When I lived in Paris I was all about international food, from dim sum to Korean to Lebanese. But on this trip I just wanted old-school French gastronomie – think French onion soup, crêpes and cholesterol-laden salads. As I'm rarely in France these days, I wanted the classics.

Here is the best of my Paris food diary from this trip (I've omitted the so-so places, because who cares?). All of these restaurants and bars were fantastic, so keep them in mind on your next trip to Paris.

Chez Papa

What to eat and drink in Paris

What to eat and drink in Paris

My first meal in Paris was at Chez Papa, a restaurant that specializes in Southwestern French food. The Southwest of French is known for its hearty food, such as cassoulet and foie gras.

Once I got my enormous “salad” of fried eggs, potatoes, and bayonne ham, I was so happy to be back in France I practically cried. We just don't have food like this in the states. HIGHLY recommended.

More info: TripAdvisor, 153 Rue Montmartre, second arrondissement

Au Passage

What to eat and drink in Paris

Quite literally, in a ‘passage', or alley, Au Passage is an unsuspecting restaurant with incredible farm-to-table food.

Au Passage's menu changes constantly, and features lots of vegetable dishes. It's a nice respite from all the super heavy food you normally eat in Paris, and I lovedddd the bread and butter they served.

Photo credit

Info: TripAdvisor, 1 Bis Passage St Sebastien, 3rd arrondissement

Marché des Enfant Rouges

What to eat and drink in Paris

What to eat and drink in Paris

My favorite find of the trip was probably the Marché des Enfants Rouges. Hidden behind a green gate in Le Marais, this super well-known food market that has been around since the 1600s. How it has taken me this long to venture there, I don't know.

What I love most about Marché des Enfants Rouges is how you can find Japanese, Moroccan, Carribean food all in one place. I immensely enjoyed my Sicilian fish dish and prime people-watching.

Info: TripAdvisor, 9 Rue de Beauce, 3rd arrondissement

Café Saint-Régis

What to eat and drink in Paris

I have to admit, I was skeptical of the Café Saint-Régis, mainly due to its location. It's located on the Île Saint-Louis, one of the most touristy parts of Paris.

But despite its well-trod address, Café Saint-Régis is a gem. I loved everything about the decor, from the wine-racked walls to the black and white checkered floor. And the French Onion Soup was outrageously good.

Info: TripAdvisor, 6 rue Jean du Bellay, 4th arrondissement

West Country Girl

What to eat and drink in Paris

What to eat and drink in Paris

When I lived in France, I was super broke so I ate at crêperies all the time. And due to my vast research, I can tell you – West Country Girl is a good one.

West Country Girl is a laid-back crêperie that specializes in traditional Bretagne food. I had the daily special – a sausage, cheese, and fried egg crêpe that was absolutely delicious.

And for dessert? A salted butter caramel crepe, mais oui.

Overall, I prefer West Country Girl over Breizh Café, which I reviewed here.

More Info: TripAdvisor, 6 Passage Saint Ambroise, 11th arrondissement

Le Baron Rouge

What to eat and drink in Paris

What to eat and drink in Paris

Edna, in addition to many spots on this list, introduced me to Le Baron Rouge. Le Baron Rouge is an old man's wine bar way out in the 12th. The wines are cheap, as most are under €4 a glass.

If you're an oenophile, put it on your list immediately.

More Info: TripAdvisorTheophile Roussel 1, 12th arrondissement

Le Bouillon Chartier 

What to eat and drink in Paris

Le Bouillon Chartier is the perfect introduction to un-pretentious, old-school French food. Housed in a giant Belle Époque dining room, Le Bouillon Chartier was opened in 1896 and is still going strong. It's also really cheap, which is a plus.

As I went here on my last night in Paris, I decided to go all out. I enjoyed quite the feast, as evidenced below:

What to eat and drink in Paris

Salade Lyonnaise

What to eat and drink in Paris

Steak frites with an amazinggg butter sauce

What to eat and drink in Paris

Choux pastry with ice cream, chocolate, and almonds

More Info: TripAdvisor, 7 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 9th arrondissement

Dacouar

What to eat and drink in Paris

After Chartier, I headed to Dacouar, a chic champagne bar in the 6th. If you're a champagne lover, this is the place for you.

Normally I'm a right-bank girl, but this bar is totally worth crossing the river for. From the chic, Edison-bulb lit ambiance, to the endless types of champagne, I loved everything about Dacouar. GO THERE.

Photo credit

More Info: TripAdvisor, 6 Rue Suger, 6th arrondissement

. . . . . . . . . . .

What I didn’t love? Le Mary Celeste. I had high hopes for Le Mary Celeste, but unfortunately, I was let down. The food was… meh, and even the legendary cocktails fell flat. My 12-euro cocktail was sickly sweet and served in a cup fit for a child's tea party. But hey, you can't win 'em all.

. . . . . . . . . . .

Your turn! What are your favorite restaurants in Paris? I'm planning on heading there in the next year so would love your advice!

Also, I'm giving away free blogging consultations to the first three bloggers who comment on this post! Just mention in the comment that you're interested and we'll set something up :)

Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is an American travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Uganda. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Colorado. She's been to forty countries but somehow still gets lost in her home town. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour magazine.
Ashley Fleckenstein
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