7th Arrondissement Restaurants
Les Deux Magots
6 Place St. Germain des Prés, 7th
Café culture is one of the many institutions that make Paris such a pleasure to visit. An hour spent sitting outside with a café au lait and a croissant watching the Parisians pass by is time well spent. Les Deux Magots in the heart of Saint-Germain has been one of the preferred literary and creative spots forever, with regulars including Picasso and Hemingway. The menu touches the greatest hits; the croque-madame is especially good, but honestly, a coffee or—hell, you’re on vacation—a glass of champagne outside under the canopy is the way to go.
Le Petit Lutetia
107 Rue de Sevres, 7th
La Petit Lutetia has become a favorite ever since it was taken over and face-lifted by Jean-Louis Costes, the man behind city institutions Hôtel Costes and La Société. The décor is still that of a classic Paris bistro, with charming mirrored walls, monogrammed dishes, haphazard stacks of newspapers, and too-small tables. While the food is certainly good, you're here for the people-watching, an endless parade of beautifully outfitted Parisians ducking out for cigarettes between courses and drinking seemingly endless glasses of red wine like water. Photo credit: @parisinfourmonths
La Fontaine de Mars
129 Rue St. Dominique, 7th
In a city filled with good, classic restaurants, it's hard to narrow it down to a few favorites, but Le Fontaine de Mars is one of those old-world bistros that constantly draws you back in. Once inside, no one would blame you for thinking that nothing has changed in a hundred years—and maybe it hasn't: Pink tablecloths, mirrored walls, and retro floor tiles abound. Keep your order to the tried-and-true classics, good steak-frites or coq au vin with a large glass of red is the way to go here.
27 Quai Voltaire, 7th
Situated right on the river, you can opt to take a seat in the front café for lighter fare (coffees, drinks, and classic sandwiches), or in the back, where they serve full meals. We love the grapefruit and avocado salad, but we particularly love the excellent people watching at lunch.
51 Rue de Verneuil, 7th
Unpretentious and laid-back, this is the sort of restaurant that’s the perfect reprieve after a few days of big, loud brasseries. The food is simple but well-prepared and nicely affordable, too.
135 Rue St. Dominique, 7th
The only thing that outshines Les Cocottes’ brilliant use of glass jars and Staub cast-iron cocottes is the menu itself. Chef Christian Constant has developed a robust offering of salads (a nontraditional Caesar salad), soups (pumpkin, seafood bisque), and mains (ratatouille, langoustine ravioli) that satisfy without breaking the bank. And then, of course, there’s Constant’s famous chocolate tart. Those who fly by the seat of their pants will appreciate the no-reservations policy, even though there’s almost always a wait—which isn't bad, as it’s conveniently located near the Jardin du Luxembourg and the Eiffel Tower.
Les Vins de Bellechasse
20 Rue de Bellechasse, 7th
In Paris, charming little eateries are a dime a dozen, but this bistro is a true standout. Located just steps from the Musée d’Orsay on the left bank, it serves reasonably priced French fare (duck breast, eggplant, tarte tatin), excellent wine, all against a backdrop of a lipstick-red banquette and a caricature wall. This is a neighborhood spot that gets pretty packed with locals in the evenings, so don’t expect to run into too many tourists.
La Laiterie Sainte Clotilde
64 Rue de Bellechasse, 7th
La Laiterie (translation: the dairy, which is what this tiny spot used to be), is located in a section of the Left Bank that’s particularly popular with tourists—the Musée Rodin and Musée d’Orsay are both within walking distance. Though the staff here will happily explain the dishes (leek soup, poached eggs, steak with new potatoes) in near-perfect english to out-of-towners, a good portion of the patrons are locals, which really speaks volumes for the pared-down, comfort-food-centric menu.