Paris Restaurants by Susan Faistl

Apriori The' - 35 - 37 Gallerie Vivienne (See Streetwise map directory looking under shopping centers.) Great food and lovely location inside a beautiful gallery. Moderate lunch prices.Very nice Sunday brunch.

Phone: 01 42 97 48 75

Cador - Salon de The' - 2 rue de l' Admiral de Coligny As you face the Seine, the street is on the left side of the Louvre. Our apartment was on the 5th floor of this building, on the corner. Our bedroom had one window facing the Louvre and the others facing the Seine.Food is simple and inexpensive. Closed Mondays.

Mariage Freres - The ultimate salon de the' - Wonderful Sat. and Sun. brunch in 2 locations. A little pricey.

13 rue des Grands Augustins over the Pont Neuf on the left bank. Smaller restaurant.

Phone: 01 40 51 82 50

30 rue du Bourg - Tibourg is the better location if you're doing Sunday Mass at Notre Dame and is a 15 minute walk from the church on the right bank.

Phone: 01 42 72 28 11

Café Chez Plumeau - Montmartre - Very nice outdoor restaurant under an arbor located on the opposite side of the artists as you approach them from Sacre Coeur. With your back to Sacre Coeur , with the view of Paris on your left, it's on the left corner of the row of restaurants bordering the artists. There's usually a cellist playing outside the café. Nice food and moderate prices.

Cafe Denon - I think this is the nicest place to have a simple lunch in the Louvre. It's located near the top of the escalator you'll be approaching AFTER you have already shown your ticket and entered the Denon wing. At the top of the escalator look for the sign pointing the way to the restaurant. It's in the Roman-Egypt section. It's a cavelike area that used to be part of the royal stables. Nice menu AND you can have a glass of wine or beer. You should consider following Rick Steves' tour of the Louvre which begins in the Denon wing and making your lunch reservation before you start the tour. Otherwise the wait can be lengthy. Then just walk to the front of the line when you arrive for your reservation and tell the hostess that you have a reservation. Everyone standing around waiting for a table will think you're a VIP.

Café de la Paix - Across the street from the Opera in the Le Grand Hotel. Open all day, 7 days a week. Very good food and a little expensive, but a great experience.

Phone: 01 40 07 36 36

Café Med - 77 rue St. Louis en L'Ile on Ile St. Louis. Light dinners and lunch daily and all day Sat. and Sun. Gallettes and cider are good. Prices are not expensive. Good place to eat after touring Notre Dame.

Phone: 01 43 29 73 17

Chez Gabriel - 123 rue St. Honore - A few doors in from rue de Louvre. Excellent traditional French cuisine in a non-tourist restaurant. No English on the menu but Brigitte, the owner, speaks more English than she lets on. One of our favorite restaurants. Moderate prices

Phone: 01 42 33 02 99

La Corte - 320 rue St. Honore heading away from the Louvre towards Vendome. There's a small black sign with white writing above the alley on St. Honore. Great Italian restaurant down an alley off St. Honore. The food is as good as you'd find in Italy and they serve Prosecco! Closed Sun. but open Mon. Good prices.

Phone: 01 42 60 45 27

La Rotisserie d'en face - chef Jacques Cagna - 2 rue Christine - Cross Pont Neuf to the left bank, continue down rue Dauphine and make a left onto rue Christine. Very good food that's a little expensive. It's a pretty safe menu for those who are not too adventurous. Good place to dine before taking evening river cruise from Pont Neuf.

Phone: 01 43 26 40 98

Le Café Marly - Outdoor dining overlooking the pyramid at the Louvre. Not a very friendly menu for those who don't know what to expect from French cuisine. Expensive. You can have a cocktail or a coffee at their courtyard tables. It's beautiful at dusk but a coffee costs 9 euros!

Phone: 01 49 26 06 60

Le Christine - 1 rue Christine - Cross Pont Neuf to left bank, continue down rue Dauphine and make a left onto rue Christine. Excellent, modern, French cuisine. The owners are charming and you can buy the Moet red tulip champagne flutes on the tables. Open 7 days and will take a 6:30 reservation. Good prices. One of our favorites. Another good choice before taking the river cruise.

Phone: 01 42 18 04 39

Le Dauphin - 167 rue St. Honore near intersection of Avenue de l'Opera - Very good fixed price menus at good prices.

Phone: 01 42 60 40 11

Le Grand Louvre - Classy restaurant under the pyramid. Open daily for lunch and Wed. and Fri. nights for dinner. Very nice menu offerings and not usually crowded. You don't have to get very dressed up either. Menu is the same for lunch and dinner. Good prices.

Phone: 01 40 20 53 41

Le Jardin de Patrick in the Intercontinental Hotel - 3 rue de Castiglione - Lovely atrium seating in the summer. Nice menu, pianist and good prices.

Phone: 01 44 77 10 47

Le Petit Zinc - 11 rue St. Benoit - Near St. Germain des Pres Church. Food is pretty good and it has A/C. Prices are good. Open on Sunday.

Phone: 01 42 86 61 00

Le Souffle - 36 rue Mont Thabor - Street is parallel to and between rue de Rivoli and rue St. Honore. Not much atmosphere but you can have a 3 course meal of soufflés if you desire. Moderate prices.

Phone: 01 42 60 27 19

Le Vauban - 7 Place Vauban - Directly across the street from Napoleon's Tomb. Busy place, good food, good prices. Good place to lunch while you're doing the bus tour after you do the loop around the Eiffel Tower. Tour bus stop is right nearby .

Phone: 01 47 05 52 67

Les Bouquinistes - chef Guy Savoy - 53 Quai des Grands Augustins on the left bank, one block from the Pont Neuf. Modern décor, very good modern French cuisine. Expensive.

Phone: 01 43 25 45 94

Pizza Oskian - 139 rue St. Honore near rue de Louvre. Bright, clean pizza place. Open 7 days. A/C. Great when you're tired of French food. Individual pies. Inexpensive.

Restaurant du Musee' d' Orsay - Lunch or afternoon tea in a gorgeous setting 2 flights up over the entrance to the museum. Lunch is so/so and prices are okay. Tea is very nice and you can get a glass of champagne instead of tea. Sometimes there's a pianist. Definitely worth a visit.

Restaurant Paul - 15 Place Dauphine - quiet courtyard off the street in the middle of the Pont Neuf. Can dine outdoors. Menu is very French so you might want to stick with the chicken. Food is good and prices are average but location is very nice - especially in the evening. It's actually quieter and cooler than the area outside the courtyard on the streets. Another good place to dine the night you take the river cruise.

Phone: 01 43 54 21 48

Spoon Food and Wine - chef Alain Ducasse - 14 rue de Maignan located between Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe off the Champs Elysees. Modern, innovative build your own ``mix and match'' plates. Expensive.

Phone: 01 40 76 34 44

Always try to make a reservation for dinner or brunch, even if it's only an hour or two before you want to eat. You'll be treated MUCH better than if you walk in off the street. If you're in the neighborhood during the day, drop in and make the reservation. Gratuities are built into the menus so even if you don't see it printed on the check, it's already been included. You may choose to leave a little extra if you feel you enjoyed your meal.


Upon arrival at Charles de Gaulle airport, after collecting your luggage, you'll pass through automatic doors into the airport. Immediately to the left of the automatic doors is an ATM machine so you can get some cash for your taxi, etc. Right near the ATM is the window you will go to when you're returning to the US if you need to submit your papers to get the VAT back. (See Rick Steves book for further info.)

Buy a Streetwise map of Paris and the Rick Steves Paris book at Barnes and Noble. The map is excellent and the book is invaluable.

The better bus to tour the city is the L'Open Tour, yellow-green bus (not the red bus). For about 28 euros, you get a 2 day pass which enables you to travel 4 different routes. The best route is the green, which takes you around to all the most important sites. The yellow route is important because it takes you to Montmartre. You're better off taking the tour bus to Montmartre than the metro because it's a very shady area. You can get off the green bus at the Madeleine and pick up the yellow at the same stop. You can also switch busses at the bus office on rue Auber. The other 2 routes aren't very interesting. Be sure to have cash for the bus. Although they're supposed to take credit cards, the machines rarely work on the busses. Coupon books you're given on the bus should contain a coupon for a discount on the Vedettes boat tour and one for the Conciergerie admission. Check out the routes on the internet site to find the stop closest to your hotel. Besides having the address for the stop, you'll recognize it because there's usually a glass bus shelter at the bus stop with the Open Tour logo on the top of it.

The better boat tour is Vedettes Pont Neuf. Smaller boats and live guides. You can get the boats down the stairs near the statue of Henry IV on horseback on the Pont Neuf. Cost is about 11 euros - no credit cards. Boats run about every half hour during the spring and summer. Less frequently the rest of the year. Tour is one hour. Internet discount.

When visiting Ste. Chapelle and the Conciergerie, purchase your combination ticket at the Conciergerie because there's usually no line there, unlike Ste. Chapelle. Bathrooms are in both sites.

If you'll be visiting Paris during Lent, you may want to visit Notre Dame when they're displaying the purported Crown of Thorns and some other relics of the crucifixion. After the Crusades in 1239, Louis IX (St. Louis) bought the Crown of Thorns and other relics from the Emperor of Constantinople. When Louis returned to Paris, he built Ste. Chapelle to house the relics. At some point, the relics were moved to Notre Dame where they are still kept to this day, but are not displayed. On Fridays during Lent at 3:00pm there is exposition and veneration of the relics. The cathedral is quite crowded at these times so it's best to get there early and sit as close to the altar as you can get. There's a procession of the clergy carrying the relics, followed by the opportunity for the congregation to file up the center aisle to kiss the Crown of Thorns. Keep in mind what it's like at the Good Friday services in your own church and how long it takes for the congregation to kiss the crosses that are held by a few priests, then, imagine the entire congregation of Notre Dame lining up single file to kiss one relic. The closer you are to the altar, the better able you are to be among the first to line up to kiss the relic. If you choose, you can then leave the cathedral. You can only imagine the wait for those sitting in the rear of the church! Over by the statues of St. Therese and St. Joan of Arc, to the right of the main altar, is a machine that dispenses holy cards with a photo of the Crown for one euro.

When visiting the Orsay, try to leave a couple of hours to visit the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal on rue du Bac. Rue du Bac is on the left bank over the Pont Royal. Go down rue du Bac, cross Blvd. St. Germain, continue about 4 ½ blocks down on the opposite side of the street from Bon Marche department store. You can visit the chapel and view the actual body of St. Catherine Laboure and see the blue velvet chair Our Lady sat on. You can also see the statue containing the remains of St. Louise de Marillac, companion of St. Vincent de Paul. You can buy medals in the shop and have them blessed by the nun in the office up the stairs opposite the medal shop. A bathroom is there but a cleaner one can be found in the lingerie dept. one flight up in the Bon Marche department store across the street. Next door to the shrine is the Bon Marche food emporium. It's amazing and you MUST go inside. You'll want to taste everything!

For a taste of a real French neighborhood, visit rue de Buci. It's located on the left bank in the St. Germain area at the end of rue Dauphine over the Pont Neuf. It's a wonderful area of outdoor cafes, a fruit and vegetable market, flower stalls, a cheese store and more. When you get to the end of rue Dauphine, make a left onto rue St. Andre' des Arts,and look for the alley near the florist on the right side of the street. Walk down the cobble stone street and see the historic restaurant Le Procope. Near the end of the street, on the left hand side is a wonderful little jewelry shop. The jewelry is lovely and the prices and quality are good. If you see something you like, buy it now. They carry some Satellite jewelry which can also be found in Satellite stores around the city and in the department stores. There's a Satellite store on St. Honore near St. Roch Church. Very nice things.

If taking the train to Versailles, taking the train from the Musee' d' Orsay metro stop enables you to get to Versailles without having to switch trains. The RER train can be picked up right there. See Rick Steves for information to get to Versailles.

I would suggest that you check the listings while using your Streetwise map to check locations of the apartments. The closer you are to the river in the 1st, 6th and 7th arrondisments, the more convenient it will be to reach the tourist sites.

Susan Faistl - N/A, United States