Restaurants in the Marais

Breizh Café

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

With its modern interior of pale wood and its choice of 15 artisanal ciders, this outpost of a restaurant in Cancale, Brittany, is a world away from the average crêperie. For the complete faux-seaside experience, you might start with a plate of creuse oysters from Cancale before indulging in an inventive buckwheat galette such as the Cancalaise, made with potato, smoked herring from Brittany and herring roe. The choice of fillings is fairly limited, but the ingredients are of high quality - including the use of Valrhona chocolate with 70% cocoa solids in the dessert crêpes. This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.

  1. 109 rue Vieille du Temple, 3e
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L'Ambassade d'Auvergne

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

This rustic-style auberge is a fitting embassy for the hearty fare of central France. An order of cured ham comes as two hefty, plate-filling slices, and the salad bowl is chock-full of green lentils cooked in goose fat, studded with bacon and shallots. The rôti d'agneau arrives as a pot of melting chunks of lamb in a rich, meaty sauce with a helping of tender white beans. Dishes arrive with the flagship aligot, the creamy, elastic mash-and-cheese concoction. Among the regional wines (Chanturgue, Boudes, Madargues), the fruity AOC Marcillac makes a worthy partner. This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.

  1. 22 rue du Grenier Saint-Lazare, 3e
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Les Bonnes Sœurs

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4

This is a tiny, noisy room, which regularly has people queuing down the Place des Vosges on a Sunday morning. It’s worth getting there early on weekends so you’ll be in pole position to sample the succulent scrambled eggs served as part of the legendary brunch. There are no reservations, but they do operate a waiting list – so be prepared to take a long walk around the block before you’re able to enjoy your breakfast. But it’s probably worth it to work up your appetite.The décor is restrained – wooden tables, leather benches and black and white photos of nuns (the titular ‘good sisters’) – but the meals are a merciful blessing for the famished. To kick off, a basket of fresh bread and brioches with chocolate sprinkles arrives with a delicious but rather small fresh fruit juice. Then come the pancakes with maple syrup and scrambled eggs accompanied by crunchy chips, salmon and grilled bacon. And to satisfy really big appetites, for around €4 more gourmands can add the sumptuous eggs Benedict, after which they can take the rest of the day off food – and most of the following one too.

  1. 8 rue du Pas de la Mule, 3e
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Cru

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4

Opening a raw-food restaurant is a gamble, so the owners of Cru bend the rules here and there, offering root vegetable 'chips' and a few plancha dishes. Still, the extensive menu has plenty for the crudivore, such as some unusual carpaccios (the veal with preserved lemon is particularly good) and intriguing 'red' and 'green' plates, variations on the tomato and cucumber. The food is perfectly good, but the real reason to come here is the gorgeous courtyard terrace lurking behind this quiet Marais street.

  1. 7 rue Charlemagne, 4e
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Bob's Kitchen

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

At vegetarian canteen Bob's Kitchen, everything is organic, healthy and beautiful. This small cafe-restaurant offers salads, soups, bagels and futomakis as well as a trademark "veggie stew" – a big bowl of vitamins which combines a cunning mix of vegetables, seeds, rice and guacamole. The smoothies, made from veggie milks, are also delicious. The menu changes regularly according to the best ingredients available at the market, the decor is welcoming and the prices are pleasingly low. A winner.

  1. 74 rue des Gravilliers, 3e
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Pozzetto

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

Pozetto might not be the most famous gelateria in Paris, but it’s one of the best, serving classic Italian flavours like gianduia torinese (a Turin speciality of chocolate and hazelnuts from Piémont), fior di latte (made from milk, cream and sugar) and pistacchio (a creamy Sicilian pistachio blend). Fruit lovers are in for a treat too with peach, berry, pear and orange sorbets all made from real fruit. Order your scoop through the little window overlooking Rue du Roi Sicile (€4) and eat it on the go, or sit down on a bench at nearby Place Baudoyer. If you do decide to eat in, the same ice cream costs €7.

  1. 39 rue du Roi de Sicile, 4e
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Le Gaigne

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

It’s a familiar story: young chef with haute cuisine credentials opens a small bistro in an out-of-theway street. Here, the restaurant is even tinier than usual with only 20 seats and the cooking is unusually inventive. Chef Mickaël Gaignon has worked with Pierre Gagnaire, and it shows in dishes such as l’oeuf bio – three open eggshells filled with creamed spinach, carrot and celeriac – or roast monkfish with broccoli purée and a redcurrant emulsion. The dining room is pleasantly modern and staff are eager to please.

  1. 12 rue Pecquay, 4e
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L'As du Fallafel

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

Walk down rue des Rosiers any day of the week, and you will easily spot L’As du Fallafel thanks to the long queue in front of its green facade, with staff running up and down scribbling orders for the take-away window. 'Often imitated, never equalled' is the slogan here, and few who have tried other falafel joints along this street would dare to argue.Eating in the dining room is only a marginally less casual experience than munching this messy sandwich on the street, but it’s worth paying a little extra for the plastic plate and unique atmosphere. One one side, cooks work at lightning speed, dipping the chick pea balls in the fryer and filling pita breads to bursting. On the other, diners of all nationalities carry on animated conversations while juggling their sandwiches, creating a vibe more reminiscent of New York than Paris. Though shawarma is also available, nearly everyone orders the falafel special (€5.50 to take away, €7.50 in the dining room), piled high with crunchy cabbage, roasted aubergine, tahini and hot sauces. Most importantly, the falafel themselves are light, crisp and green with fresh herbs. Only the lemonade seems to have gone down in quality over the years; it might be worth trying an Israeli beer or wine instead.

  1. 34 rue des Rosiers, 4e
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Chez Hanna

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

By noon on a Sunday there is a queue outside every falafel shop along rue des Rosiers. The long-established L'As du Fallafel, a little further up the street, still reigns supreme, whereas Hanna remains something of a locals' secret, quietly serving up falafel and shawarma sandwiches to rival any in the world. A pitta sandwich bursting with crunchy chickpea-and-herb balls, tahini sauce and vegetables costs €4 if you order from the takeaway window, €8 if you sit at one of the tables in the buzzy dining room overlooking the street. Either way, you really can't lose. This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.

  1. 54 rue des Rosiers, 4e
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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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Cantine Merci

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

The new fairtrade concept store Merci is all about feeling virtuous even as you indulge, and its basement canteen is a perfect example. Fresh and colourful salads, soup and risotto of the day, an organic salmon plate, and the assiette merci (perhaps chicken kefta with two salads) make up the brief, Rose Bakery-esque menu, complete with invigorating teas and juices. Rustic desserts add just the right handmade touch.

  1. 111 boulevard Beaumarchais, 3e
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Le Georges

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4

This is one of Time Out's 100 best bars in Paris. Click here to see the full list. When the Pompidou Centre closes at 9pm, those in the know head to the top floor via the transparent escalators to Georges, the museum’s panoramic French-fusion restaurant. From this privileged perch, you can watch the sun set over the capital’s steely rooftops and contemplate the art you’ve just admired, cocktail in hand. You’ll be fighting for table room with trendy after-work crowds, and the ice-cool service can be slower than an escargot, but it’s a small price to pay for such an unbeatable vantage over the whole sparkling city. The view isn’t the only draw either: architects Dominique Jacob and Brendan McFarlane's quirky industrial-chic interior wouldn’t look amiss in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Make sure you reserve in advance - it's the only way to secure a table.

  1. Centre Pompidou, 4e
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Café Suédois

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

The Café Suédois is an integral part of the Swedish Cultural Institute in the l'Hôtel de Marle, a magnificent mansion in the Marais built between the 15th and 18th centuries. You can while away a sunny afternoon with a good book in its peaceful paved courtyard, or retreat to the pretty café if it’s cold and wet. It’s a bit like eating at Ikea, but better. Every morning before opening, a passionate team of Swedish pastry chefs prepare fresh bread, elderflower cordial and a range of seasonal delicacies. The lunch menu consists of a selection of sandwiches, including one with succulent marinated salmon, as well as carrot cake, cinnamon rolls, cranberry tart, and a daily soup special in winter. The latter is a little pricey (€6 for a small bowl), but the sandwiches and cakes are reasonable, and everything is fresh and delicious.

  1. 11 rue Payenne, 3e
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Le Potager du Marais

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4

This organic vegetarian eatery near Beaubourg is proof that you can fit an entire restaurant into a shoebox: You will be fighting for elbowroom with strangers on tables crammed in along one wall, but what the Potager du Marais lacks in space, it makes up for on the plate with luscious, homemade dishes brimming with pulses, tofu, fresh, crunchy vegetables and beans. The mushroom terrine, served with gherkins and salad is a real winner; and mains like tofu and sweet pumpkin hachis parmentier (a veggie Shepherd’s pie) are genuinely filling and yummy. Dessert - perhaps less gourmand than the rest - might include a bowl of tasty apple and green tea purée, or a fruit tart. If you require gluten free, the Potager gets brownie points for its multiple choice of dishes – a real rarity in Paris.

  1. 22 rue Rambuteau, 4e
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Candelaria

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • 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. Has Paris woken up to the temptations of the taco? Apparently so, thanks to this taqueria, with its almost totally expat clientele (English and American rather than Mexican). The tiny white room with its open kitchen, a few stools and communal tables doesn’t give a hint of the hip bar behind, where the neighbourhood’s youth come to sip margaritas or the house specials, like the guêpe verte [green wasp] (tequila, lime, pepper, cucumber, spices and agave syrup).On the food front, you have the choice between tacos and tostadas at very reasonable prices (€3 for one, €5.50 for two), full of ground meat or Mexican cheese and vegetables. The tortillas are home made, and the spicy sauce packs quite a punch – it’s almost like being in California. Since they’re open non-stop (including Sundays), try and avoid the busiest hours. This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.

  1. 52 rue de Saintonge, 3e
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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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Le Baromètre

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • 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. This unpretentious little bistro in the heart of the Marais is a good place for bacchanalian carousing. The chalkboard menu lists the sort of dishes a country French grandmother might have cooked, made with top quality products and accompanied by sophisticated local vintages. A glass of Montagne Saint-Emilion or Morgon Vieilles Vignes goes well with a gratin of andouillette (a strong-smelling intestine sausage), the house special of a hot streaky bacon tart, or deliciously tender faux-filet of beef from Salers. The fish is super fresh, with a choice of vegetables that varies with the daily deliveries. When they’re on the menu, we recommend the moist and savoury scallops, matched with a Pouilly Fumé. If you’re on a budget, a very respectable daily set menu is on offer at €13. If your lunch gets a bit debauched, make sure you still hold out for a digestif, a Grand Champagne cognac or a well oaked calvados from the Pays d’Auge area of Normandy. A great place that doesn’t mess with tradition.

  1. 17 rue Charlot, 3e
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Chez Nénesse

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

The original ‘Nénesse’, the owner Ernest, has moved on – but his replacements, a friendly family from the Le Sart area, are keen to maintain tradition, keeping the sign and the name. It’s a really old-fashioned restaurant, where time stopped somewhere in the 1960s – mismatched tiled floor, retro fittings, uncovered wooden tables dressed with pink tablecloths in the evening, ancient oil-fired stove. A simple approach that also shows in the food: bistro style at lunchtime and restaurant-quality come the evening.Chef Roger Leplu, a Michelin-starred master previously at Chez Pierre, knows his stuff. Lunch is cheap (starters for €3.50, dish of the day €9.50), dinner reasonable (starters €8 to €16, mains €17 to €22, desserts €9), and the cooking does credit to traditional French recipes like stewed snails with mushrooms, Lyon-style pike dumplings, braised calf's head with gribiche sauce (chopped boiled eggs, gherkins, capers and herbs) and pear charlotte. There’s also a large choice of aperitifs, wines and after-dinner drinks: all in all, a pleasant and friendly place to get back to basics. This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.

  1. 17 rue de Saintonge, 3e
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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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Les Caves du Petit Thouars

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

This micro-bar in the heart of the Temple area stands in stark contrast with the trendy dives that crowd the Marais. Despite the influx of hipsters, the Formica tables haven’t moved, the prices haven’t soared, and the menu hasn’t changed. You can still drink beers at union prices (€2.50) and some excellent wines by the glass (€2.50 to €3.50), or by the pichet (small carafe). Food is homemade dishes like marinated chicken skewers, tender rump steak with pepper sauce, or grilled lamb chops: good, simple and plentiful, it only costs around €10 for lunch or dinner (an extraordinary feat), and comes with thick-cut chips and homemade sauces. The Berber family who run the place also put on couscous dishes for lunch. Locals who have quickly adopted Les Caves du Petit Thouars, enjoying its patio on the pavement of a leafy street, the perfect place to enjoy the last rays of afternoon sunshine with a cocktail. The waiters are relaxed and friendly, all adding to the charms of this unpretentious little bar.

  1. 12 rue Dupetit-Thouars, 3e
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L'Estaminet

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

Bobo, yes, but still lovely. Insulated from the honking horns of the city, this place is a true oasis in central Paris. This small, organic canteen is warm and welcoming, a tavern for weary urban travellers in the heart of the Enfants Rouges market. Though somewhat difficult to find, it is far from secret – especially in summer when the colourful chairs come out to allow customers to enjoy the aromas of the market. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays, and the ‘traditional’ menu (€20) is hearty and original. In addition to hot drinks and organic apple juice, take your pick from scrambled eggs, salad, assorted cheeses and cold cuts, fruit salad, cottage cheese, scones and jam. A plate full of variety and good products, it competes with the ‘fish menu’, which, for an extra €2, replaces the sausage and cheese with smoked salmon, herring, mackerel and taramasalata.

  1. 39 rue de Bretagne, 3e
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Le Petit Marché

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4

Petit Marché's menu is short and modern with Asian touches. Raw tuna is flash-fried in sesame seeds and served with a Thai sauce, making for a refreshing starter; crispy-coated deep-fried king prawns have a similar oriental lightness. The main vegetarian risotto is rich in basil, coriander, cream and al dente green beans. Pan-fried scallops with lime are precision-cooked and accompanied by a good purée and more beans. There's a short wine list.

  1. 9 rue de Béarn, 3e
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Chez Omar

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

The once-fashionable Omar doesn't take reservations, and the queue can stretch the length of the zinc bar and through the door. Everyone is waiting for the same thing: couscous. Prices range from €11 (vegetarian) to €24 (royale); there are no tagines or other traditional Maghreb mains, only a handful of French classics (duck, fish, steak). Overstretched waiters slip through the crowds with mounds of semolina, vats of vegetable-laden broth and steel platters heaving with meat, including the stellar merguez. Even on packed nights, there's an offer of seconds - gratis - to encourage you to stay a little while longer.

  1. 47 rue de Bretagne, 3e
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Le Tambour

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4

This is one of Time Out's 100 best bars in Paris. Click here to see the full list. Banal during the day, Le Tambour is the late-night haunt of all the neighbourhood’s night owls and insomniacs, staying open until 3.30am. The atmosphere is warm, though it can get a little crazy between the drinkers draped over the bar and the gruff, strapping barmen. But it’s always fun mixing in with this eccentric nightlife – more often than not you feel like you’re in a sailor’s tavern, decorated with a jumble of salvaged road signs, rather than in a bar in the centre of Paris. Here, you can satisfy any cravings for andouillette,a malodorous intestine sausage, for pig’s feet or simply for steak, at any hour of the day or night. To go with these rustic dishes, order a box or a bottle of wine à la ficelle (you only pay for what you drink). As you’d expect, the low prices increase slightly in the early hours.

  1. 41 rue Montmartre, 2e
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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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