These intimate spots that make up the food lover’s Paris short list.
Chez Aline: Choose your own fillings or defer to chef Delphine Zampetti for a deceptively simple baguette sandwich at her petite, retro-flavored deli. 11th Arr.; 33-1/43-71-90-75. $
Septime: Rustic wooden tables and an open kitchen give the space a farmhouse vibe; the menu of neo-bistro classics is both soulful and inventive. 11th Arr. $$$
L’Avant Comptoir: At this elbow-to-elbow, standing-room-only “hors d’oeuvres bar,” the bread basket is communal, but the foie gras skewers and boudin noir macarons are just for you. Sixth Arr. 33-1/44-27-07-97. $$
Frenchie Wine Bar: Across from impossible-to-book Frenchie lies its edgy sibling, whose shared tables, 80’s rock playlist, and small plates (pulled pork on brioche) are all the rage. Second Arr. $$
Bistrot Paul Bert: The classic Parisian bistro every carnivore dreams of, with knife-cut steak tartare, foie gras haricots verts, and, of course, a venerable steak frites. 11th Arr. $$$
Café Constant: Two blocks from the Eiffel Tower, noted chef Christian Constant pays homage to his grandmother’s recipes at his casual, bi-level brasserie. Seventh Arr. $$$
Ten Belles: The new-wave coffee shop from rock-star barista Thomas Lehoux, whose cappuccinos are made with cult Telescope beans. 10th Arr. $
Glass: It’s all about creative cocktails, grilled hot dogs, and Brooklyn Brewery beer (!) at this South Pigalle nightspot, where a fashionable crowd mingles with chefs fresh off the line. Ninth Arr. $
Restaurant Pricing Key
$ Less than $25
$$ $25 to $75
$$$ $75 to $150
$$$$ More than $150
Despite chef-owner Christian Constant’s rise to fame on the local culinary scene, his namesake restaurant remains rooted in the humble neighborhood café tradition. Situated within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower, the two-story café is modestly furnished with wooden tables, red banquettes, and a small Formica bar. Blackboard menus advertise the ever-changing selection of reasonably priced, traditional café fare such as foie gras with warm brioche and sea bass à la plancha (grilled on a metal plate) with garlic sweet potatoes. Also popular are the homemade profiteroles prepared tableside with a pitcher of hot fudge.
Bistrot Paul Bert
Situated in the trendy 11th Arrondissement, Bistrot Paul Bert is a classic French eatery with unexpected twists. Inspired by local flea market finds, the eclectic interior includes a bright mosaic floor, oversize mirrors, small wooden tables, and unusual chandeliers. The chalkboard menu changes regularly to highlight seasonal produce, but reliable favorites include the steak frites—served very rare and topped with marrow—and the signature Paris-Brest dessert: a large puff pastry filled with chocolate-hazelnut cream. Dishes are paired with hard-to-find small-batch wines from an extensive list.
A standing-room-only tavern in the Sixth Arrondissement serving inventive tapas from France (macarons of boudin noir; brochettes of foie gras and piquillo peppers) and beyond (cubes of tuna tataki garnished with alfalfa sprouts), L’Avant Comptoir started as a place for diners to cool their heels while waiting for a table at the perennially busy Le Comptoir du Relais next door. But you can have a low-key meal, too. “I like to bring clients here after tours because of how Yves highlights his producers,” Lyn says. “The artichokes and the Bordier butter from Brittany, the fleur de sel from the Béarn, jamón ibérico from the Pays Basque—it’s like a food journey in one little spot.”