Paris eats for 4 days, near the 4th, on a budget
I've been tasked by my friends with planning the food itinerary for our Parisian adventure in two weeks' time. My last trip to there was in 2007 when I stayed in St. Germain and had no plan whatsoever. This time I want to make sure I hit up worthy spots.
One of my travel buddies is not an adventurous eater (she's American), and will not eat things like foie gras or offal or game meat. But as long as we go to a restaurant that has other options, she will be fine.
That said, here's our limits: We're staying in an apt in the 4th, near the Pompidou. My friends prefer to eat in for dinner to save money and since we will have access to a kitchen. So we are looking mostly for LUNCH recommendations near the 4th (let's say no more than a 20 minute metro ride away, and we are from NYC so we are walkers).
Budget: €25 pp excl. drinks
Cuisine: Mainly French/home-style cooking. Would prefer to stay away from fusion that incorporates Asian cuisine, since my friend is not a fan of anything beyond standard Americanized Chinese crap. But fusion of any other cultures should be fine. She also doesn't care much for fine-dining.
We will be there in mid-April.
*Bonus question: The trip is mainly for my birthday, so I'm also looking for one restaurant where I could have a nice birthday dinner in Paris after biking in Versailles. Budget would be €40 pp.
If you were not so geographically constrained I'd recommend 3 lunch places that recently opened:
Verre Moutarrd in the 17th - 13.90 E for 2 courses & wine (rating 6.5/10)
Jin Xin Lou in the 13th (don't be put off by the name - he cooks French French food) 19.80 for 3 (rating 6.1/10)
Jeanne B in the 18th 17.00 E for 3 (rating 6.2)
If constrained I'd go with the
Cafe Des Musees - 19 E 3 courses
Breizh Cafe 16-25 E
Pamela Popo 17 E
Someone on this board recommended the café at the Arts & Métiers museum. I'm very glad we chose to eat there before walking through this amazing place. It was a good lunch and certainly within your budget and also the metro ride timing. Of course there are tastier lunches, but maybe you're planning to visit some museums?
In addition to John's recommendations, there are some really phenomenal sandwich places that have opened up in the last year not too far from where you will be staying. ChezAline in the 11e - think veal Milanese or Lapin stew on a sandwich, Verre Vole Epicerie ( also in the 11e) - really great antipasti, cheeses and meats, and Verjus Wine Bar in the 1e with sandwiches such as pulled pork, fried chicken with slaw, etc. I'd also recommend a wine bar with small plates such as l'Avant Comptoir where you can try lots of small dishes and several wines. As for your birthday dinner, Le Cornichon is one of my favorites - a 34€ prix fixe. The chef comes from Chez L'Ami Jean and is incredibly talented.
The immediate area around the Pompidou is pretty much for tourists only and not really a place to safely play restaurant roulette. For a little refuge, I usually retreat to le Hangar on the impasse Berthaud off the rue Beaubourg... it's relatively reasonable for dinner but I've never been for lunch and am not sure if they have a "formule" that fits your budget ... there will be a menu posted outside so check it out to see if they have a lunch special under 20€. The very trad l'Ambassade d'Auverge on the rue Grenier-St-Lazare between the rues Beaubourg and St-Martin gets good reviews from cliché-loving tourists... I haven't been for years so my recommendation is largely second-hand... 20€ no-choice lunch special.
Le Taxi Jaune on the rue Chapon just off the rue Beaubourg is my current go-to in the area ... really good updated and very honest classics with a twist... have not lunched there but I assume that the superb price-quality ratio carries through at mid-day into an under-20€ lunch "formule".
A 10- to 15-minute walk to the other side of the rue Rivoli/ rue St Antoine, the rues François Miron, Jouy and Charlemagne are magic: trendy Pamelo Popo, oh-so-good (but perhaps too modern for your friend) Métropolitain, and the Bistrot des Compères all have lunch formules for under 20€.
Lots and lots more suggestions in another recent thread:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/892859 The title is a wee bit misleading but the thread does include many recs that will be suitable for you too.
Merci for the replies so far. My recollection of the area near our apartment is also lots of touristy restaurants... and a Flunch, which I dont know if it still exists, but I'm not eating there again! (grad school student mistake)
After looking through several threads, I realized that our budget might need to be amended. I really forgot how expensive Paris is.
Here's my list so far - I think some of them are much farther than I hoped so the farther ones are probably less likely to be visited, though I'm hoping we'll be adventurous in our wanderings and go off the beaten path a bit. Any thoughts on these - and whether I need to make reservations for which?
La Regalade St. Honore (birthday dinner?)
Sola (another birthday dinner?)
Le Taxi Jaune
Bistrot des Compères
Chez Marie Louise