Right by the impressive Rathaus, Café Paris is Hamburg’s answer to the classic French brasserie and an unfailingly popular spot for lunch, dinner or an aperitif. It’s been delivering a fine line in French cuisine since 1882 and has stuck to what it does best; hearty servings of steak tartare, bouillabaisse, Merguez sausage and chips, with just one sauerkraut concession to its German environs. True to many a French eatery, it’s a resoundingly meat-led menu; vegetarian diners are limited to two main course options, though if you eat cheese, the platter makes for a hearty meal in itself. The restaurant now has three dining areas, but the most coveted tables are for sure in the principal ground floor “Saal”, an evocative Art Deco interior where bow-tied waiters move between simple wooden tables and the beautifully arched and tiled ceiling bears busty personifications of Hamburg’s prosperous enterprises: industry, trade, agriculture and shipping. For after-dinner drinks, Le Lion directly across the road is one of the most sought-after cocktail spots in town. Leave your name at the door before you dine for a better chance of getting in later.
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