I need help...want to make sure I don't regret doing more homework and have reservations.....Do I need reservations or should we wing it? We are staying in St. Germain area but know we will be all over in 4 days sight seeing....are there any tips for great values or places that are off the beaten track worth eating at?
I'm not sure about great values or out of the way places but I do know that if you want to eat at Jules Verne you'll need to reserve about a month or more in advance. My husband has been to Paris and wants me to experience the atmosphere there. At the begining of May I emailed the concierge at our hotel to see if he could get us dinner reservations for the middle of June. They were booked solid for dinner however he did get us in for lunch. I guess it depends on the time of year you're traveling.
Start by going to a website such as www.frommers.com and reading their reviews for Paris restaurants. They give addresses and whether reservations are required. You will undoubtedly see places that sound great and you may want to seek out. Of course Rick's Paris guidebooks have several restaurant suggestions also. If you are going in high season, and want to go to one of the the highly-touted places, I'd make reservations.
My favorite and have been there every trip to Paris is Cremerie-Restaurant Polidor on 41 rue Monsieur-le-Prince, about 2-3 blocks from the Odeon metro. I have had 3 different entrees and never disappointed. The cost is reasonable and I am not sure if they accept credit cards. I always have the lemon tart for dessert, Always! Also, there is a crepe stand behind the movie theaters by the same Odeon metro exit I never miss. My European relatives always suggest you go to places where the locals go. He also tells us to stay away from neon signs too. We would walk the streets and look at the menus which are all posted to get an idea of prices and specialties. Markets & museum restaurants are great for a quick bite as well as the larger department stores that have cafeterias/restaurants.
We have a few fav places and we always make reservations there the day before just to ensure we get in. Other places we just wing it and have never had a problem. It depends too, the expensive places generally require a reservation.
Try this link for all types of hints on enjoying Paris:
I use a very helpful guide book to find restaurants in Paris (for all budgets). Eating & Drinking in Paris has a very thorough menu translator (a must in Paris) and lots of recommendations near St. Germain, Highly recommend the book by Andy Herbach.
Yes, I agree with the poster above. I have this book also. A menu translater is good to have to know what the food is, though it's not good to take too much time studying the menu and looking things up. It's a good idea to study it beforehand and know a lot of the main things...
Personally, my favorite way to find a cafe in Paris is to wing it. I select an area with a lot of cafes (Marais, St. Germain, Ile St. Louis,) go there, and follow my nose. The menu is always posted outside, so you can check out the selections and prices. If is smells good, looks good, and the price is right, I go for it. I have found some amazing places this way. (Unfortunately, I don't have my travel journal with me at the moment.)
Amy,do you have a budget?
If you wish to eat at the big name places like Taillevent, Jules Verne you need to reserve.
St.Germain has many quaint cafes,bars & small restaurants so you want have to go far.
We mix it up to get full experience. Plus with being all over with sightseeing as you say, we never eat at the same time.
Here are some referrals from our trip last May.
All meals include tip, wine, soda or club soda, 2pp.
Bra Lipp, 151 bd. St.Germaine,Tel#0145485391.
Main meal at 3 course Lunch, E40.
La Bra de L'lle St-Louis,55 quai de Bourbon,Ile St-Louis, Tel#0143540259. Lunch E25, Chicken salads.
La Terrassee du 7eme, at Ecole Militaire Metro entrance, Tel#0145485391. Lunch 24E, salad & quiche.
Picnic dinner on Parc du Mars,E25.
Le Coupe Chow, 11 rue de Lanneau, Tel#0146336869,
Call ahead, E83.00, 3 course Beef Borgouine for 2pp.
Il Sorrentino,20 rue de Monittesuy, Tel#0145551250.
Call ahead, E81.50, 4 course Italian.