Suggested places to stay and things to do... (#2)
 More restaurants ! (with something particular)    Instead of ...... (or : in addition to !)
  • For students : the best value restaurant in town : Les Arts et les Sciences reunis, 161 avenue Jean Jaurès 75019 (near Cité de la Musique) Tel. (0)1 48 03 10 68 : this is the restaurant where young members of the prestigious workers fraternity of the Compagnons du Devoir learn how to cook... Read more about "compagnonnage".
  • Tea Room : Angelina and its famous chocolat chaud 226 rue de Rivoli 75001 Tel. (0)1 42 60 82 00
  • Ethiopian restaurant : Entoto, 145 Rue Leon Maurice Nordmann 75013 Paris (near the Santé jailhouse) friendly, with quite unusual food.... Tel. (0)1 45 87 08 51
  • English or American-owned restaurants
  • XVIIth Century : Nos ancêtres les Gaulois, 39 rue Saint Louis en l'Ile, 75004 Paris Tel (0)1 46 33 66 07 : very noisy, fun, robust traditional French food on large tables
  • Caveau François Villon : French songs in a medieval cellar, 64 rue de l'Arbre Sec, 75001 Paris, Tel. 33-(0)1 42 36 10 92. (40 Euros)
  • More to come...

WARNING ! Here's a tip to avoid some embarrassing confusion. In France, a "restaurant" is for a whole meal. If you go to a restaurant, NEVER order just a salad and declare that you are not hungry for anything else ! If you're not very hungry and just want a salad, a sandwich, or an omelette, head for a "brasserie". In general, if you sit at any table which is covered with a tablecloth, it means that that table has been set up for a meal (and for the French, a meal is not a sandwich!). In a brasserie, for example, if you just want a sandwich, head for the "tableclothless" tables! More about it.

USEFUL TIPS.... It is very unusual to share food in a restaurant. Of course you can do it occasionally but a situation where everyone would taste everybody else's dishes must definitely be avoided ! The French like to talk and comment about what they are eating but they would not think of giving you a taste of it.

  Many monuments in Paris are often overcrowded whereas some others, which are very spectacular, are more easily accessible. Why don't you try them ?

 instead of......

  why don't you try ......
 Notre Dame Cathedral (12 million visitors/year)

Sainte Chapelle : much smaller, fantastic windows and the stones all painted as they used to be in the 11th century or

Basilique Royale (in Saint-Denis, Metro Line 13) : magnificient 12th century cathedral, with the graves of more than 70 kings and queens of France.

 Musée d'Orsay (2,7 million) Musée de l'Orangerie( is being rebuilt : come back...) or Musée Marmottan: wonderful Impressionist paintings in both museums

 Versailles (2,7 million), built by Louis XIV

Getting mixed up with kings ? Click here....

Vaux-le-Vicomte Castle : built by Fouquet, the Finance Minister of Louis XIV, who was dumb enough to invite his boss the King to a party ; the Sun King was so jealous that he fired him immediately !
 Louvre Museum (over 8 million) Musée Picasso : its major works in a beautiful XVIIth century mansion (Hotel Salé)
 DisneyLand Paris (14 million) City of Provins : a (real) medieval city near DisneyLand (why pay for fake medieval ?)
 Unusual restaurants in Paris...    The French fast food chains...
  • "Dans le Noir" (51 rue Quincampoix, 75004 Tel. 01 42 77 98 04) is an incredible restaurant : you are in total darkness, served by blind waiters, the food is good and it is an amazing experience (you'll understand what being blind means). Click here for a more detailed description.
  • Paris has not only high-class restaurants : in many places, you can enjoy a great dinner. Click here to read my column or here for Adrian Leeds' suggestion.
  • Vegetarians ? It is not easy to find vegetarian food in Paris ; however, here are a few suggestions :
      • Aquarius, 40 rue de Gergovie 75014 Tel. (0)1 45 41 36 88
      • L'Ebouillanté, 6 rue des Barres 75004 Tel.(0)1 42 71 09 69
      • La Victoire Supreme du Coeur, 41 rue des Bourdonnais 75001 Tel (0)1 40 41 93 95
      • Les Quatre et Une Saveurs, 72 rue du Cardinal Lemoine Tel (0)1 43 26 88 80
  • Restaurants in a theater or in a movie theater, like le Vieux Colombier (in Saint Germain des PrĂ©s), the Lucernaire (in Montparnasse), and several others
 

If you must have fast or chain restaurant food, instead of the McDonald's and other chains that you can find everywhere, try one of the French fast food restaurants (for less than 15 Euros), such as :

  • Cojean (salads and sandwiches)
  • Hippopotamus (steaks)
  • Leon de Bruxelles (Belgian : mussels and French fries)
  • Brioche Dorée (panini)
  • Flunch (salads)
  • La Criée (sea food)
  • Buffalo Grill (steaks)
  • Oh'Poivrier (salads)
  • Pizza Del Arte (pizza!)
  • Bistrot Romain (carpaccio, pasta, ...)
  • Chez Clément (nice setting, upscale chain)

USEFUL TIPS .... In Paris (like in New York and many other places), a restaurant may be wonderful, then successful, then a rip-off within a six-month period of time : beware of young fame... Always remember that prices in Paris restaurants are approximately twice as high as anywhere else in France : you will have this confirmed if you travel outside Paris...

USEFUL TIPS... Many restaurants are closed on Sunday and most of them on Sunday night. Monday can be tricky as well. Always call first (and remember that Bertillon, the best ice cream shop in town was closed in August until recently!!).   USEFUL TIPS......Don't give to beggars ! Most of them come from the same foreign country and they work in gangs. The money would not go to them but to their bosses who run the burglary business in Paris. Don't be swayed by their pathetic look and by the baby they carry : he/she is the only victim (and the beggar is not necessarily the mother).

If, when in Paris, you visited a very unusual place that you really enjoyed, please let me know : I'll include it in my page.The ideas for places to go and things to do in Paris that you'll find on these pages are strictly personal choices. I'm happy to share a few addresses of hotels and restaurants and tea rooms with you but since I'm not in the guide book business (thank heavens!) I am in no way responsible for changed phone numbers and addresses or a bad meal! By the same token, although I'd love to, I cannot answer questions regarding what to do or where to go in Paris beyond what I have already included and may include in the future. For these kinds of questions, some of the links I mention on my site may be helpful.

To related pages : more suggested places (#1) and activities (#3), links to American - run businessesin Paris, etc...

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Harriet Welty Rochefort writes articles and books about France and the French. Order her books :

  • "Joie de Vivre", Secrets of Wining, Dining and Romancing like the French, St.Martin's Press, New York, 2012
  • "French Toast, An American in Paris Celebrates The Maddening Mysteries of the French", St.Martin's Press, New York, 1999
  • "French Fried, The Culinary Capers of An American in Paris", St.Martin's Press, New York, 2001

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