This tiny café on a small street just off the rue Oberkampf perpetually has a crowd of young people lingering outside. They’re all waiting to snag one of just a dozen seats before the daily supply of Shakshuka runs out. The Lost in Cheeseland sandwich, named after the food writer who was an early supporter, is also a big hit, along with healthier fare like muesli and granola. If you come after 10am, expect to leave your name and to kill some time wandering around the neighborhood before a table opens up. If you prefer not to wait, their sister restaurant Café Méricourt opened around the corner in June 2017 and has much more seating.
Where can you find a great baguette in Paris? Below we’ve listed and mapped the bakeries who have placed among the top ten winners in the city’s annual competition to determine Le Meilleur Baguette de Paris. Look for the bakery that’s nearest to you, or focus your efforts on those who have finished first – we’ve indicated the Grand Prix winners with a heart.
Frenchman Thomas Abramowicz spent a year training in central Texas and tracking down everything he would need (meat, wood, Bourbon) to open the first authentic smokehouse in Paris. Beef is king here, in the form of slow and low smoked brisket and gigantic ribs, but barbecued chicken, baby back ribs and pulled pork also feature on the short menu. Vinegary cole slaw and steamed vegetables instead of baked beans or mac & cheese, but you can still expect to finish with pecan pie. Or just have another Bourbon – there are more than 50 to choose from – including impossible to find Pappy Van Winkle’s and a 22-year Elijah Craig – plus a handful of craft beers and natural red wines. Read the backstory here.
Address: 3 rue Richer, 75009
Nearest transport: Cadet (7), Grands Boulevards (8, 9)
Hours: Closed Saturday and Sunday; Open Monday-Friday for lunch and dinner
Reservations: Book a few days in advance
Telephone: 01 47 70 67 31
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L’Office in photos
What people are saying
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John Talbott (2014) “The newest chef, Konrad Ceglowski, is a master of protein with fruit and veggies… seduced, successfully, by the sauteed calamari with a creamy fennel sauce, zucchini and squid ink. It was superb, no other word for it.”
Yam’Tcha currently holds the #2 ranking in our list of our favorite Tasting Menus over 100€. Universally praised Franco-Chinois fare from Adeline Grattard, and all but impossible to book. The restaurant moved to a new location at 121 rue saint Honoré, 75001 in June 2015 and converted their old space at 4 rue Sauval into a tea salon and to-go window selling delicious steamed buns (bao).
Verjus currently holds the #2 ranking in our list of our favorite Tasting Menus under 100€. I never tire of returning to Verjus, which has one of the most creative and affordable modern tasting menus in town. Chef Braden Perkins is self-taught, disciplined and obsessive. He makes time time for travel in order to take inspiration from chefs around the world, returning home to refine and personalize their best ideas. When he wasn’t happy with the produce available from local sources, he partnered with other chefs to cultivate a more direct network from farms in Normandy. The result of all this is a tasting menu that mixes a modest amount of meat or fish with some of the best vegetable creations I’ve ever tasted. Six very small dishes (snacks) are followed by homemade bread and butter, three more substantial dishes, and dessert for 68€. Perkins’ partner Laura Adrian has put together an incredible wine list that is heavy with organic and biodynamic producers, and her wine pairings for the tasting menu (55€) are spot on. On a practical note, there’s a private room that can be booked for 8-12 people, and the kitchen is known to accommodate a wide range of dietary issues with advance notice.
At this beautiful restaurant in the underserved district just north of Les Halles, serious technique is brought to bear on beautiful veggies and offal alike. The consistently delicious dishes, the polished room and the very good wine list all add up to something that’s much greater than the bargain prices should allow. There’s a prix fixe at lunch for only 15€, and diners can go à la carte at lunch or dinner for 36€. Chef Tomy Gousset departed in 2016 to open Tomy & Co, but Pirouette remains a solid bet.
Ellsworth currently holds the #3 spot in our list of favorite restaurants for small sharable plates.
Following their success with Verjus, where the more elaborate formula of dégustation + wine pairings has drawn a loyal following of happy locals and visiting celebrities, Braden Perkins and Laura Adrian have decided to open something more casual. Let’s call it “serious casual” because at Ellsworth (named for Perkins’ grandfather), foods that you might see at a county fair are elevated through careful sourcing and a sincere spirit of DIY. The fried chicken from Verjus Bar à Vins has moved over to Ellsworth, leaving the former as more of a place for drinks and snacks before or after dinner at Verjus.
David Toutain currently holds the #5 position in our ranking of favorite Tasting Menus over 100€.
David Toutain, who brought acclaim to Agapé Substance before jumping ship back in December 2012, returned to the Paris scene with this signature restaurant in 2013. His meticulous and conceptual cooking highlights seasonal produce, with vegetables often playing the starring role. This is by no means a vegetarian restaurant, but Toutain’s ability to bring out the beauty in oft-ignored roots reminds us of his former boss Alain Passard.
Be sure to specify when booking that you’d like to be seated downstairs in the main dining room. They’ve recently added a number of small tables in a cramped and airless room upstairs near the bathroom. Surely these bring in more money, but dining there is another (far less interesting) experience altogether.
This popular restaurant and wine bar run by Drew Harre and Juan Sanchez is a sort of Anglo haven, excellent for a quick glass, a solo dinner at the bar, or for those times when you’re just tired of speaking French. The wine list is populated by small producers, many of them organic and bio-dynamic, with fair prices and plenty of options by the glass. They’re open every day, and we often find ourselves here on a Sunday or Monday when so many other restaurants are closed. Compared to their sister restaurant Semilla, the more gastronomic option across the street, Fish is the reliable bistro and a genuine Saint-Germain institution.
After L’Office and Le Richer (one of our favorite new openings of 2013), Charles Compagnon is back with another gift for the Faubourg. If he has run out of ideas for restaurant names, the same cannot be said for the dishes coming out of his kitchen. The compact menu with 3-4 choices per course contains plenty that we want to eat: well-roasted duck with coco beans, corn and kale, and an egg yolk ravioli with ham and mushrooms that was satisfyingly reminiscent of one of our favorite dishes at L’Office. Beyond the very good wine list, special attention has been paid to other liquids, starting with their own café Compagnon (roasted by Coutume), including a beer called La Maryse created in collaboration with Dirk Naudrs from De Proef, and finishing with a selection of very special small batch eaux de vie from Christoph Keller at the Stählemühle distillery. Like at Le Richer, this place is open every day with continuous service from 8am to midnight. No reservations, but you can wait (or eat, or drink) at the bar.
One of our Favorite Paris Restaurants (small sharable plates).
Boasting one of the city’s best selections of wine by the glass, Freddy’s is a great call when you want to share some delicious nibbles while perched on a stool, especially at odd hours or on Sunday & Monday when many other places are closed. With high quality and reasonable prices, this place draws a serious crowd. Come with a large group or at peak hours (anything after 7:30pm) and you’re not likely to find a spot. Come early to dine alone or with a friend and you’ll be in for a treat with interesting food and wine plus great people watching.
One of our Top 50 Paris Restaurants (small sharable plates). If you want a taste of Gregory Marchand’s cooking without the challenge of scoring a reservation at Frenchie, this sister wine bar is a great option. However, there are caveats. A victim of its own popularity, Frenchie Bar à Vins is often chaotic, loud, and (for folks who don’t wish to perch on stools) a little uncomfortable. But chaos and noise, when combined with creative and delicious small plates, not to mention a fascinating wine list, can combine to make for some wonderfully memorable evenings. You shouldn’t go if you need to be seated and fed right away, or if you’re not willing to flag down a friendly server to beg for what you need. Go for rowdy fun, and by all means go early, like right when they open at 6:30pm. Either that, or after the major rush passes, after 10pm. Arrive during peak hours and you can expect to wait for a fairly long time out on the cobblestones.
Marc Sibard, manager of Caves Augé and wine buyer for Lavinia, was found guilty on July 6, 2017 of multiple counts of criminal sexual assault, sexual harassment and psychological harassment against his female employees.