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May 2, 2014 05:44 AM

4 days in Paris in the 16th and around

Dear Hounds,
my partner and I are staying in Paris next week. I would really appreciate your valuable help on where to eat, knowing that we tend to prefer lunch over dinner. Also, I'd love to taste some good (exceptional?) bread and viennoiserie, in the hood if possible...Alas I am not easily pleased being a baker and having worked in France myself. Any hints? Thanks a lot!

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  1. The 16th is happily spared from the hippest Paris food reviewers (you know whom I mean), they never set foot there. And let it remain so, for excellent food is prepared there daily and quietly. I am thinking of Brasserie Stella or Brasserie de la Poste, bistrot Le Petit Rétro on rue Mesnil, butchers Hugo Desnoyer and Yves-Marie Le Bourdonnec, and the really top quality if expensive covered Marché Saint-Didier between rue Mesnil and Avenue Victor-Hugo, the amazing pastries of François Perret at Hôtel Shangri-La (available at tea-time), quite excellent pastries and viennoiseries at Carette (place du Trocadéro), etc.

    For excellent bread, visit Boulangerie Laurent Bonneau (on my behalf if you come across the owner) on rue d'Auteuil, near Porte d'Auteuil. This one is also seriously off the beaten track but he makes one of the top breads in Paris. They don't make good bread only in the bo-bo quartiers.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Ptipois

      Salut Ptitpois, we will most definitely follow your recs! Someone told me about Desnoyer, I am wondering whether they'll be open on May 8th - just found its bank holiday, quelle horreur ;)

      1. re: Ptipois

        First of all sorry for typo on your nick...
        Also wondering whether you have suggestions for good cocktails (keeping in mind that décor is less important than the stuff). As much as I am a bread lover, Mr is a Negroni connoisseur :). Mille mercis!

        1. re: pasticcino

          Cocktails: unfortunately one of the very best bartenders in France used to work right on place de Mexico, at the Metropolitan Radisson Blue. He did a season in a posh ski resort and now he's back, but in-between jobs. Wish I could have sent you to him.

          The cocktail scene, by definition, changes constantly. However I have a few recommendations from the book I wrote about Paris cocktails a couple of years ago: good stuff at Le Secret (avenue de Friedland), and a decent Negroni.

          Don't worry about the typo, even French people do it to me all the time. With you, it's perfectly allright. I'll also mention Marine Chabaud at Le Buddha Bar (near Concorde) and the bar at Hotel Warwick, rue de Berri.
          Not in the book but famous: the Experimental Cocktail Club, the Rosebud, the bar at the Ritz (still under renovation? not sure)…
          Not keen on La Closerie des Lilas, I wonder why they can't make a proper Negroni.
          Really good cocktails at Beaucoup, in the Marais.

          I've kept the best for the end but you'll have to travel a bit: Mei Ho, a fantastic bartender at Hotel 123 (123, boulevard de Sébastopol). Excellent concoctions based on plants, fruit and flowers. For those who are familiar with Likafo restaurant in Chinatown, Mei is the owner's daughter. Her stuff deserves to be tried. Tell her that I sent you.

          1. re: Ptipois

            I don't mind les déplacements, so I'll start off with Hotel 123 on our first night! And will proudly tell them about your rec. Sinon, I know l'Experimental (and like it!) Although I'm afraid if Mr likes it at 123, I might have a hard time convincing him to try the rest-albeit this is his very first time in Paris. Sooo looking forward now :)

          2. re: pasticcino

            Lockwood in the 2nd has an admirable negroni using carpa antica vermouth (hipster ketchup), and some other nice cocktails featuring amaros. Definitely on the right side of the [fancy hotel bar<----->hipster joint] spectrum.

          3. re: Ptipois

            Pti do you have any thoughts on Petite Pergolese ? We went many years ago before it was ...well Petite ..and really enjoyed it for an elegant meal. TY.

            1. re: Capeannetoo

              Never been there, but the place seems to keep its shape and should not have undergone massive change in recent years.

          4. Hi, you don't say which part of the 16ème you will be staying in. The "market street" rue de l'Annonciation and the Marché de Passy on the place de Passy are great if you are in that area. The locals go to the Bistrot des Vignes or Chez Geraud... See my post for other sugegstions

            3 Replies
            1. re: monchique

              True, the Seizième is large. It is the only one in Paris that is divided in two different zipcodes. Roughly speaking, there's Auteuil and there's Passy. Either way, each part has interesting neighborhood restaurants, bistrots and markets, and no less of a village life than other parts of Paris.

              1. re: monchique

                Hello monchique,
                just saw your feedback. I checked viamichelin, we're staying on Rue Deborde Valmore - Place de Passy is not that far. Thank you! I usually like to have breakfast at home (at least my very FIRST brekkie), so this is going to be a very welcome addition :)

                1. re: pasticcino

                  Yes, you will be close enough to the Place de Passy to enjoy it, even for breakfast. Much less posh than one might think except on Sunday mornings after mass. This link:
                  will show you what's available within a 500m radius. It misses my favourite "Tripier" next to the cheese shop where I stock on ris-de-veau, rognons, boudin blanc and andouillettes... For info, the Passy Plazza has a big Monoprix downstairs. There's a new shop on the corner of rue Lekain that only makes and sells meringue vacherin, worth the detour!

              2. I'm late to the party here and uncomfortable in the 16th, it's just not in my comfort zone, that is, the Upper West Side or the downhill 18th; but I'd agree that Stella and Desnoyer (not just a butcher-shop as in the 14th, but now a big table too - see other threads).
                But Lecture 52b; you can be anywhere in Paris in 20-55 minutes. Spread your wings.

                6 Replies
                1. re: John Talbott

                  Dear John,
                  you're not late at all. Actually, I was secretly hoping you would join the conversation :)
                  And, though I like feeling familiar with my surroundings, I am also supremely attracted by the unexplored. After all, having lived the baker life in the banlieu between Sceaux and Antony, there is still A LOT for me to be seen in the 75! So yes we'll def walk and try to browse la ville, as much as possible.

                  1. re: pasticcino

                    Unlike John T. who is far more a hipster than I am, I'm increasingly pro-16e — a trove of hidden treasures. I don't go there often but when I do, I take a deep breath and I think: "Hm. Away from it all."

                    Different from the posh part of the 17e (plaine Monceau) which has good stuff too but in a colder context.

                    He doesn't know what he's missing, really: no pesky fellow yankees anywhere in sight. Just the fine fleur of daddy's sons or Qatari residents getting bored in restaurants, some with really good food, and house maids doing their daily market shopping in amazing food stores.

                    Now that all the Joe Schmoes dine at Septime, le Comptoir, Pirouette or Youpi, the new frontier is the quartiers bourgeois, my friends. And think of this: they'll never be gentrified. Ever.

                    1. re: Ptipois

                      ...Having delightfully done Septime and le Comptoir makes me half of a Joe Schmoe I guess. Lovely. (joke)

                      1. re: pasticcino

                        Oh I'm a Joe Schmoe too, I'm a fan of Septime and all the hip places I mentioned.

                        But I am recalling the positive points of searching for good eats in neighborhoods where the hipster's hand never set foot (and never will).

                        1. re: Ptipois

                          "But I am recalling the positive points of searching for good eats in neighborhoods where the hipster's hand never set foot (and never will)."
                          It's lucky I'm not the hipster you're referring to because I'll go anywhere in the Ile de France and outer snail for good grub.
                          BTW how does a hand set foot?

                          1. re: John Talbott

                            "The hipster" means the generic hipster, not the specialty items like you.

                2. I echo Pti's fondness for the 16th. It may seem a bit haughty and too well-bred but is punctuated by a huge number of delights.

                  A suggestion that may or may not be up your alley. The boulangerie/ café/ salon-de-thé Huré on the avenue Victor Hugo @ rue de Longchamp... I've tried the other Huré shops on the rue Rambuteau/ 3rd and place d'Italie/ 13th and thought the breads and pastries to be good but not as memorable as a dozen other places... but for some reason, I'm addicted to the new shop in the 16th... strategic location, terrace seating, great people-watching, good coffee, open from 6am to 8pm... maybe it's the setting and the sense of well-being that makes everything taste better. Just down the street the very upmarket Pâtisserie des Rêves on the rue de Longchamp for a bit of comparison sampling. Both are about a 15-minute walk from your place but much quicker if you hop on the the #52 bus on the even-number side of the rue de la Pompe @ rue Nicolo to the Lycée Janson stop.

                  The street market on rue Gros/ rue Jean de la Fontaine on Tue and Fri mornings is quite delightful and neighbourhoodly. For lunch, la Chaumette on the rue Gros is a lovely old-school bistro popular with both the media types from Radio France and market vendors from the rue Gros marché. But it's more usual for customers and market vendors to cram into the time-warp Café Antoine on the rue Jean de la Fontaine for a morning cuppa or a 15 € lunch ... obviously not mind-blowing quality but fun and historic. The larger street market on the avenue Président Wilson from, roughly, the place de l'Alma and the place d'Iéna on Wed and Sat mornings is also an option and, if you do the Eiffel Tower thing, is a nice detour for street food and plats cuisinés.

                  If you are there on Sunday, lunch at Le Stella on the avenue Victor Hugo is an unmissable tribal rite. And fab terrace for just hanging out at other times.

                  Except for the bars in the more swanky hotels, the cocktail craze hasn't yet swept the 16th. So don't expect to find them served in your local café or bistro (other than less than stellar ones at the Café de la Mairie on the rue de la Pompe @ ave Georges Mandel... 5+ min walk from your place). In addition to Pti's excellent list, you can also try the pano-view Terrasse Bar at the Hotel Raphael on the avenue Kléber... with a caveat: it's a May to September rooftop bar and the quality does vary from year to year.... it just reopened for the season but I haven't been yet. For more suggestions elsewhere in Paris, there's lot of static in the blogosphere these days so just google "meilleurs bars à cocktail Paris"... but don't expect consensus about where to get the best Negroni.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Parnassien

                    Thanks Parn, bro. Great list of places, too.

                    I should add that while the Negroni is very popular in English-speaking countries, it is not so famous here, though not unknown. People here prefer the "Americano", heavily dosed with Campari, seltzer, and a slice of orange. Many different places, even restaurants, serve it. In fact I've had my best Negronis in London. So don't expect Negroni heaven to be here, although you never know what Mei Ho's interpretation of the classic could be.

                      1. re: Parnassien

                        Thank you so much!
                        And yes, we'll have to do 'the tour Eiffel thing' I'm afraid... Mr is a total newcomer :)