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Jul 30, 2011 01:36 PM

Paris - no frills, no fanciness, just lovely food please!

Hi everyone,

I'm leaving in a few days to take my parents for their first trip to Europe, and we'll be in Paris for a week. I'm a little overwhelmed by the massive amount of information on this board and was hoping someone might help me achieve a little clarity!

We are not fancy people, but do appreciate lovingly prepared food. We would love to avoid reservations if possible (would like to maintain flexibility, spontaneity), and definitely want to stay away from places where we'll need to dress up (will be spending a month in Europe and are simply not packing dress clothes). I could care less about what is trendy, and want to steer clear of pretentiousness. Essentially, we're looking for easy/casual + delicious French food. Surely that must exist?

Obviously, there's a ton of information already on this board. But it's not clear from many of the posts whether the restaurants discussed would fit within the scheme of what I described above. I would really appreciate some guidance or advice!

Also, we'll be staying in an apartment on Île Saint-Louis and plan to use our kitchen at least part of the time. I'd love recommendations for markets as well.

Thank you so much!

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  1. I'm no help myself, but follow this board & will say that tis type of request comes up a lot.  A couple of thoughts:  

    What do you mean by casual? Casual in Paris is not typically the same as casual in the US or Canada.  Shorts & tshirts are not okay most places in Paris.

    If you can give more specifics, you'll get a better response.  What part of town & price range?  

    Finally, if you use the search function you can find threads on similar topics.  For instance staying on the Ile St Louis here is a relevant thread:

    Or using Casual & Paris gives you these threads and others:

    Best of luck!

    1. unless you are going to a chain place such as Leon de bruxelles, or Hippapotamus, etc (and hope you are not) you need to reserve. You can not avoid reservations and have much of a chance of getting in good places by walking up (althought that may sometimes work). I know this runs against the grain for many americans but is a different game in france. Load the numbers of many places you are interested in to your phone and call to reserve, same day is OK, and if the first choice is full go to the next on your list until you get a spot. Believe me on this.

      1. I'm also adding : This will august, and a lot of smaller casual bistros will be closed for vacation.

        Bon voyage!