25 Jan Chef Greg Martin’s Travel Tip: the best place for a casual lunch in Paris
I can count of one hand the Bistros or casual eateries that I consider as my favorites when visiting Paris. It is not a matter of a lack of great places, simply the competition for seats at the more popular ones is just brutal. Bistros that I can recommend for a solid meal include Juveniles in the 1st arrondissement, Cafe Central and Le Petit Cler both on Rue Cler in the 7th arrondissement. These establishments are good choices when sightseeing in their areas and they won’t break the bank. Save your budget for the high end dinner establishments, you are going to need it.
If however you are looking for an elevated Parisian bistro experience for lunch, casual but kinetic with imaginative and often brilliant food, I have a great option. My favorite lunch spot in Paris is Chez L’Ami Jean hands down. Located in the 7th arrondissement, just blocks from the Eiffel Tower this tiny restaurant buzzes with motion as the small staff hustles from table to table sometimes bluntly handling tourist. They are not being rude, but matter of fact when clarifying reservations or asking where the rest of your large party might be or if they are going to show up as I witnessed on one occasion.
Chef Stéphane Jego produces beautiful and tasty dishes using combinations that are occasionally surprising but none the less solid. I’ve been lucky enough to visit on three separate occasions and have ordered the Chef’s tasting menu along with a bottle of wine in the €60 range and have received great service. From house-made charcuterie to the best rice pudding on the planet, the meals have been outstanding. It is so nice to see such a dedicated and attentive chef. Everyone’s eyes are on him and he is making sure everything is attended to. During our last visit he thanked all the guest and shook hands with the last of the lunch diners including myself.
Reservations are a must and expect to spend €90 per person, including wine, a great deal anywhere and astounding in Paris.
Juveniles 47 Rue de Richelieu, 75001 Paris, France
Cafe Central 40 Rue Cler, 75007 Paris, France
Le Petit Cler 29 Rue Cler, 75007 Paris, France
Chez L’Ami Jean 27 Rue Malar, 75007 Paris, France