First time in Paris
Will be in Paris for the first time (ever) in early January, staying in the 3rd and 11th for 6 days. Likely to return 3 or 4 times over the next year, so it needn't be a bucket list trip, but do aim to eat and drink as well as possible on a modest but not shoestring budget. So advice would be appreciated on where to drink coffee, wine / bars (no clubs), cheese / charcuterie shops, bakeries--in central Paris. Also, am hoping to hit a few hip bistros.
While it's a year old, I wrote an essay
http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/... on where to eat during one week in Paris that with some updating, gives a strategy for tackling the question. I'd also urge you to check the most recent popular threads (esp those Parnassien contributed to since he doesn't give knee-jerk favorites) which have many places that are as yet not overblown, overrun or over-the-hill.
The responses you've received elsewhere re bistros and restaurants are all decent. But I see that you can use some tips on cheese, charcuterie and bakeries.
We like Dubois http://www.fromageslaurentdubois.fr/ and Ferme St. Hubert http://www.la-ferme-saint-hubert-de-p... and certainly Pascal Beillevaire http://www.fromagerie-beillevaire.com/ for cheese and butter.
Bakeries: you want
Kayser (on rue Monge, historical initial location),
Landemaine (by Place Leon Blum),
Jaques Génin (for excellent and expensive chocolate, caramels and fresh pastry and hot cocoa on site, 133, rue de Turenne),
Julien and Gosselin (for baguettes traditions on rue Saint Honoré),
Pain Sucré (rue Rambuteau),
Blé Sucré (Square Trousseau),
Bosson (new shop on rue Mouffetard or maybe Descartes, close to Contrescarpe),
Gérard Mulot (rue de Seine, rue du Pas de la Mule)
Patrick Roger for chocolate bars (bd Saint Germain almost @ Saint Michel)
Pierre Hermé for ridiculous pastry (rue Bonaparte)
Boulangerie des deux ponts (rue Saint Louis en l'Ile)
While in the 'hood, consider Oteiza for basque ham and duck products (bd Saint Michel)
For charcuterie, consider for instance Nougaro at the sunday market in Bastille (bd Richard Lenoir)
Nothing to add to Mangeur's cheese list.
Monoprix has a lot of good stuff -- definitely where I get my andouillette for instance (Monoprix Gourmet) or my organic nano-filtered raw milk.
Le Marché des Enfants Rouges on rue de Bretagne and its surroundings are full of nice things (closed mondays, sun aft)
For the record, my advice is to focus on those affordable foods, forget about bistrot food which is almost always overpriced for what it is, and make room for one or two extraordinary meals in fine dining establishments. But I'm clearly in the minority.