Paris is absolutely teeming with places where you can get a great meal, but per usual I've done the ground work for you lazy bastards. The below are five of my favourite restaurants in Paris. Places where you can get real, honest, well-priced French or French-fusion meals minus the Michelin stars and the tiny portions that normally come with them. Enjoy! *insert comedic French laugh*
Les Philosophes - 28 Rue Vieille du Temple
First and foremost - their French onion soup is the best in Paris. Hands down, no contest. I've had it three times and never managed to take a photo because it's so good I dive right in. It's practically a meal in itself though, so go hungry. You'll also want to go hungry because they do daily specials that are très French. Sometimes I turn into literally the world's most carnivorous person, so post soup I got a filet steak with béarnaise sauce. It's served with sliced potatoes on a bed of creamed spinach and I die.
After already gaining at least 10lbs in one sitting, I was talked into a cheese course by the far-too-charming waiter (this happens a lot in Paris - prepare yourself). I told him I wanted literally the smallest amount of cheese, so naturally he brought me AN ENTIRE LOG OF GOATS CHEESE. With butter (WHY?). And honey. And bread. How French people aren't obese is still beyond me.
So.... much cheese.
Le Compas - 62 Rue Montorgueil
For proper French cuisine with a little bit of Italian flair, this is the place to be. I went here for my birthday dinner and they treated me like an absolute star even though I was a loud, drunken mess. Excuse the rose tinted lighting in the below photos, my friends and I insisted on sitting outside under the (you guessed it - red) heat lamps, despite the fact that we were there during literally the coldest weekend of the year.
The food is divine, and the prices are entirely reasonable. Between the three of us I think we ordered at least half of the items on the menu, but I only managed to capture a few of them. Behold:
BURRATA and beetroot.
Snails. Like garlic... but chewier.
Truffle cream and parma ham pasta.
Our waiter. Not on the menu but highly recommended nonetheless.
They also have an exceptional champagne list and put an actual firework in my birthday dessert which I tried to blow out and almost lit the man in front of me on fire - what more could you ask for?
La Relais de Venise - 271 Boulevard Pereire
If you could only go to one restaurant in Paris, I'd send you here. La Relais de Venise is a Parisian institution and it's great for people who can't decide what to order because there's literally only one thing you can have - a walnut salad followed by entrecôte steak with frites and their famous sauce. There are MANY knockoffs of this restaurant, so make so you go to the address above!
Salad. Not the most exciting, but we'll forgive them because...
THIS. Entrecôte and chips, round one.
Yep, that caption says round one. When you've finished your steak and frites they'll come by and offer you another serving of both. It's included in the price - so don't say no! The sauce is a secret recipe, and it's absolutely divine.
You'll be stuffed by the time they ask if you'd like dessert, but I don't care because you're getting the profiteroles either way. They are the best profiteroles you'll have in Paris, and therefore in your life. The warm dark chocolate sauce is to die for.
The set menu of salad and two helpings of steak frites will only set you back €28, which is an absolute bargain for Paris. They've got a great wine menu but their house wine is very nice so don't feel the need to splash out.
Le Bon Pêcheur - 14 Rue Pierre Lescot
Calling all seafood lovers! Le Bon Pêcheur (the good fisherman) is a beautiful little bistro right across from Les Halles - a giant shopping mall built on the foundations of one of the city's oldest food markets.
They do amazing oysters and have an extensive 'catch of the day' menu on a blackboard out front. I went for a perfectly cooked filet of sea bass with a chorizo infused sauce and spicy rice. YUM.
I've been told they do a mean creme brûlée, but I stupidly skipped dessert. Let me know if you go and manage to try it!
Baagaa - 54 Rue de Longchamp
Sorry not sorry for putting a burger place in my fave five. I'm a burger fiend and I'm not ashamed, and the Parisians are probably judging me anyway so why not. Baagaa only serves Waygu beef, and apparently "baagaa" is how the French think the Japanese pronounce burger which is probably a bit racist but we'll roll with it.
Under the supervision of my waiter (always trust French waiters) I had the Paname burger, which was topped with grilled wild mushrooms, caramelised onions, thin sliced ham, rocket, and 'sauce ravigotte' which (according to Google because I can't keep track of all of these French sauces) is a dijon based veloute with shallots, capers, and herbs. Fancy.
That burger life.
Accompanied by a bowl of perfectly crisp frites and a glass of the house red, it was a delicious meal and a personal reward for trying snails the night before.
Bon Appétit mes amis!