[Paris] Old fashioned traditional French food

Sometime lurker, occasional questioner finally getting 2 nights in Paris in May! Glad to see this group.

Suggestions, btw, for casual cafe/brasserie/bistro say under €40/pp of old fashioned traditional French food done well? I don’t mind touristy if it’s actually delicious. Thank you!

Welcome, SueFH. What part of town and for lunch or dinner?

Onzieme, thank you for the welcome. We are staying in le Marais. Will need dinner Wednesday as we arrive by train from Dijon. Doing a Paris by mouth Thursday morning, which should get us through lunch. Dinner thursday anywhere and lunch Friday before heading to the Chunnel, so maybe in the hotel or station vicinity. I’ve gotten recs for Polidor, and have a few names I need to look up. I’m up for anyplace!

Hiya, I left message about Le Mazenay on the longer welcome board, but also wanted to suggest Amarante for more traditional cooking, very excellent!

Coincidentally, I passed Polidor yesterday and was struck by the fact that I hadn’t eaten there since . . . well, I won’t date myself by saying how long, but a very, very long time ago and was wondering what it’s like these days.

For “old-fashioned traditional French food done well”, which I interpret as Julia Child-style, I’d recommend Aux Bons Crus in the 11th or any of its sister restaurants, Aux Crus de Bourgogne in the 2nd, Parn’s favorite Auberge Bressane in the 7th, or Les Marches in the 16th.

I concur in Le Mazenay, but that may stretch your budget ever so slightly. I think Willi’s Wine Bar fits and the food is excellent, and unlike sometime in the past, the place is no longer the almost exclusive preserve of Americans and Brits, although they are certainly welcome and the whole staff speaks English (often as a native language). Both those choices give you a somewhat more updated cuisine than those mentioned in the previous paragraph.

And if the weather is good, think about having a picnic on the banks of the Seine, in the park in front of the Mairie in the 3rd arrondissement and alongside the rue de Bretagne, or eating shellfish outdoors at the nearby l’Îlot.

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Thanks, I appreciate and am researching all these recommendations given.

I have fond memories of Chez Janou, a Provencal place. Au Petit Marguery isn’t all that far, and it’s a lovely little tradition place.

So glad I found this…suggested by people on Langhe region Chowhounders board. Anyway, spent a few days in Paris just. Le Mazenay remains my favorite go to bistro in the Marais. With wine it will be more than 40€/pp, I reckon. But it will be delicious.

They have a new spot up the street, L’Epicerie. It’s more charcuterie, sandwiches, and wine, but maybe a good spot for your lunch on Friday…Opens at 11. Hope you have a fabulous time.

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Thank you!

In addition to La Grande Brasserie, Bouillon République (probably the best value), Chez Janou, Les Philosophes, and Café des Musées I suggested on Chowhound for you, I’ll add Parcelles on rue Chapon in the 3rd. https://www.parcelles-paris.fr/

I’m uncertain about your location. On Chowhound, you said Marais/ Bastille but, given how loose the travel industry is about location, I wonder if you will actually be in the 11th. Which would change the equation. And you also lowered your budget from 50€ on Chowhound to 40€ (very difficult for dinner if you want quality) on HungOn.

We ate at Polidor a couple times during our month and a half in Paris this last fall. We’ve gone to Polidor several times over the years, and there have been a few very recent changes. For one, when the restaurant was closed during the lockdowns, the owners took the opportunity to refresh the interior, although no drastic changes, thank goodness, just cosmetics. The other major change is there is a new chef for the kitchen. We remarked to one of the owners (?) it seemed the quality of the food had improved, and he was pleased to hear that, of course. And, some things have not changed. The servers are all still women. The menu is old school traditional traditional, with a different plat du jour for each day of the week. Prices are still more than reasonable, and also as usual, no reservations.

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Thank you Parn, that was probably a typo on my part. 34/36 Rue St Sabin, Moxy hotel says it’s Bastille but you’re right, definitions vary. I look forward to investigating the menus etc, thanks for your double reply!

Thank you.

You guys, since you’ve all been so kind and generous, can I ask a related question please: what do sweetbreads taste like? They appear to be commonly featured in France and I’ve never tried them. Is the texture what causes people to get squeamish? For baseline, I do not eat mushrooms, mainly due to texture but also they gross me out.

Mock me if you must, I’m still grateful for all the advice!

Au Bourguignon Du Marais, boeuf bourguignon and Berthillon ice cream. Two birds with one stone.

The address you’ve given in your above post is 2-3 blocks from the apt. we rented a couple of years ago and 4-5 blocks from the one we’ll be renting in late Sept. We are pretty familiar, as tourists go, with the immediate neighborhood. There are a ton of places close by. You’re 2 blocks in from Blvd Beaumarchais, which I think is the edge of the Marais, so I’d guess you’re in the Bastille area (the 11th). From you, its a 15 minute walk to Aux Bons Crus, one of the places Onzieme listed & its a 10 minute walk to Bofinger, a place I really liked but don’t feel anyone else joins me in. Big, well lit with stained glass ceilings & I liked the food. And, if you like the answer to your sweetbreads question & are interested in this and other offal, you are also only a 15 minute walk to Amarante. I believe all have web sites you can look at and judge for yourself. And then there’s Korus, maybe a 5 minute walk for you, a place that Pilgrim recommended to us and that we loved. Again, look at the web site.
As an aside, on Sundays & Thursdays there is a pretty large outdoor market only one block from you (go down rue St Sabin to Bd Richard Lenoir) worth visiting. And the wine store on Blvd Beaumarchais 2 blocks down (La Carte Des Vins) is a gem.
Obviously, I cant wait to return. Have fun.

Steve R thank you! I wasn’t sure about the location (it’s a Bonvoy property and that just isn’t charming) but now I feel fairly certain it’ll work out.:+1:

This looks great too! Are the mushrooms big enough to avoid? I’m embarrassed but it’s not changing after 60 years. Lol

We always stayed in the haut Marais and some of our favorite spots was the new Les Enfants du Marche in the Marche des Enfants Rouges on Rue de Bretagne, Breizh cafe and Bistro Paul Bert in the 11th. Cafe des Musees and chez Janou used to be pretty good but haven’t been there in awhile.

I think so, especially after you’ve plated it.

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