3rd and 4th Arrondissements


(T) Le 404
69, rue des Gravilliers. 01 42 74 57 81.
Daily, 12:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.–midnight.

There’s plenty of cool at this couscous emporium, where people go as much for the scene as for the tagines.

(C) L’Ambassade d’Auvergne
22, rue du Grenier-St.-Lazare. 01 42 72 31 22.
A friendly, welcoming little place that serves aligot (a specialty of the Auvergne region—whipped potatoes and cheese) and sells everything from crockery to prune eau-de-vie to Laguiole knives. You’ll get a healthy portion of rillettes to start and a big hunk of great country bread—which can fill you up quickly! Portions are huge, so beware. You’ll also be served homemade orange bread after dinner, on the house. Try some of the interesting aperitifs from the region. There is a large communal table, which can be fun whether you are alone or with a group.

(C) L’Ami Louis
32, rue du Vertbois. 01 48 87 77 48.
Wed–Sun, lunch and dinner.

Many famous faces frequent L’Ami Louis for, among other things, a legendary roast chicken. If it’s good enough for Clinton and Chirac, it’s good enough for you.

(T, V) Bob’s Kitchen
74, rue des Gravilliers. 09 52 55 11 66.
Mon–Fri, 8 a.m.–3 p.m.; Sat–Sun, 10 am–4 p.m.

Detox in style at this organic vegetarian hideout. Read a full review here.

(V) Breizh Café
109, rue Vieille du Temple. 01 42 72 13 77.
Wed–Sat, noon–11 p.m. Sun, noon–10 p.m.

The humble buckwheat galette is elevated to an art form at this fantastic Breton address. Read a full review here.

(V, L, S) Café des Musées
49, rue de Turenne. 01 42 72 96 17.
Daily, lunch and dinner.

Could it be? An honest bistro in the heart of the Marais? One that’s . . . open on Sundays? Read a full review here.

(V) Café Suédois
11, rue Payenne. 01 44 78 80 20.
Tues–Sun, noon–6 p.m.

Duck into the Swedish Cultural Center for Nordic snacks in the northern Marais.

(G, L) Chez Janou
2, rue Roger Verlomme. 01 42 72 28 41.
Daily, lunch and dinner.

Go to Janou for the lively crowd, decent Provençal dishes and great terrace. Stay for the chocolate mousse à volontiers—all you can eat.

(V) Chez Omar
47, rue de Bretagne. 01 42 72 36 26.
Mon–Sat, noon–2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.–11:30 p.m.; Sun, 7 p.m.–11:30 p.m.

Perennially packed, Chez Omar is quite simply an institution. The no-reservations policy is a boon for those of us who hate to plan in advance, but be prepared to wait for a table. Oh, and bring cash.

(H, D) Le Connétable
55, rue des Archives. 01 42 77 41 40.
Le Connétable doubles as a restaurant by day and an after-hours hole in the wall, with drinks served downstairs in the “I can barely breathe, let alone move,” bar. An adorable old couple that could be your grandparents pours pints and mixes basic drinks late into the evening.

(S) Le Pamphlet and Le Petit Pamphlet
38, rue Debelleyme. 01 42 72 39 24.
15, rue St.-Gilles. 01 42 71 22 21.

These two spots, right around the corner from each other, are probably just the beginning of chef Alain Carrère’s empire. The first restaurant offers a good-value prix fixe option, considering he trained under Christian Constant and his food is excellent. Carrère is from the Pyrenees, and the food is true to that region. Some say his is the best risotto in Paris. His second restaurant, Le Petit, is based on market-fresh ingredients and also gets high marks. Please reserve ahead.  

(D) La Perle
78, rue Vieille du Temple. 01 42 72 69 93.
La Perle is happening any night of the week. Frequented by hip 20-to-30-somethings, this watering hole has notable customers like Romain Duris. Drinks are reasonably priced, and the atmosphere is conducive to conversations with strangers from all over the globe. Brunch on the weekends is also an option; the menu offers a limited mix of bagels and burgers, with a few things in between.

(G) Robert et Louise
64, rue Vieille du Temple. 01 42 78 55 89.
One of those quintessential Parisian bistro experiences you’ll never forget. Your hostess, Louise, is about as friendly as they come. She has run the place with her daughter Pascale since her husband Robert’s death. They grill steak on an open fire and offer good cheap wine by the glass or the pitcher. She has been here forever (they say for 50+ years, but she doesn’t look that old!), since before the Marais turned from a quiet backwater into the trendiest place in Paris—and she makes you long for the old days, when everything wasn’t quite so polished and chic. Madame will gladly have a cigarette with you outside, but book ahead, or you’ll be waiting out there for some time.

(V, T) Rose Bakery
30, rue Debelleyme. 01 49 96 54 01.
Tues–Sun, 9 a.m.–7 p.m.
46, rue des Martyrs, in the 9th. 01 42 82 12 80.
Tues–Sun, noon–4 p.m.

Already a classic, this is where some people go for the salads and savory tarts, others for tea cakes and treats, and many for both.

(V) Song Heng
3, rue Volta. 01 42 78 31 70.
Mon–Sat, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

There are only two items on the menu at this always-crowded spot: bo bun and pho. You can’t go wrong, particularly for under 10 euros.

(D) La Terrasse
51, rue des Archives. 01 42 72 17 57.
La Terrasse is a busy café in the Marais, lovely for sitting and sipping, or having a sweet dessert (the berry panna cotta is yummy—just imagine its zero calories). The crowd is varied, and the service is pleasant.

(T) Usagi
58, rue de Saintonge. 01 48 87 28 85.
This creative Japanese-French café enjoys a very artistic atmosphere on a quiet street in the Marais. Fashion designer Shinsuke Kawahara has created a fusion resto that draws a chic insider crowd to sample the creative bento boxes, tofu burgers, sake chicken and other French-influenced Japanese inventions. More info here.

4th Arrondissement


(V) L’As du Fallafel
34, rue des Rosiers. 01 48 87 63 60.
Sun–Thurs, noon to midnight; Fri, noon–7 p.m.

The all-time champion in the falafel wars of the rue des Rosiers, this is a place that everyone loves.

(S) Au Bourguinon du Marais
52, rue François Miron. 01 48 87 15 40.
Mon–Sat, lunch and dinner.

A quiet treat with good wine, not inexpensive.

(G, D, S) Au Petit Fer à Cheval
30, rue Vieille du Temple. 01 42 72 47 47.
Au Petit Fer à Cheval is charming, intimate and fun; in a word, fantastic. The tiny bar/café/bistro is located in the Marais, along a strip of cafés, bars and boutiques, so it’s perfect if you’re in the mood to hop from one place to another. At the U-shaped bar it’s easy to strike up a conversation (the crowd is generally outgoing by Parisian standards), and the old-fashioned decor creates a cozy atmosphere for a coffee or a beer. The food is quite good, too.

(C) Bofinger
5, rue de la Bastille. 01 42 72 87 82.
Bofinger boasts a Gustave Eiffel–designed glass-domed ceiling and fabulous oysters. We’ve sat downstairs and up and have enjoyed them both. Some of our favorite food bloggers currently aren’t happy with Bofinger, though, so let us know what you experience.

(V) Brasserie de l’Ile St.-Louis
55, quai de Bourbon. 01 43 54 02 59.
You can while away the hours on a hot day with a cold draft beer, or warm up in winter with a vin chaud here. This is an ideal location if you are exploring the islands, as the food is good and homey and the waiters friendly. Simply put, you can’t go wrong here. Positioned on the tip of the island, just across the bridge from Notre Dame, Brasserie de l’Ile St.-Louis is the place to go when you need hearty comfort food prepared and served with care. This is the kind of cozy neighborhood place you wish were nearby back home.

(D) Le Bûcheron
14, rue de Rivoli. 01 48 87 71 31.
Le Bûcheron feels like it comes out of 1930s Italy, with a wood-paneled bar, dim lighting, even portraits on the wall displaying the owner’s grandparents. The relaxed atmosphere makes it a lovely place to have dinner or for a drink at the bar.

(T) Café Beaubourg
100, rue St.-Martin. 01 48 87 63 96.
This is a perfect place for a quick lunch after the Pompidou, with a good view for people watching.

(S) Chez H’anna
54, rue des Rosiers. 01 42 74 74 99.
If you want a truly delicious Israeli-style falafel sandwich with all the trimmings, Chez H’anna in the Marais is your destination. Chez Marianne, across the street, perhaps has the prevailing reputation, but H’anna gives Marianne a run for her money. Chez H’anna’s warm pita sandwich overflows with crispy golden falafel, thick and juicy grilled eggplant, crunchy vegetables, tahini, pickles and all the trimmings. Wash it down with a fresh lemonade outside on the cobblestone street, or sit down to a more relaxing lunch inside. Not to be missed.  

(T, C, L) Chez Julien
1, rue du Pont Louis Philippe. 01 42 78 31 64.
Daily, noon–2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.–11 p.m.

Beautiful people, a beautiful room and mediocre food: that’s what happens when the Costes brothers take over. Still, this historic address can be fun, so long as you’re not looking for any gastronomic epiphanies.

(V) Chez Marianne
2, rue des Hospitalières-St.-Gervais. 01 42 72 18 86.
Daily, noon–10 p.m.

Chez Marianne’s falafel ably competes with that of L’As, just around the corner, but it’s the mezes that keep visitors and families coming back to this Jewish quarter institution.

(S) L’Enoteca
25, rue Charles V. 01 42 78 91 44.
Considered some of the best Italian in Paris. A bit formal and fancy, though.

(L) La Guirlande de Julie
25, place des Vosges. 01 48 87 94 07.
A perfectly situated restaurant on the place des Vosges (the most beautiful and oldest square in Paris). Sitting outside in the summer is a must—and requires a reservation. The pot-au-feu (French beef stew) is excellent. Decent prices for this area.

(V) Le Loir dans la Théière
3, rue des Rosiers. 01 42 72 90 61.
Daily, 9:30 a.m.–7 p.m.

Get in line with everyone else for a bite of lunch, brunch or afternoon tea and splendid treats at this Marais sweet spot.

(L, S) Ma Bourgogne
19, place des Vosges. 01 42 78 44 64.
Daily, noon–1 a.m.

Serving humble French fare in a location that is anything but, Ma Bourgogne brings hearty classics to the Place des Vosges.

(D) Mariage Frères
30, rue du Bourg Tibourg. 01 42 72 28 11.
Shop for gifts, and sit and enjoy a nice cup of tea.

(*) Mon Vieil Ami
69, rue St.-Louis-en-l’Ile. 01 40 46 01 35.
Wed–Sat, lunch and dinner.
Alsatian chef-owner Antoine Westermann shows off his love for vegetables at this lovely Ile St.-Louis spot, featuring pristine products in a space that is at once modern and very old-fashioned. Recent reports indicate that the service may be slipping.

(S) L’Orangerie
28, rue St.-Louis-en-l’Ile. 01 46 33 93 98.
A lovely little romantic place, set in a very old building in a perfect location on the fabulous Ile St. Louis. Not over the top, but somewhat expensive.

(G) L’Osteria
10, rue de Sévigné. 01 42 71 37 08.
Tues–Fri, 12:30–2:15 p.m.; Mon–Sat, 8 p.m.–10:30 p.m.

Superb (and expensive) pastas are on the menu at this tiny and charming Italian spot.

(V) Les Piétons
8, rue des Lombards. 01 48 87 82 87.
A real tapas bar that is fun and affordable.