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Jan 29, 2008 12:15 PM

Paris: Gare de l'est, anything good near there?

I'll be staying in Paris near the Gare de l'est and the Saint Martin Canal. Does anyone have any recommendations for breakfast or casual bistros nearby?

I'm looking for casual-ish type places. For my more special meals, I will no doubt be willing to travel all around Paris.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. This place is near, just steps from the canal, I had a nice lunch there last March. It was "complet" by 1pm and they were turning folks away.
    La Cantine de Quentin
    52, rue Bichat 75010
    Telephone: 01 42 04 40 32
    here is a review and description on it with pictures

    1. The place to go to is Le Chateaubriand, with chef Inaki Aizpitarte.
      Was voted as best new table, best table for Le Fooding critics... arty crowd, foodies, locals, young people in a relaxed atmosphere but all loving the place and chef's creativity.
      129, avenue Chateaubriand 75011
      01 43 57 45 95
      Make sure to book ahead, lunch is said to be cheap.

      1. Chez Michel. Rue Beauzaunce. That's the tip.

        2 Replies
        1. Depends what you want. JimD's right about the Chateaubriand, but it's a way off (you should get the 46 bus from the Gare de l'est if you want to go there) and often full. Better to go there for lunch than dinner as it's difficult to get a table in the evening.

          Nearer by:

          For pan North African in a not too scary setting, the Gourbi Palace on the rue Albert Thomas is good (metro Jacques Bonsergent, or république).

          The decor's not much to right home about, but on the the same street, but on the corner of the trendy rue Beaurepaire, La Barrique bar/tabac is good for a descent steak, or one of the day's specials. The foods better and the staff are much more friendly than in some of the nearby hipper establishments. They also offer free nibbles for the evening aperitif, including a mean tapenade.

          On the rue St Laurent, just near the Gare de l'est, there's a good wine bar called La Vigne St Laurent. They have very good wines, chesses, and cooked meat products, and do a couple of hot daily specials, often bistro fair (tripe, sausages, Savoy ravioli, more unusual meat cuts).

          I'd avoid the establishments around the Canal St Martin (Verre Volé, Chez Prune, Hotel Du Nord where the prices are high, the cooking's not very good, and the service is barely existent. Instead...

          ....Head for the nearby rue du Faubourg St Denis! (not to be confused with the adjoining rue Saint Denis, notorious red-light district). If you don't go to any of the following places, but you're into things culinary, you just should take a walk along the Faubourg St Denis, and see Paris' take on multi-cultural cuisine (for food related hussle and bussle, Saturday afternoon, from around 5pm is best).

          On the even numbers side of the street, from the corner of the rue chateau d'eau you go about 20 yards towards the triumphant arch at the end of the street, is Urfa Durum, for the best Kurdish Pizza (i've tried all of the numerous Kurdish pizza joints in the 'hood) Here, they're stuffed with lettuce, parsley, tomatoes and mint. If you want these pizzas at their most crispy, it's best to eat them "sur place", sitting on the funny chairs at the funny tables. They also do really good kurdish sandwiches; the best, for me, being the lamb's liver. If you're thirsty and your French is rusty, point to the bowl of homemade drinking yoghurt at the end of the bar.

          On the other side of the street, on the corner of, I think, the rue Echequier, is Chez Jeanette.
          This place, especially after 8pm and on weekends, is becoming fuller and fuller. The décor is decadent and fantastic, and the French food, and prices, for the daily specials at least, are really good.

          The serviice is a bit "Gallic" at times, but for cheese and wine (they do good sandwiches to go) check out at No 60, Julhes. On Fridays and Saturdays they do very good wine tastings.

          1 Reply
          1. re: vielleanglaise

            Thank you so much for a great time near Gare l'Est. I'm sorry we don't have time to try everything you've We liked La Vigne de St Laurent very much. They have chosen excellent value for money wines, and their food is honest - wonderful cheese of course is easy in France but it must be ready to eat, as their is; confit de canard with large crispy yet waxy potato cake with salad a snip at under 15 Euros. Very, very good, too. And their Lyonnaise sausage with hot vinegarey potatoes strewn with onion and parsley. But La Vigne comes first here. There's an honest champagn, Henri de Verlaine, soft and full with its pinot meuniere, from one of the co-operatives. There's a ready to drink smooth Languedoc 19.5 Euros, Domaine des Cres Ricards, Vin de Pays Mont Baudile. Two bottles, two people, 2 salads, 2 main courses - agreat night out for less than a 3 start starter. But too much publicity could wreck a place like this, and spoil observation of Le Francais nibbling his lover's knuckles, and the general local fascinations. The guys who run this place are too perfect.
            Also ate at Chez Casimir, open Mondays when older sibling of Chez Michel is closed. Breton influence, great Drappier NV by the glass 8 Euros. Excellent Coquilles and foie gras with lumps of plum to die for plus healthy small leaf salad. Marvellous cut and thrust on the palate with the balm of foie gras. Crispy skinned dourade has plenty of blette underneath, with a far too salty broth. Drink up!! My pheasant half is perfect, macerated in lashings of butter, mushrooms, girolles, cepes and roasted yellow potatoes in their skins.

            And Chez Michel has no fault that we ate, but, like a lot of good French bistro food, there's a surfeit of protein.

          2. I missed this, sorry, but for future searchers, there's another pretty good place on the Rue Belzunce:
            l'Ardoise Gourmande
            12, rue de Belzunce in the 11th, (Metro: Gare de l’Est)
            Closed Saturday lunch and Sunday night and Sunday noon is brunch
            Menus with two dishes and wine or water are 22 E, a la carte runs 25-50 E.
            Full review here:

            John Talbott