Betty’s Paris

Quatrehomme Fromagerie in Paris

Quatrehomme Fromagerie in Paris

I fell in love with Paris as a college junior studying at the Sorbonne many years ago, and have been going back to the City of Light ever since.

I spend close to two months of every year there, and never miss an opportunity to try the city’s amazing restaurants, sip tea in their fabulous tea rooms, or do what every female visitor does in Paris—shop.

These are  my current favorites in the capital— restaurants and bistros, patisseries and more . . . and of course, shops for clothing and  shoes.

Chez l’Ami Jean
27, rue Malar
Paris 7
01-47-05-86-89
Metro: Invalides or La Tour Maubourg

Book ahead for the hearty, inventive dishes from the southwest of France served in a rustic ambience. It’s always crowded, but service is good and prices too. We ate there recently on a Saturday night and saw Catherine Deneuve at a table in the corner.

Le Bon Saint Pourçain
10 bis, rue Servandoni
Paris 6
01 42 01 78 24
Metro: Mabillon, Saint-Sulpice

Located near the Place Saint-Sulpice, this "bistro ancien"  has recently come into the hands of talented young chef, Mathieu Techer. The restaurant is petite but the dishes, which are classics done up with fresh innovative touches, are big winners. A three-course meal on my visit came to around 50 euros and was definitely worth the price. Book ahead as it’s very popular.

Cézembre
17, rue Gregoire de Tours
Paris 6
09.67.57.25.08
Metro: Mabillon

Opened in early 2016, this small Left Bank restaurant in the St Germain area, serves only one 5-course prix fixe menu in the evening. Meticulously prepared and presented, this menu is one of the best values in Paris. I am still dreaming about the scallops atop creamy risotto surrounded by foam and filet of duck with shiitakes and Grenailles potatoes—both delicous.

Le Casse Noix
56, rue de la Fédération
Paris 15
Paris 01-45-66-09-01
Métro: Bir-Hakein or Dupleix

This bistro, located near the Eiffel Tower, is one I visit on every trip to Paris. The chef, an alum of the celebrated La Régalade in the 14th, turns out exceptionally creative dishes all prepared with fresh seasonal ingredients. The ambience is warm and cozy and the prix fixemenu a real bargain.

Spring
6, rue Bailleul
Paris 1
01-45-96-05-72
Metro: Louvre-Rivoli

Spring is definitely on my short list of best Paris restaurants. Recently relocated near the Louvre in the first arrondissement, Spring is the creation of chef/owner, Daniel Rose, an American from Chicago. From the moment you step through the door into the modern interior where an open kitchen is abuzz with young chefs, you’ll feel welcome. The food is  inventive and beautifully prepared. Both lunch and dinner can be pricey-- a definite splurge but worth every euro!  Reserve well in advance.

Semilla
54, rue de Seine
Paris 6
01-43-54-34-50
Metro: Mabillon

Original market-based cooking, a friendly staff, and a warm welcome are the reasons that this popular Left Bank restaurant is always full. The menu changes daily with many dishes available as an appetizer or a main. For dessert a golden choux pastry shell filled with an ethereally light caramel cream is always on the menu and a must. Dinner appetizers run 6 to15 euros, mains 22 to 30, and desserts 10 to 12. Another bonus is that Semilla is open every day (including Sunday!) for lunch and dinner.

Neva Cuisine
2, rue Berne
Paris 75008
01-45-22-18-91
Metro: Europe or Liège

Located in a far corner of the 8th arrondissement north of Gare St. Lazare, this restaurant opened in 2011. The food is exceptionally creative and presented in intricate arrangements, and the ambience simple yet stylish. Menus at dinner run around 38 to 45 euros with supplements for some dishes.

Sola
12, rue de l’Hôtel Colbert
Paris 75005
01-43-29-59-04
Metro: Cluny-La Sorbonne or Maubert Mutualité

On the Left Bank, not far from Notre Dame, this restaurant, housed in a 17th-century building, features exquisite dishes which I’d describe as French with subtle Asian accents courtesy of Chef Hiroki Yoshitake. There are two dining rooms—La Salle Française on the main floor with its striking beamed ceilings, and Les Salons Japonais below in the vaulted cave with its stone walls and Japanese-style tables and benches. Lunch prix fixes are 35 and 50 euros, and evening ones run 55 and 75 euros. If you’re going to Paris and want an exceptional meal at an affordable price, this is the table to reserve.

Restaurant Pirouette
5, rue Mondetour
Paris 75001
01-40-26-47-81
Métro: Etienne Marcel

The contemporary setting, with its soaring ceiling and huge windows looking out on a small square, invites you to relax, but it's the inventive food that makes this place shine. The prix fixe is about 40 to 45 euros for three courses at dinner and 20 euros for two at lunch—a veritable bargain in Paris.

Le 6 Paul Bert
6 ,rue Paul Bert, 75011
01 43 79 14 32
Métro: Charonne or Faidherbe-Chaligny

The sibling restaurant of Le Bistro Paul Bert just down the same street, this restaurant is one of my favorites. The food is incredibly inventive and prepared with seasonal ingredients. Service is warm and friendly and price range from 40 to 60 euros for dinner.

Tomy & Company
22 rue Surcouf
Paris 7
01 45 51 46 93
Metro: La Tour-Maubourg

I’ve been a long-time fan of Tomy Gousset, who was the talented chef at Pirouette on the Right Bank for several years. Now he has his own restaurant on the Left Bank in the 7th and is serving incredibly creative dishes. Near the Invalides, this stylish, neo-bistro is open for lunch and dinner. Lunch was around 60 euros per person for several courses and wine. Count on more for dinner.

Les Arlots
136, rue du Faubourg Poissonnière
Paris 75010
01.42.82.92.01
Metro: Rochechouart, Poissonnière or Gare du Nord.

Les Arlots (no, as food critic John Talbott says ,it's not an abbreviation of harlots but of harlequins), is closed Sundays and Mondays, but try to get there the other days of the week. Creative dishes prepared simply with excellent seasonal ingredients are the draw. And the prices are quite reasonable hovering around 45 euros for 3 courses. Book ahead as it's a small bistro.

Some Other Places of Interest

I enjoy the following restaurants because they have a special feature—some are open on Sunday nights, one serves soufflés as a specialty, and a few just offer well-priced, good traditional fare.

Cigale Récamier
4, rue Récamier (across from the Hotel Lutétia)
Paris 7
01-45-48-86-58
Metro: Sèvres-Babylone

If you love soufflés, this is the place to go. They make exquisite ones—both savory and sweet. My husband and I usually order a savory soufflé and a salad for our main course, then finish with a sweet airy creation. It’s a decadent, but fabulous experience.

Desi Road
14 Rue Dauphine
Paris 6
01 43.26.44.91
Metro: Mabillon or Odéon

This contemporary Indian in the 6th arrondissement has become a new favorite of mine when I want to venture away from French food in Paris. The dishes are expertly spiced and artfully presented on the plate. I loved the thali choices, samplers that include several curries, raita, nan, and rice pudding for dessert. Dinner is around 35 to 40 euros with beer and lassis and lunch slightly less.

Oudino
17, rue Oudinot
Paris 7
01-45-66-05-09
Metro: Vaneau or Duroc

This is a fairly unknown and unpretentious place with consistently good but not fancy food at good prices. We use it as our neighborhood bistro. The 7-hour lamb is their best dish.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Patisseries

Pierre Hermé
72, rue Bonaparte (at Place St. Sulpice)
Paris 6
01-43-54-47-77
Metro: Mabillon
I have NEVER had anything from this petite patisserie that I didn’t love. Not only are the pastries to die for, they are true works of art. It’s a small shop so you may have to wait in line to get inside.

93, rue du Bac
Paris 7
01-42-84-00-82
Metro- Sèvres-Babylone
Philippe Conticini displays his extraordinary creations under glass domes (“sous cloche” as the French say). His inventions are so special they should be displayed like jewels. He is a genius at transforming classic French pastries into new creations. His “éclairs au chocolat” are wrapped in a paper-thin coating of dark chocolate. His St. Honoré is brilliantly presented on a base of puff pastry topped with caramel-glazed “chou” pastry puffs and mounds of ethereally light whipped cream. And, for something really different and delicious, there is the “pain gourmand à la vanille—a light airy roll scented perfectly with vanilla.

Favorite Grocery

La Grande Epicerie at the Bon Marché
38, rue de Sèvres
Paris 7
01-44-39-81-00
Metro: Sèvres-Babylone

This is Paris’ answer to London’s Harrods, and in my opinion, the French grocery is more interesting and definitely more user-friendly. Don’t go home without walking through it and buying a treat to enjoy!

Favorite Tea Room

Mariage Frères
13, rue des Grands Augustins
Paris 6
01-40-51-82-50
Metro: Odéon or St. Michel

30, rue Bourg Tiborg
Paris 4
01-42-72-78-11
Metro: St. Paul

250, rue Faubourg St. Honoré
Paris 8
01-46-22-18-54
Metro: Ternes

There are 3 locations, but I visit the one on rue des Grands Augustins in the sixth most often. Another is in the Marais on rue Bourg Tibourg, and a third is in the 8th. If it is rainy or if you’re tired of sightseeing, go to one of these lovely places and order one of the 200 teas brewed to perfection. You might like to add some of their scones offered with thés gelées (tea jellies). It’s a little pricy, but so civilized and relaxing. Their packaged teas make great gifts to take home.

Hermès
17 rue de Sèvres
Paris 6
Metro: Sèvres-Babylone

Hermès’ new store located on the Left Bank is definitely worth a visit. The goods are pricey as expected, but you can certainly enjoy looking without pulling out your credit card. The interior architecture is exquisite, almost sculptural. The site was once an indoor swimming pool back in the 1930s, and the architects saved the tiled mosaics!

Shoes

In the 6th, the rue du Cherche Midi between Boulevard Raspail and the intersection of rue de Sèvres is one of Paris’ best blocks for shoes. (The celebrated Poilâne Bakery is right in the center of this block, so you can eat and shop at the same time.) The shoes in Paris are far more sophisticated than those on this side of the Atlantic. Also on the same street there are shops for clothing, costume jewelry, and handbags, all very chic.

Clothing

On the Left Bank (where I hang out), Le Bon Marché on rue de Sèvres has fabulous clothing and shoes. Handbags and scarves are on the ground floor (called in French the rez de chaussée) of the first building; shoes and boutique and designer clothing is on the next (actually the second floor for Americans, but called the first in France.) The grocery (La Grande Epicerie) is in the second store and the floor above it houses great bridge lines of clothing.

The rue des Saints-Pères, rue du Vieux Colombier, rue du Four, and rue de Rennes, all in the 6th arrondissement, are all good shopping streets.

Flea Markets

Although the Marché Cligancourt in the 18th and on the northern edge of Paris is the best known, I am a devotee of the Marché aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves down in the 14th on the city’s southern edge. It’s open from about 8:45 AM until 1 PM on Saturdays and Sundays and worth a visit. You never know what you’ll find. I’ve bought prints, rugs, silver, dishes, picture frames, and more. I never miss a chance to go when I’m in the city.

Hungry for Paris
This is a terrific blog written by Alexander Lobrano, an American who has lived in Paris since 1986. His book, Hungry for Paris, is a must for food lovers who want to discover memorable restaurants in France’s capital.

John Talbot’s Paris
I find this blog written by an American living in Paris to be very useful. This ex-pat seems to eat out nonstop in the City of Light and offers up-to-date reviews of restaurants in all parts of the city.

David Lebovitz- Living the Sweet Life in Paris
A former pastry chef at Chez Panisse, David lives in Paris full time. I find his blog filled with interesting culinary musings. His recent book, My Sweet Life in Paris, is a food-based memoir.

Paris By Mouth
This is a site I have used over and over again. A group of very talented reviewers, both American and French, offer their opinions of restaurants, wine bars, pastry and bakery shops, and much more. You can even sign up for their food-related tours.

French-Word-A-Day
Kristin Espinasse, an American married to a French wine-maker in the South of France, recounts her daily life with her husband and two teenagers. In each of her three weekly posts, she includes French words and expressions in touching stories. At the end of each narrative, she lists the vocabulary words with definitions and an audio for pronunciation. I love her honest, direct style and have become one of more than 30,000 people reading her tales of French life.

Where to Stay in Paris
If you have enough time, try renting an apartment in Paris and live like the Parisians. One of the nicest and most responsive agencies in the city is I Love Paris Apartment Rentals. They have a wide selection and will answer you find just the right place.

Delicious Connections--If you're interested in a culinary tour of Paris or France, check out Patti Ravenscroft's Delicious Connections. This bilingual guide lives in Paris half of the year and plans food-focused visits to the City of Light and throughout France and beyond.

18 thoughts on “Betty’s Paris

    • Hi Carole,
      I’ve been in Paris so am just now catching up on notes. So glad you’ve found my blog, and hope you’ll try some of the recipes!

  1. We are heading to Paris in June 2014 for a big birthday. I just discovered your blog, which I now subscribe too, and looking forward to using it as a reference as I plan the trip. And we live in Yellow Springs, Ohio, about 40 minutes from Columbus.

    • I just returned and hope you’ll have a fabulous stay. Had great meals again at Le Casse Noix and loved two new places, Le six Paul Bert and also Pierre Sang Boyer which I’ll add to my restaurant list soon! Safe Travels.

  2. Hi Betty and Ron. wonderful clients are traveling to Paris and i showed them your site and blog. i look forward to seeing you in the fall. Very interested now in making pain au levain (miche Poilane) in my soon-to-receive mobile wood oven. happy days, jim

    • Hi Jim,
      So good to hear from you, and thrilled that you mentioned my site to your clients. The restaurants on my Paris page are all faves. Looking forward to being in Columbus this fall-working with Mary and Steve on my class! Betty

  3. Loved your blog. I have been taking groups of friends to Paris for the past three years and wish I would have checked out your website way before this. I am taking another group in March so will hit some of these restaurants. Is Ron’s book coming out this fall? Is it still titled When Paris Went Dark? I hear you will be in Columbus soon. Of course, we will all want to see you.

    • So great to hear from you. Glad you like the Paris page–I update it after every stay there. Check my site under “Betty Classes” to see where and when I’ll be in Cols. Would love to see you at one of these events.

      Ron’s book is coming out next Aug in time for the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Paris. It’s called When Paris Went Dark and Little Brown is publishing it! More details when I see you!

  4. So glad my/our friend Sheri Lisak told me about your site! My husband and I leave Wednesday for Paris and I’ve noted all your recommendations for our trip. Looking forward to eating our way through the city! Bienvenue à Columbus en novembre!

  5. Betty, I am so glad to hear of you once more! My travelin days are limited so it’s especially nice to hear of your trips , activities and new books! Continued success, Fondly Sue p.s. I miss your classes!

  6. I’ll be back in Paris this spring. I’ve used your restaurant recommendations on previous visits with great success. Any new suggestions?

    • Hi Rae, I added three new places to my restaurant list under “Betty’s Paris.” Although very small and simple, I loved le Bon Saint Pourcain in the 6th. The new chef is very creative and add creative touches to familiar dishes. The service was lovely too. Cézembre is also very plain and with only one menu but the food was exceptionally good and the price very reasonable. Tomy’s is the new hot restaurant in town and we had a great lunch there with friends. Hope this helps and that you are well and good!

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