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By Myriam Heith, Parisian actress, art-lover and avid foodie. Edited by Emma White
The French Capital is packed full of amazing things to see and do including visiting famous attractions like the Eiffel Tower, wandering through iconic neighbourhoods like Montmartre and discovering the city’s history and culture at any one of the world-class museums. Another important thing to experience whilst in Paris is the food. Exploring the food culture is an indispensable part of any visit to Paris, however, it can be hard to find local and authentic places to eat when you’re trying to tick all the top attractions off your list! And while we might hate to admit it, it’s easy to get caught in a tourist trap when you’re tired, hungry and just want to sit down. So to help you maximise your time in Paris and enjoy delicious French food without having to venture too far from your main stops, here is a guide to the 10 best non-touristy places to eat near Paris’s main attractions.
Located just a stone’s throw away from the Louvre Museum is my favourite place to eat in Paris, Loup. This restaurant combines delicious food in a beautiful setting with a cool and cosy ambience. The menu has an extensive range of French classics and other unique dishes, all made with carefully chosen and very fresh ingredients. My go to dish at Loup is the salmon tartare, it’s mind blowing! The flavours are so defined and marry together perfectly at the same time. I like to follow my main up with one of their tasty cheese plates. And the whole lot is usually washed down with one of their amazing cocktails – they taste even better during happy hour!
Looking for somewhere to have fun, drink fantastic fruity cocktails and eat like a local in Paris? Situated right next to Jardin Mandela Park and just around the corner from the vibrant Rue Montorgueil, you will find Bliss restaurant. Terrace, cocktail bar, games bar, pizzeria, smoking room, and restaurant with private lounges, table football and pinball, Bliss is an innovative and creative space designed to be a communal area, entertainment centre and restaurant all in one! When you walk in you’ll first notice the restaurant at the front of the complex - grab a table and order one of the delicious dishes from the appealing menu. Struggling to decide? Order the truffle pizza, it’s amazing! After your meal, head over to the bar area to order cocktails, then move through to the back of the space where you’ll find the games area. This place is loads of fun and easily missed by passers-by who think its just your average restaurant. Tip: if you can, plan to come on a Monday evening. They have free salsa classes, and anyone can join in!
Le Loir dans la Théière is a restaurant and tea room known by locals for its tasty lunch time dishes and its incredible desserts. Located in the increasingly popular neighbourhood of Le Marais, and only a few streets away from Notre-Dame, Le Loir dans la Théière is unlikely to appear in the average guide to the best restaurants in Paris as it has managed to remain under the radar for the meantime. However, when word gets out about the crazy delicious lemon meringue pie, I’m pretty sure we’ll start seeing this hidden gem’s name pop up a lot more often! Come for lunch and order the goat’s cheese and onion tart (my favourite), followed by the gigantic lemon meringue pie which is a definite must-eat in Paris. This is a local favourite so don’t be surprised if you have to join a queue outside, it’s totally worth the wait!
A large part of your dining experience in France will inevitably involve tasting all the wonderful French delicacies on offer in its capital. However, when you’re feeling like a change and you want to enjoy a different type of cuisine with the same high standards as some of the best local restaurants in Paris, consider Daroco, an Italian restaurant located near the famous Palais Royal. This restaurant was once the location of Jean Paul Gaultier’s atelier and his presence is still felt, as the waiters and waitresses wear stripy tops designed by him. This trendy restaurant boasts a modern, well-decorated interior with high ceilings, friendly service and an interesting, well-thought out menu with many options to choose from. Whether you love pizza, pasta, antipasti, focaccia, calzone or any other Italian speciality, Daroco has it all. And make sure you end your meal with one of their delicious desserts, try the tiramisu! The food is of top quality and the prices are reasonable, making this not only one of the best restaurants in Paris but also one of the most affordable restaurants in Paris too.
If you are serious about good cheese then visit Fromagerie Laurent Dubois, not too far from Notre Dame, one of Paris’s main tourist attractions. An unassuming little store with a friendly openness, this fromagerie has all the cheese you can think of plus more. The different cheeses are all perfectly arranged around the shop like little museum pieces not to be disturbed by the harsh light. In between you will find wines, jams, nuts and whole host of accompaniments for the special cheeses. The staff are wonderful and will accommodate you in any way they can. Don't speak French? No problem. Just tell the what you are looking for and they can help you out. But if you do speak French, you'll be at an advantage as they will go on to describe every little detail to you. This is one the best ways to eat like a local in Paris and definitely deserves a spot on the list of best non-touristy places to eat in Paris.
Le Verre Volée is a quaint restaurant and wine shop near Canal Saint-Martin. Its interior is aesthetically pleasing thanks to its collection of colourful mismatched chairs and tables and its displays of unique, natural wines that line the back wall. Here at Le Verre Volé, you can enjoy a traditional French dinner accompanied by some of the best wine in the city, carefully chosen by the restaurant’s experts to go with your meal. This place is super tiny and fills up pretty quickly with hungry locals so make sure to get here early or book in advance.
No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the iconic Montmartre neighbourhood, perched atop a hill in the North of Paris. Old cobblestone streets, lively squares and, of course, the magnificent Sacré Coeur Cathedral are just some of the sights to be discovered in this neighbourhood. Unfortunately, Montmartre’s popularity with tourists means it is packed with tourist traps and it can be difficult to find authentic places to eat like a local in Paris’s famous district. But with my insider Paris food knowledge, you’ll be able to get off the beaten track and find a cosy spot to eat. Le Jardin d’en Face is a charming little restaurant and wine bar tucked away on a quiet street just steps away from the Sacré Coeur. It offers heart-warming traditional French dishes, exquisite wine and an intimate setting with a personal touch.
Rèves De Paris République is a boulangerie and café located on the periphery of Place de la Republique. This quaint eatery boasts a magnificent array of cakes, pastries, breads, sandwiches, tarts and much more - everything is made fresh daily and literally flies off the shelves. The shops ornate decoration reflects the city’s elegance and grandeur, while the warm service and the lunchtime rush of busy workers provides that local feeling that makes you feel like a Parisian local yourself. Order a toasted sandwich, and perhaps a coffee, and sit with locals on the terrace outside and watch city life unfold in front you.
Le Perchoir, translated as ‘the bird’s perch’, is a hugely popular restaurant and bar in Paris’s 11th arrondissement which boasts an impressive rooftop with 360 degree views of the city. The street entrance is unmarked making this speakeasy-style bar and restaurant a literal hidden gem waiting to be uncovered by those who have been pointed in the right direction. Arrive early to secure a table at the restaurant, located on the penultimate floor of the building. The restaurant offers set-menus of several courses, all of which are tasty, innovative and fresh – think duck magret, octopus or tender meats served with fluffy potatoes. Once you’ve finished your meal you can take the elevator up to the 7th floor where you’ll be met with incredible views, a vibrant bar area, colourful plants dotted between chic sofas and chairs strewn with trendy cushions and throws. From here you can watch the sun go down over the Sacré-Coeur, glass in hand, under the fairy lights, surrounded by cheerful locals letting their hair down.
Last but not least, if you’re visiting the Eiffel Tower and you’re feeling a bit peckish (perhaps you just conquered the epic climb up and down the stairs to the monuments’ second floor) then check out Les Gourmandises d’Eiffel. A local bakery, steps from Paris’s most famous attraction, Les Gourmandises d’Eiffel is the perfect place to stop for a bite to eat to replenish your energy stores and keep you going until dinner time. It offers an assortment of typical Fresh bakery delights such as fresh baguettes, gorgeous pastries, glazed fruit tarts, rich chocolates, meringues, sandwiches and even delicious coffee. Many locals claim that they’ve had their best croissants in Paris right here! Whether that’s true or not, Les Gourmandises d’Eiffel is a must for anyone visiting the Eiffel Tower and the surrounding area.
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