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Paris 5/12-5/18 recommendations?

I'll be in Paris staying in the Latin Quarter. Any recommendations for that area as well as other must-tries throughout? Medium budget, great wine a must (though not necessarily prix-fixe), fun/personalable (though not Friday's fun and friendly). Also, (not necessarily food-related) is it better to use traveler's checks, euros? Get them in the US or in Paris?
Thanks for any suggestions.

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  1. I would take a couple hundred euros in cash with you so you can pay for the cab from the airport, etc., but I wouldn't bother with travelers checks. You get the best rate of exchange (if there is such a thing these days) by just using your ATM card to get cash at any of the bejillions of machines in Paris.

    Medium budget, great wine = Willi's Wine Bar and Macéo, both in the 1st and next door to each other. (13 and 15 rue des Petits Champs) Yes, the owner, Mark Williamson (a Brit) is a good friend of mine, but the food is good, the wine is great, the prices affordable and the atmosphere convivial. Everyone at Willi's also speaks English, so if your French isn't great, no problem. web site is williswinebar dot com and reservations are not a problem, especially if you sit at the bar. Both places are closed Sundays.

    1. Unless you have a lot of luggage or with a group of people, the RER Metro is easy from either CDG or Orly airport to the Latin Quarter (probably St. Michele stop). Only about 8.5E each way. Nobody uses travelers check anymore.
      Fish Boissonier in the 6th has a nice wine list and fairly good food, more Mediterranean than pure French.

      1 Reply
      1. re: PBSF

        traveler's checks are a waste. do be careful about your wallet on the metro - don't keep it in a back pocket and do be aware there are pickpockets. as to food, so many wonderful choices: L'Ami Jean will be relatively near you and my favorite, in the 16th near Trocadero, is le Scheffer. Both reasonably priced. Both excellent. Do consider reservations before you go (your hotel if you email it will probably be willing to make them for you).

      2. The best recommendations I have are Les Papilles in the 5th near Jardin du Luxembourg. Reservations a must. Servingt Michelin starred like food at 30 euros per person. Catch is there are no choices except for the three course prix fix which changes daily. Suggest you make reservations; then call and see if the prix fix that day is something you approve of. Wine is at wine store cost plus a small corkage fee. Best value I have found in Paris

        Next is Mon Vieil Ami on Ile de Saint Louis. Excellent and open on Sunday. Must make reservations.

        1. I like Le Reminet in the Latin Quarter and Ze Kitchen Galerie in the 6th. Ze is at Quai des Grands Augustines, and provides a lovely walk along the river after the meal, which is modern and delicous fusion with a French Twist. Le Reminet is a true Paris bistro with excellent food. For a fun and tasty experience, I recommend to everyone Chez Denise, for the hearty and lively food and atmosphere of Paris. It is open 24 hours from Monday to Friday (no weekends). You can go in at midnight (reservations pretty essential) after a tough night clubbing.

          I think it is worth the schlep out to the 15th for the 6 course meal (prix fixe only) at L'Os a Moelle (excellent and interesting, well-priced wine list).. as a matter of fact, the mini bistro for this resto is a wine bar across the street called Le Cave a L'Os a Moelle.
          I do not take a cab out there--it costs a fortune, but I do take a cab back as I am usually very full and very tired.

          I have not been, but I am hearing very good things about Guy Martin's (3 star chef from Le Grand Vefour) new bistro, Sensing, on Le Brea in the 6th. I am sure that such a chef has installed a pleasing wine list.

          Have a good time and please report on your eating and drinking and any finds.

          1 Reply
          1. re: faijay

            The metro stop Lourmel is just about right across the street from l'Os a Moelle, no need for a cab.

          2. We just came back 2 weeks ago and you will have a great time. I really enjoyed Restaurant Le Souffle (1st) near Place Vendome. You can have a 3 course souffle and they are divine. I had the rhubarb for dessert and now I am on a mission to make it. I also enjoyed the restaurant at the Orsay, very reasonable and tasty.
            We did not take any Euros with us. As soon as we got off the plane and got the luggage we went straight to the ATM. After that I paid mostly with my debit card and took cash out of the ATM..they are everywhere.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Ela0427

              I like le Souffle also, located on Rue Mont Thabor, one street back from rue Rivoli, about half way between Place Vendome and Place de la Concorde. Agree about the ATMs, absolutely no need to get cash euros before you depart, there are ATMs a plenty as soon as you leave baggage claim at CDG.

              1. re: f2dat06

                I would always recommend arriving with about €100 in cash. I have come into CDG more than once to find the ATM's out of order (I lived in Paris for two years and flew weekly) and contrary to the preceding comment the ATM's are few and far between at the airport - although there are a couple near arrivals in most terminals.

                The taxi fare to the city is usually €45 to €55 (although if you catch the RER or Air France bus it is far cheaper) - so €100 leaves you plenty of cash for a cafe breakfast (as most US flights arrive in the morning). This gets you in the Parisian mood quickly - and as it is food related allows me to offer this advice on Chowhound...!

                1. re: PhilD

                  OK so I've only flown into CDG / Orly maybe 15 times but have never had a problem finding an ATM that is working and dispensing cash. The high fees US banks (or worse Thomas Cook type of places at the airport) typically charge to give you euros makes betting on findng a working ATM well worth the very low probability of not finding one. The money you save on exchange fees will easily buy a nice cafe creme and pain raisin canelle at Laduree, to keep it on food.

                  1. re: f2dat06

                    to get to our hotel we used the shuttle (Paris Shuttle)..convenient, and cheaper than the taxi. we booked and paid online with a cc.

            2. gaya by pierre gagnaire or atelier JR are nearby.