Fine Dining: A Foodie’s Guide to Paris

 

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a foodie, and one of the perks of spending a year in Paris was getting to try out some of the city’s brilliant restaurants. This month, I present to you my round-up review of the Parisian restaurants I loved most, plus three bonus London restaurants that made it into the listing (I visited them during the Year Abroad and they were too good to miss!). Enjoy!

Paris…

Ober Mamma: Italian, 107 Boulevard Richard Lenoir

By far my favourite restaurant in Paris so far. I’ve been here a few times and it never disappoints. While you could opt for a traditional lasagna or carbonara, their agnello (lamb) pasta dish is to die for, and their nutella pizza is a must try for dessert—they literally bring you a BUCKET of nutella to attack! Highly recommended. Be aware that this is one of the popular restaurants that doesn’t take pre-bookings, you have to turn up and queue as soon as they open to reserve your table for the night, and once they’re gone, they’re gone. So be early, and enjoy! Visit the website here.

Benedict Paris: French-American, 19 Rue Ste Croix de la Bretonnerie

I came here for dinner with a friend after a trip to the Louvre, which is just a stone’s throw away. The food was gorgeous. I had the fish and chips, which was a wonderfully warm reminder of home. My friend, who had a burger, was equally delighted. Great prices and a great ambience make this restaurant worth a visit. Visit the website.

La Pause Libanaise: Lebanese, 8 Rue de l’Isly

I visited this restaurant after seeing the great reviews on TripAdvisor. We were a party of two, and we turned up early to secure our spot. The food was delicious, aromatic flavours, great portions and a wide variety. If you’ve never tried Lebanese, but you’re into humous, meatballs, kebabs, savoury meat-filled pastries, flat breads, wraps and grilled meat, this cuisine is the creme de la cremeFind out more.

Hao Long: Chinese, 36 Rue de Richelieu

If you’re on the hunt for great quality Chinese cuisine, Hao Long is the place to be. With its calm, relaxed atmosphere, and its location right in the heart of Paris, you’d do yourself a disservice not to visit to relax and enjoy some good, non-greasy, well-priced and brilliantly seasoned food. I had a shrimp curry with rice; both warming and filling, it was perfect. Find out more.

Song Heng: Vietnamese, 3 Rue Volta

This little street food shack is superb. I came here with Mum when she visited me in Paris for Mother’s Day. For 8 euros, you can get an enormous noodle soup (called Pho) with mixed meats and vegetables, and you can also order it to take-away. All those Asian flavours of lemongrass, ginger, fish sauce, soy and sesame were simply divine. This place is always packed, and has a canteen feel which adds to the authenticity. Be warned, it’s such a popular restaurant that you’ll have to queue to get in—but it’s well worth the wait! Find out more.

The Strada Café: European/Brunch, 64 Rue du Temple

Just around the corner from Song Heng, tucked into a little side street, you’ll find the seemingly tiny Strada Café. It’s bigger inside than it feels outside. This was my go-to brunch spot, and I visited with colleagues, friends and even my Mum! From plain fried eggs, to smoked salmon on toasted home-made bread topped with soft poached eggs and accompanied by a crisp salad, to their veggie-friendly mushrooms on toast, there’s a whole range of delicious brunch options to choose from. Find out more.

The Scoop Café: American diner, 117 Rue des Dames

Visited with a colleague after reading the reviews online, and we were very happy with our meal here. The vibe is very retro, think American diner, and the burgers were delicious. The only downside was that it was a little over-priced, with desserts, like a brownie, costing 7 euros. But if you’re a hamburger hunter who doesn’t mind shelling out, then this is for you. You’ll find it within walking distance of Pont Cardinet (Transilien line L). Find out more.

Maison Blanche (Lille, not Paris): French-American, 12 Rue Royale, Lille

On a beautiful day-trip to Lille, just near the Belgian border, a friend and I found this restaurant by accident. We decided to give it a try and were so pleasantly surprised. Not only were the mouth-watering, fresh burgers, the smooth, creamy milkshakes, the crispy, lightly-salted French fries (REAL French fries) and the deliciously sweet desserts simply scrumptious, but this place also has table football downstairs! A great venue for a party or a hangout.  It was a brilliant night, and I won table football! Find out more.

If you’re into great burgers, also check out Le Ruisseau in Paris, near Chatelet Les Halles (find out more here). 

…London

Chez Bob: French-American, Whetstone or Belsize Park

In May, I hosted a surprise birthday party for my Mum here—a party of 50 guests—and it was a wonderful time. We’ve even just booked to go back to this restaurant soon with friends. The food is to die for, always piping hot and deliciously seasoned, and the outstanding service is what really sets this place apart. Read my full TripAdvisor review here or you can visit the website here.

The Ledbury: British gourmet, Notting Hill

I came here with my mum to celebrate a milestone birthday, and although it’s pricey (maybe a once-in-a-lifetime treat for most of us!), you absolutely get what you pay for: an exceptional 5-course gourmet meal at a Michelin star restaurant ranked in the World’s 50 best restaurants and frequently dubbed the best restaurant in the United Kingdom. Their specialism is ‘the best of British’, with a focus on using the best produce specifically from local farmers. It was a precious experience. Visit the website here and book early in the year to reserve your table.

And last but not least… Wahaca: Mexican, Liverpool Street

I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of this place until recently! My mum and I came here for dinner with the wonderful Dodie Clark and her lovely mum recently, and fell in love with it. The tacos, in all their variety and splendour, are filling and flavoursome, and, for dessert, the sweet, crispy churros (like donuts) with warm, melted, gooey dark chocolate are extraordinary. Visit the website here.

To conclude…

Having got to the end of this post with all this food, I imagine you, like me, are wondering how I’m not fat. Lol! 😂 My answer is: I don’t know either! But what I DO know and believe is that good food is one of the pleasures of the life-to-the-full that Jesus desires us to have (John 10:10)! For that, Paris served me well, and it will do you, too.

Bon appetit!

See you in July,

Imani x

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