Paris restaurant recommendations

If you are looking for a treat, be sure to visit a restaurant called La Bouteille d'Or across the river from Notre Dame. I got a very delicious and elegant three-course lunch (green leaf salad with foie gras + braised beef filet + souffle) for 140 francs (roughly US$20 on April 21, 2001), and that's with tips included! Its address is 9, quai de Montebello, 75005 Paris, 01-43-54-52-58.

Here are a few more places to try:

Aux Fins Gourmets (traditional French; definitely order the "cassoulet"; it's a heavenly stew brimming with white beans, meat, sausages, and other goodies)
151, blvd St. Germain - 75007 Paris

Restaurant le Maupertu (Italian)
94, boulevard de la Tour Maubourg - 75007 Paris

Tan Dinh (French-Vietnamese; sort of like Le Colonial in San Francisco)
60, rue de Verneuil - 75007 Paris

Le Petit Zinc (French)
11, rue Saint Benoit - 75006 Paris

Other restaurants that were recommended by Parisian friends but I haven't personally tried:

Epi dupin
11, rue Dupin - 75006 Paris

69, rue de Seine - 75006 Paris

Le Dôme
168, blvd du Montparnasse

If you feel like splurging, the following three are on the expensive end but supposedly well worth it (again, I haven't been there personally):

Les Cailloux
58, rue des Cinq Diamants - 75013 Paris

Guy Savoy
18, rue Troyon - 75017 Paris

15, rue Lamennais - 75008 Paris

As with popular restaurants in the U.S., you should always make a reservation way in advance to guarantee yourself a table.

Two totally unrelated notes:

  • If you're a museum junkie, definitely get the Carte Musées (available at most major metro stations and museums). You can get one for one day, three days, or five days. Although you may not get all your money's worth if you only go to a few museums, I thought it was well worth it just to bypass the long lines that other tourists have to wait in. In most cases (e.g., Musée d'Orsay) you can just go to the beginning of the line, flash your card, and go in. In other cases (e.g., Le Louvre & Versailles), there is a special, much shorter line for Carte Musées holders.

  • Be sure to get a night view of the Eiffel Tower. Because of Year 2000 celebrations, the French government installed these silver lights on the tower, and they flash and glitter for 10 minute on the hour after night fall. They were supposed to remove the lights at the end of last year, but due to popular demand they've been left on for now. You can get a really awesome view by the Ecole Militaire, at the southwest end of the tower across the lawn, or you can also stand near the Place de la Concorde so you get a view of the tour from across the river. It's a sight I will never forget....

Compiled tips for traveling in Paris