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Dec 11, 2011 01:24 PM

Easy evening dining opinions in le Marais

My parents and two brothers (aged 13 and 22) are coming to visit me in France next week and we will be staying in an apartment rental in le Marais. We are planning to spend the majority of our time sight-seeing (first time in Paris for the boys and my parents haven't been since the oldest was born) and we plan to do some of our bigger and more adventurous meals at lunchtime while we are out and about (and still have the afternoon to walk it off!). Therefore, I am looking for some suggestions for easy, casual, inexpensive evening dining. I have been scouring the Chow boards, but I haven't been able to find much in this food department. Included in this, I would love to get some options for good ethnic take-out, maybe a pizza place and one or two casual restaurants/bistros. Again, we are planning to be more adventurous and "French" during the day, but I am going to have some hungry, tired American boys on my hands after long days of sight-seeing.
Thank you in advance!

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  1. I like the crepes and cider at Breizh Cafe. The products are good (i.e., Bordier butter) and the cooking is accurate. It's tasty and inexpensive. If you decide to go, it's necessary to reserve.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Nancy S.

      We have always enjoyed Pizza Momo on rue Rivoli near the St Paul church. Very casual atmosphere and nice pizzas baked in their wood burning oven. A large part of their business is takeout by locals. We will be bringing our grandson in May.

      1. re: parisjo

        I'd second Pizza Momo. It's right by the St. Paul métro, for another reference point.

    2. where exactly in the Marais? everyone defines the neighbourhood differently ... i'd hate to suggest a place near St Paul if you are actually staying closer to République.

      let's hope you are in easy walking distance of Marché des Enfants Rouges on the rue Bretagne at rue Charlot in the 3rd... about half a dozen mini-restaurants (French, Japanese, Moroccan, Italian, etc) for eating there or take-away... so great for families who need choice to satisfy the tastes of different age groups... but most of the mini-restos close at 8pm so you need to get there in early evening ... although it might cut into your sightseeing time, a Sunday morning visit would also be very worthwhile ... in addition to the mini-restos and regular food stalls, there's a new (ish) Sunday-only stall called La Petite Fabrique that sells fabulous take-away sweet and savory pastries that could turn into a lovely light meal at home that evening.

      also in the upper Marais, the Café Crème on the rue Dupetit-Thouars serves killer burgers ... and an ambiance that will appeal especially to your 22-yr old brother... also in the same area, La Briciola on the rue Charlot between the rue Normandie and rue Turenne is one of my favourite Italian places and, with apologies to Parisjo and others, better than Pizza Momo... but of course convenience trumps all when it comes to pizza/ pasta and whichever is closer is the better choice.

      there are many many choices in the Marais and Haut Marais for what you are looking for so I doubt if you will have much trouble in nosing out all the possibilities in just a 5-minute walking radius of your apartment

      5 Replies
      1. re: Parnassien

        We are staying on rue de Montmorency, about a 10 minute walk from the Marché des Enfants Rouges according to Google Maps.
        Thank you to everyone for the suggestions! They all look great!

        1. re: hungrycolleen

          ah bon... all you need is Au Duc de Montmorency on the rue Montmorency ... it's an excellent épicerie/ traiteur with some great take-away items for 5 or 6 € a portion ... not bad! but it closes at 8pm.

          for your casual local bistro, have a look at Ambassade d'Auvergne on the rue du Grenier Saint-Lazare and Le Hangar on the impasse Berthaud off the rue Beaubourg to see if the menus and prices are appealing .... there's also a hybrid French-Moroccan salon du thé/ bar/ restaurant Le Quincampe on the rue Quincampoix that might do for a light meal on a rainy or wintry night (there's a fireplace!)

          1. re: Parnassien

            "have a look at Ambassade d'Auvergne on the rue du Grenier Saint-Lazare and Le Hangar"

            Had ok meals there, nothing I want to go cross town for.
            If I am down the street and am stuck in a hotel room with no kitchen, maybe.
            If I have a kitchen, I would prefer nuking even traiteur food from Enfants Rouges or rue de Bretagne to the similar-quality but more expensive food served in those two restos.

            I agree that Enfants Rouges may be the best bet for nice relaxed lunch.

            1. re: Parigi

              i wouldn't eat at l'Ambassade d'Auvergne either ...i'm a snotty parisien and it's the sort of cutesy cliché place that makes me roll my eyes... but tourists (both foreign and French provincial) seem to like it a lot... with the OP's family of 5, I imagine price is more important than sophisticated quality ... i can't think of another casual, relatively decent bistro within a 5-minute walk of the rue Montmorency for under 30 €.

              However, I have had very decent meals (even served with a smile by the usually glacial patronne) at the equally cutesy but less cliché-ed Le Hangar... although over the 30 € threshold and, without a "formule", easy to ring up a big tab if you're not careful, it's definitely one of the area's very few bistros du quartier where locals tend to outnumber tourists.

        2. re: Parnassien

          I second the recommendation for La Briciola!

          Definitely don't miss the Marché des Enfants Rouges either, plus the delicious cheese shop Fromagerie Jouannault at 39 Rue de Bretagne next to the market.

        3. If you're after pizza and you have teenagers, you may enjoy Pink Flamingo on Rue Vielle du Temple at Rue de Perche. They have a converted VW van with a table inside that they park outside that you can eat in. Only about 5 tables inside the restaurant, very casual. Decent pizzas, they've got a website if you want to check the menu.

          1. These places are both easy, low-key, no reservations type places. Neither is great, but they are good enough that I've gone back (Tresor is open late and so good for after theater).

            Le Tresor - 9 Rue du Trésor
            L'Arganier -- moroccan -- 19 rue Sainte Croix de la Bretonnerie

            1. The classic Marais take-out is Falafel, from rue de Rosiers. While everyone seems to flock to L'As du Falafel, the others on the street are just as good. I personally prefer Falafel King, because they include crispy-fried onions and fried eggplant in their toppings. And don't forget to ask for "sauce piquante" on top.

              Another equally casual option is the pizza sold by weight at Al Taglio, around the corner from the Marché des enfants rouges. Like Pink Flamingo, they have more original toppings than the standard Parisian pizza joints. Their potato pizza with truffle cream is killer!

              At both places, you can either eat in or order as take out.

              And I will second the rec for Breizh Café - including the need to reserve.