Paris, Champs de Mar Neighborhood

We will be staying at a RS recommended hotel in the neighborhood for 2 weeks. Would love some cafe/small restaurant recommendations. Last time we were there managed to find 2 less than good cafes. We are up for anything in the Eiffel Tower to Rodin Museum area.

Posted by Betsy
West Nyack, NY, United States
38 posts

I can't recommend any restaurants, but just wanted to tell you that having just returned from Paris, many restaurants have closed for vacation and it can be especially hard finding restos on Sunday and Monday. Even ones that say on their websites that they are open on Sunday and that they close only in Aug, were not open on the last Sunday in July. Good luck

Posted by Susan
Atlanta, Ga, USA
1537 posts

We recently stayed in the Rue Cler area and I can recommend Cocottes, Troquet, and Cafe Constant. All of these are nearby-the first two (both are Christian Constant restuarants) are on Rue St Dominique and the other is on a tiny side street. Hope you like your hotel-we did not like ours except the location was okay. We looked at Violin Ingres as a dinner possibility until we saw the prices. It is in the same area, reservation only, and is well reviewed.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
8725 posts

Julie,, why not eat out of the area,, I mean,, limiting yourself to the area around your hotel is fine if you are particularily exhausted one night,, but eating out should be wonderful part of your Parisian memories,, so why not look at menus while you are out sightseeing and try somewhere out of the 7th once in a while , you will be there 2 whole weeks!

Posted by Donna
Cleveland, OH
607 posts

Julie - This is one of my favorite areas with lots of good cafes and restaurants! I can recommend Café Constant, Café Le Dome, the café across the street from Le Dome (can't remember the name but the food was good and I liked the atmosphere), and Les Ombres Restaurant at the Musee du Quai Branley (super view of the Eiffel Tower). There's also a good Indian restaurant on Rue Augereau. I hope you have a great time in Paris!

Posted by Brittany
23 posts

We loved Cafe Constant. The seafood bisque and the chocolate quenelles were both incredible. We had breakfast daily at Cafe du Marche on Rue Cler and avoided the 7.60eur breakfast "deal" by opting for un croissant and un cafe avec un petit pot de creme (croissant and coffee and milk for around 2.50 eur).

Posted by Tim
Wyckoff, NJ, USA
1095 posts

If you're not too hungry one night, note that there are crépe wagons in the shadow of the Trocadéro, just past the Eiffel Tower from Champ de Mars. This is roughly equivalent to having a hot dog at Yankee Stadium, or in Rockefeller Center, NYC. But it's cheap, very French (even if cooked by a Turkish immigrant), hot and fresh. I endorse the idea of eating outside the area if you can afford it. Although Ricks' research is sincere and accurate, I hate his hotel on Rue Cler and will never stay there again. For ten Euros more, you can do much better in Paris! I have great respect for Rick, but sometimes you need to go beyond his research. Near Champ de Mars, we stumbled onto a Roumainian restaurant, . Because another patron recommended it, I dared to order the Tripe Soup. I was glad I did, but I won't order it again! Can you reconcile those two statements? If not, you shouldn't be buying Rick's guides. You also need to have yogurt-thick hot chocolate at Angelina, walking distance from the Louvre.

Posted by Charlie
Honolulu/Seattle, HI/WA, USA
2099 posts

Sorry Tim did not like RS's hotel in the Rue Cler. I was not aware that he had a hotel in that neighborhood. His Paris Guide Book does mention a dozen or more hotels in that neighborhood. We stayed at the Hotel du Champ de Mars and did enjoy it and would return there. I think it is helpful to explain why someone does not like something rather than to just say "I did not like it". Some folks have greater expectations than others which is why some folks do not take RS tours where you carry your own luggage and stay in two star B&Bs/hotels.

Posted by Julie
Yorba Linda, CA
9 posts

I forgot to mention that we will not be going to Paris until October. We stayed at Relais Bosquet 4-5 years ago (just off Rue Clar) and will be staying there again. Did go to Violin Ingres last time and heartily endorse it, especially the fois gras! We plan on taking the train to Epernay, Giverney, Chartres and assume we will be returning tired and ready for an intimate cafe and then to bed. Thanks to all for your suggestions, keep them coming!

Posted by Susan
Marin County/San Francisco
3692 posts

I got food poisoning eating dinner at Cafe du Marche on rue Cler. Spent our last 2 days in Paris on the bathroom floor. I do not recommend eating there.

Posted by Rose
Indianapolis, Indiana, usa
357 posts

I like Thoumieux and La fontaine de Mars both on rue St Dominique. I travel by myself & always feel well taken care of at either of these restaurants. They are more traditional French.

Posted by Susan
Huntington Beach, CA
88 posts

Hi Julie, a second vote here for Le Fontaine de Mars. it was recommended to us by a local as "typically French" and we found it charming. The food was wonderful, the service gracious, and the whole ambience just wonderful. We spent a memorable "first night in Paris" there!

Posted by Loretta
Cartersville, GA, USA
101 posts

Sorry, Susan, that you were ill after eating at Cafe du Marche. But I have to chime in and say that we have eaten there probably 10 times over several visits to Paris and rue Cler area ("we" being anywhere from 2 to 6 of us at a time), and have never suffered any foodborne illnesses. It's one of our favorite places in the neighborhood. Bad stuff just happens sometimes.

Posted by Susan
Marin County/San Francisco
3692 posts

Loretta, it didn't happen to you but it did happen to me. And I spent two horrible, miserable days on the bathroom floor due to food poisoning from eating at Cafe du Marche. Food poisoning can and does happen at other restaurants, Cafe du Marche is not alone in food poisoning cases. But because it did happen to me, at Cafe du Marche, I cannot recommend eating there. I've spent a lot of time in Paris, and Europe, and have never gotten food poisoning anywhere except Cafe du Marche on rue Cler. It does say something about how they do things and if it happened to me, it can happen to someone else.

Posted by Susan
Marin County/San Francisco
3692 posts

Bets, I do feel lucky now, reading that it's happened to you and your husband more than once! It's not pleasant at home, but it's much worse when you're on vacation and staying in a hotel. There's a restaurant near my house where two people I know have gotten food poisoning - I realize it can happen anywhere. But, I won't eat at that restaurant either. For me, it says something about how they operate (not careful enough, not well refrigerated, not kept at a high enough temp, left sitting out too long, not clean, etc.) That others can eat at that same restaurant and not get sick does not negate the fact that some people have gotten sick eating there.

Posted by Tim
Wyckoff, NJ, USA
1095 posts

Well, since you asked, I'll say that we stayed at the Hotel Leveque, which Rick has recommended (with some realistic negative statements on his part for years.) I found the staff and the breakfast room to be pleasant enough. The rooms and bathrooms were microscopically tiny, sweltering hot, noisy, stuffy, and squalid-but acceptably clean. (Note that I stayed at the Violette in 1988 on my first visit to Paris, and that famous/charming tourist-class dump was far above the Leveque.) The Leveque price was not substantially below much nicer places that are more centrally located - for one, Hotel Louvre Sainte-Anne, where I've stayed on my last two of at least seven visits. The Leveque website currently lists 95 Euros for a double. In 2009, I paid 99 Euros for a savagely air-conditioned and SILENT single with a brand-new bathroom at Louvre Sainte-Anne. We paid much more for their best double in 2010, but I didn't handle the web-Yield-Management as well that summer. I would love to go on one of Rick's bus tours, but a)They book up really fast b)Some of them feature "earplugs included." (I had to sleep with earplugs at Caneel Bay, because the lapping water sounds bounced off the luxury tile floors to the wooden ceilings, and I hated how the plugs felt!) Let me say that I had no intention of sticking a knife in Rick's ribs. Hotel comfort is a matter of personal taste, and I don't think my detailed opinion is important to all readers. That's why I made a personal observation and left it at that! For someone who has lower expectations, or a rock-bottom budget, the Leveque is well above the Hostel-level that Rick used to cover more thoroughly twenty years ago - when he was younger and his readers were younger!

Posted by Diane
Silverdale, WA, USA
105 posts

For a quick laugh . . . . Being impressed with all the recommendations of Cafe Constant and thinking I would join them for dinner, I googled Cafe Constant Paris, and the website popped up - I asked Google to translate the site and looked under the "Map" to get an idea of food served. Found some humerous translations that I had to share . . . . "Shredded crab apples rat in a salad with parsley" "Low coast of Blonde d'Aquitaine, mashed my childhood" "lentils old vinegar" "found Ginger" (What about MaryAnn?) "Salad of artichoke hearts and mushrooms in Paris, simply dressing" (Perhaps this should answer some questions on the "What is it about European Women" thread) "Dove in center plate smeared with shallots" If I had simply been more patient and just went to their website, the site has an English translation that is more appropriate than the Google translation. Still chuckling.

Posted by Mark
Phoenix, AZ
73 posts

Here is another vote for Cocottes and Cafe Constant. We loved Cafe Constant and ate there several times on this last visit. We tried Cocottes (which is only 2 store fronts away) based on a recommendation of a fellow traveler at our hotel and loved it also. We ate at Cafe du Marche a couple of nights, mostly because it was late by the time we came back towards our hotel (Champ du Mars) and there wasn't much else open. We weren't that impressed, but it was better than going to bed hungry! For breakfast every morning we just go into a one of the several patisseries in the area and pick up a bag of awesomeness for breakfast. (and yes I did say a BAG!). The patisserie right there on Rue Cler across from Cafe du Marche is excellent.

Posted by George
Independence, KS, USA
687 posts

WE give Rick credit for getting us started traveling on our own. But, we avoid his recommendations in Paris and elsewhere simply because we have maybe outgrown his places, which are filled with tourists clutching his guidebook and never venturing beyond his boundaries. Stay somewhere else, find your own adventures, meet your own friends, and savor the experiences you will have. Rue Cler is the last place we'd ever stay.... but we stayed next to there on our first visit. Julie, you need to hop on the metro or the Seine riverboats under the Eiffel Tower and find new places in the Marais, the Latin Quarter, and anywhere else you want to visit.

Posted by Swan
Napa, CA
3082 posts

I've stayed in several of the RS recommended hotels (and one apartment) in the rue Cler neighborhood. The only place that seemed packed with Americans was Grand Hotel Leveque. It almost seemed strange to hear French spoken there. The hotels were all "budget" and acceptable. For single rooms, I will avoid Leveque because they have no single ensuite rooms as far as I know. For double rooms, it is a good place to stay. I prefer Hotel du Turenne (sp) which is closer to Napoleon's tomb and has single ensuite rooms. For meals: I usually eat breakfast in whichever hotel I call home, then have lunch at one of the Chinese places, with snacks bought at that incredible bakery near (or on) Champs de Mar. Quiches, flans, pastries----yum. There are several fresh produce markets on rue Cler; I usually have an apple or other fresh fruit to complete my Parisian diet. There are so many places to eat in that neighborhood I think it would take a year to sample all of them. If looking for a good place for a meal, I would ask at my hotel for recommedations or just walk around and see which places look busy. It's been years since I've seen anybody carrying a "little blue book." Not that we've quit using them, but mostly we keep them tucked away. My next trip will see me reading RS reports on my Kindle.

Posted by Susan
New Smyrna Beach, FL, USA
3 posts

Thanks to Rick's recommendation, my husband and I stayed at the Hotel du Champ de Mars on December 30 and 31, 2012. We found the hotel charming and do not have a single complaint. The gentleman at the front desk was warm, friendly and always helpful. Our room was small but had everything we needed including a view of the Eiffel Tower. There are cafes on the same block and a short walk to the Metro and the Tower. It's a lovely central location and we would definitely stay there again if we are lucky enough to visit Paris again.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
11668 posts

This question was posted nearly 3 years ago and there is just a small chance the question has been answered to her satisfaction. The main question was not about the hotel - read the OP, she already had one booked - but cafes.

Posted by Julie
Yorba Linda, CA
9 posts

Imagine my surprise when I started receiving replies to my post 1 1/2 years after our visit to Paris. Happy Travels.