5th & 6th Arrondissement Restaurants
6 Rue du Sabot, 6th
Travelers missing their sushi fix usually slink over to Blueberry on night three in Paris, when the capacity to consume another plate of steak-frites is officially no more. Purists be warned: The maki are on the innovative side, imbued with tropical, citrusy flavors like mango and yuzu (trust us: These rolls are next-level good). The atmosphere is more disco than serene. Whitewashed stone walls are illuminated electric blue and neon pink, while dozens of low-hanging lamps dispel any notions of a romantic dinner. Come at lunch for value, but dinnertime is when the ambiance reaches a celebratory fever pitch, when the lighting is most dramatic. Somehow, those perfect, umami-rich mouthfuls just taste better after dark.
Le Relais de l’Entrecôte
20 Rue Saint-Benoît, 6th
You know exactly what to expect at this kind-of kitschy, family-owned establishment, and that's the best steak-frites in town, topped with buttery, herby secret sauce. That’s it, and it’s worth lining up for—this is a no-reservations locale. Touristy as it is—locations have opened in London and New York—it remains a local’s mainstay, proof of its excellent quality. There are now locations in the 8th and 6th, too.
Le Relais de l’Entrecôte
101 Blvd Du Montparnasse, 6th
You know exactly what to expect at this, kitschy, family-owned establishment and that is the best steak frites in town topped with buttery, herby “secret” sauce. That’s it, and it’s worth lining up for at this is a no-reservations locale. Touristy though it may be—they’ve since opened locations in London and New York—it remains a local’s mainstay, too, as proof of its great quality. There are now locations in the 6th and 8th as well.
12 Rue de l'Hôtel Colbert, 5th
Divided between two levels (a formal dining room and a more traditional shoes-off situation in the subterranean den) in a historic Latin Quarter building, this Franco-Japanese restaurant—helmed by chef Hiroki Yoshitake—seamlessly incorporates culinary elements of both cultures into a menu that is best enjoyed kaiseki-style, by way of a chef-curated tasting. On any given day, the offering can include everything from shrimp tartare to miso-caramelized foie gras to baby corn tempura. The pastry chef, Pierre Hermé-trained Hironobu Fukano, is nothing short of an artist.
8 Rue Suger, 6th
Tucked away down a flight of stairs, this cave-like find offers an excellent omakase experience with three menus to choose from. They specialize in kushi-agué, which basically means that they specialize in delicious ingredients grilled on sticks, each one prepared differently.
La Closerie des Lilas
171 Boulevard du Montparnasse, 6th
La Closerie is in the same league as historic cafés like Les Deux Magots and La Palette. And while some might say this Montparnasse standby is past its prime, many insist it’s still very much happening—after all, Hemingway (there’s a handy sign indicating his preferred spot at the bar), Picasso, and Beckett used to hang out here all the time. We recommend springing for a full dinner in the formal main hall. But the brasserie-slash-piano-bar is great for a drink and to get a feel of the place without spending a fortune. Note: In August, the restaurant is open only in the evenings.
Café de Flore
172 Boulevard Saint Germain, 6th
This classic Parisian Art Deco café on the corner of Boulevard Saint-Germain has played host to everyone from Sartre to Picasso. They came for the coffee and the people-watching, and so should you: When the weather’s nice, find a spot on the outdoor patio and get a big café au lait and an omelet.
19 Quai de la Tournelle, 5th
It’s casual and cozy here, which is the perfect backdrop for the rural French food on offer. We come for the delicious roast chicken on Sundays; since most restaurants are closed, it can get quite busy, but in a low-key convivial way. Ask for a table by the window overlooking the Seine.
Le Comptoir du Relais
9 Carrefour de l'Odéon, 6th
If you find yourself with time alone, grab one of the single-occupancy tables outside, which face onto the small square; that said, if you’re saddled with the little ones, this spot is blessedly kid-friendly, too. A bottle of red and the boeuf bourguignon—served with lemon rind, pasta, and pine nuts—is the meal to get here.
Eggs and Co.
11 Rue Bernard Palissy, 6th
Paris is not a brunch place, which means that this cheery, wood-beam lined spot is aggressively slammed on weekends. Go during the week: While they offer every conceivable iteration of egg dish, we like the Coco Meurette best. It features poached eggs submerged in a dreamy red wine and mushroom sauce.
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