When winds whine, rain lashes and snow settles, even Paris can seem a pretty unhospitable place to be. Make sure you keep a good list of restaurants to hand when pounding the pavements in winter – their warming dishes and hearty cooking will make all the difference. These are some of our favourites.
Regional home cooking
Christian Etchebest opened Le Troquet, a popular basque bistro on the left bank, several years ago, now followed by its ‘canteen’. The addition is certainly more modest than the original, but also friendlier, a bit of an oasis of bonhomie in the aloof neighbourhood of Pernety. You can’t reserve, so make sure to come early especially if you’re a group, and be aware that there’s no set menu either. Instead, you choose your dishes from a big blackboard; it's regularly brought up to date, even if Etchebest’s cuisine never forgets where it comes from, maintaining its love for the cuisine of the southwest, though touched by the expertise of L’Hôtel Martinez in Cannes and the Crillon in Paris.A bit of a ‘nose to tail’ exercise, the Cantine du Troquet lets no part of the pig go to waste. Shoulder, ear, chest, fillet cut into slivers with Espelette pepper, the famous black pudding, terrine, slices, gratin or however else they can dream up: you’re in good hands here when it comes to pork,and the meats often come with house fries with sea salt and herbs. For the rest, the chef also turns out masterful fish dishes (hake, turbot, Pollack and more, with a delicious ratatouille), and the desserts are the classics of French cuisine, with evocative names like ‘baba au rhum’, ‘feuille à feuille’ or ‘Paris-Brest’. The dishes never go above €20, and the wine list is full of discoveries. Plenty of good reasons to find yourself deep in the 14th arrondissement. This restaurant serves one of Time Ou
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.
The instinct to feed at L'Assiette is an abundant and delectable one. So start small, with an oxtail terrine, tender and strongly-flavoured, or an outstanding tartare of firm blue prawns, mixed with olives and a few pine nuts, which goes perfectly with a glass of Petit Cablis. Then on to more serious things. For smaller appetites, perfectly cooked roasted maigre ('croaker', a sea bass-like white fish) with a saffron risotto, balanced and full of flavour, would be the perfect choice. Greedier types, head straight for the must-have dish at L’Assiette: the unmissable house cassoulet from chef David Rathgeber. Rathgeber, a former member of Alain Ducasse’s team and member, since 2010, of l’Académie Universelle du Cassoulet (yes, really), has created a mixture of duck confit, slices of pork, garlic sausage, lamb neck, thick sausage and Mogettes de Vendée white beans. This reinvention of a classic dish is a runaway success, and should satisfy any appetite.There are set menus at €23 (starter, main and dessert), opening up this top quality cooking to slenderer wallets. If you’re not on a budget, add in a supplementary dessert – the chef’s excellent floating island, or a melting chocolate fondant. This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.
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
There are restaurants where you go to be enthralled, to try cooking that is inventive, precise or simply bonkers, and there are others where you go just because you know you’ll feel comfortable. Réveil du 10e is one of the latter – a few metres from the frenzy of the Grands Boulevards, it's on a little square under a tree, squeezed between a barracks, an old port and a school; a neighbourhood bistro serving local cooking washed down with excellent wines.There’s a bit of Auvergne and the South-west to the menu, with things like duck necks with foie gras, truffles, aligot mashed potatoes with garlic and cheese, fried cauliflower and tripe often served next to classic Parisian dishes (snails, entrecôte, duck confit, tartare etc.). The ingredients are always top quality, everything is home made and the prices are reasonable (between €10 and €15 at midday, in the evening around €20 for à la carte, with cheese or charcuterie boards between €5 and €9).So it’s a pleasure to linger here. Good wine and friendly service are here expressions of a thoroughgoing quality; this place is a part of Paris, an impeccable address for gourmets and foodies who prefer to avoid the overly refined. You’ll definitely want to stay for a final coffee and digestif. If you pass by on the off-chance and can’t get a table, consider the café opposite, La Pendule Occitane. The two bistros have a good relationship, and the menu, the prices and the suppliers are almost the same. This restaurant serves one of Tim
If dining in the same room as a theatre director, a former politician, a Goncourt prizewinning writer and a recipient of the Légion d’Honneur doesn’t put you off, you’ll fit right in at La Gauloise. This time-honoured restaurant is chic, calm and welcoming, long regulated by the etiquette of the Parisian bourgeoisie (Mitterand was a longstanding customer). It’s done out in immaculate taste (long dark wood bar, plaster mouldings, red velvet banquettes), with an eye to discretion (well-spaced tables throughout multiple rooms), impeccable savoir-faire (the chef straight out of the glittering stable of Alain Ducasse) and great training (service is perfect and courteous in the face of every challenge).The cooking has kept up with the times, but never goes too far, focusing on seasonal dishes from a traditional repertoire: soft-boiled eggs, a legendary pot-au-feu, Aubrac beef, sole meunière, corn-fed poultry with ceps, soufflés and profiteroles. Everything here is done with style. Special jury mention goes to the very well-priced desserts, in particular the imposing Paris-Brest (one serves two) that’s somehow incredibly light.It’s worth noting that the owner grew up among cattle farmers in the Aveyron, and that the beef often comes from the family farm. Also, thanks to set menus at under €30, the clientele isn't just dignitaries, but a sprinkling of youth as well. This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.
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.
For top quality meat with fantastic French sauces, reserve a table at Le Repare du Cartouche. The restaurant is made up of two rooms, one giving onto the Boulevard Filles du Calvaire and the other onto the Rue Amelot, which is filled with wood carvers' studios – Cartouche’s careful, traditional cooking fits right in, as do their walls hung with rifles and paintings of the famous French brigand Cartouche, who was supposed to have taken refuge in the building after deserting the army in 1713.Chef Rodolphe Paquin cooks the best products available in the pure French tradition, with the patience of a lacemaker. The house speciality is meat and game, stars of the menu during hunting season; it’s always reserving an early table, as supplies can run low as the evening wears on. To start with, the coddled egg with black trumpet mushrooms is perfect, much like the chef’s famous pâté en croute, whose ingredients vary with the seasons. Few restaurants in Paris offer hare à la royale stuffed with foie gras, a slow-cooked wild boar stew with red wine or a venison entrecote with grapes, figs and chestnuts. For dessert, if you can fit it in, allow yourself to be tempted by the nougatine crunch with clementines.The huge wine list is designed to match the cooking – distinguished and very dear. The cheapest bottles are €25, no cheap plonk but vintages chosen according to the expert palate of the patron. Everything is right about this restaurant – the flavours, the original, high quality dishes
For meat eaters
The Meat at La Pulpéria comes with a capital M, served in a noisy, welcoming little dining room and whipped up in white-tiled kitchen by talented Argentinean chef Fernando Di Tomaso and his South American team. The menu changes daily, but on our visit it all began with crunchy calf’s sweetbreads accompanied by a few girolles mushrooms and a cep sauce, and a pretty cod ceviche surrounded with fine slices of sweet potato, avocado purée and a splash of lemon juice. Each flavour sung out, while perfectly complementing the others on the plate.Then the mains (vegetarians look away now). A bloody, magnificent churrasco cut of beef, just recently arrived from its native pampas, served with rissole potatoes and garlicky, spicy chimichurri sauce. There was also the pluma ibérique, a piece of pork wrapped in a very fine layer of well-flavoured fat and pan-fried then grilled, producing a delicious dish, so tender in the middle that it almost seemed not to be pork. Both dishes were generous, precise and seriously good.The prices might seem a bit high at first (starters from €10 to €12, mains €25 to €30, desserts around €10), but for the quality of the products and the cooking, it’s really very reasonable. The portions are huge, too; we were left mournfully contemplating the splendid cheese board, incapable of fitting in anything resembling a dessert, not even the promising dulce de leche. This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.
The Marché d’Aligre is already one of Paris’s favourite foodie markets, and now there's a new reason to visit. Young artisan butcher Christophe Dru began to make a name for himself hosting events in his shop during the annual Le Fooding festival. The success of these tastings gave him the brilliant idea to transform his butcher's shop into a restaurant as well, and the place has been packed out since the day it opened less than a year ago. As you walk in, all the meat is displayed on the left as usual, with Aligre locals lining up to do their shopping, while the rest of the space is a jumble of tables and counters, heaving with hungry meat-eaters tucking into a giant entrecôte or côte de boeuf, sweet lamb chops or juicy pork ribs. Christophe explains ‘I wanted to open somewhere that has the same spirit as a barbecue, where everything is cooked on the plancha, a cuisson rapide. Originally, I wanted people to order the meat and I would do the cooking myself, but as we’re full nearly every day I have had to hire a chef!’ Les Provinces doesn’t take reservations, and there are only 22 seats, so especially at the weekend be sure to come early. Prices are very reasonable, basically the same ‘per kilo’ rate as at the meat counter plus €9 for the cooking. For starters there are delicious plates of saucisson and pâté, steak tartare and cheeses, and check out the small but excellent wine list, particularly tempting for fans of the new trend in natural wines.
No one in this slightly down-at-heel corner of the 14th arrondissement has heard of a vegetarian diet. No soya smoothies or baby leaf salads at Severo – here it's all about well-bred meat selected by former butcher William Bernet and his partner Hugo Desnoyer, who supplies both high-end restarants and neighbourhood bistros like this one, where time seems to have stopped in the last century. There are a few wooden tables, an open kitchen behind a zinc bar, jolly clients and the owner, making his rounds of the tables with a red lipstick kiss on his cheek. On the menu, all sorts of piggy things to begin with, then mostly beef, in all its forms from a modest steak haché with chips or green beans (€15) to the bloody entrecôte (€38). Look out for the excellent andouillette sausage, with its enticing smell. The meat also deserves to be tried raw, in a steak tartare – here, the naturally fatty meat is minimally seasoned: no egg, no spice, but just an edge of capers and shallots. The quality of the meat, soft and full of flavour, is top notch, and the chips – often neglected elsewhere – also stand out, set to one side in their own bowl.Among the nursery-style desserts on offer, avoid the lumpy and disappointing chocolate mousse – instead, go for the crème caramel or a lovely plum tart. This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.
This characterful wine bar and restaurant near to the Jules Joffrin Metro station is as friendly as its clientele. The wine list offers a plethora of well-chosen local vintages at all price levels, and for all tastes: light, robust, round, fruity, dry, sweet… and you only have to ask for advice if you’re unsure. There’s no dinner served on weekends, but the rest of the time, this neighbourhood canteen offers affordable specialities from the South-West of France cooked with local ingredients.The owners come from the Aveyron region, arriving in the capital in the 1930s, and they’ve kept good contacts and a supply of local meat. The dishes are enormous – vast starters and gargantuan mains – but you’ll want to lick your plate clean. If you’re not that hungry, there are great salads and the charcuterie and cheese boards, accompanied by a good full-bodied red wine, are worth a look. In summer, a few tables are put on the terrace so you can look out over the passers-by.
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.
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.
Au Pied de Cochon is a Parisian institution, whose neon lights haven’t been switched off since 1947: it serves evry part of the pig you can think of, around the clock. Favourite haunt of hungry late-night drinkers, there's comething fortifying in the old-style brasserie décor as well as the hearty dishes. Among imitation leather banquettes, Belle Epoque lamps and paintings, white tablecloths and waiters in penguin suits, kitsch little details show a sense of humour – where else can you push a gilt pig’s foot to get to the toilets, or dunk a pink meringue piglet in your coffee?The menu covers traditional brasserie cooking – seafood, onion soup, steak tartare and crêpes flambées – but its raison d’être is the fat and flesh of the pig, the star of the show. Stuffed trotters, head cassoulet, smoked belly, tail, ear and brawn... hardly a light supper, but a genuine thrill for fans of eating 'nose to tail'. This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.
A restaurant called Pirouette suggests both deft maneuvering and a dash of panache. Set in a secluded little courtyard behind the concrete mess of Les Halles in the 1st arrondissement, the stage set for the meal is immediately promising, so shiny new behind its huge plate glass window that the first thing you notice as you walk in is the fresh smell of the wood pannelling. So, with a swift arabesque, to the menu, which includes a formule for a mere €36. We started with a perfect coddled egg on a bed of greens, over which a subtle mushroom and chestnut was poured at the table, and the ‘alouette sans tête’ (headless lark), a fanciful name for a ‘paupiette’ (stuffed piece of meat) of pigeon and foie gras enriched with lardo di Colonnata.Then a cabriole leap into the mains – a lovely piece of mullet with salsify and meat gravy, and beautifully tender and pink pigeon royale with a delicate foie gras sauce. Down into the final plié and dessert, with a delicate mango tart and a salty Ossau Iraty sheep’s cheese presented as a cheesecake and topped with a black cherry compôte. All in all, a round of applause for the chef (Tommy Gousset, trained in some of the city’s best kitchens), the excellent wine list, and the company overall for an elegant, affordable whole (the lunchtime menu is even better at €15).
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.
A non-nonsense oyster restaurant that recalls a charming Breton crêperie; it’s all piles of picnic hampers, paper tablecloths and the jolly bustle and clatter of butter knives, cooking pots and oyster shells as the owner deftly flicks the shellfish open. Certainly not a destination for fine dining, it’s still a brilliant pace for hungry and thirsty groups of friends who want to sit around a table and consume plates of ultra-fresh oysters (in platters at €12.20 or €24), slices of wild smoked salmon or homemade cod roe taramasalata, and bottles of excellent white wine.Oysters are also available to take away, in hampers of 50 at €58.
Paris’s ‘Little Egypt’, a tiny area outlined by the Rue d’Alexandrie, the Passage du Caire and the Rue du Nil, has a new centre of gravity: the restaurant at the Hôtel Edgar, with its big terrace looking out over a shady square. Here, you can catch some sun over briskly-served drinks, including cocktails. Inside, by some sleight of hand, designer Guillaume Rouget has turned the former textiles workshop into a swanky, hedonistic refuge. On one side a series of rooms are done out in safari, rock or kids themes (around €200 a night). On the other, an atmospheric restaurant is filled with vintage furniture and pretty lamps, everything in copper, turquoise and black and white. Next to the bar, in front of the kitchens, the seafood platter that sets the tone of the menu: things like Roumégous oysters with bread and Bordier butter, breaded calamari, mussels with chorizo, langoustines, cod with blood oranges and grilled octopus. There’s more meaty fare as well, with excellent boudin, pork steaks and spare ribs, for example. All the dishes are served with home made chips and fresh spinach, and you need to allow around €20 for a main dish. The prices are slightly inflated for cooking that is good without being exceptional, but the other parts of the equation – the charming service, the quality of the ingredients and the undeniable charm of the place – manage to balance everything out. You’ll want to come back – perhaps on a Sunday for a fish and chip brunch (€27), or to take your tim
With its beautiful old model sailing boats, lobsters, shells and bottles of sand everywhere, l’Ecailler du Bistrot feels a little like a fishing boat during the calm after the storm.Decide between, for example, incredible platters of fruits de mer, oyster selections or the lobster set menu – 12 oysters and a half lobster with fries and pudding. Aside from shellfish, there are also things like scallop carpaccio, turbot and sole meunière – but most people will plump for a gargauntuan plate of crustaceans, washed down with an excellent bottle of Cheverny blanc (€20). The glorious ritual of cracking, hulling, shelling and excavating takes you through winkles, whelks, clams, grey shrimp, cockles, belon oysters, hard and soft-shell crabs and pink shrimps, all beautifully presented and fresh. It’s generous and reasonably priced for Parisians used to paying silly money for shellfish (€76 for two), and everything that comes with it works as well – bread, butter and mayonnaise from attentive but not overweening service.After the battle, wash your hands in lemon and hot water and head for the excellent desserts – roasted figs, baked apples with salted caramel. You'll leave happily humming Molly Malone. This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.
Professore is a restaurant that tries hard to please, and succeeds. From the moment you step through the door, you’ll be struck by the classy décor, all soft lighting and Neapolitan dining tables. The same goes for Gocce, the bookshop-cum-bar in the back, whose sofas and thick carpets positively invite you to take a post-prandial cocktail.Luckily, the food boasts as much taste as the surroundings. We started the meal with a pair of devilishly delicious mille-feuilles, based around aubergine gratin and Sardinian bread and mozzarella respectively (€9-10 apiece). Main courses (around €20) are traditional Italian affairs: we’d recommend the clam and cuttlefish rice dish, or the raw sea bream with roe. The Sicilian house wine, at €32 for a bottle, is the logical choice as a complement to all this freshness.By the time you’re polishing off your chocolate biscuit topped with fresh cream, you’ll have changed your mind about the country’s cuisine. Scrap the pizzas and spag-bol – with its perfect fusion of the traditional and the tasteful, Professore will redefine your idea of what constitutes good Italian food.
A well-kept little gem of a secret: Le Petit Bleu doesn't look like much, but it is absolutely delightful. A Moroccan canteen tucked away in a Montmartre back street, they serve perfect couscous, tagines and grills in enormous portions – it would be difficult to find better in the city. Above all, the value for money is incredible, with couscous dishes at around €10. It’s open until 1am, but the space is tiny, so be prepared to queue or to get your couscous to go (one will easily feed two hungry men). This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.
With its tiny, jolly, shabby ground floor dining room and basement full of cushioned lounge seats and low tables, Ethiopian restaurant Godjo has the air of a well-kept secret – although the secret has been out for some time, and there are queues down the street on weekend evenings. People flock here to squeeze in elbow-to-elbow with their neighbours and devour the huge platters of spongy injera flatbread with spicy meat and vegetables with their hands, washed down with cheap quaffable wine and followed by huge bowls of fresh fruit for around €20 a head or less. The staff are smiley and endlessly patient despite the crowds, and the food is wonderful. We chose the Ye Feseg, a selection of four meat and vegetable dishes piled onto one huge injera: things like Key Wot (spicy chicken), Te Beg Tebs (lamb with onions) and juicy, fragrant lentils. This is comfort food par excellence, without being stodgy – rather, it's warming, spicy and full of diverse flavours and seasonings. Come early (or very late – they stay open until 2), come on a rainy Tuesday, or be prepared to wait outside even if you have a reservation. But definitely come – you'll be heartened, cheered and extremely well fed.
The alleys of Belleville are a delightful mishmash, a labyrinth of little streets full of cafés that welcome night owls and lost souls. Among these there is Chez Ramona, the grand old lady of rue Ramponeau, and her restaurant is a local legend. The place has the air of a mini-market, with shelves and shelves crammed with ingredients and Spanish specialities. On the walls, plastic flowers, cardboard souvenirs, a mock bull’s head, odds and ends from all over Spain, old paintings, family photos, plates of all sorts – a joyous mess of memories from ever since the place opened in the 1960s. Ramona chats away downstairs, drinking wine with the regulars or watching soap operas, while her daughter cooks and the deaf and dumb waiter serves clients upstairs. It’s another world.Anyway, head for your table and tuck into a welcome tortilla. You’ll need to order ahead for the enormous, fantastic house paella (€38.60 for two), but don’t panic if you forget – there’s calamari fried in batter or cooked in the pan, Spanish mussels, prawns with garlic, jamón Iberico, Galician cod, chorizo and more. All quality produce cooked with real heart, with good wine, and more than affordable – expect to pay around €25 for a generous dinner and drinks. You won’t be able to try everything at one sitting, but you’ll want to come back anyway.
Tried and tested: our favourite things to eat in the French capital in 2013 | Home | | Classic | | Bistro | | Regional | | International | | Desserts | There may be a fair few snails, slabs of red meat and curious bits of offal in our selection of the 50 best dishes in Paris, but there are also things that will surprise fans of French cooking. Cannelloni? Ramen? Cari from Réunion? Sauerkraut? Today, Paris's timeless bistros and brasseries rub shoulders comfortably with hundreds of restaurants, cafés and canteens serving food from all over France and from around the world. This snapshot of just 50 dishes out of thousands of possibilities gives an image of cooking and eating in Paris at its best: full of tradition and invention, talent and enthusiasm, generosity and greed. These are our editors' favourite dishes (and the restaurants that serve them) in that they're what we consider essential to getting a rounded sense of the city 's food scene. Have we missed one of your favourite Parisian dishes? Think you know a better version than the one we've chosen? Join the conversation in the comments box below. Classic cooking Honoring classic dishes that have been served by lamplight in the oldest Parisian canteens. Simple, filling and comforting dishes: snails, steak tartare, eggs with mayonnaise, croquet-monsieur, shellfish platters, ham sandwiches, frites, sole meunière, pressed duck and roast chicken. Because Paris will always be Paris. Bistro favourites The best Parisian