I’ve just returned from a fresh trip to Paris during August when many of my favorite restaurants were closed. Many Parisians flee the city during the month of August and as a result many shops and restaurants are shuttered up for the month. I knew this going in, but still found myself disappointed when I called my favorite places to “manger” (French word for eat) and instead of being greeted by grumpy a Parisian “Bonjour,” I either got no answer or an answering machine. This forced me to explore a bit more and find some new haunts, which I am happy to say after a few horrible meals and lackluster shops, I have a new Paris round up to share! First up…the food!
For those who have never been to the city of lights and dream of wandering into a cafe on the Left Bank and having the meal of your life, let me jolt you out of your trance right now and tell you that dining in Paris is either a fabulous experience or simply awful. The culinary scene is one of extremes. I have yet to find an in between “so-so” meal in Paris; they have all either been really great or really, really awful. If you find yourself hungry while sightseeing and do not have a recommendation readily at hand, save yourself some anguish and the cash and stop in a Monoprix or a boulangerie and get the fixings for a picnic and enjoy a lovely meal in a local park.
Here is the list of food heavens I found on this trek to Paris in no particular order:
- Alcazar- 62 Rue Mazarine 75006 Paris, France. +33 1 53 10 19 99. Metro Stop: Odean. You should make a reservation at this super chic eatery. It is bordering expensive, but not ridiculous like many of the Michelin star restaurants in Paris. Service is efficient and friendly and they do have English menus if you request them. I had cod fish that was cooked to perfection with coconut on a bed of mashed potatoes. It sounds a little strange, but it was delicious.
- Le Chalet du 16theme 63 Rue de la Pompe 75016 Paris, France. Metro Stop: Rue de la Pompe. This is the perfect stop after some serious shopping at Reciprocique, the designer resale shop that is a complete heaven and takes up an entire city block. It is located just down the street and has really fresh salads. I ordered the Nicoise Salad and was greeted with the lovely plate photographed below. Waiters don’t speak English, so be prepared to dust off your French. The restaurant has a very authentic feel and is frequented by the fancy set that lives in the 16th Arrondissement.
- Mariage Freres- 30 rue du Bourg-Tibourg, Paris 75004. Metro Stop: Hotel De Ville. This tea salon has a shop in the front and very elegant tea salon in the back topped off with a tea museum upstairs. It is pricey, but a legendary place with absolutely wonderful teas and desserts. They have a strawberry creme brûlée that made me fall in love with Paris all over again. There are multiple locations throughout Paris, but my favorite is the one in the Marais.
- Mon Thai- 84 Rue Montorgueil, Paris 75002. Metro Stop: Artes de Metiers. After days of rich French food it is nice to take a break and Mon Thai is a delicious place to take it! The food is fresh, tasty and best of all not expensive.
Stay tuned for an upcoming post on shopping, both for food and fashion.