|Eat & Drink
Paris - Right bank
Paris - Left bank
Condé Ste Libiaire (3km from Disneyland)
Barbizon(Drive In and Around the Forêt de Fontainebleau)
Bourron-Marlotte (9km south of Fontainebleau)
10km from Vaux-Le-Vicomte
Saint-Lambert(Drive through the Vallée De Chevreuse)
Prices for a three-course meal vary from around 70 francs to over 1,000 francs; the average price for each restaurant listed
is shown by the pound symbol:
On the Internet Restaurants preceded by # can be seen on the Internet at the following address: http://www.parisvisit.com
How to Get The Best Value for Money Whenever possible, choose one of the fixed menus rather than à la carte. Also note that menus are cheaper at lunchtime and that, unless otherwise specified, service is included in the prices quoted. Wines are generally expensive but house wines are often worth trying and are more reasonably priced.
Les Halles Tradition In the days when the Paris food market was situated where the Forum des Halles now stands, there were many restaurants in the vicinity, such as Au Pied de Cochon, which served pig's trotters and onion soup to workers kept busy throughout the night. It later became fashionable for people out on the town to end up in one of those places in the early hours of the morning.
Fast Food and Brunch When the first McDonald's opened in Paris, most people thought it would be a flop! Well, fast food has become part of the French way of life and now the mecca of gastronomy is about to adopt another Anglo-Saxon habit - the brunch. More and more bistros in central Paris now specialise in this 'new' kind of meal, definitely 'in'.
French and Cosmopolitan Cuisine Most restaurants selected here serve either traditional French regional cuisine or what is loosely called nouvelle cuisine, as Paris's top chefs innovate in an effort to adapt to changing tastes and eating habits. There is a new emphasis on fish and seafood and it is now possible to enjoy a gastronomic meal without meat! There is also a strong tradition of world cuisine, essentially Italian, North African, Vietnamese, and Japanese.
Where to Eat Restaurants usually serve meals from midday to 2pm and from 7.30 to 10.30pm. Brasseries (the word means breweries) are restaurants where one can often eat at any time of the day and which have choucroute on their menu, served with a glass of draught beer. Bistros are usually more modest (although some of them are very fashionable) and convivial, boasting quick friendly service.
Prices The same price rating as for Paris has been applied to restaurants in nearby towns; however, you can expect to get much better value for money outside the capital; it is also important to remember that service finishes earlier in the evening than in Paris, usually around 9:30.
La Mare au Diable Memories of George Sand linger on in this 15th-century manor house, named after one of her most famous 'rural' novels; it was here that the young romantic Aurore Dupin met her future husband and later decided on her pen-name.
Nowhere is the saying 'Variety is the spice of life' truer than in Paris, for the city with a well-deserved reputation of being the gastronomic capital of the West has such a wide choice of eating establishments that selecting one can prove a hard task, even for Parisians. In Paris, the reality behind the word 'restaurant' is particularly complex since you can eat a three-course meal for as little as 60 francs in one of the local bistros, their red and white chequer-board tablecloths having become emblems of Parisian life, or for as much as 1,000 francs in one of the temples of haute cuisine. In between, there is an amazing array of cafés serving the inevitable steak-frites and jambon-beurre sandwiches, of brasseries with splendid turn-of-the-century settings, of chain restaurants marrying constant quality with a definite French touch, of wine bars and seafood places, of regional restaurants proudly reminding gourmets that French gastronomy is not the prerogative of Parisian chefs, and of cosmopolitan restaurants specialising in African, Lebanese or Vietnamese cuisine - to name but a few - and in Tex-Mex fare, increasingly popular with young French crowds. Bistros are traditionally versatile and a great favourite of Parisians and visitors alike. Up to now, their ambitions had remained modest. However, in recent years, a new generation of bistros has emerged on the Paris scene: the famous chefs of several exclusive restaurants have opened up-market bistros serving haute cuisine in less formal surroundings and at more affordable prices. Needless to say that these new bistros are very much in fashion: such is the case of La Régalade and l'Epi Dupin, both on the Left Bank, where young chefs Yves Camdeborde and François Pasteau regale an increasing number of enthusiastic customers.