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Restaurants in the Marais

Breizh Café

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.

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The Marais

L'Ambassade d'Auvergne

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.

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The Marais

Les Bonnes Sœurs

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.

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3rd arrondissement

Cru

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.

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The Marais

Bob's Kitchen

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.

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Pozzetto

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.

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4th arrondissement

Le Gaigne

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.

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The Marais

L'As du Fallafel

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.

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4th arrondissement

Chez Hanna

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.

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The Marais

Breakfast in America

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.

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5th arrondissement
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