These Paris Restaurants Have Local Flavor

There are those places that have that je ne sais quoi. They aren’t in guidebooks  and just like in your hometown, touristy things usually aren’t the best. These are the spots that Parisians are trying to keep all to themselves (so shhh, don’t tell them we told). 

Le MaZenay

This place is the embod­i­ment of one of our favorite trends in Parisian food scene (maybe except fleur de oranger every­thing) — farm-to-table, which means all the ingre­di­ents come from friend­ly  farm­ers and agri­cul­tur­al­ist in the close prox­im­i­ty to the cap­i­tal. This results in an ephemer­al menu, con­sist­ing French dish­es made from sea­son­al ingre­di­ents, cooked and served in a way that is just oh-good-heav­ens deli­cious. From the escar­gots to their deli­cious ~spicy~ deserts, this place is sure to deliver.

ADDRESS: 46 Rue de Mont­moren­cy (3rd arr.)

MÉTRO: Éti­enne Mar­cel (line 4) or Arts et Métiers (lines 3, 11)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Haut Marais

PRICE: €€

HOW TO BOOK: Online

NUMBER: +33 6 42 83 79 52

DEETS: farm-to-table, closed on the week­ends, French, price for val­ue, pho­to­genic as heck

Mokonuts

Aban­don all expec­ta­tions, you who enter here — Mokonuts is ~some­thing else~. On every­day basis they are a chill, day­time cafe with an almost Nordic-vibe and wood decor but the kitchen, manned (wom­anned?) by a wife-hus­band team is crank­ing out real mag­ic — Lebanese-inspired lunch­es and light break­fasts made with thought­ful­ly-sourced ingre­di­ents…And then there are the cook­ies — con­sid­ered by top chefs around the globe (not exag­ger­at­ing) to be among the best desserts in Paris – be sure to order yours before with your savory course as they will like­ly have flown out the door by the time your do the scar­pet­ta with your lab­neh.  (For din­ner, check out their exper­i­men­tal con­cept resto near­by– Mokolo­co. )

ADDRESS: 5 Rue Saint-Bernard (11th arr.)

MÉTRO: Faid­herbe — Chaligny (line 8)

NEIGHBORHOOD:Faid­herbe / Charonne / Aligre

PRICE: 

HOW TO BOOK: online or call

NUMBER:+33 9 80 81 82 85

DEETS:  fusion, best cook­ies in town, 11th arrondissement

INSTAGRAM:@mokonuts­bak­ery

La Palette

If you’re a cul­ture-vore, you’ll find here way more than just  great food (although it’s here as well, of course). First cre­at­ed for hum­ble stu­dent of Beaux-Arts de Paris, this lit­tle brasserie is (lit­er­al­ly and fig­u­ra­tive­ly) a his­tor­i­cal place. Sur­round­ed by numer­ous art gal­leries, antique shops and book­stores it nat­u­ral­ly became a pop­u­lar spot for artists in those more ~bohemi­an~ times. Their menu is indis­putably French, as you can get here every­thing, from a croque mon­sieur to caviar with cham­pagne. There’s also a big ter­race with a view to the stun­ning Saint-Ger­main-des-Prés neigh­bor­hood, famous­ly occu­pied by Ernest Hemigway as well as Julia Roberts and a tiny bar room, which Jim Mor­ri­son always called his favourite and where Tay­lor Swift record­ed a video to one of her songs. There’s just some­thing that in four walls filled with known artist’ art­work, who used to pay their debts with paint­ings that no sto­ry­telling can pass on to you… Just come and see (and eat) for yourself.

ADDRESS: 43 Rue de Seine (6th arr.

MÉTRO: Mabil­lon (line 10)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Saint-Ger­main-des-Prés

PRICE: €€€

HOW TO BOOK:  no reservations

NUMBER: +33 1 43 26 68 15

DEETS: lunch, din­ner, open dai­ly, hid­den gem, art­sy, low-key an art gallery 

L’Attirail

This is this laid-back friend­ly neigh­bor­hood bar you know from back home, but ~make it French~. Sport chan­nel, cheap beer, fries and burg­ers (or more like red wine and fried steak, to keep it more authen­tic) and a bunch of locals, just liv­ing their life. Want to leave some­thing spe­cial behind? Bring your ID pho­to and some tape and stick it to the their famous pho­to wall — now no one can try to tell you’re not one of us.

ADDRESS: 8 Boule­vard Saint-Mar­tin (3rd arr.)

MÉTRO:République (lines 3, 5, 8, 9, 11)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Haut Marais

PRICE: 

HOW TO BOOK: no reser­va­tions

NUMBER: +33 1 77 17 69 73

DEETS: French, café, late night, open dai­ly, break­fast, lunch, din­ner, le Marais, cheap­est pint in town

Le Verre Volé

Just in front of the trendy hang­out spot, le Canal St. Mar­tin, hid­den behind a com­plete­ly ran­dom, non­de­script (and frankly, some­what charm­less) store­front of most­ly glass block, is some of the best new French food one can find in Paris: Le Verre Volé. Add its quite rea­son­able price point and it’s a must-vis­it. Our advice: let them rec­om­mend wine by the glass for each course as they are wine vir­tu­osi, and don’t skip dessert. Their tal­ents will take you all the way to the fin­ish line. Anoth­er insid­er scoop: this is one of the few restos in Paris where we advise to skip the out­door seat­ing. It’s too close to idling traf­fic to be pleas­ant. After­wards, take a bot­tle of wine to go and join the cool kids sit­ting by the Canal. Pub­lic drink­ing is pro­hib­it­ed in France, but that stops absolute­ly no one.

ADDRESS: 67 Rue de Lan­cry (10th arr.

MÉTRO: République (lines 3, 5, 8, 9, 11)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Canal St. Martin

PRICE: €€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 48 03 17 34

DEETS: lunch, din­ner, open dai­ly, where the cool kids hang, more style than mon­ey, the Paris20 best of, hid­den gem, new French, wine for days

Le Repaire de Cartouche

Do you like french food and are brave enough to try it no mat­ter what? If the answer is yes, this is the spot for you. A fam­i­ly-run estab­lish­ment, it feels like a secret known only to the locals. You may have to strug­gle with a typ­i­cal Parisian ser­vice and hold back the urge to check the ingre­di­ents of their famous pâtés and ter­rines, but if you per­suade the wait­er to give you a taste of one of the hid­den in their cel­lar bot­tles of wine, you’ll nev­er be the same after­wards.

ADDRESS: 8 Boule­vard des Filles du Cal­vaire (11th arr.)

MÉTRO: Saint-Sébastien-Frois­sart (line 8)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Bastille/Arsenal/Roquette

PRICE: 

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 47 00 25 86

DEETS: French bistro, lunch, din­ner, open dai­ly, 11th arrondissement

INSTAGRAM: @le_repaire_de_cartouche

Pamela Popo

Late night bar and kitchen in Le Marais? Yes, please! This cen­tral­ly locat­ed spot is def­i­nite­ly on your route. For a plush and chic French din­ner with noth­ing old-school about it, book a table at Pamela Popo. The cock­tails real­ly steal the show so why not take dessert at the bar? (Betcha can’t drink just one…) OR –sit out­side and get some of that je-ne-sais-quoi but in the peo­ple-watch­ing depart­ment as, just a few heavy breaths-length across the lit­tle medieval alley­way, is the new­ly refur­bished swingers’ club. Watch the com­ings and going as you order a third round of their inven­tive and styl­ish­ly-pre­sent­ed cock­tails. This is tru­ly one of Paris’ hid­den gems nes­tled in the his­toric dis­trict of Le Marais. Thanks to the unique­ly charm­ing and ener­getic team run­ning the front of the house, we always leave with a smile. And a buzz.

ADDRESS: 15 Rue François Miron (4th arr.

MÉTRO: Hôtel de Ville (lines 1, 11) or St. Paul (line 1)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Le Marais

PRICE: €€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 42 74 14 65

DEETS: French, escar­got, din­ner, late night, closed Sun­days, bar open until 2am

INSTAGRAM: @pamelapopo

Freddy’s

Fred­dy’s is hard to cat­e­go­rize. It’s con­tem­po­rary French with an Asian touch and a laid­back vibe. The qual­i­ty of the food (which punch­es WAYYY above its price point) makes me think the chill vibes do not extend to the kitchen where they must be work­ing pret­ty hard to make such deli­cious­ness hap­pen. Creamy grilled egg­plant, mas­car­pone with fried onions, a green bean sal­ad with apri­cots… now that I write it, none of this sounds as good as it actu­al­ly is. Trust us here and get in line (no reser­va­tions tak­en). Use their exper­tise and let them pick the wine by the glass to go with each small plate. Non, you did­n’t come to Paris for Chick­en Teriya­ki but you can’t pass this one up. (You just might ask for a refill…) Fred­dy’s is the type of place where you end up reorder­ing your entire meal, but don’t you dare skip dessert. When you’ve final­ly had enough, hit the streets to bask in the chic St. Ger­main des Pres dis­trict while you the glow from the inside out from all that clever wine.

ADDRESS: 54 Rue de Seine (6th arr.)

MÉTRO: Mabil­lon (line 10) or Odéon (lines 4, 10)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Saint-Ger­main-des-Prés

PRICE: €€

HOW TO BOOK: get in line… it’s worth it

NUMBER: they don’t want to be called

DEETS: tapas, lunch, open dai­ly, late night, 6th arrondisse­ment, St. Ger­main-des-Pres, no reser­va­tion,  small plates

INSTAGRAM: @freddys.paris

Au Petit Fer à Cheval

This Parisian café and late night eatery has been open for more than 100 years and has reign­ing pop­u­lar­i­ty. From first glance, Au Petit Fer à Cheval is the size of a shoe box with a smat­ter­ing of out­door seat­ing, but fear of small spaces should­n’t stop you from pony­ing up to one of France’s small­est bars. Once inside, the styl­ish­ly shab­by atmos­phere will engulf any qualms. Plus, the afford­able snack­ing, lunch, and more sub­stan­tial plate options will have you claim­ing a table to stay awhile.

ADDRESS: 30 Rue Vieille du Tem­ple (4th arr.)

MÉTRO: Hôtel-de-Ville (lines 1, 11) or St-Paul (line 1)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Le Marais

PRICE: €€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 42 72 47 47

DEETS: French bistro, late night, break­fast, lunch, din­ner, 4th arrondissement

Chez Gladines

Open dai­ly and for late night (but don’t try going between 3pm-7pm because that’s nap time peo­ple), this dia­mond in the rough is per­fect for post-bar stum­bling eats or as next day hearty hang­over grub. While graf­fi­ti on the out­side might feel off-putting, that’s no ordi­nary teenage attempt at self-expres­sion — what you have here is the now, unfor­tu­nate­ly rare, priv­i­lege of lay­ing eyes upon is a lit­tle some­thing from THE OG of Paris street art –the irre­place­able Miss.Tic. (Why line up for the Mona Lisa when you can see the real deal? ) (RIP a Paris street-art leg­end…) and inside, the red and white table­cloth-clad tables feel as if your grand­ma is tak­ing you on a pic­nic of South West cuisine. 

ADDRESS: 30 Rue des cinq Dia­mants (13th arr.), 44 Bd Saint-Ger­main (5th arr.), 11bis Rue des Halles (1st arr.)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Butte aux Cailes/Place d’I­tal­ie, Latin Quar­ter, Les Halles

PRICE: € 

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 9 67 31 96 46

DEETS: Basque, open dai­ly, lunch, din­ner, 13th arrondissement

INSTAGRAM: @chezgladinesparis

Le Plomb du Cantal

Ever wish you had a French grand­ma, tucked away in the coun­try­side some­where charm­ing, eager to show her love through cook­ing rus­tic coun­try food for hours and hours? Sor­ry you are so for­eign and not a lucky Frenchie with a « Mamie » in a stone cot­tage, rock­ing the cop­per pots, but this is your chance to pre­tend. Warn­ing for the lac­tose intol­er­ant: either pre­pare for the inevitable or do what every oth­er lac­tose intol­er­ant per­son does and do oat milk in your cof­fee on this day, ya know, for ~bal­ance~. Le Plomb du Can­tal is known for its dairy-rich recipes. But for all you blessed reg­u­lar folks, this bistro is here to trans­port you to the Auvergne coun­try­side through din­ing and wine-ing. Think rus­tic, think heavy, think deli­cious and tru­ly French. Also not a touristy loca­tion, this is where actu­al Parisians go when they want to feel like they are vis­it­ing Mamie.

ADDRESS: 3 Rue de la Gaité (14th arr.) / 5 Rue de Maine (14th arr.) / 4 Boule­vard Saint-Denis (10th arr.)

NEIGHBORHOOD(S): Mont­par­nasse, St. Denis/St. Martin/Poissonniere/Paradis

PRICE: €€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 43 35 16 92

DEETS: tra­di­tion­al French, lunch, din­ner, open dai­ly, 6th arrondisse­ment, 10th arrondissement

INSTAGRAM: @leplombducantal

L’Auberge Aveyronnaise

There must be some­thing in the water, and by water I mean red and white check­ered table clothes because this clas­sic Avey­ron bistro is mmm-mmm deli­cious. Along with the warm atmos­phere, you’ll get a kick out of the medieval decor; coats of armor, tapes­tries, the works. Their menu is hearty and every­thing is a good as if Mamie was cook­ing it up her­self in the kitchen. Here is where you can try Alig­ot, the French coun­try pota­toes and cheese (it’s always CHEESE, isn’t it???) spe­cial­ty which we rec pair­ing with a ‘saucisse’ or steamed sausage. (Put some ‘moutarde’ on that like a prop­er Frenchie…) It’s all kind­ly topped off with very nice-to-your bud­get prices.

ADDRESS: 40 Rue Gabriel Lamé (12th arr.)

MÉTRO: Bercy (lines 6, 14) or Cour Saint-Emil­ion (line 14)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Cour St. Emilioin/Bercy

PRICE: €€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 43 40 12 24

DEETS: French (avey­ron), lunch, din­ner, closed Sun­days, mid-day clo­sure (4–6pm)

Désirée

Désirée is a café/florist hybrid (stop me if you’ve heard this before) that serves drinks and lunch on one hand, and pro­vides stun­ning flo­ral arrange­ments for wed­dings and par­ties on the oth­er. Their café offers home­made baked goods, sand­wich­es, and a rotat­ing list of dai­ly savory spe­cials in addi­tion to their short but curat­ed drink list. And of course, the sim­ple, white café that spe­cial­izes in edi­ble plants is dec­o­rat­ed with the most dar­ling flo­ral arrange­ments, result­ing in a charm­ing, warm aesthetic.

ADDRESS: 5 rue de la Folie Méri­court (11th arr.)

MÉTRO: Saint-Ambroise (line 9) or Richard Lenoir (line 5)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Oberkampf/­Folie-Mer­ciourt

PRICE:

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 9 81 02 52 13

DEETS: flower shop, break­fast, brunch, closed Mon­days, 11th arrondissement

Vivant 2

Let’s be hon­est, many of us choose where to eat based off the um, drink selec­tions, rather than the food. Wel­come to Vivant 2. They have a robust wine menu and full bar (yay!), and for those com­ing in hun­gry-hun­gry, a cou­ple large plates curat­ed by Mex­i­can-Amer­i­can chef Rob Men­doza. What chef has cook­ing up is not to be missed, so sharable plates are a must to snack on. Sad­ly, they’re only open for din­ner, but you can hope to grab a table up until 11pm (although we do rec­om­mend a reser­va­tion because this restau­rant is qui­i­i­ite nar­row and there­fore lacks ample seating).

ADDRESS: 43 Rue des Petites Écuries (10th arr.)

HOURS: Mon­day — Fri­day, 7pm — 11:15pm

MÉTRO: Bonne Nou­velle (lines 8, 9) or Château d’Eau (line 4)

NEIGHBORHOOD: St. Denis/St. Martin/Poissonniere/Paradis

PRICE: €€€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 9 67 49 96 26

DEETS: cozy, French, 10th arrondisse­ment, closed Sat­ur­day-Sun­day, full bar and wine menu

INSTAGRAM: @vivantdeux

Café Charlot

One of the late-night­est late night places, Café Char­lot is open until 2am, so there’s no need to wor­ry about scram­bling out of the club ear­ly to eat. But if 1am food shov­el­ing is not your scene, they are open for all the oth­er meals too (includ­ing brunch!). The menu is pret­ty clas­sic for a café; offer­ing burg­ers, sal­ads, and tasty salty snacks. Plus, most of the wines on the menu are avail­able by the carafe. There’s no need for club­bing when you could be wine-tip­sy and gath­ered with your friends. An unex­pect­ed see-and-be-seen scene (or, in the case of your dear Edi­tor-in-Mis­chief, stood up here on my first ever Tin­der date…?) is afoot here, but with burg­ers and brunch…

ADDRESS: 38 Rue de Bre­tagne (3rd arr.)

MÉTRO: Filles du Cal­vaire (l. 8) or Arts et Métiers (l. 3, 11)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Haut Marais

PRICE: €€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 44 54 03 30

DEETS: French, café, late night, open dai­ly, break­fast, lunch, din­ner, le Marais

Bistrot Instinct

Any restau­rant can kill it with friend­ly ser­vice and a quaint atmos­phere, but chef Max­i­m­il­ian Wollek’s imag­i­na­tive approach to entrées and desserts makes this restau­rant spe­cial (as does its spot on the Miche­lin guide). It’s rec­om­mend­ed to make a reser­va­tion as they fill up well in advance despite hav­ing two sto­ries avail­able for din­ing (yes, it’s that good).

ADDRESS: 19 Rue de Picardie (3rd arr.)

MÉTRO: Filles du Cal­vaire (line 8), Arts et Métiers (lines 3, 11), or République (lines 3, 5, 8, 9, 11)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Haut Marais

PRICE:

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 42 78 93 06

DEETS: French, 3rd arrondisse­ment, healthy, lunch, din­ner, gluten free options, veg­e­tar­i­an friend­ly, closed Mon­day + Sunday

INSTAGRAM: @bistrotinstinct

Le Pigalle Restaurant

The restau­rant inside the charm­ing bou­tique hotel offers an all day café and bar that’s equal parts cozy and vin­tage. Le Pigalle Restau­rant has a tapas-style menu and an ample cock­tail menu for a relaxed din­ing expe­ri­ence. So whether you’re a hotel guest look­ing for an easy break­fast before you hit up the hilar­i­ous­ly tacky sex shops of Pigalle like the ‘Sex­o­drome’ or just pass­ing by as you make your way to a date with alco­hol, (this is a majot nightlife hood…) Le Pigalle is an excel­lent decision. 

ADDRESS: 9 Rue Fro­chot (9th arr.)

MÉTRO: Blanche (line 2), Anvers (line 2), or Saint-Georges (line 12)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Pigalle

PRICE: €€€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 48 78 37 14

DEETS: hotel restau­rant, open dai­ly, late night, sea­son­al dish­es, 9th arrondisse­ment, local flavor

INSTAGRAM: @lepigalleparis

Racines

This Parisian « bistros­te­ria » is under the direc­tion and own­er­ship of chef Simone Ton­do where he con­tin­ues to enrich his grand­moth­er’s recipes and incor­po­rate new tech­niques for the pub­lic to taste. From casseroles to soups, every­thing about this expe­ri­ence feels like home, if home was a Miche­lin star restau­rant, that is. You can sit ‘out­side’ in the cov­ered pas­sage or ‘inside’ in the for­mer print­er’s work­shop-turned-din­ing room. 

ADDRESS: 8 Pas­sage des Panora­mas (2nd arr.)

MÉTRO: Grands Boule­vards (lines 8, 9) or Bourse (line 3)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Opera Garnier/Grands Boulevards

PRICE: €€€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 40 13 06 41

DEETS: Parisian bistro, lunch, din­ner, open dai­ly, raw cui­sine, cov­ered pas­sages, 2nd arrondissement

INSTAGRAM: @racinesparis

La Courtille

Sim­ply put, you’re look­ing at a tra­di­tion­al Parisian-style din­ner loca­tion. It’s clean, for­mal and tidy (just think of Rata­touille — the movie — but in cafe-esque back­drop). The menu is on a con­stant rota­tion because the chefs need that cre­ative free­dom to express them­selves (as they should) so if you decide to stick to this restau­rant for your hol­i­day meals, you might be lucky in get­ting a dif­fer­ent menu once or twice. 

Side note: it’s in the same loca­tion as Antho­ny Courteille’s Sain Boulan­gerie (which we adore just as much)

ADDRESS: 23 Rue des Grav­il­liers (3rd arr.)

MÉTRO: Art et Métiers (line 3, 11)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Haut Marais

PRICE: €€-€€€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: 01 71 32 28 18

DEETS: casu­al for­mal, light and airy, min­i­mal­is­tic, evenings, date night, 3rd arrondissement 

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