Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > France >
Nov 16, 2010 03:26 AM

Recommendations for area around metro Convention in the 15th

Hubby surprised me with an early Christmas present on the weekend ~ we are off to Paris next Thursday to see the Christmas lights, a long held dream for me. We will be there for 4 nights, from the 26 to the 30 and are staying at the Quality Inn Abaca on rue Vaurigard. He found a great package that included our flights, the hotel stay, breakfast, transfers to and from CDG and even a Seine cruise! This is our first time staying in a hotel instead of an apartment, but at this price, it's just a place to sleep. The hotel is about half a block from the Convention metro stop on line 12, making it very convenient for us to explore.

We are not looking for fine dining this trip~ we're going to be walking around, looking at the lights and decorations and the Christmas markets, munching on street food and enjoying our free breakfast at the hotel. (Plus, I spent all our money last month on our dining extravaganzas!)

I'm just asking in case there's a little gem in this area that we should go to at some point. I'd hate to get back and read about the perfect little cafe or bistro that we should have gone to but missed. Looking at 20-30 euros max per person without wine. It doesn't even have to be for a full meal, if there's somewhere that has a special plat or dessert or a great little wine bar.

I can't quite believe that we will be back in Paris next Friday ~ this will be my third time this year! I feel very lucky and spoiled. Merry Christmas to me!

BTW, any suggestions beyond the Grand Magasins and Champs Elysees for Christmas stuff is also greatly appreciated.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Wonderful! I have no "gems" to recommend because (1) I don't know the Vaugirard area of Paris and (2) it is obvious you know all the gems already.
    I remember Convention being a good market street though.
    I will write you privately re "suggestions beyond the Grand Magasins and Champs Elysees for Christmas stuff".

    1. Jo you are a lucky girl. The lights at night are splendid at GL; we went by last week. One of our fav. bistrots is an easy walk from the Convention Metro(or the 2nd stop on the #62 bus), Le Grand Pan at 20 Rue Rosenwald. We also enjoyed Afaria and Jadis in the Convention area, but Grand Pan keeps bringing us back. The line #12 metro will be perfect for whisking you right up to the Opera/GL or to visit the more interesting Parigi who lives right by one of its stops.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Laidback

        Laidback pinned it:
        Le Grand Pan, Afaria and Jadis

        Since people ask questions like this all the time here it's good to see that restoaparis now (I think it's new) has a search for eateries around Metro stops - for instance

      2. Nothing you will read about after you return, but a favorite of ours for some half dozen years:

        Le Dirigeable 37, rue Alleray 15e closed Sun/Mon

        My husband swears that the chef does the best scallops he's ever eaten. For years we made a point of visiting every trip, then a few disappointments stopped us. But with scallops in mind, we will reserve again in December. A completely neighborhood bistrot. No tourists. Tell Guy, the head waiter, where you heard about it.

        1. Jo, Good for you: Here two simple, inexpensive, non-foodie local places:

          Last month some friends who live in the area took us to their local wine store & bar for dinner — Le Cave à vin de l'os à Moëlle, 181 rue de Lourmel, Metro: Lourmel. It’s a great deal for 22 Euros: We started with artichokes in lemon butter; separate beet, carrot & celery salads; porc rillettes; pate de campagne & three mustards; and boulots with mayonnaise, all left at the communal table. Then you get up to serve yourself soup (we had squash/ pumpkin); and then a plat (we had ham hocks and/or tripes with cabbage); and then goat cheeses; finally, there’s a selection of 8 desserts. Wine is retail (I think — we did not pay so I did not see bill) — pulled from the shelves of the wine store that surounds you. The water is done “in house” like at CLJ and others. The experience was far from high end, but it was fun and very satisfying on a Sat night, and the place was hopping.

          In years past (but we’ve not been there recently), and a bit farther out, we’ve enjoyed Bistrot d’Andre — it was the canteen of the former Citroen automobile plant that was located nearby until a few decades ago. The two friendly rooms overflow with Citroen mementos, and the offerings, and the prices, still respect the long-departed local workers’ tastes, and budgets. 232, rue St-Charles. Métro: Ballard. Tel.

          (And we like Le Grand Pan as well — but it’s more expensive by comparison.)

          8 Replies
          1. re: Jake Dear

            We loved Jadis. The menu is 32E for 3 courses and I think one of the best values in town. We walked by Afaria on our way to Jadis and it was packed. It has been highly recommended in years past on this board but I'm not sure where ot stands these days and we didn't try it.

            1. re: plafield

              I would strongly recommend if you go to Afaria you sit at the common table in the front room so you can have both their great tapas and the regular stuff; if you sit in the salle, since the first month, they will no longer serve tapas there (the tapas are Basque not Catalonian).

              1. re: John Talbott

                Wow, great suggestions! Thanks everyone. I feel like a French Cinderella going to the ball next week!!


                1. re: John Talbott

                  John's advice on Afaria is on point. We ignorantly sat/were seated in the salle. There was nothing wrong with our plates, but nothing that warranted a return visit. My notes indicate a lackluster boudin noir and apple tarte, a highly touted but non-descript veloute of white asparagus with seafood, undistinguished roasted bar. We didn't order dessert which is another flag that we were ready to cut our losses and leave.

                  1. re: mangeur

                    They do have the echine as a special some days on the main carte and it is rather nice. But it's the tapas that make the place different.

                    1. re: John Talbott

                      You know, John, we are very unfair to these small restaurants. Most of the places we talk about here are superb neighborhood dining rooms. One would be ecstatic to have one around the corner. But the collective "we" have made them destinations, which they are not. If they were, they'd each have a bunch of stars. As they say, disappointment is a function of expectation. And we've come to expect to have our socks knocked off every meal.

                      1. re: mangeur

                        That is a good point Mangeur, one of our favorite bistros was Au Carillon (now long gone), on Place Abbesses, across from the church. The chef taught me how to cook using only alcohol burners and Dehillerin copperware. A destination restaurant....hardly, but we ate there several times on each visit; always a satisfying experience. These mom & pop bistros seem to be a dying breed, perhaps because we expect too much.

                        1. re: mangeur

                          Point well taken Mangeur; Tuesday's A Nous Paris had two "mini-reviews" by Jerome Berger of places in the 6th he called "cantines de quartier" nicely defining them not as destination places.

              2. Hi Jo,

                Good to see that you will be in Paris again. I will still be here then, too.

                You might want to splurge a bit and go the the Hotel Bristol on the 27th to the Fashion Show/Tea. It is at 3:00. Just email them and make a reservation..or I can send you the info, if you would like. It is really quite special and for this time of the year I am susre it will be extra special The Hotel Bristol is lovely and they have ecently done a big remodel.

                Going to Spring tonight with Parisian friends. I'm sure we will have a great time. I was there 2 weeks ago. I also went to a nice restaurant with Jim/Pat (laidback) a weeka go. Court Bouillon. I think you would like it.

                Went to Violon on Tuesday evening and hard to beat, really!!
                I'm sure you have been to Le Florimond and if foie gras is your thing Au Petit Sud Ouest on Bourdonnais
                Enjoy..let me know if I can make any reservations ahead for you.


                2 Replies
                1. re: grace3

                  Thanks Joan. I think we are keeping it more low key this trip since we just have a short time and we will mostly be wandering around looking at the lights and decorations. We are committing to only one reservation ~ lunch at Josephine Chez Dumonet the Monday before we leave. Den has been dreaming about the foie gras since we ate there last month and I read about the morilles stuffed with foie gras and truffles and hope they are still on the menu when we get there. I've gotten great suggestions for the area around our hotel from these generous Chowhounders and I think we will have a few meals in this area after our long days of walking and gawking!

                  Enjoy Spring tonight, say hi to Daniel for us!


                  PS I'm loving your thread on Fodors!

                  1. re: parisjo

                    Hi Jo,

                    You will have a fun visit!!

                    I also have a Guy Savoy lunch reservation..a table for 2, so an empty chair!! I was telling Catherine Constant about it yesterday. I sent them an email asking about their luncheon special for 'only ' 100 euros! They returned with several offers after I leave in Dec. They only have 1 table per day at lunch for the lunch special.. must be there at noon, too..1 table..probably next to toilette or kitchen! I responded that I was disappointed and if they found a table to let me know. A few hours later they had a table for Dec. 1 for me! Catherine and I got to laughing about it..don't know if set menu or what. She is dying to hear about it from me!