La Ville-Lumière—the city of light—is also the city of many other things: love, art, and fashion among them. And, like any great city, Paris offers an endless variety of food and cuisines to sample and devour. Not all dining experiences are the same, however. Here are four establishments, in a city of thousands upon thousands of restaurants, which guarantee not only good food but also memories for time to come.
Of course, when it comes to Paris, there is simply nothing more iconic than la tour Eiffel. Reserve early evening tickets in advance in order to ascend to the top just in time to watch the sun set on the city’s criss-crossing grand boulevards. Afterward, take a short stroll to the all-day bistro, Café Constant. This restaurant does not take reservations, but order a glass of wine to sip on the sidewalk while you wait. The fantastic menu features classic, but high quality, and absolutely delicious French bistro fare—including such mouth-watering dishes as duck with potato and mushroom pie and crispy apples. Café Constant maintains a lively atmosphere late into the night, so by all means, do not skip the dessert—the Ile Flottante with salty caramel, homemade profiteroles with hot chocolate sauce, and old-fashioned crème caramel are all maqnifique. Café Constant, 139 Rue Saint-Dominique - http://www.maisonconstant.com/cafe-constant/
The French are famous for having long, drawn-out meals. In this regard, a great place for a quintessential French bistro experience is Chez Janou, a small restaurant in the trendy Marais district. Reserve a table in advance and expect your meal to be an all-evening affair. Try the house wine and the tagliatelle with escargot or the sea bass. The chocolate mousse for dessert is a must...and not only because diners can serve themselves an unlimited amount of it. Besides the delicious food and oh-so-French waiters, the restaurant boasts whimsical, vintage posters and a décor that resembles the colorful label of their own vin maison. Chez Janou, 2 Rue Roger Verlomme - http://chezjanou.com/
Before Paris was radically modernized by an urban planning project in the 1860s and 70s known as Haussmanization, the city was a labyrinth of narrow and twisting medieval streets. Those with a sense of humor and a big appetite will enjoy getting a group together and spending an evening at Nos Ancêtres les Gaulois, a medieval tavern-cavern style restaurant on Île Saint-Louis that brings diners back to a time before the city’s grand boulevards. At its worst, this establishment is touristy; at its best, the meal is filling and the musical entertainment is great fun. The only option is their prix fixe menu, which translates into a family style meal that includes overflowing basket after platter of vegetables, sausages, grilled meats, cheeses and fruits. Totally unique family fun, rely on Nos Ancêtres for a truly memorable meal. 39 Rue Saint-Louis en l'Île - http://www.nosancetreslesgaulois.com/
A lesser-known fact about Paris is that the Jewish-Parisian population numbers around 275,000 (out of a total of approximately 500,000 in France), making it the second largest Jewish population in Europe. No place is this more obvious than on Rue des Rosiers in the Marais. Here, kosher restaurants and falafel stands line the street—and to say these locales are simply popular would be an understatement. Among them is L’as du Falafel, which, no matter the time of day, has a 50-person line in front of the restaurant’s street-facing falafel window. Expect a wait for a seat inside, though not a long one because things move fast. Late into the evening, L’as du Falafel is abuzz, and, save for the Jewish Parisian men with their trendy low-cut v-necks and matching kippot, the place feels like any good late-night kosher deli in New York City (with ketchup and mustard on every table!). Of course, the falafel is delicious (arguably, the best), but the spectacle of the wait staff dashing around the restaurant shouting orders at each other is what makes a meal here truly unforgettable. L’as du falafel, 34 Rue des Rosiers
Photographs by Hannah Zweifler