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Is it worth travelling across Paris?

My husband and I will be visiting Paris for a week at the end of October. This is my fourth trip and I have decided to plan our evening eating in advance despite the dreaded fear of trying to speak in French over the phone. We are renting an apartment on the border of the 11th & the 3rd and I have come up with a pretty good list of options around this part of town. We plan to eat mainly in bistros as the budget doesn't stretch to the likes of Pierre Gagniere (unfortunately) Many of the discussions here focus on restaurants in the 6th/7th, is it worth making the journey or is this more a reflection of the fact that many visitors stay in this area and therefore establishments in these areas are more likely to have been visited by travelers to Paris ?
i have been considering
L'Ami Jean
Les Fables de la Fontaine
Chez Dumonet Josephine

Closer to home:
Le Chateaubriand
Bistro Paul Bert
Chez Michel
L'Ambassade d'Auvergne
A La biche au bois
Auberge Pyrenees-Cevennes
Le Marsangy
Le Pamphlet

And we have a definite reservation at Spring, that I am very excited about.

So should I consider crossing the Seine or not?


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  1. Just because your apartment is bordering 3rd and 11th, one should not feel stuck there. And the Paris metro makes all the arrondissements very convenient. Having dinner at different arrondissements gives one a chance to explore them at night. Nothing like walking outside Au Bon Accueil after dinner and seeing Le Tour Eiffel all lit up. The Champs Eysees/L'Etoile, Concorde, L'Opera, St. Germain, the Seine are so different during the evening. In fact when I am visiting Paris, I try to pick restaurants in different arrondissements for dinner. Please do get out and try L'Ardoise, Aux Lyonnais or Chez Denis in the 1st/2nd; Le Reminet, Chez Rene, Le Pre Verre in the 5th; Le Comptoir des Relais, L'Epi Dupin, La Bastide d'Odeon , Ze Kitchen Gallerie or Fish Boisonnier in the 6th; L'Ami Jean or Les Fables de la Fontaine in the 7th; Chez Catherine or Les Gourmets des Ternes in the 8th. La Cagouille or Bistro du Dome in the 14th. And if one feel adventureous, Le Petit Marguery for wild mushrooms and game or L'Avant Gout.

    2 Replies
    1. re: PBSF

      Travelling across the city either by metro or bus (often more direct) is really no big deal. I would by no means leave out a place I wanted to go just because it's not that close. However, I wouldn't do it for any place. Choose carefully and do make reservations so you won't be disappointed once you get there.

      1. re: Dodo

        That may be my hood (Breguet Sabin) and I'd take the bus or metro to any of those places at any given time.

    2. I echo what everyone else is saying: don't feel like you have to eat in the same district that you're staying in. It's nice to get out and see the rest of the city, especially if you're eating in a completely non-tourist part of town, where everyone is speaking French and the menus are not translated into English (which may be more the case if you're eating in the 15th/depths of the 20th).

      Here are two great links for bistros in Paris. The first gives reviews of various bistros in the city, and the second has a map of the whole city with great bistros pinpointed for you. For the second link, some of these bistros have their own weblinks, others not so much, but you can always google them and see if there are reviews or whatever.



      Enjoy, et bon appetit!

      1 Reply
      1. keep in mind, the city itself ('intra muros') isn't all that big - I think it's around 6 miles N-S, 10 miles E-W. If you're talking about going from someplace in the center to where you'll be staying, consider walking. It's a beautiful city, but you won't see that if you're underground.

        lots of beautiful areas on both sides of the seine.

        1. I join the others in recommending that you get out of your neighborhood and see the rest of Paris. There are so many wonderful places to dine and to see, it would be a shame to restrict yourself to the border of the 11th and 3rd!

          1. Take every opportunity to cross the Seine, and avail yourself of the wonderful metro as often as possible! You are no more than about 20 minutes from anywhere in Paris, no matter where you are, and the metro runs every two or three minutes. There are wonderful restaurants/brasseries/boulangeries/patisseries all over Paris, and you should consider it your duty to explore them! Be not afraid! Also, in my experience, most of the places where I made reservations spoke English perfectly well for the purpose.

            1. Get on the TGV & head south - Sainte-Maxime has a wonderful Brasseri, L'Escale! The SOuth of France is extraordinary in October!

              1. Hi. I lived in New York most of my life and used to travel frequently to Paris. I live here now, permanently. What everyone said about traveling is true. The city is small and very easy to get around (with a subway map), and all the restaurants list their metro stops. So, its so important to leave the option of eating throughout the city. If you're on a budget and want good bistros, there is obviously lively dissent about the best. My recommendations would be: L'Os a Moelle, L'Avant Gout, L'Epi Dupin, Mon Vieil Ami, and La Cave Gourmande. All 5 have prix-fixed menus that are under 40 euros per person and you can also order a la carte (I think the exception is L'Os a Moelle). If you have trouble making any reservations because they your French and their French doesn't connect, I'd be happy to help and call for you. I use Zagats Paris and the red Michelin Guide for Paris restaurants, which are both extremely helpful and in my opinion, have the greatest accuracy. There are of course, an enormous number of Paris restaurant guides. One more thing. There are small books sold in the TABACS (one is called PARIS Classigue and its red), and they list all the streets in Paris with maps. I have never gotten lost because of these books and you should definitely pick one up when you get here, if you don't have one already. I always use it to find a restaurant.

                6 Replies
                1. re: EZM

                  can anyone recommend good lunch and dinner spots 30-100euros near the sheraton rive-gauche hotel in montparnaisse near metro stops espace st. jacques or glaciere I will be arriving sunday sept 23 and leaving paris sept 26th.Are reservations necessary at the restaurants you recommend?Thank you in advance for your help.

                  1. re: travlnmike

                    Do you mean the Marriott Rive Gauche on Bld Saint Jacques?

                    If it is then it is a bit tricky - the 14eme isn't full of great restaurants. There is "Le Regalade" whichis not to far away and is good, but apart from that your best bet is to get a cab and head into the 6eme or 7eme.

                    May also be an idea to start a separate topic on restaurants in the 14eme as you may get more info that way.

                    1. re: PhilD

                      I stand corrected,it is the marriott rive-gauche.Thanks for the tip,as well a kudos to souphie for her recommendations.

                      1. re: travlnmike

                        She is a he - it is Souphie not Sophie.

                    2. re: travlnmike

                      It is really close to the thirteenth as well.

                      In the14th, Le Petit Marguery is not far away, great for game and other meaty business. La Cerisaie is not too far away. Even Le Duc and the Montparnasse 25 are accessible by nice walks. Le Vin des Rues next to the rue Daguerre Market. On the butte aux cailles there is a number of good and trendy restaurants, and it is a great place to visit. See for instance l'Avant-gout rue Bobillot, or l'Ourcine rue Broca. In Chinatown, Asia Palace or la Mer de Chine or that thai restaurant which is in the Michelin and whose name I can't remember right now, close to the Place d'Italie.

                      1. re: souphie

                        Here is a really good one in the 14th: Monsieur Lapin, Rue Raymond Losserand, metro Gaiete, Michelin Bibb Gourmand.


                  2. La Cagouille is in the 14th.. If you like great fish/seafood and great Cognacs, it is not to be missed, imho!

                    1. i would strongly recommend le dome du marais in the rue des francs-bourgeois in the 4th. i would not exactly call it a bistro as it is a bit more gourmet than that, but it is wonderful and offers excellent value with menus starting at 35 euros. the atmosphere is very elegant and the tables comfortably spaced, service good, overall a real bargain for the price.

                      1. l am staying in 11th as well
                        Try ' Chez Denise' near Les Halles, been going there for 20 years, my favorite authentic restaurant. Found a la Biche au Bois friendly and inexpensive but oh so heavy.
                        l am hitting L'Ami Jean next week and Paul Bert is 100 yards from apt; so will hit that as well