Antoine Laurain’s Best Eats in Paris
In this blog post, Antoine Laurain shares with us some of his favourite bars and restaurants in Paris. ‘The problem, my friends, is that much of the best food is to be found outside Paris … and that’s coming from a Parisian! But here’s a selection of fun places to drink or dine in the capital’ said the bestselling author of The President’s Hat and The Red Notebook and the new novel French Rhapsody
Le Chantefable, 93 Avenue Gambetta, 75020 Paris
Very good Parisian brasserie. It’s a bit out of the way, but worth a visit for its wide range of typical brasserie fare and turn of the century decor. I’ve never had a bad meal here! It’s a good idea to book. It’s not cheap, but the prices are reasonable for a proper brasserie. As for the wine, order the ‘Chopine de Brouilly’, which comes in an unlabelled bottle and is less expensive and more easy-drinking than the wines on the wine list.
Le Paris-Rome, 60 boulevard des Batignolles, 75017 Paris
The quintessential Parisian neighbourhood café- restaurant. The menu is simple but good. Lots of regulars visit every lunchtime. There’s a family atmosphere, and the welcome is warm. Look out for the little black and white photo on the wall opposite the till, showing the cafe in ruins when Paris was liberated in 1944. Ten metres from Rome métro. Prices are fair.
Le crabe Marteau, 16 rue des Acacias, 75017 Paris
This place is well known for being a bit different. If you’re a fan of seafood and crustaceans, head here for the finest crabs. You’re handed a wooden hammer and a bib and off you go! Everyone sits at their tables bashing their crabs (guaranteed quality) and there’s a very friendly atmosphere. Worth booking here too.
Le Train bleu, Gare de Lyon (Place Louis Armand ) parvis de la gare. Hall 1. 75012 Paris
A gem hidden inside a train station. There’s no particular need to linger in the (rather ugly) surrounding area, or in the station itself, but head up the stairs in Hall 1 of the Gare de Lyon and you’ll find without doubt the most astonishing brasserie in the city if not the whole of France. The decor (look up at the ceiling) is worthy of Versailles – and the food on the plate is very good too. Expensive, yes, but it’s a legendary place. I recommend the Ris de veau (sweetbreads) 😉 Good idea to book.
Hotel Costes, 239 Rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris
Again, pricey, but this is the most beautiful courtyard in Paris in which to have lunch or dinner. Booking essential. One of the best known
and most fashionable spots in town. Never disappoints.
For a drink…
These places are fancy too, I’m afraid …
Le très particulier, 23 avenue Junot, 75018 Paris
This is the bar of luxury hotel L’Hôtel Particulier Montmartre. It opened not long ago in what was once a private garden and mansion, away from the crowds. You can have a drink in the garden, at the bar or on the terrace. You have to be in the know to get in here: press the buzzer at the gate and go down a little garden path to reach it. This is hidden Montmartre. Not to be missed! I can’t comment on the restaurant, I’ve never tried it.
Café Laurent, 33 rue Dauphine – Hotel d’Aubusson, 75006 Paris
More than a café, this is a hotel bar – with very good bartenders. You can get any cocktail here, there’s a nice little courtyard and best of all, a lounge with a large fireplace. Right in the heart of Saint Germain des Prés.
Not forgettting, of course, Harry’s Bar and my friends behind the bar at 5 rue Daunou, Paris 75002.See all books by Antoine Laurain