Where to Eat the French Classics in Paris

French Classics by Natalie Parker

Now that you have some great tips on how to eat out, let’s put it to some good use.

I prefer cafe dining in Paris.  Yes, we’re big foodies, yes, there are some fabulous restaurants, and yes, we do eat at restaurants when we visit.  But whiling away my time in a Parisian cafe sipping wine and eating classic dishes is my idea of heaven.

Remember my hamburger analogy, not every cafe will do these dishes well.  Here are my absolute favorites.

Soupe a l’oignon – Le Comptoir des Saints-Pères

This was my first meal ever in Paris.  Looking back on it, I’m so very lucky that I happened to find a cafe serving soupe a l’oignon and it happened to be done very well.  More than other dishes, soupe a l’oignon can be mediocre at cafes.  Finding a good one is a treasure.  I’ll never leave Paris without stopping at Le Comptoir for soup.

Le Comptoir des Saints-Pères closes early (except when they do live jazz on Thursdays but we’ve never been).

French Classics by Natalie Parker

Le Comptoir des Saints-Pères, 6th Arrondissement
29 Rue des Saints-Pères, 75006 Paris, France

Steak Frites – Café des Musées

This is another dish that can be mediocre if you’re not careful.  I read about Café des Musées from David Lebovitz, then dragged Mr. P and our expat friend there when they were only semi-hungry.  The smell of cooking steak hits you when you walk in the door.  You can’t not order a steak when you smell it.  Reservations are recommended, but they do have a large downstairs to handle overflow if you walk in.

French Classics by Natalie Parker

Yes, I know Le Bistro Paul Bert is supposed to be the place for steak frites in Paris.  Every time I try to go there, something happens and it never works out.  Someday I’ll eat there and report back!

Café des Musées, 3rd Arrondissement
49 Rue de Turenne, 75003 Paris

Salade au Chevre Chaud – Le Saint-Séverin

Tucked in a lane with a ton of touristy, not-great eateries is this little gem of a cafe.  Mr. P and I first found it when we needed a place to duck out of the rain.  You can sit outside under the overhang, eat some excellent food, and watch throngs of people move about while you relax.

French Classics by Natalie Parker

What’s a salade au chevre chaud?  The best thing ever.  It’s a salad with warm goat cheese.  Le Saint-Séverin does theirs with an excellent vinagrette, tomatoes, two big pieces of ham, and two huge wheels of chevre.  Mr. P loves it when I order it because he always gets to have some of the cheese.

Le Saint-Séverin, 5th Arrondissement
5 Rue Saint-Séverin, 75005 Paris

Omelette Mixte – Le Comptoir des Saints-PÈres

Mr. P says this is one of the better omelettes he’s ever had in Paris and always has a tough time deciding whether to get this or the soupe a l’oignon.  It’s cooked perfectly, it’s buttery, and has excellent ham and cheese.

French Classics by Natalie Parker

Le Comptoir des Saints-Pères, 6th Arrondissement
29 Rue des Saints-Pères, 75006 Paris, France

Crepes – Creperie Oroyona

Crepe stands are everywhere in Paris and it’s fairly easy to find a good one.  Every so often, you’ll happen upon a great crepe stand.  There are a ton of creperies on Rue Mouffetard, but this one is our favorite.  We tried it late one night because it had the longest line.  The jamon et fromage (ham and cheese) and citron sucre (lemon juice and sugar) are always what we order.

French Classics by Natalie Parker

Creperie Oroyona, 5th Arrondissement
36 Rue Mouffetard, 75005 Paris

Boeuf Bourguignon – Le Nazir

Boeuf Bourguignon is not as ubiquitous on cafe menus.  I was thrilled when I found it on the menu here and even more thrilled when it was excellent.

French Classics by Natalie Parker

Le Nazir, 18th Arrondissement
56 Rue des Abbesses, 75018 Paris

Extra: Salads at Le Relais Gascon

I had to add this even though it’s unique and I haven’t seen salads like this elsewhere in Paris.  We were looking for a casual dinner one night and stumbled upon this place.  I was in the mood for chicken, but everyone was eating salads out of these huge earthenware bowls.  We got with the program and each ordered one.  There are a variety of salads on the menu, but they all come topped with potatoes.  So so so very good.

French Classics by Natalie Parker

Le Relais Gascon, 18th Arrondissement
6 Rue des Abbesses, 75018 Paris

You won’t find Salade Niçoise on the list.  We don’t like olives, so there.  I’m still on the hunt for a good sole meuniere so I can pretend that I’m Julia Child having her first meal in France.

Do you have a favorite place to eat in Paris?  Please share!

French Classics by Natalie Parker


4 thoughts on “Where to Eat the French Classics in Paris

  1. My favorite’s an ethnic Lebanese restaurant. It serves great hummus and lamb shish kebab for very reasonable prices. Service is spectacular. Snoobar Saveurs du Moyen-Orient, rue Cadet, 75009.

  2. Oops, forgot Caramel Sarrasin in the 9th arrondissement. Postage size place, great galettes and crêpes. Try the caramel beurre salé-you’ll die. Caramel Sarrasin, rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009.

  3. Love love Les Papilles in the Latin Quarter. Make reservations and get the plat de jour. Reasonavle and over the top amazing! Also, Breichzt sp? In the Marais for crepes. Buckwheat crepes that are the traditional way of having them with apple cider. Will go back again this fall!

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