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Casual bistros in Paris - in August

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Bonjour,

I lived in Paris for 3 years 2007-2010 and this will be my first trip back since moving back to Montreal. I'm not looking for a high end food experience, but I would like to at least enjoy the food while I'm there.

Back 5 years ago, if you chose well, you could find a 3-course menu in the 30-40€ range that was quite good. Of course, you could end up with junk at that same price point. Even year over year, some of my standbys quickly deteriorated and were scratched from the list. I'm hoping for similar, but willing to splurge a little extra if you come up with a "don't-miss".

Some facts to help:
- no idea where I'm staying yet, so don't really factor location in, other than to say that I'll be mostly in touristy areas and will need to eat lunch, can generally travel to any arrondissement for dinner
- at least one dinner will be with kids and adults who've been to Paris before, and some will be alone
- about 4 days in a range of Aug. 16-24 (still working out the plan)
- food restrictions: no pork and not such a fan of les abats
- fully fluent in French

Hope that's enough to go on. Thanks in advance.

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  1. It would be good to understand what was on your restaurant rotation when you lived in town - if we know what you liked (didn't like) then it helps calibrate the response.

    1 Reply
    1. re: PhilD

      Agreed and a lot has happened in 5 years; what of what you've read here excites you and did you cross-reference them against http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/982694

    2. A few go-to restos in the tourist zones that might appeal... with an emphasis on value:

      Pinxo Tuileries on the rue d'Alger near the Tuileries in the 1st ... a great value for lunch because you can order half-portions, shared "plats", etc... mostly Basque cuisine... fermeture annuelle until 15 Aug so fine for you
      Mangetout on the rue Mazarine @ rue de Buci... same delightful owner-chef as Pinxo but more wide-ranging menu... fab 2-course bargain @ 20 € for lunch and 23 € for dinner... full à la carte dinner easily under 40 €... for St Germain des Prés, amazingly good price/ quality ratio... closed Sun + Mon.
      Café des Abattoirs on the rue Gomboust off the place du Marché Saint-Honoré in the 1st... a new(ish) bistro in the Michel Rostang family... carnivore's temple of well-priced delights... wood-fired oven... counter seating great for solo diners... not a great bargain for lunch (3-courses for 32 € ?) but fab 3-course dinner for 38 €... open 7/7.
      Au Petit Bar on the rue du Mont-Thabor in the 1st... tiny old-fashioned lunch cantine... impossible to get one of the few tables from 12:30 to 2pm when French workers in the area mob it (not much choice for honest grub in this quartier)... very limited menu... great sandwiches for takeway and eating in the nearby Tuileries ... open from early morning to early evening Mon-Fri (not sure about Sat) so useful for snacks, late lunch, or early dinner... not sure of fermeture annuelle.
      BAM/ Bar à Manger on the rue des Lavandières-Sainte-Opportune in the 1st... easy stroll to/ from Notre Dame/ Sainte-Chapelle/ Louvre... modernish cuisine at great prices and new menu every week ... 2-course lunch menu @ 18 € or just a plat du jour for 15 €... a full dinner for under 40 €... also functions as a wine-car/ café during non-meal hours... closed Sunday.
      La Cave Beauvau on the rue des Saussaies off the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in the 8th... a time-warp wine-bar/ lunch cantine heavily patronized by bodyguards and other fonctionnaires from the nearby Elysée palace (president's home)... bring dictionary because some of the items on the menu might be a bit off-putting to Americans... but otherwise sound, decent and trad cuisine... 20 to 25€ for lunch... open Mon-Sat for lunch and ( I think) Thu + Fri for dinner but owner can be whimsical.
      Le Boudoir on the rue du Colisée off the Champs Elysées... wine bar/ restaurant... 30 € for a 2-course lunch might not seem a bargain but for this quartier it is... dinner without wine = 40 50 to €... modernish cuisine... very enjoyable ambiance... closed Sunday.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Parnassien

        Agree with all but the last; my meal in 2011 was much inferior to that in 2008 and nothing approaching her Point Bar before that.
        I love the Cave Beauvau - it's off the CH pop chart but so what?

        1. re: John Talbott

          T le Vénérable... le Boudoir has become much more "gastronomique" in recent years... and in comparison to most other eateries in the Champs Elysées black hole, it's a delight... and a relative bargain. Of course, there are better food options in the general Champs area like Caius, Le Marloe, and Crom'Exquis but either closed for August or too expensive for the OP.

          1. re: Parnassien

            P. le jeune: I stand updated and in awe.