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Restaurants in Paris

Eating and drinking are among Paris's chief delights, as they are in the country as a whole. The capital offers a tremendous variety of cuisines: as well as regional French cooking, notably from the southwest, you can sample Senegalese, Caribbean, Thai, eastern European and North African cuisine, among others. There's also a huge diversity of eating and drinking establishments: luxurious restaurants in the traditional style or elbow-to-elbow bench-and-trestle-table jobs; spacious brasseries and cafés where you can watch the world go by while nibbling on a baguette sandwich; or dark, cavernous beer cellars and tiny wine bars with sawdust on the floor offering wines by the glass from every region of France. You can take coffee and cakes in a chintzy salon de thé , in a bookshop or gallery, or even in the confines of a mosque. Bars can be medieval vaults, minimalist or postmodern design units, London-style pubs or period pieces in styles ranging from the Swinging Sixties to the Naughty Nineties.

It's true that the old-time cheap neighbourhood cafés and bistros are a dying breed, while fast-food chains haveburgeoned at an alarming speed. Quality is also in decline at the lower end of the restaurant market, particularly in tourist hotspots. Yet, however much Parisians bemoan the changing times, you'll find you're still spoiled for choice, even on a modest budget. There are numerous fixed-price menus ( prix fixe ) for under ?12.20, particularly at lunchtime, providing staple dishes; for ?22.87 you'll have the choice of more interesting dishes; and for ?30.49, you should be getting some gourmet satisfaction.
The big boulevard cafés and brasseries are always more expensive than those a little further removed, and addresses in the smarter or more touristy arrondissements set prices soaring. A snack or drink on the Champs-Élysées, place St-Germain-des-Prés or rue de Rivoli, for instance, will be double or triple the price of Belleville, Batignolles or the southern 14e. Many bars have happy hours , but prices can double after 10pm, and any clearly trendy, glitzy or stylish place is bound to be expensive.
We list the different eating and drinking establishments by area. They are divided into restaurants , including some brasseries, and bars and cafés , incorporating snack bars, ice-cream parlours and salons de thé .

As you would expect, there are some really spectacular restaurants in Paris. One of the best is Alain Ducasse at 59 av Raymond Poincaré, 16e (tel 01.47.27.12.27) which has beenawarded three Michelin stars. It's run by the enterprising Alain Ducasse, who has also been awarded three stars for another of his restaurants, Le Louis XV , in Monte Carlo, making him the only chef to have been awarded six Michelin stars. At midday during the week, the menu at his Paris restaurant is around ?45.73-60.21; prixe fixe menus range from ?73.17 to ?228.66; and there's no limit to the amount you can pay for beautiful wines. Ducasse has also recently opened a smaller, less fussy establishment, Spoon, Food & Wine , at 14 rue de Marignan, 8e (tel 01.40.76.34.44), with cheaper, though no less superb cuisine.

The other greats include: Lucas Carton , 9 place de la Madeleine, 8e (tel 01.42.65.22.90), with splendid Art-Nouveau decor, run by chef Alain Senderens; Taillevent , 15 rue Lamennais, 8e (tel 01.45.61.12.90); Les Ambassadeurs , in the Hôtel Crillon , 10 place de la Concorde, 8e (tel 01.44.71.16.16); Ledoyen , 1 av Dutuit, 8e (tel 01.47.42.35.98), headed by a Flemish woman chef, Ghislaine Arabian; and Guy Savoy , 18 rue Troyon, 17e (tel 01.43.80.40.61).

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