Need help picking a hotel near decent dining options
Hi- I'm going to Paris for the first time with my wife, and we are really looking forward to enjoying some great French cuisine while avoiding tourist traps. Having lived in New York City for many years, we find that we enjoy finding casual, 'authentic' places when we travel as much as we like the popular options and the more expensive options.
I guess my first question is: Is it even possible to find good dining options in the areas nearby where all of the tourist hotels are? When I say near, I mean within a mile (or 1.5k); 15-20 min walk. A good example is Times Square in NYC; you can find good food, but more restaurants than not are a) expensive and b) good, but not great. There are some choices within a walk, but it's better to travel up/down town.
If so, my second question is: If we are choosing between hotels located near the Arc de Triomphe (George V metro) and further down the Champs-Elysees (Vendome), does it make much of a difference in terms of nearby dining options?
We're really looking for options on a more casual side. When I say casual, it doesn't necessarily mean inexpensive, but more of a relaxed atmosphere and accepting of nice jeans w/ a sportcoat vs. somewhere a little more elegant.
We have no problem taking a taxi or metro, but it's always nice to go for a stroll before/after a meal...
Thanks in advance!
We prefer to stay in the 6th Arr, and I would recommend there or the 7th, rather than on the right bank. While the 6th Arr. does attract a tourist crowd, many locals also frequent the many cafes and restaurants in the area. We walk A LOT while on vacation, and walk to almost everywhere, dining and sightseeing, from the 6th. While the restaurants I would name are probably more expensive and less casual than you might have in mind (Ze Kitchen Galerie; Jacque Cagna; Le Violon d'Ingres; Le Parc aux Cerfs (less expensive); Mon Vieil Ami; Au Moulin a Vent “Chez Henri (less expensive, and fun), I would still say that in the 6th and nearby (4th and 7th), you'll find a bigger variety of casual restaurant.
I agree with rrems about the Champs-Elysees area, though I'm not so familiar with it, as I'm more interested in food, art and culture than shopping. Also the comments about restaurants in the outer arrondisements.
The 7th, in the Tour Eiffel area, has the greatest concentration of Bib Gourmand restaurants (great food, resonable price). We like the Walt Hotel; **** rating with good views from the higher floors. At least a dozen excellent restaurants are a short walk away. Good access to bus lines, taxis and metro. Less touristy than the Champs but no nightlife.
I would choose a hotel in the 4th, 5th or 6th arrondissment. My personal favorite is the Hotel de Nice, on Rue de Rivoli near the Hotel de Ville in the 4th. These areas are well-situated for good, casual restaurants in all price ranges, and though they are central, the restaurants are not tourist traps. The Champs-Elysees is extremely touristy, and restaurants in that area tend to be very expensive, or of lower quality, though there are some gems there too. Regardless of where you stay, you will probably want to go to some restaurants that are beyond walking distance, and some of the best in the less expensive range are in the outer arrondissements, such as L'Os a Moelle in the 15th.