French Wine Tutor

The Paris List

Restaurants I visited and loved this time around on my trip to Paris.

I’m not an expert on Parisian restaurants by any means, but I do happen to have a lot of Parisian friends who are foodies (birds of a feather), which means I often end up dining and imbibing in some pretty lovely places. Check out the below list of places I enjoyed on my trip this past May.

Le Réveil du 10eme

Apparently Paris’ best wine bar since 1987, this place has a long, lovely wine list and a great menu of snacks to accompany it. My drink of choice? The Saint-Amour Beaujolais Cru (of course – is anyone surprised by this?). They don’t have a website – because of course they don’t. – but you’ll find it in the heart of the 10th between Rue du Château d’Eau and Rue Bourchardon.

Les Bichettes de Belleville

This adorable little hole-in-the-wall is probably the tiniest restaurant I’ve ever been inside (really redefines the term, if I’m being honest!), but it keeps itself familiar and charming that way. With a small menu and only a few wines to choose from, I loved the down-home, neighborhood feel of this place – and the food’s no joke either. Try the cod if it’s on the menu and don’t forget to pair it with the Muscadet!

Le Passager

There’s no doubt about it – brunch and bagels are trendy in Paris right now. If you’re on the lookout for a lovely little brunch spot that sports both American specialties and French fusion breakfast/lunch cuisine, this spot is cute, casual, and a favorite among locals. I loved the oeufs brouillés (I always forget how well the French do eggs of all kinds) and my friend Estee said the bagel was pretty great. Be careful to arrive early though – there was about a 20 minute wait (worth it!).

MARCEL

A casual little bistro in the heart of Montmartre, Marcel won me over when its staff made lighthearted jokes in French and offered us little white flowers at the end of our snack. (Flowers not guaranteed, but the jokes will probably maintain.) While I went to the Montmartre location, there’s also one on the left bank, so you might run into either and stop for a drink and a shareable plate. A proper bistro, not a wine bar, you’ll be required to get some food if you order wine off their small but eclectic list. It’s a perfect watering hole to stop in between long walks and market visits if you’re in the area. Oh – and the fries are delicious.

Les Rupins

From the outside, this café might seem unassuming, but believe you me the food here is fabulous and affordable. That duo is getting harder and harder to come by in Paris these days, since there are a lot of mediocre, overpriced bistros out there. The Dos de Cabillaud is served in a delicious curry-based sauce that’s as complex as it is aromatic. Perfect to pair with any range of the wines on the menu!

Floréal Belleville

If Williamsburg, Brooklyn turned into a chic Parisian café and restaurant, it would be Floréal. The distinctly trendy, local vibe to this place makes it feel like a slice of home. There are flowers and plants everywhere and on certain weekends they even have art exhibitions and community yoga classes (I repeat: hello, French Brooklyn). The wine list is small but impeccable, with organic cru Beaujolais, biodynamic Vinho Verde, and a selection of off-the-beaten-track rosés. The food is light, bright, and all shareable plates, with several vegan and vegetarian options. If you’re staying in the 19th or 20th as I like to do, this is one restaurant that is definitely worth stopping by.

The Dancing Goat

The first morning I woke up in my Airbnb, I realized that there was no coffeemaker (despite a description claiming there was). For someone who simply *must* have a cup – whether drip or espresso – I desperately began searching for a place in my neighborhood that would have something I could take away (à emporter) because I was working remotely and wouldn’t be able to languish at a café somewhere. Imagine my surprise when I found The Dancing Goat a few blocks away from where I was staying! This place is full of Parisian magic. It’s chic, minimalist, and even has café filtre – drip coffee – which until recently was rare in Paris. I happily walked away that first morning with two piping hot cups of coffee and returned every morning afterward. – sometimes to work remotely from there before lunch. If there’s one place I will definitely make sure to return to, it’s Dancing Goat!

Le barav

I have one thing to say: get there EARLY. The secret is out about how great this place is and people flock to this unique wine bar in République for an amazing evening. During the week, they open at 5 p.m., so to grab a table you’ll need to get there right when it opens. If you arrive late and can’t find a spot, head on over to their wine shop just next door! Grab a bottle and a corkscrew and head out to the Canal St. Martin for a picnic apéro.

BONUS: Parisian Food Tour with Paris by Mouth

If you’re going to Paris for the first time or even the fifth time and want to learn (and taste!) Paris food culture from the locals, you’ve got to book a tour with Paris by Mouth. On the tour, an expert Parisian guide (usually an expat, so in English!) will take you to Paris’ best boulangeries, fromageries, and wine shops. It’s a great way to get to know the food scene without exclusively going to restaurants. Bon appétit !

Looking for more restaurant recommendations? Head on over to my last post about restaurants and wine bars I visited when last there!

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