The sheer amount of fabulous Michelin Star restaurants in Paris is borderline hilarious. Coming from a city that the Michelin Guide has blatantly neglected, I was so overwhelmed during our trip planning that I wound up giving up. Not only where there too many options, but the cost was far too high. $150-$200 for a great date night? No problem. $600 per person? Nope.
That all said, the food we had in Paris was some of the best of our trip. We had absolutely no problem finding incredible things to eat for reasonable–if not incredible–prices.
After our chaotic first evening and subsequently late night, we allowed ourselves the luxury of sleeping in. This was the day I had hoped to do the Amelie walk, so while we didn’t want to go have a sit-down breakfast, we knew we needed fuel. Kevin ran out to Le Granier a Pain to snag some chocolate croissants and I brewed up a french press.
After our leisurely breakfast on the terrace we decided to walk up to Sacre Coeur, just 8 minutes from the flat. It was absolutely mobbed with tourists, which was to be expected. I snapped just a few photos before a nosy bee decided to land on my fucking hand 1 and try to hang out with me for what felt like 30 minutes. 2
After running for my life, we made our way down the other side of Sacre Coeur. After my
overreaction near death experience, we were both pretty hungry so we popped into a restaurant with a very intriguing lunch special.
Au Pied du Sacre Coeur is a small, very cute, and tourist friendly restaurant located at 85 rue Lamarck. While there are more options than the daily menu special, I highly recommend trying it. for 10 Euros you can get an appetizer and the dish of the day. For 14 Euros you receive an appetizer, the dish of the day, and dessert. And finally, 18 Euros gets you all of the above, plus wine. Are. You. Kidding. Me.
Kevin started with the a simple salad topped with surimi and a rich dressing, and I got the gazpacho.
The dish of the day was a steak with a rich onion sauce and potatoes. Once again, very simple and prepared perfectly. Eating at Pied du Sacre Coeur was like what I would imagine having a lovely lunch at a Parisian’s home would be like. No frills, just straight forward French food.
Half way through the Amelie walk we needed a break. After running around and playing Ingress for like 20 minutes (Okay this MAY have been the original reason we looked into the TEP. Shut up.), we were dying for caffeine and found le Bal Café. 3
Do I even need to say anything? Look at that microfoam. It’s like milk velvet. And the rosetta is on point too. It’s things like this that make me miss being a barista.
Hey, stop looking at my jacked up phone case.
I attribute our unforgettable dinner entirely to the awesome Mikey Ilagan. Without his recommendation we would have wound up panicked and broke eating at a Michelin Star restaurant that we didn’t fit the dress code for. That all said, listen to me and listen to me good.
If you go to Paris, you must eat at A la Biche au Bois.
There are no excuses and if you do not fulfill my request you are dead to me. If you can afford any food at all, you can afford this food. A meal so large and satisfying that by the end you’ll be almost unable to walk for a mere 30 Euros. Let’s walk through it. Appetizers, entrees, CHEESE, and dessert.
Ugh, did I seriously not get a photo of Kevin’s rabbit terrine?! It was amazing. I’m sorry, I was starving and likely a bit drunk. But here are my escargot!
To be completely fair, there was a small supplement to have escargot as my appetizer, but fully worth it. IT’S A 30 EURO MEAL, GUYS. GO NUTS.
For the entree, Kevin went with the coq au vin. Which–and I know this is not a popular opinion–we weren’t super into. It was very salty, and Kevin is the kind of person that literally keeps a salt shaker on his work desk. I think it’s possible they had a off day, and I still suggest giving it a shot if you visit. I mean, just look how beautiful it is.
In contrast, my steak au poivre was not photogenic but absurdly delicious. And yes, I ate steak twice in one day. Fight me.
My god. I can’t even talk about it. Did I mention it came with fries?
Yeah, like A LOT of fries. And really, really, really good fries. Crispy on the outside but pillowy in the middle. Not too thick or too thin, seasoned perfectly. Just look at them. These are fry perfection. Fries that have reached nirvana. Nirvanfrites.
So, by this point, we were about to explode. Did you see all that food? And we still had two courses–cheese and dessert.
Okay, so this wasn’t all for us, but this is what we had to pick from. We had the choice of three cheeses and the portions the server cut for us were enormous. Gluttony hurts so good.
While all the desserts looked amazing (I was dying to try David Lebovitz’s recommendation of the Île Flottante), we were way too full. We opted for a glass of brandy to settle our stomachs.
Lucky for us, there was a giant birthday happening next to our table and our single brandies turned into three. God, I love this place.
Just up the street is one of Paris’s renowned cocktail bars, Le Calbar. Good vibe–a few patrons were a little snotty but the bartenders were super sweet. We both went the route of a bartender’s choice. While I don’t remember exactly what we both requested (I think Kevin went whiskey, bitter, and dry and I went gin, bitter and dry), I can tell you that you’re in good hands here.