Paris Solo 9 nights home base 6/7 eme Oct 11-21

Hi Stephanie, I am almost always on my own in Paris and am quite happy to be so. There’s a wonderful essay in “Hungry for Paris” by Alexander Lobrano about dining solo in Paris. I guess I read it before I started really traveling solo often, and I find it to be true. Waitstaffs in Paris tend to be very welcoming to the solo traveler (least this has been my experience). I will sometimes have a book or be listening to one, but often enough once the food starts coming, I usually just enjoy the restaurant vibes and theater.

I will say that my last couple of times at Clown Bar, when I was solo, it wasn’t such a friendly experience. It’s near where I stay, so I might give it another chance (as the menu is often appealing). I’d be curious how you find it as a solo traveler, if you go.

Le MaZenay is my favorite local (to me) bistro, partly because it is such a comfortable place to eat. There is a bar, but with low back stools, it strikes me as it might not be so comfortable, so I just go ahead and book a table. It’s a square room, so wherever you sit, you are able to see the room. I would feel comfortable eating game, etc. here. It’s a changing menu (the one online is just an example), but last time I was in Paris I had pigeon one night and a sole meunière the other night (starters were string beans w/mushroom and a Vietnamese slant on musslels)–all delish!

Also last time I was in Paris, I sat comfortably at the bar at Korus (thank you @SteveR) This is a tasting menu, but you can opt for a slightly shorter version (or the longer one). I’m not usually such a fan of tasting menus, but this one I found creative and tasty. The waiters were all incredibly warm and friendly, and the sommelier put together a wine tasting for me that meant I could still walk home after the meal. I ate the larger meal, and though full, didn’t feel overly so. I’ll go back.

I went to Jeanne Aimée the first time solo; again was welcomed and treated well. They placed me so I could see the open kitchen. I don’t know if they did this on purpose because I was alone, but it was a treat. This is probably the most creative, modern food I’ve had in Paris in recent memory. I wouldn’t miss this! (Open Monday nights)

L’Amarante is about as different as you can get. Very old school, meat heavy. But well prepared French classics (all those edgy bits you might be looking for). No real decor, but again, comfortable, and they welcome me whether I am solo or with a friend. Also, it is open on Sunday and Monday nights. Useful.

Finally, a brasserie is a bustling place for people watching, I find, and I ate (only once) at the newish Grande Brasserie on my own. Nothing edgy here, but quite good food, and excellent profiteroles (which I adore). N.B. Leave room; it’s a humongous portion.

I haven’t eaten at any of the places you mentioned, and would love to hear your recommendations when you return! I am booked to go to Granite (thank you to @andygottlieb42) on my next trip. Hope you have a swell time!

P.S. Don’t forget the crèperies…some (most?) are open through dinner (I’m thinking Breizh and Gigi in my Paris neighborhood). Sometimes a light something just hits the spot. Ditto for an oyster bar…


Removed by poster. Duplicates ninkat.

Thank you- I was wondering if the L"Avant places would be a good or bad thing- so I will take the leap. Good to hear still in action.
Pierre Sang- yes. I think a trip to the 11th could mix things up. I am near Aux Pres.

As for boards- I am typically very quiet/shy. Been through EG, CH, DonRockwell…? Buttercup, Torshi, not sure of any other names. I am in DC, but now often in Paris. The emerging balance is very exciting, so maybe I am a bit chatty.


Thank you! I think I am going to skip around places liken the ones you mention- much more mobile without my crew. Last time I planned a lot and spent a lot of time so it was focused- but this time well, um not so much. I think I will see who has space and when- then balance out the weight.

Yep, thought I recognised your “name” from the other boards. We did a similar back and forth on DonRockwell on a Paris Dining thread you started last year. Hope you eventually found the name of the upscale restaurant outside of Paris that you were looking for. If not, take a look at Ninkat’s post (“Tale of 2 Restaurants” thread here on the HO France board). It might be the one?
At any rate, my wife and I are here in Paris as well, halfway into a month’s rental, and are eating too much at too many places. Going to Le MaZenay tonight with another HO board member & have been/or have reservations to all of the restaurants NinKat lists, so I can second them. If you want to talk about any details, or want to meet up, let me know by Messenger. No need to take up HO board space unless its something others can benefit from. Meanwhile… welcome back to Paris (almost).

I made suggestions on the very similar thread now running. [Paris] Suggestions on restaurants for a solo traveller - #2 by ParnParis

No one had responded and I didn’t want the poster to feel ignored. :innocent:

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Totally cool re posting on the other. Nice of you. I almost PM”d them to the one I had, but did not want to upset them.

So I will go back through my posts. I am kind of doing “down home”. Setting up apartment, no internet . BiHV basement is supposed to be a great highlight. Apparently you can get a stick to shoe pigeons from your sill there.

Did my usual first night Bar de Pres, too cold for from and too lazy. Got silly stuff at Epicerie. Open until 9! I thought Thursday was a special late night. It was so easy at 8-9! But for goods in the case- not as great, they are kind of breaking them down.

Any case, thanks! Gotta fire up HO from phone so a bit slower going. Gotta find a chill free hotspot that does not care. Please no kids Boba place! But I might have to… or Lutetia might let me hang if I order tea and stuff.

Really should I ever go to Clown Bar? Is it the name, have I unfairly determined it a tourist hell?



Naughty naughty for shopping at La Grande Epicerie. Needlessly expensive. If you are setting up an apartment, you qualify as a temporary Parisienne and therefore the excellent outdoor food market on boulevard Raspail between rues Cherche-Midi and Rennes on Fri and Sun (bio) mornings is much more appropriate and a much, much better sample of la vie parisienne. For other days, the Monoprix on rue de Rennes just off boulevard St Germain or rue Bac in the 7th.

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(Oh I am not setting up from there! It is just now food.). (And God forbid I should not have to run all over to find the perfect x!)Naughty but relatively controlled. I try not to buy anything “normal”- so there is at least that excuse. Maybe you caught that Monoprix was trying to do a higher end shop behind the Apple Store- not sure if it is still there or was a short concept during summer. Still $$- but did not compare prices. But yes, some of GrandE pricing is just silly. Would much rather purchase from a local fruit guy or a market person.

I have to recall that zone that has the great fishmonger, a butcher, cheese, the walk up bread place.- lots. Near Duc de San Simon. Monoprix Rennes is fantastic. Not so much when I once accidentally stopped the escalator- but let’s say that never happened.

I love the St Germain market on Raspial (tattoo bread guy and blue juices guy on Sunday.). May catch the Friday for some things and Sunday- thanks for putting it onto my radar.

Going to bed or I will sit in a stupid jet lag cycle. I kind of don’t allow it. Tomorrow slammed all day but have Les Parisians that a number of people have mentioned.

Good evening.


“I have to recall that zone that has the great fishmonger, a butcher, cheese, the walk up bread place.- lots. Near Duc de San Simon.”
I presume you are talking about Beaupassage (entrances at 51 rue Grenelle, 14 boulevard Raspail, and 83 rue Bac) and surrounding area. Beaupassage is marketed as a foodie ghetto (even the Carrefour supérette is far more upmarket than the usual supérette) but not really a commercial success. It did start out with some very good restaurants but, over the years and maybe because of Covid, they have been replaced with more “populaire” eateries like Mersea (seafood… and maybe a candidate for solo meal) and an Alleno hamburger joint. My gym happens to be here as well and so I’m a frequent visitor and must confess that I like Beaupassage a lot, mostly for the outdoor spaces and the excellent eenie meenie miney moe café-patisseries. Since the shop is also a café, it’s a great way to experience the excellent Pierre Hermé pastries. I also like the new wave coffeeshop (not sure of name, maybe Café Beaupassage). Although not cafes, the excellent Des Gâteaux et du Pain and Philippe Conticini, both less than a 2-minute walk away on rue Varenne add to the sense that the Beaupassage area is pastry heaven.

If you don’t mind a 5-min walk, I’m also a huge fan of the pastries, macarons, ice cream/ sorbets (A+), and chocolates at Hugo & Victor on boulevard Raspail @ r. Chomel. Inexplicably, not usally on the tourist radar.

Beaupassage is right next to the excellent Barthélemy cheesemonger on rue Grenelle and, just around corner, fab Poissonnerie du Bac (fishmongers) and the addictive chocolate mousse bar at Chocolat Chapon, almost next door to each other on rue Bac. Across the street, a surprisingly good, mostly Italian bakery Pane Vivo when, inexplicably, you have had enough of French bread but, because they don’t sell the French baked goods subject to price controls, more expensive than other boulangeries (and, mercifully, the tasteless Tuscan bread is not sold).

Not sure if it’s in easy walking distance of your apartment but I will sneak in a strong recommendation for Maison Verot on rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs near metro Saint-Placide. Hint: save your footsie by hopping on the #68 bus on boulevard Raspail. Fabulous charcuterie and other takeout items… maybe a little expensive but well worth it.

Apologies. Being French, I am compelled to correct foreigners. (Evil grin). Using a street name without the rue, boulevard, avenue, impasse, etc is a big no-no, not only in France but many other European countries. In writing, fine to abbreviate rue as r., boulevard as bd, avenue as av, etc and, in spoken language and written French, to drop the particles de, de la, du, etc but never drop the designation rue, etc. It’s a simple matter of practicality because they are so many similarly named streets. I once got abruptly and impolitely stopped on the street by a fleshy middle-aged American wearing (ugh) basketball shorts, “hey dude, where’s Saint-Jacques ?” Um, rue St Jacques, boulevard St Jacques, Eglise Saint-Jacques ? He was irritated that I didn’t immediately know what he was talking about. It turned out he was looking for the Tour St Jacques. Grrrr.

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You go to the boxing gym?!? The fish guy and stuff are on Rue du Bac near Cafe Varenne. Just had cheese from the 4 men (know name cannot spell) place near petite Lutetia. Sorry trying to do this by phone and cannot scroll up. Darn- I try to reply meaningfully. I have to go back to complete my response.

Alright. Thank you so much! Victor Hugo have not thought of them. The charcuterie place sounds spot on. I had a cake from the 7th by a Japanese pastry chef that does French (not matcha or bean) tonight. It is in the 7th- I will have the name by Friday.

I walk a lot. Good to know on bus- if the rain hits and the Taxi/petrol situation remains- to the bus I go.

Btw thanks re rue and the other specifications. Maybe the guy asking about St. Jacques actually wanted a scallop?

I have some market mornings this weekend. Tomorrow not set- might try the Louvre night. Honestly, I have been consuming too much Pulco as I run about so no real good food talk from me yet.

I did hear that some bakers are moving strong into the sandwich game- like more so. (Friends, work, quick food need). Our angle is it is crazy expensive- but the post COVID market is funny. We got used to some strange things!

Mori Yoshida (pastry chef) and it is right near my “cousin”s” home- so it might also be a function of convenience. It was her birthday cake with family. It was very good to me- but I am not a huge desert person.

We didn’t go this time, it is in the 11e, but it otherwise fits your objectives perfectly - creative, interesting food, reasonably priced. I’ve been once with my wife, and once when dining solo while traveling on business.

We go to both some “tourist” spots and non-tourist places, and to me this one much closer to the non-tourist end of the spectrum. Name, popularity with the English-language press, decor and former use of the space notwithstanding.

I usually don’t like Eater’s Paris coverage, and the chef referenced has (mostly or entirely?) moved on to a nearby place of his own (Maison Sota, where I also dined alone, also really good, though it’s expensive), but might be worth your time to read this 6 year old piece:

Same for restaurant names. There can be completely unrelated restaurants in different arrondissements with the same name. E.g., La Rotonde, Le Rubis, Papillon. So if you get into a cab, don’t just give the name of the restaurant, also give the address or at least the arrondissement.

Re street names, we had a visitor who just gave the name of the street we live on but not the fact that it was Boulevard. He wound up on the other side of the Seine on a Rue with the same name.

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There are multiple Verot locations, so I don’t recall which I went to this time, but here’s another endorsement, along with food porn. The foie gras I got there was very good, and the pate en croute was excellent.

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re 7e Monoprix(s), the food-only shop on Bac, just north of Blvd St. Germain, is excellent. No specialty islands like the Rennes venue, but good packaged deli meats and cheeses, inc. Cantin. Decent produce and wine. Plus basic household necessities.

While we’re on the topic of Paris Monoprix, I’ve got a few recommendations.

There’s been a trend in Paris food supermarkets these last few years to redesign the floor plan entirely and keep up with the societal trends, for instance making more room for supposedly healthy foods and installing wider rows, resulting in a lesser choice of foods. This is how we now can find, at some Carrefour addresses, six different flavored quinoas but no polenta anymore.

This is happening particularly with Monoprix (Carrefour has calmed down somehow). The « new » Monoprix are distinctly less fun than the ones with the former design; they’re more dimly lit, there’s more space to walk and less kinds of foods to choose from, most stuff organized in islands, meats in glass cases and much less self-service items*, a big stress put on repetitive healthy (generally heavily processed) foods and less stress put on meat products, etc. My favorite Monoprix, the Beaugrenelle one, has undergone these changes and I’m not going there anymore.

However, some Monoprix have not had (yet?) that disastrous renovation, or have had it and it was superficial, and there’s a few I recommend for choice and ergonomy:

  • Monoprix rue de Rennes at Saint-Germain-des-Prés, as was mentioned above.
  • Monoprix Saint-Augustin
  • Monoprix Opéra (avenue de l’Opéra)
  • Monoprix rue du Faubourg-du-Temple near Goncourt,
  • Monoprix Ledru-Rollin near Voltaire.

These are still intact and just as exciting as ever. There may be more that I don’t know of.

  • Yes of course I like talking to someone when I buy my meat. But when I go to a grande surface, I also enjoy the freedom of being able to look at all the cuts on a stall and picking the one I like. When I want someone to pick the meat for me, I go to my neighborhood butcher.

Add the rue St-Antoine to the list of Monoprix that are less interesting after redesign.

Reading this thread is really making me miss Paris. We usually stay in the 6th or 7th so many of the places are very familiar to me. The Monoprix on Rue du Bac was our local supermarket. I remember going one morning there and walking by Atelier de JR and seeing a pile of flowers in front of the locked doors and wondering what that was about. Found out later that afternoon that JR had passed.

If the OP needs a good neighborhood spot, we are fans of Le Comptoir des Saint Peres on Rue Jacob.