Food Travel

Where Amy Ate – Paris City Break Edition

 WARNING; This post is very photograph & text heavy.

This lovely sunny Sunday morning I’m bringing you a very special edition of Where Amy Ate, all about the places Hayley and I ate while in Paris last month. I promise this is my penultimate Paris related post (as I’m sure you’re all getting bored of hearing about it) anyway, we ate in such great places I thought I’d share them all in their own foodie related post. 

There are so many great places to eat while in Paris, and I’m hoping maybe this post will serve as inspiration for anyone going who doesn’t have a clue where to start when looking for somewhere to eat. Also I just wanted to post some serious food porn photos as eating out is my FAVOURITE part of going on holiday. When I went to NYC the first time, my then boyfriend and I had researched heavily into where to eat. In my opinion, when you’re on holiday for such a short amount of time you don’t want to waste that time eating in rubbish restaurants. Hayley and I had asked for recommendations from friends and on twitter so some of the places we ate were in fact recommended to us. 
So without further a do, I present to you Where Amy Ate, IN PARIS! 

Belushi’s Cafe Bar, St Christophers Hostel 159 rue de Crimée,75019, Paris

As mentioned in my Day One post, on arrival at the hostel we had an hour or so to kill before we could dump our cases in our room and go out again so we decided we’d have something to eat and a drink in the cafe bar attached to the hostel, Belushi’s. Like the whole hostel is decorated, it definitely appeals to a younger audience with it’s decoupage and graffiti walls, a tables both inside and out and a nice selection of cozy booths. It was very reasonably priced with things to eat ranging from 3e to about 14e including burgers, snacks and salads. The waiter was lovely and really helpful, and our bill came to about 7e each incl the tip we left. I had a limonade (I love continental lemonade) and a bowl of potato wedges which came smoothered in the most delicious topping imaginable sour cream and sweet chili. I would of never put them together before hand but I will again. Not the most French meal to start our trip to France but it was just what we needed after our Eurostar ride.

La Village Ronsard, 47 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75005 Paris, France

After a very exhausting afternoon in the Louvre then searching for Notre Dame, we didn’t really want to go on the hunt for somewhere to eat. After walking a little way into the Latin Quarter and deciding we wanted to eat somewhere French, we came upon La Village Ronsard. On returning to England we have since discovered it doesn’t have the greatest Trip Adviser reviews, had we known this before going we probably wouldn’t of ate here.. so I’m glad we didn’t read them because it was actually pretty good. As soon as I entered I was taking back to my last stay in Paris, the red check table cloths, the candles even the smell of the place. It was all very French, which after our less than French lunch was just what we were after. We both had cocktails, a Mai Tai for me and a Cosmo for Hayley. I decided on the chicken and chips, being lame and playing it safe obviously. The cocktail arrived with little gummy bears on it which although it isn’t an authentic garnish for a Mai Tai, I can’t deny the fact I enjoyed them haha. The cocktail had a higher alcohol content than I’m used to for a first drink but again, on the continent I’d expect that. The food did take a wee while to arrive but it was busy but I did really enjoy it. It tasted exactly as I remembered French chicken and chips tasting. Although even 12 years on I still don’t understand the salad with gravy. We also got a complimentary bread basket filled with delicious bread. I do love French bread. I think the meal cost me 17e/18e including the cocktails, Hayley’s was a little more as she went for steak.

The restaurant wasn’t without it’s fault though, there was only one waiter on and he was running about so much. I felt so sorry for him, having been in his shoes on more than one occassion. It was busy and he didn’t have a system for making sure everyone had been served. He was pretty cute though. We both originally ordered mojitos but there was no mint. And Hayley’s steak wasn’t as she ordered, but I’m not sure they do well done in Paris.. still, if you order a steak a certain way, it should  come out like that.

Over all, the experience at La Village Ronsard was definitely much more positive than negative, good food and alcoholic cocktails, what more can you want? It’s also pretty reasonably priced too for a restaurant that’s obviously tourist spot.

McCafe, 140 av des Champs Elysées 75008 Paris
On Day Two, after our excursion up the Eiffel Tower (and a rubbish breakfast on simply bread and butter, nice bread but hardly filling!) we were in need of some coffee and refreshments. Imagine how excited we were when we came across a McCafe at the Arc de Triomphe end of Champs Elysees! Didn’t take us long to decide we each wanted a box of Mcdonald macaroons each. I went for a mixture of 6 and a caramel macciato, which was actually just as nice, if not nicer than the Starbucks version. The macaroons were 6 for 5e and the coffee was 3.20e. No more than I’d pay in a Starbucks for a coffee & cake but I’m sure we were purely going for the novelty. I wish the UK had McCafes!

Le Ronsard, 13 Place Saint-Pierre, 75018 Paris
That afternoon when the weather turned bad we ducked inside Le Ronsard for a very late lunch. Again this was just somewhere we walked into, no prior expectations. I actually loved this little place but once again it hasn’t had the best reviews on Trip Adviser. The waiter was a bit weird, I’ll admit that but I ordered a 3 cheese panini and a coca cola light. And both were great! The cafe itself was very French, murals on the walls, red as the main colour scheme again. We sat on a high table which I really liked, meant I could get a good view people watching. It also had an outdoor terrace and a take away window but after a fair bit of walking, we really needed an hour out for a sit down. My only gripe would be that my panini arrived at least 5 minutes before Hayley’s order. I really struggle to eat when someone else isn’t so I had to wait and by that point it had gone a bit cold. The cheese inside was still nice and melted though, it was just the bread. For a cafe opposite a tourist attraction it was very cheap, I’m sure my order came to no more than 8e including the tip I left. Even though we were only getting sandwiches, it did serve main meals and desserts if you were looking for something more substantial. 
Bistrot Chat Noir, 68 Boulevard de Clichy, 75018 Paris
I told you cats cropped up a LOT on our trip! After shopping and a walk through the Red Light District, we decided it was time for Happy Hour cocktails! Happy Hour is the best thing in Paris, starts at 4/5pm and for most places goes on until 10pm. Cocktails are generally half price! Anyway, we came across Bistrot Chat Noir, the name appealed to us and the fact cocktails were 4.90e, so we headed in. In hindsight I wish we’d eaten here because the place was fantastic. The decor was dark, all blacks and reds but there was a grand piano, a fantastic bar with a flaring barman and great menu. I went for a peach daiquiri and Hayley a mojito. Can’t complain at 8.80 for two heavily alcohol laced cocktails. We were also given olives and peanuts but since neither of us liked them, we didn’t eat them but it was a nice gesture. 

La Favorite, 6 Rue de Rivoli, 75004 Paris 4e arrondissement

La Favorite was one of the restaurants we knew we wanted to eat in before going. I think it was recommend to Hayley by someone on her twitter and after looking at the menu we both wanted a grapefruit martini! It took us a while to find it as it’s situated on Rue de Rivoli which is a huge long road and we got off the metro at the wrong end. I recommend you get off at Saint Paul, not Concord! By the time we’d arrived it was near 9pm but the restaurant was a buzz (as most Parisian’s eat their evening meal late anyway) and we’d thankfully made it in time for cocktail hour, so hello again half price drinks! The restaurant was much more modern than the one we’d visited the previous night but it was still just as French. We were shown to a booth and given the menu. Once again the service was slow but I think that might be a Paris thing as we started to notice a pattern, or maybe it’s just because we were noticeably tourists! The menu was good, plenty of things to choose from like pizza, burgers, steak but a lot more expensive than we’d anticipated. I went for a goats cheese salad and the aforementioned grapefruit martini and Hayley simply went for chips, or french fries being still full from lunch (this girl has the appetite of a small bird, I kid you not!) While we waited for the food we enjoyed the free wifi and complimentary bread. I must say, my salad was absolutely delicious, it had a strawberry vinigerette dressing and four large pieces of melted goats cheese on croutons. It was a large salad and probably worth the 14e I paid for it and I did clear the plate. The martini was delicious too, perfect accompaniment to the salad.

As I mentioned before, it was quite expensive, it was over 20e for the salad and cocktail (which was half price) I didn’t begrudge paying for it because it was a delicious salad, that came with a bread basket but still 14e is expensive for a vegetarian salad. The burgers etc were up in the 17/18e range. It’s great if you’re on holiday but if you’re on a budget like we were, it’s a bit steep. The restaurant itself was right up my street and should I have a larger budget when I return to Paris, I would 100% return.

Breakfast in America, 4 Rue Malher 75004, Paris

Finally onto eating out on Day Three. We started the day with a trip to Breakfast in America. Now from my previous post in Where Amy Ate you’ll all know I’m a big fan of American style diners being a self confessed yankee wannabe and that. As soon as Hayley mentioned this place, I wanted to go as I have actually been craving pancakes and bacon for a while. The funniest thing was that Breakfast in America is right next door to La Favorite! We didn’t even notice the previous night! It really is just like an american diner, right down to the way the place smells! It was quiet so we were served quickly even though there was one member of staff on. We sat in a booth that had it’s own toaster on for toasting your own bread. In the centre of the room their was a raised table that lots of people could sit around, just like a bar in a real diner. The atmosphere was so laid back and the portions were huge, but would you expect anything less? I had the 2 x 2 x 2 which was two eggs, two pancakes and some bacon. The bacon was so American it was unreal. I was in heaven. I also ordered an ice tea and was so pleased to find it was authentic ice tea, not the sweet and lemon kind you can buy bottled in the UK. It was so refreshing. The food tasted great, only thing that was a bit frustrating was the fact one of my eggs was a bit cold.. didn’t stop me eating it as I was so hungry and so pleased to be eating something that brought back fond memories of my trips to the US. It was reasonably priced and such a treat to be eating there in the middle of Paris.

Laduree, 75 Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris, France
I might of harped on about the costs of meals through this post because we were on a budget, but if there was one place I was going to throw said budget out the window, it was going to Laduree. It’s been a bit of a dream of mine to go eat a cake in Laduree like I was actually middle or working class. So when Hayley also voiced that she’d like to eat here, I was excited. The inside of Laduree is worth a visit in itself. So beautifully decorated with ornate ceilings and walls. The restaurant area was small and compact, little tables with Laduree sugar (which we stole and brought home with us, classy) all the waiting staff in shirts and waistcoats. The menu itself was a sight to see, so expensive for such a small cake and the actual meals were considerably more. With it being our last day and late afternoon we did splash out. I went for a praline chox bun and an iced coffee. It was delicious, one of the best desserts I’ve ever had. Inside was like a deconstructed Ferrero Rocher, sublime. Despite the fact we stuck out like a sore thumb being British tourists the staff didn’t make us feel any less welcome and we were rushed in anyway. Yes it was costly, but worth it. Just like the 6 macaroons I bought for 15e in the store…
Gold Leaf Topped Bun, Yes please!
Cafe Rey, 1 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, 75011 Paris, France
We ended our trip eating in Bastille. I heard that Bastille was a great place to go at night in Paris so I figured it must have some good restaurants too. This was another place we had no prior knowledge of but it was in fact my favourite place we ate on the whole trip. Again, a modern take on a classic French bistro, all the staff bar the manager spoke French and our waitress had a bit of a problem understanding us. Not far from the Opera in Bastille and on the corner of a main interchange it was in the heart of a busy hub of night life. The restaurant was quite busy and I felt like we were the only out of towners but it was great to stumble upon somewhere popular with the locals. A very modern menu but it still held onto some French classics, however Hayley and I both went for burgers, the New York burger in fact. Despite it being an American named burger, it was very much cooked to the Paris standard of being pink in the middle. Perfect for me as I usually have my meat (well steak etc) medium rare. The burger and fries were delicious, best I ate on the whole trip. Once again we had a bread basket and the bread in it was crusty, very crusty.. so much so I chipped a tooth on it! Then carried on eating because it was so good. We also had a cocktail each, at full price. What a great way to end our fantastic trip! I went for a gin fizz this time, and it was good.

Of all the places we ate, Cafe Rey will be the one I’ll recommend to anyone going to Paris. It’s really close to the Bastille stop meaning you won’t have far to walk if you have that fear of getting lost in a strange city at night!

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