Choosing the type of restaurant and type of cuisine can be a
minefield, especially in Paris where there are so many exceptional places to eat out and
these can range in price quite dramatically from only a few Euros up to hundreds of Euros
When it comes to cuisine, you have choices from all over the world such as the Blue Elephant which serves Thai dishes in
beautiful surroundings, the American Pizza place called Chicago Pizza Pie Factory, Brasilian food at the
Brasil Tropical Cabaret and restaurant,
Le Curieux Spaghetti Bar for true Italian
delights, the Ozu restaurant serving
authentic Japanese food, and much more to tempt those taste buds.
Yet obviously, it is the French food that really stands out in so many different restaurants in Paris and this can range from
the typical Bistro style restaurant like Le
Repaire de Cartouche or the Viaduc Café
through to restaurants in unusual surroundings like L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, 1970's style Korova, the 1970's style family restaurant Apollo or one that most people have heard of Altitude 95 in the Eiffel Tower.
Obviously it depends upon your budget, but the finest way of dining in Paris is with Haute
cuisine, which literally means 'high cooking' in French. This type of meal is
characterised by elaborate preparations and equally elaborate presentations of the food,
which are always accompanied by extensive wine cellars, although the actual type of food
will vary from the classic French regional delicacies to contemporary fusion cuisine.
So if you want to splash out for that special occasion, then just some of the Haute
cuisine restaurants include the Jules Verne
at the Eiffel Tower, Le Grande Cascade
close to the Longchamps horse racing, L'Arpege, Taillevent, Lasserre, Le Grand Vefour and La Tour d'Argent, which is probably the most
famous of all restaurants in France. All of these are Michelin star rated with a
price tag to match, so you could be paying anything upwards of 250 Euros per person, but
even the most expensive restaurants have a cheaper option for a lunchtime compared to the
cost for an evening meal.
Now forgetting Haute cuisine, you will find that most restaurants
in Paris serving French cuisine have a 'Menu du Jour' or a set menu of the day and
this normally means the most reasonably priced meals, changing frequently sometimes daily
depending upon what fresh produce is available.
If you want to eat breakfast out, then it is highly unlikely to be in a restaurant, unless
you are staying at a hotel, but it is more likely to be at a Patisserie, cafe or Tea Salon
where you can get croissants, bread, fillings such as cold meats and cheeses, pastries and
a nice cup of coffee. You will be able to find numerous places such as Angelina's or Laduree, where you can either eat there or
purchase items to take away to sit and eat in one of the beautiful gardens that are dotted
around Paris. But it is worth noting that many
establishments add an additional charge to your bill if you decide to sit outside on their
terrace, rather than at the bar or a table inside.
There are numerous different cafés in Paris
such as les Cocottes, Café Marly with a great view of The Louvre museum or The Hard Rock Café, which are great places for
lunch when many of the shops are closed for at least two hours between around Noon and
The bistros in Paris are easy to find
whilst walking around this beautiful city and include places such as the Benoit near the Pompidou centre or le Soleil de Grenelle, which is close to the
Eiffel Tower and Les Invalides.
As for the evening, meals are usually served from around 7.30pm and we would like to point
out that Parisians do tend to dress up for an evening meal, so it is a good idea to check
with restaurant as to what the dress code will be, because if you turn up in Jeans and the
attire is a jacket and tie, you will not be allowed in, even if you have booked!
Also, in most restaurants it is expected that you have a glass
of wine or two with your meal, as it is the French way of life. But please do
bear in mind that when you are in the UK, asking for a table wine is like getting the
worst possible, whereas in Paris and in fact virtually all of France you will find that
the table wines can be just as expensive and in a lot of cases far more so than other wines listed as they are of excellent quality.
There are numerous different options for an evening meal like a cosy and intimate setting
at Au Bon Accueil, or perhaps you have
been out partying at a nightclub and need
something to eat in the early hours of the morning and in this instance, Au Pied de Cochon is a fantastic option
that is open 24/7 which has never closed since opening!
Or, perhaps you would prefer the friendly atmosphere and the smells of food cooking on a
spit at the Atelier Maitre Albert or
for a complete contrast why not try the contemporary cuisine at Spoon Food and Wine.
There is always the option of having a drink at one of the bars in Paris either before or after your
evening meal and there are many to choose from such as the Bar Hemingway at the Ritz, Willi's Wine Bar or the Moroccan Andy Wahloo and of course there are the cabaret venues where you can enjoy a meal,
have a few drinks and watch a cabaret show such as the Cabaret
Cirque at the Zebre de Belleville, which is suitable for all the family or the famous
and risqué Moulin Rouge.
But if you are still not sure about where to go for your next evening out dining in Paris,
then it may be an idea to pick up Le Carnet Gourmand, which is a guide to restaurants in
Paris that are registered with the Tourism office and is produced in both French and
English free in the tourist offices, some hotels and at
the restaurants it lists.
Having over 200 different restaurants listed with what type of cuisine they supply, their
opening hours and what types of payment they accept, the guide also covers additional
facilities on offer, such as if they are accessible to the handicapped, if they have
parking, wine cellars, etc and important to many, they also include a guide to the price
for each one as well.