The 50 best restaurants in Paris: Quick bites

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© Time Out

There's no contradiction these days between fast food and gourmet dining – not even in Paris. A salty dash of seafood, a celebrity chef's twist on tapas, a giant bite of a meltingly good burger – all these dining experiences and more merit the attention of the most refined palates.

The quick bites

Atao

Atao looks like a dream of a fisherman’s cabin – marine blue on the outside, then wood, white and colourful touches of fresh flowers inside, with an old mariner’s portrait, an anchor and a black and white Gwenn ha Du flag from old Brittany. At night, soft candlelight enhances the atmosphere even further.This pretty place is owned by the daughter of an oyster farmer from Morbihan, who showers her guests with platters of fine oysters – flat native plates and huge Japanese creuses (alive and cooked). They're all certified Gravinis, the family locale, and cost between €15 and €30 a dozen. Given the pedigree, there’s no messing about with the selection of shellfish here – a generous plate of perfectly cooked whelks comes with excellent home made aioli.It’s the same story with the larger shellfish: fantastic langoustine, prawns and crabs. It’s a bit expensive, but that’s the price you pay for eating such high quality beasts in Paris. The main dishes – fish stew, dorado with basil, scallop carpaccio etc. – are also pricey (around €30) but of undeniable quality. Overall, this is the ideal place to find the best fare from the sea.

  1. 86 rue Lemercier, 17e
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Big Fernand

A brilliant little burger joint, which takes the traditional American burger and gives it the French terroir treatment. Nowhere’s been left out, with regional specialities from all over France wedged between delicious sesame seed buns from the bakery next door. There’s fourme cheese from Ambert, tomme cheese from Savoie, Saint-Nectaire cheese, Charolais and Blonde d’Aquitaine beef and more.The menu lists five house burgers, but you can also build your own. Choose from beef, chicken, lamb and veal and then add cheese, grilled vegetables, streaky bacon, sauces, herbs or spices...

  1. 55 rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, 9e
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Frenchie Bar à Vins

Grégory Marchand’s restaurant Frenchie has become legendary not just for the quality of its food, but for the almost superhuman effort required to secure a table in the tiny dining room. Luckily there is Frenchie Bar à Vins across the street, where you can sample his Anglo-influenced take on bistro cooking without a reservation.Showing up just after 7pm, we were able to take our pick of the high tables, some of which already had a few occupants. This is the sort of place where neighbours quickly become friends, and before long we were exchanging cards and even bites of food with...

  1. 5 rue du Nil, 2e
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