11th and 12th Arrondissements


11th Arrondissement

Bohemian-chic artsy area.
(D, G, T, V) Aux Deux Amis
45, rue Oberkampf. 01 58 30 38 13. Tues–Sat, lunch and dinner.
This wine bar doesn’t look retro; it is retro, with garish lighting and Formica tables. Belly up to the bar for a glass (or several) of natural wine, snack on tapas and rub shoulders with a mostly delightful mix of hipsters young and old. Read a full review here.

(T) Au Petit Monsieur
50, rue Amelot. 01 43 14 77 03.New creative French—popular with the cool crowd.

(G) Ave Maria
1, rue Jacquard. 01 47 00 61 73. Bet you’ve never been anywhere like this before. Tchotchkes from all over the world line the walls, giving the dark bar and restaurant a bit of a retro tiki vibe. The drinks, by the glass or the pitcher, go down great with the delicious platters of food, with African, Brazilian and Hawaiian influences. Seating is at communal benches, so expect to get to know your neighbors. Whether you want to start your evening with a hearty meal or enjoy the night with a rowdy group of friends, it’s a fun restaurant. Read more in My Places in the 11th.

(G) Le Bar Bat
23, rue de Lappe. 01 43 14 26 06. A Corsican delight in the middle of the Bastille, where a young chef surprises us with decent prices and Corsican wine to boot.

(C) Le Bistrot Paul Bert
18, rue Paul Bert. 01 43 72 24 01. Tues–Sat, lunch and dinner.
Nose-to-tail eating, seasonal products and a fantastic wine list make this one of the best bistros in town. Don’t try to save room for the Paris Brest, but do have it. Read a full review here.

(D) Café Charbon

109, rue Oberkampf. 01 43 57 55 13. The original bar/bistro that started the whole Oberkampf craze.

(G) Le Café de l’Industrie
16–17, rue St.-Sabin. 01 47 00 13 53. Le Café de l’Industrie is a great spot for an early-morning coffee or cocktails late in the evening. With a kitchen that’s open when most are closed, it’s also a good place to visit if you haven’t quite adjusted to the Parisian dining schedule. The clientele is hip, and the atmosphere is relaxed. Brunch is around 20 euros per person.

(C) Chardenoux
1, rue Jules-Valles. 01 43 71 49 52. This is a 100-year-old belle époque bistro with your classic French bistro menu. It’s a quiet neighborhood restaurant, not cheap but worth it, for the food is a cut above. Charming service.
(*, T) Le Chateaubriand
129, ave Parmentier. 01 43 57 45 95. Tues–Sat, dinner.
It’s difficult to classify wild child Iñaki Aizpitarte’s cooking, which is sometimes not cooking at all in the traditional sense but an artful assembly of raw, pickled, or smoked vegetables, and fish and meat that’s still quivering, all in colors you didn’t think existed in nature.

(S) Chez Prosper
7, ave du Trône. 01 43 73 08 51. Chez Prosper is a convivial spot to gather friends, drink wine late into the evening and eat delicious, traditional French food. Flavorful heart-shaped tartare with fresh bread is a refreshing dish for the summer, and heaping salads are great year-round. Warm plates such as duck confit and roasted chicken will fill you up on a winter’s night. Don’t get us started on the desserts.

(V) Cielo
25, rue Oberkampf. 01 48 06 28 23. This is a good place to start a pub crawl if you plan on hitting all the Oberkampf hot spots. Fusion cuisine and decent prices.

(S) L’Ecailler du Bistrot
22, rue Paul Bert. 01 43 72 76 77. Specializing in fish and shellfish and owned by the Bistro Paul Bert folks across the street, L’Ecailler always gets high marks for freshness as well as inventive yet solid cooking. Oysters here are divine, no doubt because owner Gwenaëlle Cadoret’s father was an oysterman.

(T) Le Réfectoire
80, blvd Richard Lenoir. 01 48 06 74 85. A fashionable place with a good wine list and modern food. Prices aren’t terrible. Wallpaper magazine says Le Réfectoire has the best breakfast in town, and who are we to argue? Très bobo chic.

(T) Rino
46, rue Trousseau. 01 48 06 95 85. Wed–Sat, lunch Tues–Sat, dinner.
Modern French food with a Mediterranean angle is on the menu at this highly praised newcomer. The four-course unique dinner menu is 38 euros, a bargain for food this thoughtful. Read a full review here.

(V) West Country Girl
6, passage St.-Ambroise. 01 47 00 72 54. Tues–Sat, lunch; Wed–Sat, dinner.
Hit West Country Girl for carefully made crêpes with a side order of indie cool. The retro-styled space is just around the corner from the bars of Oberkampf, making WCG an affordable launching pad for a night of east-side debauchery. Either that or a hangover lunch. Read a full review here.  

12th Arrondissement

(G, S, V) A la Biche au Bois
45, avenue Ledru Rollin. 01 43 43 34 38. Tues–Fri, lunch; Mon–Fri, dinner.
This restaurant, serving hearty specialties of southwestern France, seems impervious to trends and fashion, and that is a very good thing. Perfect on a cold night.

(G) L’Alchimiste
181, rue de Charenton. 01 43 47 10 38. This is a good bistro specializing in fresh produce—give it a try.

(G, S, V) Le Baron Rouge
1, rue Théophile Roussel. No reservations. Tues–Thurs, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5 p.m.–10 p.m.; Fri–Sat, 10 a.m.–10 p.m.; Sun, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
A veritable institution, this wine bar is best enjoyed on a cool Sunday afternoon, when friends and families spill onto the sidewalk and stand around barrels, snacking on oysters and drinking. Read a full review here.

(*, T) La Gazzetta
29, rue de Cotte. 01 43 47 47 05. Tues–Sat, lunch and dinner.
Unsung vegetables, gentle cooking and unlikely combinations characterize Petter Nilsson’s modern, pan-European cooking. A cool cosmopolitan experience in the villagelike Aligre neighborhood. Read a full review here.

(V) Shan Goût
22, rue Hector Malot. 01 43 40 62 14. Tues–Sun, 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.–11 p.m.
Delicate, refined Chinese food is on the menu at this nondescript room near the Gare de Lyon. Lo mein? Look elsewhere.

(G) Viaduc Café
43, ave Daumesnil. 01 44 74 70 70. Famous for its brunch on Sundays with live jazz, this place is perfect before or after triping the Viaduc des Arts and the Promenade Plantée. (We’re not huge fans of the Viaduc des Arts, but we do like a good stroll on the Plantée if we are in the area.)