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Feb 20, 2012 09:42 AM

1st Time Visitor to Paris...Need Help

I will be traveling the 1st week of May to Paris for 4 nights with my wife and daughter. We will be staying at the Renaissance Paris Arc de Triomphe in the 17th. We all like to walk and are in good shape so we don't mind walking. One major issues is that both my wife and daughter are not adventurous eaters so menus with limited or no choices are definitely out. They prefer beef, chicken, mild (white) fishes, some shellfish (scallops, crab, shrimp). I am willing to try anything but I must comply with their tastes. I am looking for moderately priced restaurants or bistrots. Can you help, I am really overwhelmed by all of the potential choices and also because I do not know my way around Paris.

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  1. I'm guessing there are 200+ eating establishments within a 1/2 kilometer radius of where you are staying. Most if not all will post an outside menu. Learn a few key words in French so you can navigate a menu. And try out your French when ordering. Also, don't worry about not knowing your way around, in 4 nights there is more than enough to see and do within walking distance of your hotel. You are pretty much staying at the tourist epicenter of Paris, but it won't be overrun with tourists given the timing of your visit.

    1. Prices are rather high in this area, but you probably knew that. Try Rech and La Maree for seafood, brasserie Lorraine and La Mascotte, and Gourmets des Ternes for great steaks etc. All near the Ternes metro.

      1. And don't rule out non-walking distance locales, the metro is SUPER easy to navigate. If you want a cheap lunch while in the Marais, head to L'As du Falafel. Cheap and tasty.

        1. I would recommend that you look for the book by Patricia Wells that was published some years ago. She and a friend ate all over Paris, all up and down the scale. She covers everything from bistros, to cafes to highend places. My wife and I went to several of her midlevel places and had very good food and a very good time. She recommended Ze Kitchen Gallerie, which we loved, and I believe that now it has a Michelin star. I think it would be worthwhile of pick out a place or two and travel on the metro, or walk a bit to get to it. Don''t forget also to check the travel book websites. Also, if the hotel you are in does not offer a free breakfast or a very good one for the money, look around the neighborhood. You can usually find a cool pastry shop and get a good breakfast for less money. BTW, in a pinch there are always the fast good places which the French seem to love.

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          1. Looking at your profile, it appears you live in the Boston area. I would take the family for lunch at La Voile on Newbury Street to familiarize yourself with some of the French classics. If this is your first trip, you should probably steer away from the temples of high gastronomy. For a good steak, go to La Rotonde or L'Entrecote de Venise. For sheer touristy perfection, Laduree on the Champs Elysees has amazing macarons, and is a nice place for lunch. Walk down Rue Cler and marvel at the selection of food products. I'm sure residents of this board get "first time in Paris" fatigue answering the same old questions, but if you wander down any street, you should find some place that satisfies you.

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            1. re: whs

              I think you could spend the entire trip in rue Moffetard, about 10 minutes walk up the hill from the Latin Quarter. Literally hundreds of cafes, restaurants, deli's, you name it they will have it to cater for every taste. It might be a bit out of your area but you won't regbret it. I'll be there for 4 nights in June and will eat my way along the street. Also a great market there for fresh fruit. I can't wait.