Unless you’re on an all-chocolate diet, this can be a frustrating food neighborhood. Prices are high and quality is sometimes questionable. But with a batch of new openings over the past two years to add to our old favorites, we’re no longer stumped by the (frequently asked) question: “I’m staying in Saint-Germain. Where should I eat?”
Best for Breakfast or Afternoon Coffee
Coutume – One of our favorite coffee shops in the city, Coutume serves light & healthy breakfast, brunch and lunch fare. Their very popular brunch is typically slammed on the weekends. Closed Monday.
Poilâne – One of the great bakeries of Paris, and not a baguette to be found. The individual rustic apple tarts, cooked in a wood burning oven, are a favorite breakfast treat on the run. Closed Sunday.
Colorova – Sunday brunch is a specialty, as are the colorful pastries at this vibrant and playful tea salon. Opens at 10am for breakfast and remains open for light lunch or snacks throughout the afternoon. Closed Monday.
Eric Kayser – Don’t let the multiple locations fool you into thinking that this is some kind of mediocre chain bakery: The breads at Kayser are excellent (ranked #1 on our list of Five Great Baguettes in Paris). The location in the 6th has a few small tables for on-site eating. They sell sandwiches at lunchtime, too. Closed Sunday.
Best for Lunch
Little Breizh – Forget that crêpe cart outside the Métro exit and head here for a proper buckwheat galette (made with organic ingredients, to boot) and a cup of cider. Kid – and wallet – friendly. Open for dinner, too. Closed Monday.
Cuisine de Bar – This lunch spot is run by the Poilâne people and features hot and cold tartines – open faced sandwiches – on their famous bread. Walk-ins welcome. Closed Sunday and Monday.
Cosi – When a sandwich is all it takes, go for one of the best in town, served in a pocket of warm, focaccia-like bread that’s straight from the oven. You can eat on-site, but when the weather’s nice, grab one to go and stroll down to the Seine. Open everyday for lunch and dinner, too.
Treize – Southern hospitality, biscuits, savory hand pies, salads and slices of layer cake. Closed Sunday and Monday.
Best for Apéro
L’Avant Comptoir – We’ll always go back here for the ham croquettes and well-priced wines, despite uneven service and the crowd that packs into the recently renovated but still standing-room-only space during prime time. Ladies: Don’t wear open toe shoes here. Open every day.
La Crèmerie – Natural wines and simple platters made with great products in an exquisite old space. Slightly draconian hours so call ahead.
Best for Dinner
Semilla – “Fresh, sincere, tender and young,” is how Alexander Lobrano described the food at this address from Juan Sanchez and Drew Harré. Book a few days in advance. Lunch and dinner every day.
Café Trama – Well-prepared, simple, affordable food and all-natural wines served by a friendly team. Book a few days in advance. Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday-Saturday.
Huitrerie Régis – Get your iodine fix with a platter of gorgeous fines de claires at this oyster specialist. Reservations not accepted. Closed Monday.
Fish (La Boissonnerie) – It’s best to book a table in advance if you can, but the bilingual crew at this seafood restaurant usually save a few tables for walk-ins, or you can plan to eat at the bar. Open every day for lunch and dinner.
Le Relais de L’Entrecôte – This stalwart for steak is a mill, but we love it, from the bossy serveuses to the copious frites and addictive sauce to the classic desserts. The no-reservations policy makes it good for telephone-phobes or a last minute plan, provided you don’t mind waiting to be seated. Open every day.
Josephine Chez Dumonet – Bring your appetite to this perennial favorite for old fashioned favorites like boeuf bourguignon, duck confit and gigot d’agneau. Don’t forget to order the big-as-your-head Grand Marnier soufflé. Book a week or so in advance. Closed Saturday and Sunday.
Ze Kitchen Galerie – John Talbott would be remiss if we left off his beloved Ze, William Ledeuil’s fab fusion institution where the global mash up of flavors have made the chef famous. Book in advance. Closed Saturday lunch and Sunday.
Le Comptoir du Relais – Yves Camdeborde’s now-classic neo-bistro is still going strong. Stand in line for lunch (and dinner on the weekends, too) or book well in advance for the unique menu weeknight dinner. Open every day.
Best for Cocktails
Prescription Cocktail Club – Just what the doctor ordered: another reliable standby from the Experimental Cocktail Club team. Two floors of creative cocktails, dark lounge-y space, and too many fashionable people packed into one space. Open every day.
Fromagerie Sanders – A friendly, family-run fromagerie in the covered Marché Saint Germain with a particularly good selection of aged Comté and sheep’s milk cheeses from the Pyrénées. Closed Monday.
Pierre Hermé – Join the hushed masses who queue to worship at the altar of pastry demi-god Pierre Hermé. Tarts, cakes, chocolates, ice cream and, of course, macarons. We strongly prefer these over the famous Ladurée. Open every day.
La Pâtisserie des Rêves – A hit since it opened in 2009, this modern and playful pastry shop from Philippe Conticini has won raves for its Paris-Brest.
Arnaud Lahrer – The winner of our best lemon tart in Paris and a Meilleur Ouvrier de France has two boutiques in Montmartre, and this location in Saint-Germain.
Sadaharu Aoki – Master pâtissier Sadaharu Aoki combines French techniques and Japanese flavors. Closed Monday.
Des Gateaux et Du Pain – Some cakes, some bread: This boulangerie/pâtisserie makes some of the best in Paris.
Gérard Mulot – This traiteur/pâtisserie/boulangerie offers a visual feast of grand cakes and tarts, tiny and tempting petit-fours, chocolates, savory prepared foods, and baguettes to boot. Closed Wednesday.
Pâtisserie Viennoise – This unassuming bakery and pastry shop offers Viennese specialties like sachertorte and strudel, but is also known for its extra-bitter chocolat chaud. Closed Saturday and Sunday.
Henri Leroux – Master chocolatier and “caramelier” Henri Le Roux has just opened up a shop in Paris. Salted butter caramel fans, rejoice. Open every day.
Jean-Charles Rochoux – Jean-Charles Rochoux is one of the few chocolatiers in Paris with a workshop on premises, which makes walking into this shop — filled with aromas of chocolate and caramel — a particular pleasure.
Patrick Roger – The clean lines of Roger’s shop show off his bold style and playful displays. Contemporary flavors like lemongrass and Sichuan peppercorn mix with classic pralines, dark ganaches, and caramels. A Meilleur Ouvrier de France. Open every day.
Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse – Stuffed and studded tablettes, a variety of single origin bars, and bon bons galore at the second shop of the first bean-to-bar chocolate maker in Paris.
Pierre Marcolini – Brussels-based Pierre Marcolini is known for his carefully sourced, small estate, single origin tablets, but there’s plenty to please here, from macarons to chocolate-covered marshmallows. Open every day.
Un Dimanche à Paris – This chocolatier and pâtisserie is run by Pierre Cluizel of the renowned chocolate-making family. The chocolate theme continues in the attached restaurant and cocktail lounge. Open every day.
Chapon – Don’t miss the single-origin chocolate mousse bar at Chapon.
La Dernière Goutte – Terroir-driven, estate-bottled, organic and biodynamic wines from small producers are the specialty at this beloved shop. Stop by on Friday nights for their free “wine down” tastings from 5-7:30pm, as well as free Saturday tastings with winemakers from 11am-7:30pm. Open every day.
Bacchus et Ariane – You’ll find natural and biodynamic wines from small producers, and a nice selection of grower Champagnes at this wine shop in the covered Marché Saint Germain, where you can also drink on the spot. Closed Monday.
For Olive Oil
Premiere Pression de Provence – A user-friendly (and increasingly omnipresent) olive oil shop featuring a range of oils from small producers. They’re generous with the olive oil & vinegar samples. Open every day.
Gilles Verot – Pâtes, terrines, saucisson, jambon…This renowned charcutier has it all.
All of the Above
La Grande Èpicerie – The food hall of department store Le Bon Marché, offering fresh food and fine groceries for chic one-stop shopping. Closed Sunday.
Other Neighborhood Guides: