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Mar 16, 2011 05:44 PM

Best Paris bistro for solo dining

To me there's nothing like good old fashioned bistro fare - coq au vin, bœuf bourguignon, cassoulet, poulet roti. I love the newer dining as well, but on an upcoming trip I'm thinking old school. I have only two nights, Saturday and Sunday, and will be traveling solo. Suggestions that fit these requirements are very welcome.


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  1. go where you want, solo makes no difference

    7 Replies
    1. re: f2dat06

      Thanks f2dat06. With the solo part taken care of, where would you recommend one go for the kind of dishes I mentioned? Done sublimely. With only a whisper (if that) of English in the room?

      1. re: Jeffo405

        The problem is, most traditional bistrot are not open during the weekend -- take Joséphine, Auberge Bressane, Chez Denise, Chez Georges, Le Quincy: all closed on sat and sun.

        That leaves you with l'Ami Louis, La Fontaine de Mars or l'Auberge Bressanne, in my book. All good choices, if you ask me.

        1. re: souphie

          avant gout has pot au feu. does that count as bistro fare?

        2. re: Jeffo405

          You mean the only English you want to hear is your own? that leaves out most of Soup's rec.

          1. re: Parigi

            That leaves out most of Paris' good restaurants. If you think the locals can afford to eat out, think again. And since I'm not afraid to contradict myself, I seem to remember that l'Auberge Bressane has a fairly local clientele.

            That said, you can try Café Cartouche in the 12th. 41€ côte de boeuf, excellent very fairly priced wines, including by the glass, and pretty authentic ambiance. But there won't be coq au vin, or boeuf bourguignon, cassoulet or poulet roti.

            By the way, those dishes are almost as uncommon those days as onion soup (which is now officially an American specialty).

            And come to think of it, I would add l'AOC for beef stews and terrines (on sat night) and la Rotisserie du Beaujolais, which I just like.

            1. re: souphie

              Merci, Souphie. It's nice to have an insider's perspective! With cassoulet etc now uncommon, what does one more typically find at a "local" restaurant?

              1. re: Jeffo405

                Couscous. Grilled beef. Andouillette. Confit de canard. Mostly, the French restaurant market is not organized around the same few dishes it was in the 70s or like, say, the Bavarian restaurant market. When you ask for the menu, you genuinely don't know what's going to be in there, in most bistrots.

      2. Le Grand Pan never has anything but French citizens and me there. Come hungry and the cotes du porc for 2 can be handled by one. Fav pork dish in world. Open Saturday dinner, closed Sunday.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          Delucacheesemonger - Thanks for the tip. I will put it on my list for Saturday. Do you live in Paris?

          1. re: Jeffo405

            Only 3-4 months a year, not enough but at least something

        2. I have eaten alone in Paris on many trips, and was never treated unpleasantly. (Well, once, on my first trip, but that was during the Carter Administration.) And I'm female. I'd suggest L'ambassade d'Auvergne, near the Marais. The food is fabulous and the price is right. Google it; part of the website is in English.

          1. If you are staying in the 1st, you might feel more comfortable eating in the bar area at Chez Flottes or Castiglione. Seating is at the bar or at on of the tables in the bar area. The same goes for Fish, on rue du Seine.

            1. From my first solo outing in Paris, I have not worried about being a solo diner. I have been so many times. Opposite the way solo women are treated in many American restaurants, my experience has been that I have been cossetted and fawned over, treated like royalty! And that goes for 2-stars, as well as casual eateries.