With thousands of restaurants to choose from in Paris, just how do you pick the authentic and delicious eatery you’ve been dreaming of?
Paris may be full of eating choices but not all restaurants and cafés are created equal. And it isn’t just about picking a place without English menus (in fact, this rule has no bearing on the quality of food at all).
Leo Goldstein of Eating Europe Tours in Paris shares his top tips and says if you find a place that meets all of these rules, you know you are in for a great meal. Works in any city, not just Paris!
How to know a great restaurant when you see one according to a Parisian
Choose somewhere that is tucked away in a small side street. It isn’t that there aren’t great places on main roads, but most restaurants and cafés located en-route to somewhere are there for convenience, seldom for quality and therefore, it is less likely you’ll find somewhere great to eat if you are only looking around the obvious places.
It is unlikely to be on a street corner. Similar concept as rule number one. Corner locations are generally easier to get to and therefore, less on quality, more on speed and quantity.
Pick a place that doesn’t open all day. Traditionally, restaurants open once for lunch, close for clean up during the afternoon before they open again for dinner service. Choose somewhere that has a few hours break in between to ensure you will eat at a place that cares more about its food than providing a convenience.
Look for a printed menu. Printed, on paper and pinned to the wall outside the door instead of a light-lit menu that look more like an advertising billboard. It’s the little details that count.
The menu shouldn’t be too extensive. Since when has extensive menu become a good thing? Most chefs have specialties, and should only be offering clients the best of their best cuisines. A menu that only has about three of their best dishes in the entrée, mains and dessert categories is what you want to look for. Not only does it mean the chef will put in their best effort, you are more likely to be eating in season and that is a good thing.