Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Where to have lunch in Paris for food lovers and non-speakers of French?

You can't leave Paris without eating a crêpe and/or a galette , a street between the Odéon and the Notre Dame has some nice crêperies like the one I'm going to recommend now: Crêperie Saint-Germain in rue de Saint-Andr'e des-Arts , number 33. The place is cozy, good service, quick and for a moderate price. They have a wide variety of crêpes and galettes. Please note that this place is not for tourist and you will need your dictionary to understand the menu,unless you can understand a little bit of French. Try out the crêpe au chocolat uhmmmmm!! You can get to this street walking from the Odéon metro stop (lines 4 or 10). If you want to have a nice cocktail you can go back to Odéon and you can find some places with Happy hour, too. Those who know me can trust me since I love good food, even if I'm not from Paris, I have been very selective and I have had very nice meals!!

As we were coming from Dublin and we are used to have meals at any time (at 16.00 or even 17.00) after having a huge breakfast to take advantage of the day ,specially on holidays, we found that Bistros were the best places to go to have a nice meal. Close to our hotel our favourite was "Bistro Dupleix" (Metro stop: Dupleix, line 6, in the city centre)they have food ay any time and with one plate you have more than enough! Prices are not cheap but as we are in Paris, we stop thinking about this not to go nuts! To give you an example my plate was Poulet routin with French Fries for 12 euros ( chicken in a brown sauce). BE careful don't order soft drinks! a coke is more expensive than a glass of wine (Glass of wine 3,80 and a coke 4,00 euros!). I also learned the lesson not to order a coffee with milk, they call it "creme" and only for the name , a simple coffee with milk costs 4,20 !!!!!as a coffee addict this was a hard lesson to learn..having a coffee with milk is expensive,it's more practical to order a caf'e noir (expresso) which is half price or got to Starbucks (coffee for the same price!!). Apart from the prices, the service was very good (They speak a bit of English and the menu is in English, too) and the service. Expect to pay circa 50 euros for 2 people. (desserts costs at least 7 euros each, Mousse au chocolat is recommendable uhmmmmm).

The best place we found for a good price was the Bistro: L'entrecote in the Rue Sant- Denis, They offer a menu (The call it "formule") for 13,90, with a main course, main course and dessert. This place specialty are the entrecote, nice chunks of meat!!i=If you are vegetarian , don't go, then! To find this place, it's only 5 minutes away from the modern museum of the Pompidou (metro stop: Rambuteau). You can go and visit the Pompidou Centre if you are into Modern and Contemporary art and then go for lunch here. Always check if there is a menu, otherwise it can be expensive.

In the Pompidou area there are many places to have a drink with happy hour (cocktails and beers half price in specific time range).

I 'd recommend yo more places but these are the best ones i have found (in the Bistro Dupleix we had lunch 3 times lol and it's only 20 minutes away from the Eiffel tower on foot).

If you are on a low budget ,you can have a nice baguette with different things: cheese, chicken, salami in many places or ven crepes to go, we totally love French bread and sweets!!!

All the places above are on a budget from 30 euros (2 person - no drinking wine or soft drinks and sharing the dessert) to 50 euros (for 2 people, with red wine (50 cl) and again sharing the dessert unless you order 2 menus, then you get a dessert each.)

Last but not least some tips:

- Avoid soft drinks - rather I'd order tab water (they usually put it in a bottle or jar and it's free and tastes good) or red wine (a Jar for 2 glasses : 50 cl )

- Do not leave tips, service is included in the bill (15%), unless you feel extremely generous!

- Avoid ordering coffee with milk after the meals (as I specified before) or going for a coffee only.

-Do not call the waiter garçon but Messier.

-Bread is included in the meals, enjoy it! is so tasty!

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