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Nov 17, 2008 12:53 PM

Toute seule à Paris

I'll be visiting Paris for the first time from 11/29-12/3, all by myself. (What can I say, I'm one of those girls who spend her entire childhood daydreaming about France, and when I finally had the means to go, I didn't consider the fact that none of my friends could come good enough reason not to!)

I'd love to have some recommendations of places where a young woman would feel welcome eating alone. I'm generally pretty comfortable with the practice - I travel a lot for work and eat in fairly nice restaurants by myself quite often - but nonetheless I don't particularly relish being gawked at either!

As far as cuisine is concerned, I will eat anything and everything, and I'm particularly interested in offal and traditional regional French dishes (cassoulet, choucroute garnie, et cetera). Price is not an issue, nor is location to a point, but I'm staying in the Latin Quarter and don't necessarily want to trek out to the far reaches of the Right Bank or any area similarly remote from my home base. My French is decent, so no worries there.

Also, this is sort of random, but I'm a writer and I intend on weaving my trip into a piece, so any place that is unusual or an experience or somehow especially colorful or memorable would be fantastic.

Any ideas? Thanks in advance! :-)

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  1. You may find this thread interesting to read:
    Other than that, you won't have any problem and your speaking decent French is only an advantage.
    Keep in mind, Paris is a large city, lots of people who want/must eat alone.

    Have a great time!

    1. I would suggest Ribouldingue which is owned and brillantly run by Nadège who used to work with Yves Camdeborde. This is unexpensive, in a nice setting and very close from Notre Dame. You'll find offals and other traditional dishes.

      1. Reneemarie, I often travel to Paris alone, and have never felt out of place dining anywhere solo. It is SO much different from US! In fact, in some places I have felt they treated me extra-special. Chef came out of kitchen, they sent extra goodies, an after dinner drink.... all sorts of perks.

        I recommend when it comes to making your reservations, you choose your places just as if you were going with a friend. You will not be gawked at anywhere.

        I also prefer to stay in the 5eme (Latin Quarter) and you should feel no qualms about venturing out, either on foot or by Metro, to other parts of town.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ChefJune

          Thanks, Dodo, I did see that thread before but it seemed to be more of a "Here's how to feel better while eating alone!" (not advice I particularly need...) as opposed to "Here's where to go!"

          In any case, this is very good news. I suppose more than anything I was conscious of being treated rudely by restaurant staff who would prefer to seat two people at a table rather than just moi. I'm elated to hear that the opposite is true...I certainly wouldn't want to miss out on any spectacular food just because I don't have a dining companion.

          Ribouldingue sounds fantastic; that is going on my list for sure.

          One more question: generally speaking, how far in advance should I reserve? Is a few days enough, or should I be making arrangements more than a week in advance?

        2. Hi from Marseille: my tip is Le Plomb du Cantal (rue de la Gaité, metro E. Quinet, thus sort of your neck of the woods), especially since you seem to like the hearty and traditional. Not at all refined but lively, warm, fun atmosphere around abundant confit de canard and magret (and masses of aligot and company). Friendly waiters, table set-up with lots of little tables for two . . . or one. Talkative crowds awaiting a table, a little bar to have a beer in while doing the same, no (or almost no) English heard. In any case, enjoy!

          1 Reply
          1. re: johnmarseille

            Plomb du Cantal should be tried. Truffade, a chunked version of Aligot, was HUGE with a sausage could have served a family. Very friendly and warm. Recommend lunch there as at dinner is a zoo, lunch was far more civilized.

          2. Atelier du Robuchon is also excellent for singles, as a large bar, not tables, and friendly people as well.