Modern, chic and with an open kitchen that allows diners to watch their food being prepared, Manger serves up delicious renditions of contemporary French dishes, ranging from boudin noir, or black pudding, to sea bass with artichoke, to fresh beetroot salads. Save room at the end of the meal for a sumptuous dessert, or at least for a cup of coffee, and be sure to ask for a table towards the back of the dining room in order to get a view of the chefs at work.
Manger, 24 Rue Keller, 75011 Paris, France, +33 1 43 38 69 15
This West-African restaurant is where in-the-know locals go for their fix of Côte d’Ivoire-style fried plantains, Cameroonian fish soup, cassava bread and ginger ice cream. The helpful staff at Waly Fay are more than happy to assist newbies in choosing what to order, and the mood lighting and eclectic music set a cozy and warm tone from the get go.
Waly Fay, 6 Rue Godefroy Cavaignac, Paris, France, +33 1 40 24 17 79
L’Ecailler du Bistrot
Calling all seafood lovers – this establishment is a veritable paradise set in the heart of the Bastille area. A lobster set menu, oysters, scallop carpaccio, and many, many more sumptuous marine dishes are on the menu at this ocean-inspired haunt. Top off the meal with a dry white wine, and check out some of the vintage model boats that are on display.
L’Ecailler du Bistrot, 22 Rue Paul Bert, Paris, France, +33 1 43 72 76 77
Vegetarian, and in-particular vegan, restaurants are still a hard sell in Paris. Gentle Gourmet is the exception to the rule. With sophisticated decor and a menu consisting of veggie-friendly versions of French classics (seitan bourguignon, for one), as well as intriguing takes on international flavors (raw pad Thai, anyone?), the restaurant is sure to appeal to all sorts of diners.
Gentle Gourmet, 24 Boulevard de la Bastille, Paris, France, +33 1 43 43 48 49
Book a table a few weeks in advance for Bones’ four-course tasting menu of artfully-plated delicacies, or play it low-key and just camp out at the bar for craft brews and bar snacks – like a plate of endive, house-made ricotta and bagna càuda. With a hip vibe, creative flavor pairings and an excellent drinks list, this is – simply – one place not to miss.
Bones, 43 Rue Godefroy Cavaignac, Paris, France, +33 9 80 75 32 08
Just opposite the famed Opéra Bastille, Café Français is relatively new to the area. It serves elegant French food in an art deco setting. Start off with some foie gras with country bread, follow it up with anything from a croque monsieur to a chateaubriand steak, and end the meal with a traditional millefeuille, éclair au chocolat or a cheese board courtesy of the provinces. Don’t miss brunch at Café Français either – for €29, diners are granted everything from coffee to orange juice to viennoiseries to eggs!
Café Français, 3 Place de la Bastille, Paris, France, +33 1 40 29 04 02
For a design-centric dinner, head to Septime, which is decorated in an industrial-style with bare wood, mirrors, concrete and vintage furniture as per the taste of owner, Bertrand Grébaut, a former art student turned chef. The seasonal menu is chock-full of fresh vegetables, and the cooking is simple and divine, letting the high-quality ingredients speak for themselves. The fromage blanc ice cream is a highlight!
Septime, 80 Rue de Charonne, Paris, France, +33 1 43 67 38 29
Argentinian chef Fernando di Tomaso skillfully marries Latin-American and French cuisine at this hidden gem of a restaurant. Don’t leave without trying the grilled calamari with chorizo jus, or the Basque boudin featuring apple chutney. What’s more, La Pulperia has a chatty, friendly serving staff and if you’re lucky, your table might even be served by Fernando himself.
La Pulperia, 11 Rue Richard Lenoir, Paris, France, +33 1 40 09 03 70
Wander the backstreets and you may stumble upon this lovely bistro, specializing in local and seasonal ingredients. The elegant dark wood and lamplight inside the restaurant is a clue to the sophisticated yet charmingly rustic food that is to come; a poached egg on a bed of peas and truffle coulis, perhaps, or an artistically arranged crab salad with hummus. L’Ébauchoir is where country cooking meets city flair, and it’s all done fantastically well.
L’Ébauchoir, 43 Rue de Cîteaux, Paris, France, +33 1 43 42 49 31