had to put it on this list as for me it was a little highlight of Paris. Generally when we travel I make sure to get a hotel with a refrigerator so we can do a little grocery shopping and stock up our hotel room so we don’t always have to run out for food or order room service if we get hungry. This little market was a short drive from our hotel and it was fabulous! I loved everything about it. Outside the doors they have all their fresh fruit and vegetables for sale (the colors are vibrant and amazing by the way) and when you walk in they have everything from packaged cookies to fresh made ham sandwiches to milk and soda. The prices are fantastic compared to the little souvenir shops and food stands that charge an arm and a leg for a coke! I believe I enjoyed the workers there even more than the food…when I was looking at a sandwich trying to figure out if it was a ham sandwich or a turkey sandwich I realized I didn’t know the French word for either word (ham or turkey) so I hoped the employee spoke a little English to help but you guessed it, he didn’t speak any so there we were – him speaking French to me and me speaking English to him both laughing knowing we couldn’t understand each other then before you know it I find myself holding up the sandwich and snorting like a pig to ask if it was ham…everyone around us busted up laughing as we cried in our joy that the language barrier reduced us to making animal sounds to understand each other. He eventually said “Oui” that yes it was a ham sandwich and snorted violently back at me. Next the milk, trying to figure out if it was cow or goat milk…he began mooing at me to ensure me it was cow’s milk fresh from the day before!! We walked out with about 4 bags of groceries and only spent about 15 Euro for enough food and beverages for a few days. We went there a total of 4 times just to enjoy the company of the workers and the quality of the food. If you stock up your hotel while away in Paris I have endless reasons as to why you should choose this place but the top 2 being the friendly service and the quality of food for the price you pay.
Unfortunately, while in Paris we couldn’t dine at a 5 star restaurant as having a 4 year old in an atmosphere like that sometimes isn’t always the best idea and at the end of the day I refuse to pay prices like that for something I know he wouldn’t eat. Whenever we go back to Paris as a couple though and dine at the nicer restaurants you can bet I’ll be reviewing those for you. Until then, Happy Travels (and dining!) my fellow Gypsies.