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Restaurant recommendation for 1st night

Before contacting our hotel for a recommendation, I’m throwing this up to the forum. I’m looking for a restaurant recommendation to make a reservation for our first night in Paris after arriving on an overnight flight from JFK next fall. My husband and I are staying at the Hotel Pavilion Bastille in the 12th district. We plan on exploring a lot of Paris in the 8 days we’re there, just not so much late on the first day! We’re up for any type of good local food and not overly expensive. Thanks❤️

Posted by
4411 posts

You're better off giving a rough idea of what you consider expensive as it's completely subjective.

Personally I'd be more inclined to follow the advice of the concierge over a recommendation from a random stranger on here. It's part of their job, they know the area well and they've had significant opportunity to recommend restaurants and, more importantly, receive feedback. Everyone's different, we all have different tastes and expectations so what one person on here might consider an excellent meal another might consider mediocre. I wouldn't want to risk my precious dining opportunities by taking the advice from someone who might consider Denny's a gourmet delight.

Posted by
8293 posts

Leon de Bruxelles at Pl. de la Bastille is where we always go, but if you don't like seafood it's not for you.

Posted by
22 posts

Thanks for making me smile about Denny’s being a gourmet delight!! I didn’t think to add a price. My husband and I don’t have a problem with spending $100 or so for a nice dinner out, but we also like cheaper meals. We hardly eat fast food and love all types of food. We’re especially looking forward to many local foods while in Europe. I’m still going to contact the hotel but am always interested in others opinions. 😍

Posted by
993 posts

Take the metro to the Opera and eat at Grand Cafe des Capucines. It is delicious, open all day, and such a gorgeous restaurant.

Posted by
19187 posts

Have you done the overnight flight to Europe before, so you know you'll care what you're eating on that first night? I never do, because I am totally zombified. Or else I am asleep. It's definitely not the night I'd be planning on a special meal. I'd be a lot more likely to be searching for a small supermarket where I could buy something like fruit and cheese.

Posted by
6065 posts

What acraven said. I have no appetite for the first couple of days while adjusting to the new time zone. Perhaps you're not impacted by jet lag.

Posted by
882 posts

Contact the hotel and play it by ear. As others have said, who knows how hungry you will be at dinner time in Paris. You may be starving and want a large meal or you may end up eating a sandwich and longing for sleep. More than likely you will probably want an early dinner and reservations may not be needed. I spent 3 months in Europe and made one dinner reservation at noon on the same day. Have a nice trip.

Posted by
993 posts

I, on the other hand, book a dinner around 8PM so that I am forced to stay up and acclimate,

Posted by
5011 posts

Another strong vote for what acraven said.

On the night of your arrival, sure, plan a dinner - in fact, that should be your primary goal for the day: to stay awake until you slog through dinner. But don't waste your money on a dinner that you will have a hard time fully enjoying, or even remembering, for that matter. Just plan a modest dinner that night. For a special, memorable dinner, I'd wait another day (or two).

Posted by
924 posts

This is my old "go to" choice when I don't need fancy and want something consistently good, with flexible hours for when I am totally zoned out. It's traditional, reasonably priced, and is open from 11:30 in the morning until midnight. No reservations (at least I don't think so) so you will need to wait for a bit. If there are two of you, the line seems to move quicker. Just as a bit of advice, the andouillette sausage is not for newbies, so you might pass on that.

https://www.bouillon-chartier.com/en/

Posted by
7701 posts

I’d plan on someplace you can walk to and has a large variety from sandwiches to elaborate meals: try Brasserie l’Européen: https://www.l-europeen.com/en/ across the street from the Gare de Lyon. Otherwise, you have the Brasserie Café Français on the Place de la Bastille https://cafe-francais.fr/en/.

I’ve had good meals at the first one but haven’t had more than coffee at the second. It used to be only a cafe but now it serves meals, too.

Posted by
6570 posts

I never plan ahead on meals. Found it was wasted time as the menu was either unappetizing or too expensive.
Ask the desk clerk in your hotel where to eat. Paris never had the most appetizing food to my tastes. I once paid 50 euros for two crocks of beans n ham off the beaten path in a Paris restaurant.

Posted by
3834 posts

I agree with Acraven’s comments. In fact, we have a long tradition that we always eat pizza our first night overseas. It’s a faster cheap meal, and we’re always tired that first evening, coming from the West Coast - too tired to enjoy a delicious meal. Of course, the next morning we’re ready for their delicious croissants, etc. for breakfast!

The hotel staff usually has great recommendations and knows which places will be best with or without a reservation, etc.

Posted by
2486 posts

Don’t make a reservation for your first night. Second, yes, first no. There are always flight delays and, as others have pointed out, you won’t be in shape for a memorable meal. Our standard is get to the hotel, check in, ask for a recommendation for a nearby bistro or brasserie, walk around, eat light, take a another little walk, go to bed.

Posted by
22 posts

Thanks for all the tips and suggestions. Both my husband and I have been on “school” EF tours so we know about overnight flights and touring like cattle and “tourists”. This is the first of our trips just us and enjoying at our own pace and timeline. I’m always up for other advice. I’m going to make note of everything said! Happy and blessed 2019 to all!! ❤️❤️

Posted by
21243 posts

In all of our European travels, the worse meal we had was an 8pm dinner in Paris on the day of arrival. In those days (30 years ago) we were followed the strategy of staying awake, walking in the sun, having dinner, and going to bed. Restaurant opened at 8 so we were first time, service was classic, European casual. I am sure the food was great but the struggle to stay awake in a darken restaurant was so severe we have almost no memory of the dinner other than trying to stay awake. Never again.

Posted by
13 posts

You can do a Google search and find many lists of suggestions for restaurants in Paris.
All restaurants in Paris post a menu outside the door. There are also lists available on-line of vegan restaurants, which might also be of interest. Regarding Kosher restaurants in Paris, I would definitely follow https://kosherplease.com Bon appétit!