I recently came across the article 10 Paris Food Secrets the Guidebooks Won’t Tell You About on Facebook. It was a post by The Kitchn about eating in Paris, something I’m always interested in, as you know ;-)
The article quite boldly stated that visitors should rethink the left bank of Paris, as it ‘lacks luster’ and is ‘Postcard Paris’.
As a left-bank girl myself, I was a bit offended. They just discarded half of the city with a few keystrokes!
I’ll be the first to admit that many of the trendy and interesting restaurants pop up on the right bank (mostly in areas that are still somewhat affordable in terms of rent). And more often than not, you can find us in the metro going all the way to the other side of town because we want to try out a new restaurant.
But that said, there are still so many good places to find on la rive gauche (left bank). Large neighbourhoods like the 14th and 15th arrondissement are certainly not ‘postcard Parisian’, as they’re mainly residential and don’t have big tourist attractions. However, the 13th arrondissement hosts Paris China Town (a very interesting and non-Parisian area that’s definitely worth visiting), and there are certain places on the left bank most visitors of the city just want to see, like the Eiffel Tower, Saint-Germain, Quartier Latin around the Sorbonne University or le Jardin du Luxembourg.
Chances are very high you will find yourself on this side of la Seine at one point or another, and chances are even higher you will want to eat or drink something while you’re there. Here are my tips!
(For more tips please have a look at the Eva in the Kitchen Food Map of Paris)
Craving some Vietnamese food? Than Mai Do is what you’re looking of. Colourful and bursting with flavour. It certainly cheered us up on that rainy day we went there for lunch!
23, Boulevard du Montparnasse
Restaurant du Marché
This one is especially for those who are visiting one of Paris’ many fairs and conferences. Restaurant du Marché is located near the biggest exhibition center of the city: Porte de Versailles Exhibition Center. There’s not a whole lot of choice in the neighborhood, but is is the restaurant for you, with great traditional French food and wines.
59 Rue de Dantzig
I absolutely loved dinner at Le Cornichon. Their menu’s adventurous (I don’t believe I ever saw rooster crest on one before) and it takes a great chef to pull that kind of food off. Because that rooster crest was tasty!
If you’re in for a new experience, this is your place!
34 Rue Gassendi
Immediately after opening, this bistrot became the new neighbourhood darling. Located near busy Rue de la Gaité with all it’s theaters. Augustin offers a very good three course menu with French classics for 39 euro.
79 Rue Daguerre
This Korean restaurant is one we visit often, it’s not fancy or trendy, and if you ask for a jug of water you’ll most likely get a pink plastic one with kittens on it. But they serve a mean bibimbap and their set lunch menu is also available on weekends. The place is usually packed with Koreans, always a good sign. And for less than 20 euro, you’ll have a table full of scrumptious food.
20 Rue Marmontel
To be honest, I always associated the Basque country with Spain, and I never really realised there was such a big French part as well. But French Basque cuisine is very tasty and well known in France, and is famous for it’s use of a special red pepper (piment d’Espelette). Afaria has an à la carte menu as well as a tapas menu.
15 Rue Desnouettes
La Cantine du Troquet
We’ve returned to this restaurant several times, because the food is delicious, different (where do you find pigs ears on the menu nowadays??) and they work with several local producers (showcased proudly on their website). There’s a no reservations policy, so showing up a bit earlier than normal pays off. There are four locations, we always go to this one:
101, Rue de l’Ouest
Restaurant le Café du Commerce
Located not far from the Eiffel Tower, Café du Commerce offers everything you’d expect an old-fashioned Parisian restaurant to be. A wonderful décor (an oyster bar at the entrance, several stories from which you can look down to the central dining room on the ground floor, lots of plants), waiters that are dressed ‘correctement‘ and curiosities like pigs feet on the menu (don’t worry, they have steak too!). It all feels very much like you’ve just walked in a classic French bistrot in 1925.
51, Rue du Commerce