Restaurants in République and Oberkampf

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© Time Out / AW

L'Ilot

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

At l’Ilot, you don’t have to pay Parisian prices for the best catch of the day. The venue is tiny but beautiful, with big slate menus, earthenware pots and white parquet, a bay window, a few photos on the walls and a terrace for nice days – it all has a solid, comfortable charm.Perch yourself on a stool and order your white wine, then browse the menu: €5 for a serving of taramasalata or tuna or salmon rillettes, €4.50 to €9.50 for pink or grey Madagascan prawns, €6.50 for whelks and €8 for a half crab (€14 for the whole). There are also beautiful oysters: Marennes from Oléron, the latest catch from Utah Beach or plates of Belons (from €18 to €30 a dozen), while the fish is smoked or marinated (herring, eel, salmon, sardines – from €7 to €10.50). It’s all enough to make you linger long over your lunch, and the value of the set menu is unbeatable, at €12.50 for a starter, main and glass of wine. A delight.

  1. 4 rue de la Corderie, 3e
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 © Elsa Pereira

© Elsa Pereira

La Prune folle

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

This is one of Time Out's 100 best bars in Paris. Click here to see the full list. Proprietors Sol and Victor welcome their customers with broad smiles at La Prune Folle [the crazy plum]. Opened in April 2012, this café-bar elegantly encapsulates the trend for vintage twee with a few Formica tables, random second hand Chinese lamps, family photos and period wallpaper. And while the design definitely counts in its favour (take a look downstairs), the relaxed ambiance and the tasting menu are the icing on this cupcake. “We wanted to create a place where you feel really at home,” says Sol, a former sports instructor and talented pastry chef in whose retro teahouse the waiters are always friendly and the cakes have pride of place on the bar. Fancy tapas at 11am or brunch at teatime? No problem. La Prune Folle isn’t uptight about things like that.The menu’s sweet notes sing out the strongest, with things like spiced carrot cake and an unctuous cheesecake. But cocktail hour is not forgotten – with whole regiments of tapas to accompany it. Try the “Vin gourmand”, various wine samples with three mini tapas for €8. There’s a bit too much ABBA on the sound system for all but the most nostalgic audience, but most won’t be able to resist the set lunch menu, which includes a pudding for just €1 extra. This place definitely brings the good life to Oberkampf.

  1. 33 rue de Crussol, 11e
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Les Comptoirs de Carthage

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This unpretentious family-run restaurant located near the Carreau du Temple offers fusion cooking mixing French, English and Tunisian styles. Sitting at one of the few tables in the small, brightly-coloured room feels a bit like being in a hippie aunt's collection of rugs, braided wood lamps, blown glass, copper artefacts and jewels, but it all comes together in an agreeable jumble. The service is laid-back and affable, so you almost feel like you're in someone’s home.Well-seasoned and creative dishes are cooked with organic ingredients, and the menu changes regularly according to what is available at market and l'humeur du chef, and are wonderuflly cheap. There are several plates at €12, like tender citrus-marinated turkey with basmati rice and vegetables or stuffed peppers with sundried tomato sauce, or the house special of eight-vegetable couscous with dumplings for €14.Think of reserving in advance as it’s always busy (you can take away if necessary). In summer, the pretty tree-shaded terrace opens up, doubling the venue's capacity.

  1. 27 rue de Picardie, 3e
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Soya Cantine Bio

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

A vegetarian restaurant with an excellent and well-deserved reputation, Soya Cantine Bio offers a fantastic salad bar (tabbouleh, humus, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, beetroot) and hot dishes including things like vegetarian lasagna, Lebanese-style chickpeas, warm spring rolls, seaweed dumplings, potatoes with vanilla and cakes in small ramekins. Some of the flavour combinations may seem a bit strange, but it all works on the plate.The zen ambiance of this very light and airy restaurant is reflected in the warm welcome of the professional staff, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-4pm just €24 gets you the brunch buffet and a fruit juice. Reservations are recommended if you can't arrive early, as it always gets full by 1pm.

  1. 20 rue de la Pierre Levée, 11e
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© Time Out

Astier

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

You just have to look at the regulars’ crimson faces to know you’re onto a good thing at Astier. Red-and-white chequered tablecloths and rustic wooden panelling make up the retro setting for chef Christophe Kestler vintage revivals like smoked herrings with warm potato salad, grilled Charolais beef in anchovy butter, and scrumptious vanilla cream (think crème brûlée without the brûlée). The excellent value prix-fixe menu includes an all-you-can-eat cheese course – some morsels of which are so ripe they plop onto your plate in a dollop of ‘fromagian’ glory. Wash it all down with a 2007 Côte de Py Morgon red wine and you’ll be rolling to bed.

  1. 44 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 11e
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DR / © Al taglio

Al Taglio

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

One of the first outfits in Paris to sell pizza by weight, now a popular practice, Al Taglio is an understated canteen with chic overtones; big wooden high tables are scattered throughout the venue, lit by metallic lamps. Its popularity extends beyond the neighbourhood, so be prepared to queue, and enjoy the show while you do – the constant bustle and to-ing and fro-ing of hurried waiters delivering pizzas at lighting speed. When your turn comes to choose, it's a struggle to choose between things like pizza topped pancetta and Brebis cheese, or spicy salami and artichoke, or the delicious house speciality with truffle cream and potatoes. Once that’s done, you then choose the size of your portion (from €14.20 to €36.40 per kilo).And the pizzas really deliver: the light, crunchy dough strewn with fresh, flavourful produce. For the perfect accompanying tipple, choose a glass of Bardolino (€4.80), and if you have room, the Nutella-mascarpone pizza for dessert will ensure total satisfaction.

  1. 2 bis rue Neuve Popincourt, 11e
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© Emmanuel Chirache

L'Echappée

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

L’Echappée is primarily a lovely spa, whose stark modern façade stands out amid the dishevelled grandeur of the Rue de la Folie Méricourt. But regulars know you can also come here for brunch on weekends from noon to 3pm in the bright upstairs rooms. Make sure you arrive early to grab the armchairs at one of the big coffee tables – they’re criminally comfy. Once you’re settled in, for €25 per person you can have a buffet of your choice consisting of orange juice, coffee or tea and a variety of small dishes which change regularly, including strained muesli, fruit salad, chocolate cake, cheesecake, carrot cake… All followed by a plate of ‘friendly vegetables’, scrambled eggs and potatoes, vegetarian lasagne or leek pie. The food is delicious and the variety is second to none. Also make sure that you leave room one of their famous desserts: go for pancakes or French toast. After a morning at the spa, a L’Echappée brunch is probably the best way to continue the day on a high.

  1. 64 rue de la Folie Méricourt, 11e
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Aux Deux Amis

Aux Deux Amis

Aux Deux Amis

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This is one of Time Out's 100 best bars in Paris. Click here to see the full list. Be warned: don’t rock up at Aux Deux Amis on a Friday night expecting to sit down. If, like most people, you haven’t reserved, you’ll be staking out a few square centimetres at the bar. Here you can chat with your neighbours while good-naturedly knocking into each other, wines and beers in hand. Then, it’s time to eat. The melting ‘Tortilla de Janine’, the princely acorn-fed ham with grilled almonds, the brilliant house mozzarella… according to the whims of the chef, there will also be things like fresh sardines, black pudding purée, cabbage salad, crunchy beetroot with Bismarck vodka, herring, and sterling classics like burrata and manchego cheese. The setting for all this? Tiled walls and floors, 70s neon lighting, a hip clientele and plenty of wine, which is all 100% natural and served by David Vincent-Loyola, formerly of Chateaubriand, who has transformed this old neighbourhood dive into an unmissable stop on the Rue Oberkampf. At midday, his acolyte Mathieu Perez joins the kitchen, offering an impeccable, affordable set menu. If things start to lose their fizz, the lovely terrace is a great place to let the party spill over and outside.

  1. 45 rue Oberkampf, 11e
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American Bistrot

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Burgers have been big business in Paris for some time, but American Bistro was one of the forerunners. This famous diner is like something straight out of Beverly Hills: cheery atmosphere, warm welcome, walls covered in old rock records from the 50s and 60s, a big Smeg fridge, red vinyl couches and a rockabilly soundtrack. Start with a Perfect Duff Beer or a cocktail (€5 or €8), while sizing up the enormous menu: salads, bagels, milkshakes, desserts and, naturally, burgers. We started with caramelised chicken wings with Roquefort sauce (€7.50) and well-made quesadillas. For the burgers, there’s everything from the JD burger (the meat flavoured with Jack Daniels, the house favourite), the Marcel burger with béarnaise sauce, or the Burger of the Month (€14 to €16.50). Everything is as it should be; great bread, good cheddar, Aubrac steak done well (as opposed to well done). The chips were slightly soggy, but partly made up for by an enormous Elvis Banana milkshake. In sum, American Bistro is one of the essential venues for burger fans in Paris, with great choice and quality products with a French spin.

  1. 74 rue de la Folie Méricourt, 11e
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DR

Chez Justine

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4

This is the place to get fed and watered before heading to Nouveau Casino or to L’International for a gig, and to see the film crews gathered in the corner who have made this their official canteen. The food isn’t half bad either, the quality of the ingredients and cooking lifting the kitchen above the level of the bar’s neighbourhood dive feel. The décor and music are well-chosen, with a poster of Jacques Tati looking down on a grand piano and post-modern lighting making the slender bar shine. The cooking is traditional French with New York accents, like the legendary spaghetti with meatballs or the house burgers (with a different ‘special’ every day of the week), often influenced by the flavours of the Auvergne but also more refined dishes like starters of oysters or foie gras, or Rossini-style beef. The wine list speaks of a well-stocked cellar and the cocktails are accomplished. The Sunday brunch is also a must-do, highly recommended. Also keep an eye on the programming, as there are occasional quality gigs.

  1. 96, Rue Oberkampf, 11e
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© Time Out / Oliver Knight

L’Auberge Pyrénées Cévennes

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4

Adventurous eaters and fans of offal come here to let it all hang out, a relaxed sort of place where the patron leans on the bar chatting with customers while sausages swing silently from the rafters overhead, waiting patiently for their turn on the checked tablecloths below.The set menu (€30.25) is a sort of greatest hits of a neighbourhood joint in old Lyon: a salad with lardons, herrings with fried potatoes or a lentil salad to start, then a choice between the incomparable hot sausage with pistachio, breaded pig’s foot, fried veal liver, veal sweetbreads, andouillette sausage or quenelles of pike.Or there's the cassoulet, which lives up to its reputation, as does the famous house terrine. And if you’re one of those more adventurous diners, partial to culinary curiosities, try the tablier de sapeur – literally, ‘sapper’s apron’ – a piece of beef stomach marinated in white wine, then breaded and fried. For dessert, lovely profiteroles, and a no less lovely rum baba. The venue calls to mind the old Lyonnais saying dans la vie, on fait ce qu’on peut, mais à table, on se force – in life, we do what we can, but at the table, you make an effort ­– here it’s followed to the letter, and with charming service. This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.

  1. 106 rue de la Folie Méricourt, 11e
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Au Comptoir de Brice

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

There are chefs that don’t have to invest in a classy décor to attract customers – the cooking alone is enough to put bums on seats. Au Comptoir de Brice is found in the middle of the Saint-Martin covered market amid the fruit stalls and greasy spoon cafés – and it might not look like much, but the ever-changing menu is full of surprises. Don’t let yourself be tempted by the dining room and stay at the bar – it’s a bit chilly in winter, but the ballet of the cooks beneath the benevolent eye of the chef (Brice Morvent, from the French TV programme ‘Top Chef’) is worth a look. There are usually three starters and three mains on the chalk board menu. The starters are a shade pricy but totally worth it: risotto with truffles (€13) or poached eggs with black truffle cream (€12). At mains, we tried the famous house burger: a few leaves of well-dressed salad with a handful of pulses, a little metal bucket full of crunchy chips and two mini-burgers, easily snapped up in a couple of bites without getting half the filling on your lap, the caramelised onions, perfectly cooked meat and Bearnaise sauce making the whole full of flavour. The seasonal produce is fresh and put together with a light and expert hand, and the excellent dessert – we’re still dreaming about the lemon meringue tart crumble – very good value at €6.

  1. 31 rue du Château d'Eau - Marché couvert Saint-Martin, 10e
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© Time Out

Chez Jenny

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4

Alsatian restaurant Chez Jenny, done out all in marquetry, statues and frescoes of provincial scenes, is a legendary brasserie that’s something of a local monument in Parisian gastronomy.As well as the famous choucroute (sauerkraut) and the traditional oyster bar, the menu features perfectly-executed Alsatian specialities such as flammekueche, a salad with saveloy sausages, caramelised pork shank, strudel and kouglof. There are also more traditonal French brasserie elements to the menu (onion soup, Scottish salmon, beef entrecote, duck confit, crêpes, profiteroles), but you don’t come here for that. Sitting down to eat at Chez Jenny should be like taking the train from Gare de L’Est to the Alsatian foothills and enjoying cabbage, sausages, sometimes fish.Just be aware that outside of the well-chosen set menus (which don’t include any of the local specialities), the bill can mount up alarmingly – for example, allow between €20 and €30 for the sauerkraut. A real regret is that there aren't any speciality Alsatian beers on the menu – you’ll have to content yourself with a Kronenbourg. This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.

  1. 39 boulevard du Temple, 3e
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Ave Maria

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This is one of Time Out's 100 best bars in Paris. Click here to see the full list. You go to the Ave Maria to have a good nosh with your mates, squeezed between your neighbours at the table. As you enter, you’ll blink first of all at the psychedelic décor, featuring Latina Virgin Marys and Hindu goddesses. Next, you’ll be made rapt by the copious menu. Ave Maria’s speciality is to take you taste buds around the world – try out the original Himalaya Dream (delicious grilled chicken with turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, red lentils, split peas, coconut milk, mint, basmati rice and salad), the Indian Ocean (a creole dish to sweep you off your feet), the Women on Top (a spin on the traditional Brazilian feijoada stew)… if you can manage to make a choice. The house also proposes a range of foreign beers and surprising exotic cocktails like the Aguas Borobora (a cocktail with mango, rose, vodka and champagne). We only regret that the service isn’t nicer, and also the eternal wait for a table at the weekends (no reservations). Doesn’t take credit cards.

  1. 1 rue Jacquard, 11e
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Square Gardette

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4

Square Gardette is the little garden of this calm residential area, not far from the tumult of the Rue Oberkampf. This is where you’ll find, rarely by accident, the restaurant of the same name, a spacious place that manages to be chic and welcoming at the same time. The décor is a little eccentric, with stuffed animals overlooking your table, and the ‘cabinet of curiosity’ loos are bigger than some Parisian apartments. The service isn’t snooty, but on the contrary, the helpful smiling staff take pleasure in helping you through the daily-changing menu – though the €36 set menu is compulsory in the evenings. But it’s a very reasonable sum for a unique three course menu. A starter of foie gras served in a flavourful emulsion is streets ahead of that found in any traditional brasserie, and the saddle of rabbit with crunchy giblets is a delight. Big appetites can go for the entrecote for two (an extra €10 per person), delivered in its own stewpot surrounded by golden oven-roast potatoes. There are secret recipes from the Japanese pastry chef for dessert, and it’s often one of the owners, an expat Brazilian, who will advise your wine choices, with a nose as fine as the taste of his chef, Aimeric Lahondès. There are also well-priced plats du jour at lunchtime, and a €30 brunch on Sundays.

  1. 24 rue Saint Ambroise, 11e
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© Time Out

West Country Girl

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

As any seasoned Normandy sailor will tell you, with galettes there are three crucial rules. First, salted butter – shame on anyone who tries to cook one with anything else. Second, cook it on the right side, leaving the open top – it’s amazing how many people get this wrong. Third, it’s a galette, not a ‘savoury crêpe’. You have been warned.All of which is to say that at West Country Girl, our hands are tied – the first two rules are respected to the letter, so we’re forced to forgive the blatant disregard of the third. The place is welcoming, with friendly service, and the – whisper it – savoury crêpes are delicious, just crisp enough. When we visited, we had an excellent version with andouillette, and one with apple boudin. The special of the day was a slight let down (parmesan, egg and spinach, with the latter drowning everything rather), but was quickly forgotten with a glass of good cider and a sweet crêpe (a real one) with butter and sugar, melting in the middle and toasted at the edges.The menu covers the classic combinations as well as a dozen or so more inventive options (like brie, bacon and walnuts or goat’s cheese, spinach and raisins). Set lunch menus are just €10.50 or €12.80 (two galettes or salads of the day, or a buckwheat crêpe and a glass of cider) and the venue is easy-going and accommodating to children, with an €8 kids menu. Come on a Thursday, to try a version with oysters.

  1. 6 passage Saint-Ambroise, 11e
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L'Estaminet

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4

Feeling faint, feeling famished, falling off the wagon? Head to the 11th arrondissement for some comfort food. On the bustling Rue Oberkampf, l’Estaminet is a little piece of the south western Epinal region among the Parisian cobbles, guaranteed to provide succour.Ochre hues, bare wood and yellowing wallpaper give this Aveyron canteen the charm of a Parisian bistro of yesteryear. On sunny days, the verdant terrace is a lovely place to digest a generous house salad of tuna or gizzard confit, lardons and potatoes. Starters are excellent things like foie gras ravioli (€7.50 euros) or aubergine and goat’s cheese millefeuille (€6.90).In the cold of winter, you might prefer to take refuge in the little dining room on the ground floor or in the pretty cellar. This is the season for the famous Aveyron escalope – a gorgeous piece of veal served with Cantal ham and sautéed potatoes. A heart attack on a plate, but worth it for consolation from bitter winter chills. Dishes range from €14.50 (the Estraburger, the salads) to €17 (veal escalope, the braised lamb), good prices for the quality.If you have any room left for dessert, the sinful Caprice de Jeanne or the slightly lighter Nutella and cookie tiramisu (all desserts €6.80) should be enough to finish off the most demanding appetite. The wine list is extensive and regularly updated, though not cheap by the glass (around €4). Still, great cooking, quick and friendly service and a cheerful atmosphere all add up to a real gem.

  1. 116 rue Oberkampf, 11e
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