Sunday, October 2, 2011

Paris - Bistros and Sidewalk Cafés of Interest

Iconic Paris photo-Eiffel tower, Seine River, bridges, streetlights-DGH

In October 2010, we were in Paris, France, trying to immerse ourselves in the City of Light as much as two Anglophiles can. I was also gathering material for a future novel based in Paris. This city surpassed my expectations. It draws you into its charms. One of those charms is the local food, the tiny bistros, the many choices of places to eat.

We walked, or used the Hop-On Hop-Off buses (Les Cars Rouge). Cost = about 24 Euros per person, and covers two days of use.  Here are some of the places we discovered.

Cafe Louis Philippe, Paris, Right Bank by DG Hudson

Cafe Louis Philippe - Right Bank, Paris, France

What we had:  Andalusian sausage, Lamb rib chops, frozen nougat with raspberry coulis.  Great service, and the place was well-filled with locals (always a good sign).  We were never rushed and due to the rain outside, we sat warm and cozy under cover.  A very pleasant experience.


Bistro Marguerite, Right Bank, Paris by DG Hudson

Bistrot Marguerite - on the Right Bank across from Hotel de Ville and next to the lovely Seine River.  A favorite.

What we had:  Baked cod dish - French style with onions and  potatoes, grilled salmon, steak and frites, French onion soup with cheesy toast salad.  The waiters were friendly and helpful.  We went back three times and were never disappointed. Average cost for two people with house white wine, entrees or plats and cafe lattes=48 Euros.

Update April 1, 2015:
The video of this bistro which previously was here was removed as it was no longer a valid link.


Le Voltaire Restaurant, Paris, by DG Hudson

Le Voltaire Restaurante - Left Bank, Latin Quarter

What we had:  German beer, Quiche and salad, and raisin pie (for those with a sweet tooth).   A real old world atmosphere.  Voltaire used to hang around here.  That's per the plaque on the building in the photo above.  No link for this one, but many reviews can be found.  We were there for lunch so meal cost about 50 Euros.  Use what French you know in this one for better service, it helps as they get lots of tourists in this area.  We had great food and enjoyed it.


Les Arts and Metiers, Left Bank, by DG Hudson

Les Arts and Metiers - Arts 'n' Letters  Left Bank, Latin Quarter. 

A great people watching restaurant where we spent a very pleasant couple of hours.
What we had:  Fluffy omelettes, chantilly custard, macarons, coffee, and wine with water on the side.  We had a lunch break while walking in the Latin Quarter looking for 'Shakespeare and Co.', Les Deux Magots, and Cafe Flore.

Other Notable Eating Establishments: (mostly in the Marais and Latin quarters/arrondisements)
  • Resto Med (Cafe Med), Ile St. Louis small family run cafe with excellent food, friendly staff, and cozy atmosphere; found on a side street tucked between small shops
  •  La Pause Beaubourg - in the Marais district, just down from the Hotel de Ville, on the Right bank
  • Pizza Le Valentino - in the Marais, across the street from La Pause Beaubourg, Excellent meals; local families sat next to us, very attentive service, tolerant staff
  • Pizza Sant'Antonio  - in the Marais, in a small square off the Rue de Rivoli.  A variety of plats (meals) and fresh pizza.  UPDATE: Refer to A Pizza Place in Paris, for more information about this excellent spot to eat. Feb. 2013.

Important notes
Prices can vary by high and low season.  We found eating out at the local restaurants gave us a chance to sample the fare that the Parisians were eating. This is easy to do in the Marais and on the Ile St. Louis, where many family owned restaurants prosper in the small side streets. 

Reference:  Immerse Yourself in the Moment (A sensory tour of Paris)

Additional posts on PARIS - Refer to DG Hudson's 21st Century Journal for a post on Paris Walkabouts:

Do you take notes when you travel?  Has any particular location or city found its way into your heart?



  1. A tour of French restaurants - I like it!

  2. Thanks, Alex.

    Tiny little restaurants, narrow side streets, fantastic food. We wanted to avoid the tourist trap restaurants, and keep the costs reasonable, too. It worked.

  3. The hop-on, hop-off buses seem popular in Europe (or so we thought at all the stops on our Mediterranean cruise) and are such a great way to get around!

    This post as a whole makes me rather hungry.

    I did not have a calling to Barcelona before having visited there, but since my visit, I would love to return and explore it in detail, just digest the atmosphere. We briefly passed through there between airport and port for a cruise, taking a day and night on either end.

  4. We spent little on transportation except taxis for getting to and from the airport; that way, we could spend more on a rental apartment suite for our stay right in the centre of Paris near the Seine River.

    By walking everywhere, we discovered places on foot and in the tiny side streets that you wouldn't see any other way. A side benefit of all that walking -- we could eat what we wanted, and climb the 300+ steps up the Arc de Triomphe.

  5. I definitely take notes when I travel--you never know when you'll use them! I was in Connecticut in February to visit a friend at Yale, and guess which place ended up in the novel I hadn't even started at that point?

    You've made me so homesick for Paris now! Such a magical place, and such a wonderful place to walk and eat, walk and eat. I saw the movie Midnight in Paris at a preview last night, and it was like a little trip all on its own. If you loved Paris, I definitely recommend it!

  6. Thanks for stopping by, Amie, and glad to hear someone else takes copious notes, too.

    I also saw Midnight in Paris a few weeks ago, and I would like to go back in time like he did (only to visit, I think...). Paris gets in your bones and in your heart.

    Best thing: you walk so much, you can eat anything there.

  7. must come back when I have more time to read. I'm working on a book set in Paris, and oh, how I would LOVE to dash off and visit... Maybe! :o) <3

  8. @LTM - please do come back and thanks for following. Don't miss the link at the bottom for a sensory tour of Paris.

    Paris is a great city to visit, and the history that confronts you is amazing.


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