Looking for a post hang-over feast or simply a place to ‘ponce’ while feeding the savage beast within? Here are a few of our favourite Parisian foraging finds…
For late night satisfaction: L’As du Fallafel:
A worthy find on Rue des Rosiers, in the Marais, just off the street of our Parisian home. Its offshoot streets remain central to the Kosher butchers and boulangeries, bookshops and synagogues. Jewish food of Eastern Europe alongside that of North Africa and the Middle East, the latter on which L’As du Fallafel bases its cuisine. If your not fond of hummus mayo dripping down your arm, may just want to sit in the bustling restaurant brimming with enthusiastic conversations and efficient, smiling waitstaff. And I don’t usually like Falafels!
Tips: Excellent value. Be prepared to cue. Huge serves, may wish to share unless your feeling piglety.
34 rue des Rosiers, 75004 Paris Marais
For cold day cosiness- Cafe Hugo
In the Bastille region this little Bistrot, situated on the inner rim of the Vosges Gardens serves a deliciously rustic French Onion Soup amongst other delights. Squeeze yourself onto a minuscule table, order a quart caraffe of Chianti while you wait and enjoy the animation of Parisian conversations around you. Coffee’s damn fine too.
Tips: Excellent value. Be prepared to brush arms with your neighbors, the intimacy providing opportunity to test your command on the language.
22 Place des Vosges, 75004, Paris
For a fluffy sensation – Le Soufflé
A soufflé sensory overload! If your a lover of these light fluffy concoctions, indulge yourself by selecting one for each course. From mushroom to cognac, my companions took their imaginary hats off to the Salmon Soufflé, mine had already been on the floor for some time. You can walk it off by climbing the Arch de Triumph stairwell tomorrow.
Tips: Tourists appear to be ushered to the back room. If you’d prefer to be seated up front ask while booking. Booking essential.
36 Rue du Mont, Thabor, Paris (near Place Vendome)
For a quirky Hi-Tea – Mariage Frères Salon de Thé
Open noon to 7pm, an extensive tea selection ranging from the exotic to mother’s favourite. An extensive menu, we went for the set breakfast. Small pots of scrambled egg, brioche with jam, sushi roles, prawns…an interesting selection with an eye on varying cultural breakfast expectations.
Tips: Top up the kitty. Choose wisely, ask for descriptions. Again, tourists tend to be ushered to the rear. Put your best ‘don’t mess with me’ face on and insist on your preferences if this doesn’t suit. Book an upfront table in advance if necessary.
A number of these Salons scattered across Paris. We tried 30 Rue du Bourg, Tibourg, Paris
For a spectacular backdrop – Jules Verne
One must visit this restaurant just once in one’s lifetime and we were fortunate to share a lovely friend’s birthday here. Funky chunky up side down plates and exceptionally slender cutlery signify one’s place setting. Delicate complimentary morsels and attentive staff let one know one’s dignified place. The Degustation menus offers one an excellent choice.
Tips: One glass of wine per person with the Degustation menu. One may wish to indulge in a bottle…or two. The ‘Baba’ dessert comes with a choice of liqueur, ask to pour one’s own else one will be singing merrily upon exit, and that simply won’t do!
Tour Eiffel 6 Avenue Gustave Eiffel, Paris
There’s often a happy hour where favourite cocktails will come at great prices (let’s face it, that’s not hard compared to Australian prices!) along with piles of nibbles. For the truly budget conscious, heaven. Find your fave, preferably with a view of some sort and make it your local watering hole.
The wine is cheap and the house wines surprisingly good! Order a quart or half carafe and save the G&T or cocktails for happy hours.
If on a budget, avoid eateries around any of the squares, major thoroughfares, monuments or signature attractions. It’s down the back streets where you’ll find the hidden gems and authentic fare.
Order a ‘Cafe Gormande’ at dessert time and you may receive a coffee with several mini desserts, an economical way to sample dessert while telling yourself you’ve been ever so virtuous.
Avoid fussing with your order choices. Usually limited staff and the time required to understand and grasp your request pushes out their busy schedules and leads to frustration for all.
Butter probably won’t come with your Croissant. That’s because the best are already buttery but if you need beurre , be prepared to ask several times. Same with milk for your tea.
Greet and farewell, attempt your best high school French, smile a lot and drop into the conversation that your an Australian. The French seem to be more comfortable with us and that smile will usually win over even the most jaded wait person. We are, after all, equivalent to a guest in their home.
Oh! And don’t ever eat while walking along the street, or in the street for that matter. Ever so gauche in the eyes of the French.
Would love to hear your faves and hints too!