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Mar 28, 2013 08:39 AM

Paris In May

Hi there. Staying in the 7th and traveling with another family of 4--both have teenagers (ages 12-16). The kids are well traveled and adventurous eaters and one of them speaks fluent french. Adults are all from the Bay Area. Looking for Bistros in the St. Germain area with good food and reasonable prices--not touristy--local, neighborhood places. Dans Les Landes is on our list as well as Relais de l’Entrecôte. One requirement: Must have wine! Any other suggestions??

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  1. There are very few non-touristy places in St Germain des Prés and the Quartier Latin... especially at weekends when the area is crawling with suburbanites and weekend trippers from England, Germany, etc. The places favoured by locals (including me) like Chardenoux des Prés and Bistrot de l'Alycastre tend to be a bit too pricey for families. Although the clientèle is largely suburbanite rather than "local", the restaurants on the rue Guisarde and rue Canettes are the Germanopratine version of bargain basement eating but are actually quite decent, especially Le Mâchon d'Henri and Comme à Savonnières... with a slight warning that the rue Guisarde's nickname is rue de la Soif / Thirst St and can be quite boozy and boisterous on a Saturday night or after football and rugby matches.

    In the Faubourg St Germain/ 7th, Le 122 on the rue Grenelle has a spiffy 39€ dinner prix-fixe (which, by Paris standards, qualifies it as "reasonable") and has become one of my go-to "local" restos even though I live in the far south of the 6th... excellent modern French cuisine with a matching sleek decor and clientele... so if you are addicted to cutesy, not really for you... and closed Sat & Sun.
    More trad and adorable, Le Petit Verdot on the rue Cherche-Midi in the 6th has lots of habitués from the neighbourhood but, because the owner (who was previously the sommelier at a wine-estate restaurant in Bordeaux) and chef are Japanese , the occasional table of Japanese tourists... but very French cuisine.
    La Ferrandaise on the rue Vaugirard in the 6th... a Michelin Bib so can do for under 35€ a head... half the clientele will usually be other tourists but 50% makes it almost a "local" haunt considering the neighbourhood.
    I'm a little uncertain about recommending the well-regarded sleek and modern Semilla and the more cutesy Fish la Boissonnière across from each other on the rue de Seine in the 6th... perhaps a little too expensive for a family with teenagers... and lots of Anglo-Saxon expats/ tourists ... but the grub is great (especially at Semilla)
    Heading into cliché territory, Chez Pipos on the rue Ecole Polytechnique/ rue Montagne-Sainte-Geneviève in the 5th seems at first sight the usual Latin Quarter tourist trap but has quite a local following... a boisterous wine-bar/bistro that seems especially appealing to teenagers... unfussy classic cuisine with an Auvergnat bias. The neighbouring l'Ecurie on the rue Laplace/rue Montagne-Ste-Geneviève is another dead-cheap steak place with surprisingly good grub ... very, um, convivial but also quite popular with families with teenagers ... and of course lots of bargain-hunting tourists.
    I'd also recommend a few hang-out cafés with good grub: Au Petit Suisse on the the rue Vaugirard/ rue Médicis next to the Luxembourg in the 6th, Le Rostand on the place Edmond Rostand/ rue Médicis in the 6th and again overlooking the Luxembourg gardens; and Café de la Nouvelle Mairie on the rue Fossés-Saint-Jacques just off the Panthéon in the 5th.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Parnassien

      As usual, Parnassien's culinary GPS has honed in on places worthy of your visit;
      Just sticking to the 7th, which given my thinking, planning for 2 of my teenagers arriving in July, I'm planning right now, but we'll do much more eating outside our Arr., but nevertheless, the 7th:
      Les Cocottes and the Cafe Constant, despite the seating adjacencies of how many? - 8 - might just work; Cigale Recamier, esp when warm on the alley, everyone can have whatever he/she wants, Pottoka (don't believe what you read here) and for a break, a place no one mentions here, Alain Milliat.

      1. re: John Talbott

        I LOVE la Cigale-Récamier in the summer. It's really a place for ladies-who-lunch and government ministers with mistresses but now, because it was cited as François Hollande's favourite restaurant, seems to be increasingly popular with well-dressed mistress-less lefties. The combination of soufflés, fabulous terrace, well-dressed 30- and 40-something women, philandering politicians, and prosperous socialists is perfect. And the little park at the end of the rue Récamier is ideal for a post-lunch musing about how fabulous Paris can be.

      2. re: Parnassien

        What a comprehensive list Parnassien! I think Pipos is the only one I've eaten at .Tiny and if I remember correctly they have a nice beef or pork filet.We found it a great choice after a day trip as it's not fancy but still charming.

        1. re: Parnassien

          OMG, Parnassien! I am SO copying this list for next fall! Milles mercis!!!

        2. I appreciate all the recommendations!! Though mildly concerned about ministers with mistresses :-) And if there are any specific places outside the 6th or 7th you think teenagers would find appealing (and their parents more so), I would appreciate those as well.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sandeatl

            I'm not Parnassien not he I, but in thinking about my two female teenagers (one is an almost total vegetarian the other an almost total carnivore) visit this summer my list aside from what I and he already said consists of;
            Terroir Parisien
            Felicity Lemon
            Jeanne B.