So a couple of weeks ago I got on the Eurostar, went to Paris and ran a really long distance. The distance, more formally known as a Marathon, was the pinnacle of 6 months of relentless training, a disgustingly healthy diet and an abundance of painkillers. Much to my colleagues’ dismay, it ended up completely consuming my life and, if they’re honest, they were relived that I completed the race not least so they could stop being bored to death hearing about the science of “carb loading”, and other fitness related conjecture that I spouted on a daily basis.
Aside from the race, the opportunity to soak up the Parisian day and nightlife was one that I was relishing, and being off the booze for a month made it all the more exciting. Being a fantastic Barcode employee I documented some of the places that I sampled (well what I could remember), and left a little review below for you all to enjoy.
(P.S I’m not one to take photos of my food and drink… so the below were all taken from their websites, and I can assure you they are very representative of what you get!)
Where: A side street off the Sacre Coeur
Price: €8 for a pizza €1 for a Coke.
Pros: Quality of food and the service time.
Cons: The restaurant is in a bit of a rough and ready part of town and isn’t the nicest on the eye.
This was pre-marathon so I was still being careful, conservatively ordering a large pizza that was ordered, cooked and served in less than 10 minutes! The décor is pretty basis and it isn’t exactly a place where you would bring a date, but if you’re after a quick bite on a short, sweet, and very affordable menu then I do recommend here.
Where: 5 minute walk from the Bastille
Price: €15 for a cocktail
Pros: Delicious cocktails and atmospheric décor
Cons: None (maybe the price!)
This lovely little cocktail bar was recommended to me by one of my colleagues and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Situated away from all the hustle and bustle around the Bastille, Sherry Butt was a beautiful and eclectic setting, comprising of dimmed lights, trendy wooden seating and a fantastic cocktail menu. The very attentive Bartenders expertly crafted the cocktails, after patiently giving us detailed descriptions of the tone and taste of each their creations (which was very much appreciated!).
If you’re after a very chilled atmosphere to enjoy some matinee drinks then this is your place. Although the menu was quite pricey you certainly got your money’s worth just for the relaxing and chic experience within.
Where: 30 seconds away from Sherry Butt, near the Bastille
Price: €25 for a meal €15 for a bottle
Pros: Fantastic food and wine
One of the great things about Paris is how I can so pleasantly surprise you, and Café Modern certainly did that. Situated on a busy high street leading up to the Bastille it looks like a normal café from the outset. However once we sat down and were presented with an extensive menu and wine list we knew we were in for a treat. My medium-rare steak was cooked to perfection, and coupled with a lovely bottle of crisp dry white I couldn’t fault it one bit.
If they dimmed the lights and changed the décor from express Café to restaurant in the evenings then it would have capped an otherwise fantastic evening meal, as it felt very strange eating a 5 star meal in a 2 star setting… but maybe that’s what made it so unique?
Café des Beaux Arts
Where: Across from Ponts des Arts (Lovers Bridge) near the Louvre
Price: €15 for a sandwich €8 for a pint
We called in here after a bus tour around Paris, and in hindsight I wish we chose a better place to spend our afternoon. The service was excellent and the waiter was very charming, however the price we paid reflected the location more so than the quality of the food. My sandwich was sparse to say the least (2 bread buns and a thin slice of ham), the snails we ordered were more shell than snail…and to her dismay my friend even found a small caterpillar in her salad. To top it all off the beer was flat and overpriced and in the end we couldn’t wait to get out.
Le Bistro Parisien
Where: On the Seine next to the Eiffel Tower
Price: €30 for a steak, €10 for a pint
Pros: Location and food
After sightseeing all day Le Bistro was a perfect and beautiful setting to unwind at the end of the day. Floating a boat on the Seine, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, the views from the glass ceiling are fantastic and the location couldn’t be more ideal. I again went for a steak (my painful legs were yearning for more protein!) and it was cooked to perfection. The staff were friendly and helpful, even giving us a couple more drinks for free due to our wait for our table, which wasn’t a problem at all given the location.
Again, my pet-peeve was the bright lights, which if dimmed could make the setting perfect for a meal in an otherwise central location.
Of course I omitted several other places that I went to during my visit, but I hope the above gives you a short and honest review of a selection of places to eat and drink in Paris.
Until next week!