Restaurants in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Odéon and the Latin Quarter

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Kootchi

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

Kootchi is the kind of place that makes an instant visual impact while remaining discreet. The alert pedestrian will pick up on its curious name and brilliant blue façade, studded with lightbulbs and fronted by a tiny two-table terrace. Inside, the exoticism continues with the wall-mounted Middle Eastern carpets and elaborate lacework. You might as well have stepped into a Kabul teahouse.To most, Afghan cuisine is a terra incognita of meats, yellow rice and obscure spices. Which is precisely what you get at Kootchi: hearty, unpretentious food that fills your stomach while tingling your tastebuds. Shared platters are the done thing here – ask for a variety of rice, meat and veggie dishes, order a doore (a wonderfully revitalising drink of yoghurt and cucumber) to wash it down, and the kitchen will take care of the rest. You'll get the best deal at lunchtime, when set menus drop to €9–€12; come dinner, you can expect to spend up to €30 à la carte.

  1. 40 rue du Cardinal Lemoine, 5e
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58 Qualité Street

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

A deli, a bistrot, a sandwich shop, a salon de thé, a tapas bar… 58 Quality Street is a lot of different ideas for a contemporary Parisian eatery all rolled into one. But no matter what you call it, it offers very reasonably priced, quality food to take away or to eat in, with a charming Spanish inn-style décor. Underneath a sign for ‘La Grande Vadrouille’ there’s an enormous countertop full of condiments, cheeses, fruits and vegetables, plus shelves overflowing with bottles of wine and terrines and a few wicker baskets hanging from the ceiling under old lamps.On the menu you’ll find a mix of dishes from creamy polenta with mozzarella and ham, cod brandade, a plate of maki or charcuterie. But there’s no kitchen to speak of – instead, chef Hirotaka Okata and his team get by as best they can what the (sometimes unconventional) tools they have: a microwave to heat soup, a blowtorch to grill chicken skin, a rice cooker, a polenta machine. None of the results are standouts, but the ideas are sound and the dishes generally pleasing. Overall, it’s the very reasonable prices, the friendly atmosphere and the quality and freshness of the produce that is the draw here (excellent cheeses, delicious charcuteries and quality wines). It’s best to come for a quick bite on the go or an aperitif and a nibble while admiring the décor.

  1. 58 rue de la Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, 5e
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L'Agrume

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

Chef Franck Marchesi-Grandi, formerly at Pierre Gagnaire’s Goya, gave this ex-pizzaria a makeover, creating a contemporary setting around an open kitchen. With the calm and dexterity of an artist, he prepares dishes like saffron-tinted langoustine soup, risotto enriched with ladles of cream, and filet of cod in a tangy tomato sauce. Its hard enough choosing the starters and mains, but when the dessert and cheese menu is thrust into your hands, an internal battle begins: Will it be chocolate 'ganache' rolled in cacao powder and served in a mint soup, or oozy gorgonzola served on a bed of rocket with pears and hazelnuts? Either way, you won't be disappointed. If you're on a budget, don't miss the excellent value lunch menu.

  1. 15 rue des Fossés Saint-Marcel, 5e
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Aux Verres de Contact

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4

The name of his new restaurant, Aux Verres de Contact (‘contact lenses’) might lead one to suspect that Guillaume Delage, the former chef at Jadis, is getting short sighted. In fact, it’s a reference to the famed writer, journalist and bon vivant Antoine Blondin, who used to write off his bar receipts as ‘verres de contact’ on expenses claims forms. Just a stone’s throw from Notre Dame, the restaurant has a modern yet welcoming décor, with deep red and cream walls and dark wooden furniture.On the starter menu, there’s a good selection of charcuterie and high-quality cheeses, but also some more original things that really show off the talent of the young chef. For instance, an innovative croque-monsieur composed of layers of bread in cuttlefish sauce, mozzarella fondue and grilled vegetable. It’s a surprisingly effective reinterpretation, though the balance of bread to cheese could have been more generous to the cheese. Then there was a fresh and crunchy celeriac remoulade with whelks, followed by an exotic fruit jelly baba. It’s all just about right for a light lunch.For bigger appetites, there are also lunch menus (€22 or €29) that depend on the chef’s whim of the day. On our visit, it was a duck fillet salad and a shellfish soup with a quenelle of horseradish mousse, followed by a fillet of cod in a lemongrass sauce and an assortment of satisfying mini-desserts, especially the creamy rice pudding.The service was perfect – though we were there on a slow day. However, in a to

  1. 52 boulevard Saint-Germain, 5e
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Breakfast in America

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

Even in Paris, the city of haute cuisine and knock-your-socks-off Brasserie fare, there comes a time when nothing but bacon, fried eggs, juicy burgers and fluffy pancakes drizzled in maple syrup will do. For those moments, Breakfast in America (known lovingly amongst regulars as B.I.A) offers bona fide American diner surroundings, all-day breakfasts and artery clogging delights like sticky pecan pie, washed down with bottomless mugs o’ Joe.  Needless to say it’s a hit with the brunch crowd who come in droves so large they queue up outside, rain or shine. Fortunately turn over is quite fast, so you rarely have to wait more than half-an-hour. The €15.95 brunch menu gets you comfort staples like sausages and eggs (over-easy, sunny-side up or scrambled) with toast and fries or a generous Connecticut ham and cheese omelet and a squidgy chocolate muffin. B.I.A won’t take reservations, but there’s a second branch in the Marais, so if Latin Quarter students have hogged all the tables, you can try your luck on the Right Bank.

  1. 17 rue des Ecoles, 5e
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© Le Caméléon

Le Caméléon

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4

Caméléon is a uniquely bourgeois bistro, in a genre that usually has its roots in something more down to earth. Young chef David Frémondière is in charge in the kitchen (previously of Le Bristol), and his cooking is precise and inspired. The menu offers sophisticated traditional dishes cooked with regional ingredients, which never fail to be inventive. For example, the delicate, flavourful mussel soup, or the legendary veal liver from Corrèze that’s glazed with wine vinegar before being served in a thick slice with a hearty macaroni cheese.The service is impeccable, and though the prices match the left bank location (lunch menu €30, à la carte in the evenings around €70), for this quality in this area, it’s practically a steal. This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.

  1. 6 rue de Chevreuse, 6e
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© Time Out / Laurie Grosset

Chez René

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4

Located next to the Tour d’Argent, Chez Rene is a quintessential Parisian bistrot complete with white cotton tablecloths, worn mosaic flooring, leather banquettes and welcoming staff. The menu offers all the staples of classic French brasserie fare, cooked and seasoned with flair and know-how – prime beef, kidneys, andouillette and saucisson. A particularly good starter is the oyster mushrooms with butter and parsley, served in a brimming cup for just €10, and for dessert, make sure you try the mythical chocolate mousse – it's a dense, strongly-flavoured, legendary pudding, so leave room. This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.

  1. 14 boulevard Saint-Germain, 5e
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Coffee Parisien

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4

When the grand old dames and moody wannabe writers tire of Café de Flore, they head to Coffee Parisien. Just steps from the Mabillon metro, this noisy, busy diner is never empty. Behind the bar, crowded with hurried diners, you can see the chefs at work – coleslaw virtuosos, hash brown geniuses. On the walls, there are portraits of Kennedy and Obama (a burger bears his name as well), Stars and Stripes, frescoes of dollars and clippings from the  New York Times, all overlooking battered old red leather banquettes. On the wooden tables, paper placemats list all the U.S. presidents since George Washington. Food-wise, the New York feel continues. Divine cheeseburgers, fluffy pancakes, crisp bagels and delightfully runny eggs benedict: a bit greasy, but in the way that gets plates licked clean. This is a typical American diner with a touch of French refinement – which unfortunately also means that the service is chronically slow and rude.

  1. 4 rue Princesse, 6e
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Le Comptoir du Relais

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

Yves Camdeborde runs the bijou 17th-century Hôtel Le Relais Saint-Germain, whose art deco dining room, modestly dubbed Le Comptoir, serves brasserie fare from noon to 6pm and on weekend nights, and a five-course prix fixe feast on weekday evenings. The single dinner sitting lets the chef take real pleasure in his work. On the daily menu, you might find dishes like rolled saddle of lamb with vegetable-stuffed 'Basque ravioli'. The catch? The prix fixe dinner is booked up as much as six months in advance. If you don't manage to dine, you can sidle up the bar, an area the locals call L'Avant Comptoir, for wine and tapas. This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.

  1. Hôtel Le Relais Saint-Germain, 9 carrefour de l'Odéon, 6e
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Dans les Landes

  • Price band: 2/4

Julien Duboué, the young chef at Afaria, has transformed the peaceful neighbourhood café Dans les Landes into a noisy and welcoming tapas bar. It’s hugely disorganised – you’ll be lucky if reserving ahead guarantess you a tbale on arrival – but patience will be rewarded as soon as the food starts to arrive (you just have to hope it hasn’t been mixed up with your neighbour’s). The confusion is perhaps understandable given the number of dishes listed on the slate menu, mostly inspired by Basque cooking, but with various Asian touches (foie gras maki or prawns in a creamy Thai sauce). Some dishes will come to you on wooden boards, others on slates or even in a (clean, hopefully) wooden clog; this is a place for sharing, not selfish appetites. Among the best things that we tried were slices of pork with barbecue sauce, fried squid with sweet peppers, a pot of boudin (blood sausage) with apples, sucrines (tiny mouthfuls of salad), stuffed peppers, and prawns with grapefruit. Only the flash-fried ‘butcher’s surprise’ disappointed. Despite its service problems, it’s easy to understand why this venue is so overrun, especially in this area, which lacks a good range of restaurants.

  1. 119 bis rue Monge, 5e
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© Bénédicte Maindiaux

Un Dimanche à Paris

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4

Chocoholics will be in paradise in this concept store dedicated to cocoa, where an upscale brunch is served on Sundays. Only premium products are on offer: Poilane bread, Bordier butter and slices of Iberian ham. As part of the €55 menu, you also get foie gras with pear and crème de cassis (in autumn) and a glass of Champagne instead of juice. There are no muffins, but rather a madeleine, a mini-éclair and a slice of cake – all of which go perfectly with one of the best hot chocolates in Paris, made with real melted chocolate, milk, a little cream and a touch of cinnamon and vanilla. Naturally, this is not cheap (the basic menu will set you back €35), but the level of refinement justifies the price. And you can always dial up the decadence to the maximum while you’re there, with a cheeky visit to the chocolate shop next door.

  1. 4-8 cour du Commerce Saint-André, 6e
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La Ferrandaise

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

This bistro has quickly established a faithful following. In the modern bistro tradition, the young, northern French chef serves solid, classic food with a twist. A platter of excellent ham, sausage and terrine arrives as you study the blackboard menu,and the bread is crisp-crusted, thickly sliced sourdough. Two specialities are the potato stuffed with escargots in a camembert sauce, and a wonderfully flavoured, slightly rosé slice of veal. Desserts might include intense chocolate with rum-soaked bananas and a layered glass of mango and meringue. Wines start at €20.

  1. 8 rue de Vaugirard, 6e
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Gelati d’Alberto

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

You come to purple and white Gelati d’Alberto for two things: the delicious ice cream and to watch the employees turn your scoops into a flower-shaped work of art before your very eyes. Once you’ve tasted the classic flavours, try the Nutella, green tea or even the vodka Red Bull varieties. The more flavours you choose, the prettier your ice cream flower becomes. On a sunny day, rows of expectant ice cream buyers snake their way along Rue Mouffetard, so be prepared to queue.

  1. 45 rue Mouffetard, 5e
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© Elsa Pereira

Germain

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4

Quaint rue de Buci has been shaken up by the extravagance of Germain, a versatile brasserie halfway between Alice in Wonderland and London's Sketch. The heated terrace is great for people watching, and the main ground-floor room, which features the lower part of a vast yellow statue piercing through the ceiling above, is perfect for a quick lunch.There's also a cosy salon for cocktails, a more conservative dining room at the back, and a private room on the first floor with a snooker table and the top half of the yellow statue. The food is almost childishly classic, but always with a twist (ham and butter macaroni with truffle) and not as expensive as you might expect.

  1. 25-27 rue de Buci, 6e
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© Time Out

Grom

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

Created by two young Italians in 2003, Grom has grown into an international ice cream chain with boutiques in Europe, the States and Japan. But don’t let that put you off: their caramel ice cream with pink Himalayan salt and cioccolato fondente made from Venezuelan chocolate are still as good as ever. And sorbet lovers won’t find a better version of limome (lemon sorbet, made from Sicilian lemons) anywhere else in town. If you have food intolerances, Grom’s a good choice, with a clear list of flavours to avoid if you’re allergic to ingredients such as milk, eggs, nuts or gluten. You can check the list online beforehand here.

  1. 81 rue de Seine, 6e
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© Time Out

Kitchen Galerie Bis (KGB)

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

The younger sibling of the original Ze Kitchen Galerie is a roaring success. Owner William Ledeuil has installed his pupil Yariv Berrebi in the kitchen, and the disciple knows what he's doing. The dishes are sophisticated, colourful and elegant, intelligently fusing the flavours of France and Asia. Start with the ‘zors d’oeuvres’, assorted amuse-bouche where you choose four, five or six (€17-€23). The chef decides what they'll consist of according to the season, the day and his mood – on our visit, the order brought a throng of small dishes (petit pois bouillon with tarragon, duck ravioli with celery emulsion, calamari carpaccio, pork croquettes and more) lively and delicately balanced. The main dishes have the same spirit. The grilled sea bass (€30), lacquered with pomegranate and ginger, is served with mango, slivers of ginger, pomegranate seeds and a few vegetables: a cracking match of ideas and flavours. Next to it, the fillet of roast veal wrapped in Colonata bacon fat seems almost insipid (and a little meagre for €29). But not enough to leave a bad impression, far from it – and the seasonal desserts (€9.50) are ingenious.

  1. 25 rue des Grands Augustins, 6e
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Lengué

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4

Squirrelled away in a tiny street in the Latin quarter, Lengué is a real slice of Tokyo. There are huge bottles of sake lined up on the bar, dishes of the day pinned on the walls – in Japanese – and the service is polite, cordial and discreet. In the early evenings you'll find a few knowledgeable Japanese enjoying a glass of sake or sh?ch? and some tasting dishes. From 9pm, they make way for a younger, cosmopolitan crowd, who handle the unfamiliar menu etiquette with rather less sang-froid.But they needn’t worry, really. Lengué is an izakaya, which are millions-strong in Japan, and positively defined by lack of etiquette. They are neither bars nor restaurants, but your visit will always kick off with a drink – sake, beer, sh?ch? (a potato-based alcohol very popular in Japan), Japanese whisky or French wines. Then you order a selection of little dishes as often as you feel like it, and share them around the table so that everyone gets a taste. There are things like a spoonful of aubergine soup with dashi (Japanese cooking stock), green beans with sesame, fried pumpkin croquettes, or kinpira-gobô, a typical home dish of burdock and julienne carrots, sautéed and cooked with sweet and sour seasoning. So don’t come here if you want a classic starter-main-dessert combination – the izakaya way is to share everything, and graze your way gently through the evening.Langué doesn’t entirely escape the Parisian influence though, so the cooking is a little more controlled than you might fi

  1. 31 rue de la Parcheminerie, 5e
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Little Breizh

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

Amongst the numerous crêperies in Paris few really stand out. Despite its location, in the middle of a very touristic street, Little Breizh promises something a little different with its creatively named crêpes (including Sea Chic and Say Cheese) and quality ingredients. After numerous unsuccessful attempts to make a booking via telephone (no one was answering) we decided to just turn up and given it was quite early, got a table. But the tiny room, with a Breton flag draped in front of the open plan kitchen, did fill up quickly. If none of the nine house specialities tempt you, you can also create your own crêpe from the list of ingredients – Bordier butter, Espelette pepper, Andouille sausage, artichoke hearts and many more. But our table of five (including two children) was happy with the house offerings, all heartily filled and prettily folded in order to show off the garnishes – even if not quite at the same level as those at the Breizh Café.In the Saint-Jacques de la Coquine Saint-Jacques (€13) toasted nuts are laid on a pear fondue coated with an onion and cream sauce. The Say Cheese (€9.90), garnished with goat’s cheese, cooked apples, nuts and honey, has the perfect balance between sweet and sour and a light touch of rosemary. The Sea Chic was faultless (smoked salmon, dill cream, rose berries and lemon, €9.40) and delighted the children.On the sweet side, it’s hard to imagine a more gourmand dessert that the Teddy Breizh (€10.90): two crêpes buried under a mountain o

  1. 11 rue Grégoire de Tours, 6e
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© Time Out / TR

Les Papilles

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

In the Latin Quarter, down the street from the Jardin du Luxembourg, this quaint little bistro is a safe bet for lunch or dinner in an otherwise touristy neighbourhood. It has a playful yet old-world ambiance, with colourful mosaic floors, wooden curios and a zinc bar. The 38 tables crammed between the bar and a wall of wine are filled with English-speakers early on in the evening, but that doesn’t detract overly from the experience.Unpretentious, jean and T-shirt-clad servers rattle off the menu, then invite you to choose your bottle of wine from the wall. Wine aficionados will have a field day; wine amateurs, ask for help. A €7 corkage fee is applied to each bottle. Then the food comes in four steady courses, including cheese and dessert, with no choices and no variations. Since the menu changes every day, it’s best to check if your dining partner is finicky, but expect seasonal tastes like carrot soup poured over crispy bacon and sour cream, cod with capers in a sizzling hot copper dish, and salted caramel and poached pear panna cotta.Reserve a seat if possible, but early diners popping in at 7pm might be able to snag a table. If you have a reservation, sit back and relax. There’s no rush to get through your food and no pressure to turn tables. It gets crowded and the noise level picks up, but it’s all part of the fun. Once the bill comes, €33 per person plus about €30-€40 for wine makes for a reasonably affordable evening.Doubling as a wine shop, Les Papilles sells their

  1. 30 rue Gay-Lussac, 5e
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© Time Out / TR

Pizza Chic

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

An address which could only exist on the left bank, nestled into the busy streets of Saint-Germain-des-Prés where 'chic' is a religion in itself. But this contemporary, polished pizzeria (wood panelling, suspended lighting, design tiles and seating) isn't the least bit ostentatious, with comfortably spaced tables, white tablecloths and silver cutlery, and the pizzas are amongst the best in Paris. Rare ingredients directly imported from Italy (special mozzarella – a mix of traditional and buffalo – lard from Colonnata, spicy Calabrian sausages, Taggiasca olives, anchovies from Salerno), perfectly thin and crunchy crusts and the generosity of the garnish, reminiscent of a Neopolitan family meal, makes them almost impossible to surpass. White (with no tomato base) or red, the pizzas are beautiful as well as delicious: take the luxurious spiciness of the 'carciofi' pizza (artichoke cream, raw artichokes, rocket, 24 month aged parmesan) or the beautiful simplicity of the 'aurora' (tomato, mozzarella, fresh basil). You'll leave deighted at having found a Parisian version of Italian chic for around €20 – an invigorating treat.

  1. 13 rue de Mézières, 6e
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© Time Out / Laurie Grosset

Ribouldingue

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

This bistro facing St-Julien-le-Pauvre church is the creation of Nadège Varigny, who spent ten years working with Yves Camdeborde before opening a restaurant inspired by the food of her childhood in Grenoble. It's usually full of people, including critics and chefs, who love simple, honest bistro fare, such as daube de boeuf or seared tuna on a bed of melting aubergine. And if you have an appetite for offal, go for the gently sautéed brains with new potatoes or veal kidneys with a perfectly prepared potato gratin. For dessert, try the fresh ewe's cheese with bitter honey. This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.

  1. 10 rue Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, 5e
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Shu

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4

To get into Shu, you have to get in through the rustic old cellar door, bending over to get down the first series of steps. But once inside this mysterious cavern, the décor transforms into an expert mix of contemporary chic, enormous old beams that are characteristic of the centre of Paris, and Japanese effects, of which the most obvious example is the layout of the bar, which punters sit around on low, thick cushions.The restaurant specialises in kushi-agué – a sort of Japanese kebab, with different ingredients breaded and fired on sticks. Each one is different and served with great care and three seasonings – lemon, salt of tonkatsu sauce – but though served searing hot and straight out of the pan, they aren’t terribly exciting. Depending on the season, they’re things like prawns, stuffed shiitake mushroom or white fish dipped in sauce before being fried. Where Shu is truly remarkable is in the starters, often more refined than at the purest kaïseki bar. So despite the price, you should go for the more expensive menu, which also represents better value for money: €58 for an amuse-bouche, a delicious assortment of incredibly fresh sashimi, three seasonal dishes, nine kushi-agué and a choice of ochazuké (rice with green tea and condiments) or inaniwa (fine udon noodles) served cold with their own cooking liquor.There are some very good sakes on the wine list, particularly the Denshu. Impeccable service. Bento boxes at lunchtime some days of the week.

  1. 8 rue Suger, 6e
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© Time Out

Le Terroir Parisien

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4

The prospect of a chef’s umpteenth restaurant opening can make one feel weary – even coming from a great chef like Yannick Alléno, with three Michelin stars for his work at Le Meurice, here claiming to cook food from the ‘local’ Parisian terroir. But in this case, such weariness would be unjustified.Instead, in this modern bistro designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte, you’ll find one of the best ideas in Paris’s recent restaurant history. Simply, it offers historic Parisian recipes, cooked using products from small regional producers – sweet peppers with vinaigrette, Crécy vegetable soup, croque-monsieur, eggs with tripe, gratinée des Halles, whiting from Bercy. It’s a simple idea, but one requiring an enormous labour of sourcing and selection, even rehabilitation of near-forgotten culinary heritage. So the menu, written on immense boards set on the walls, reads like a list of ingredients from one of Jacques Dutronc’s fantasy kitchen gardens: Argenteuil asaparagus, Milly-la-Forêt peppermint, Montreuil peaches, Arpajon green beans.All this find its way into solidly-built dishes, where the rough and ready of the suburbs rubs up against the chic of the beaux quartiers; where Gilles Veront brawn meets a Gatinais carrot fondant with saffron. And don’t miss the crowning glory – not exactly Parisian, but wildly successful – a cone of shoestring chips, crispy and soft and devilishly good (€4).A tip: if you go alone or as a couple, reserve one of the 14 seats at the bar. The views out of t

  1. 20 rue Saint-Victor, 5e
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© Time Out

Toyo

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4

Chef Toyomitsu Nakayama used to be the private chef of Japanese couturier Kenzo Takada, and the designer’s influence can be seen in the restaurant’s beautiful plates and pictures, giving a particular elegance to the large space with its long bench seating fourteen, a few small tables and a private room at the back. Just next door to the Poissonnerie du Dôme, often cited as the best fishmonger in Paris, Toyo has great ingredients (plus meat from Hugo Desnoyer and vegetables from Joël Thiébault).The signature dishes include things like the Toyo paella with nori seaweed, veal carpaccio seasoned with tororo algae, gnocchi in a seasonally-inspired consommé and fish katsu curry. Ideally, ask for a spot at the counter to watch the chef’s mind-blowing knife skills.

  1. 17 rue Jules Chaplain, 6e
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Toptable

Le Bistrot du Vin qui Danse

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 3/4

Le Vin Qui Danse restaurant deep in the historic heart of Paris' 5th arrondissement, near the Sorbonne, is a fabulous concoction of ancient surroundings, modern furnishings, topnotch daily-changing menu and a blistering wine list of more than one hundred bottles. There is a regular programme of wine tastings, intriguing for both expert and amateur. The 17th century cellar features exposed stone walls and informal seating, while the ground floor main dining room has ancient beams, sleek red banquettes and a marvellous fresco on the ceiling. The traditional French menu honours the market and the seasons, with dishes like tuna and salmon tartare with salad and veg, or roast breast of duck a l'orange. A variety of platters accompany your sampling of wines, and a Sunday brunch is popular too.

  1. 4 Rue des Fossés St Jacques, 75005
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Chez Bartolo

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

If a restaurant is judged on how well it pulls of the classics, then Chez Bartolo passes with flying colours. This unassuming, wholly unoriginal trattoria won't spring any surprises on you – and the kitsch décor won't impress your date – but it has the traditional Neapolitan dishes down pat. Once we'd sidled up to our table in a cramped corner of the bustling dining room, the convivial staff were quick to take our orders, which arrived promptly. A resplendent parmigiana (€19) and bottle of sweet red (€23-27) later, we were pleasantly stuffed; but that wasn't enough to stop us ordering a tiramisu (€12). It hit just the right sweet note, but the hefty price left a sour taste. Our advice: skip starter and dessert – the mains are where you'll get value for money at Chez Bartolo.

  1. 5 rue des Cannettes, 6e
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