I have been wanting for some time to post some of my favorite addresses and grazing grounds in Paris. This is without a doubt one of the world’s most exciting cities. I lived there for three months in 1989 (France’s Bi-centennial). It was a mind blowing experience . I experienced so much of the city in those few months. The restaurant world and mostly the crazy world that occurs after hours. I can vouch that Paris never sleeps and that a whole other world exists after midnight.
Paris is the ultimate walking city. Every time I go I wear myself out walking the city seeing what each neighborhood has to offer. I love how every neighborhood seems to have a theme. Philatelies to music, to sex shops, to restaurant equipment, to antiques, to art galleries, to gay, to comic bookstores and of course the Bookinistes on the Seine.
I have taken students across the city on many occasions (mostly at a fast walking pace that few could keep up with). I have taken countless 5:00am trips to Rungis to visit the world’s largest wholesale markets. My son Paris was conceived there (I couldn’t really name him #735 after all). I know that city better than most.
So here are a few of my favorite food & beverage places. I know that I am just scratching the surface, so feel free to contribute more cool addresses. I have included the zip codes as that should help you to locate the arrondissement they are located in. The last two digits of the zip is the arrondissement i.e. 75001 is the 1st. and so on so forth until 75020 which is the 20th and last in the inner snail that is Paris.
Café des Musées 49, rue de Turenne, 75003 Paris T. 01 42 72 96 17 (never had a bad or expensive meal here)
Le Comptoir d’Yves Camdeborde (also known as the Relais de l’Odeon), 9 carrefour de l’Odeon 75006 T. 01 44 27 07 97 (this place is amazing, never had a bad meal. Problem, very small so hard to get a seat. Best bet is to arrive at 11:45am and stand in line for a moment for lunch. impossible to get a place on a weeknight as it is reserved many months ahead. Weekends are another story but be smart and show up before the rest of the dinner or lunch crowd arrives and you will have success).
La Ferrandaise, 8 rue Vaugirard, 75006, T. 01 43 26 36 36, www.laferrandaise.com I went here one night on the recommendation of the head waiter of le Comptoir when we couldn’t get in there. The place was awesome. Great value and very tasty food. It is right across the street from the Jardin de Luxembourg. Ferrandaise is a species of cattle, so that is the theme of the restaurant. Needless to say you can get good steak here.
Chez Paul, 13 rue Charonne, 75011, T. 01 47 00 34 57, This place is a classic and best of all is open 7 days a week (a rarity in Paris) This is great burgundy bouchon food and the place is always packed. I used to take my students there for their first night in Paris.
Bistrot du Sommelier, 97 Blvd Haussman, 75008, T. 01 42 65 24 85 (The master sommelier is Philippe Brac and they do specialized food and wine pairing menus and also serve Alleosse cheeses, not overly priced). The one time we went there we took our 2 month old son and I experienced the whole meal with him in a baby bjorn. This is a challenge I can tell you. They were terrified when they saw us come in, but pleasantly surprised by how well he behaved.
Chez Michel, 10 rue Belzunce, 75010, T. 01 44 53 06 20 ( this a quaint little bistrot in an unlikely place. Good inexpensive food from a top chef who used to work as Chef to President Mitterand and at the Ritz)
l’Ardoise, 28 rue du Mont-Thabor, 75001, T. 01 42 96 28 18 (great honest food and inexpensive. Located right beside Place de la Concorde)
Alleosse, 13 rue Poncelet, 75017, T. 01 46 22 50 45, www.fromage-alleosse.com , This is without a doubt the best cheese curer in all Paris. Many of the 3 star Michelin chefs buy from him and he deals with international shipments. He is Philippe and his wife is Rachel. They have generously showed me their cheese cellars on occasions with my students and he has enlightened me about the world of cheese.
La Ferme St Aubin: 76 rue St. Louis-en-l’Ille, 75004, T. 01 43 54 74 54, This where I used to go for my cheese before I met Alleosse. Just strolling though the Ille St. Louis is worth the trip. Make it even more cool by visiting Notre Dame and then strolling past its left flank heading east and crossing the bridge into the Ille St. Louis. Stop turn around and take in Notre Dame’s buttresses, turn around again and go straight to Berthillion ice cream and get a scoop of the best ice cream on the planet. Then go buy some cheese at St. Aubin.
Androuet: Too many locations in Paris to list. Click on this Androuet to find a location that suits your needs. This is the original cheese curer for Paris and used to have a restaurant that featured all dishes made with cheese and of course a cheese selection.
Restaurant Supply Stores:
E. Dehillerin: 26 rue Coquilliere, 75001, Talk to Emille a man of Indian descent. This a must do for any chef. One day in 1989 I walked in an stumbled into Jean Louis Palladin and Michel Richard. I knew Jean Louis from my time as a student at l’Academie. I talked to Jean Louis for a little bit and then turned to Michel and asked do you work for Jean Louis. He turned to me and said “I own Citron in L.A.” (he had that you are cretin for asking look on his face). All you have to do is walk around the general vicinity of the area to find the rest of the restaurant supply stores in the area…. Explore. Don’t be surprised if you stumble on the sex shop & prostitute district which not far east from here on the Rue St. Denis.
Pastry Shops: Without question the best pasty shops in the world are here (in my experience). You can visit all the great outposts within a few blocks from each other in the 6th Arrondissement. Here are my favs:
Pierre Hermé: 72 rue Bonaparte, 75006, This is a shoebox of a place but once you walk through the doors you realize that you have entered a pastry art gallery. Pierre is the Channel of the pastry world. This shoe box sized Patisserie is right across the street from St. Sulpice cathedral. Made very famous in the Da Vinci code and in National Lampoon’s European Vacation. Closed Mondays
Gerard Mulot: 76 rue du Seine, 75006, T. 01 43 26 85 77 This place is awesome and I have visited the production area which is under the store. It is a rat maze and made even smaller when you take a group of 15 down with you. However what they manage to do with that limited space is amazing. Annoying is the ordering method. You ask for what you want, the server gives you a ticket and you must go to the cashier to get a paid receipt to pick up your order. They not only do pastries but a whole lot of savory items and breads.
Ladurée: 21 rue Bonaparte, 75006, T. 01 44 07 64 87, www.laduree.fr These three pasty shops compete every year for the best macaroons. Each of them produce amazing macaroons, so hard to say who would win. This Ladurée has a beautiful tea room that you can enjoy breakfast in or have afternoon tea. None of the other two places have a seating area.
High end Grocers:
Fauchon: 23 -26 Place de la Madeleine, 75008, T. 01 70 39 38 00, www.fauchon.com , This is a gastronomic landmark almost on par with Harrods in London. Everything is at peak of perfection.
Hediard: This is right across the Place de la Madeleine from Fauchon and has all the luxury canned goods you can pack into your Louis Vitton suitcase. Also right beside them you will find Petrossian Caviar and if you start heading back toward the Seine you will stumble onto the former restaurant Lucas Carton and a little further you will see another outpost of Ladurée.
Lavinia: 3 Boulevard de la Madeleine, 75008, www.lavinia.fr I believe that this is the largest wine store on the planet. I love to go into the exclusive wine room and see the legendary bottles of Yquem, Latour, LRC etc. You are only a few blocks away when you are at Place de la Madeleine that you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity. They have a wine bar there as well with many wines by the glass if you get thirsty.
If you were ever given million dollars to spend in one hour the 8th might be the neighborhood to do it in.
I will update this post soon with outdoor ambulatory markets and indoor stationary ones that I have enjoyed throughout the years.