About Secrets of Paris

Created in 1999, the Secrets of Paris is the oldest independent and locally-owned website about Paris in English, for both visitors and residents. Discover what you've been missing:

* Free Resource Guide
* Calendar of interesting Paris events 
* Monthly Secrets of Paris newsletter
* Secrets of Paris Tours & Travel Planning

Read more about the Secrets of Paris here

 

 

 

 

Calendar of Paris Events

November 5-13
The 41st annual Salon Marjolaine, the largest organic fair in Paris, takes place this week at the Parc Floral (Bois de Vincennes) with 550 stands selling everything organic you could imagine. There are also plenty of food stands for lunch onsite, a vestiaire, and a little shuttle from the metro Château de Vincennes to the entrance of the Parc Floral. Open 10:30am-7pm. Entry €10, but you can get a €3 discount voucher on the website to print out in advance. You can also see my article and video from my visit in 2010.  

Marchés de Noël - Christmas Markets are Here! 
Am I the only one who thinks it's wrong that the Christmas Market opens on the Champas-Elysées before Beaujolais Nouveau?  The two largest are opening mid-month this year.
- November 11-January 8 on the Avenue des Champs Elysées
- November 17-December 27 at the Esplanade de La Défense
Other Christmas Markets will be opening around Paris in December, see the full list (en françaishere.   

November 17 
Although it's rather low-key in France compared to the hype it gets in America, the annual Beaujolais Nouveau festival takes place in wine bars throughout Paris today. Read all about the history and the different varieties (good, bad, ugly) and where to celebrate in Paris in this excellent article by Aaron Ayscough, The Redemption of Beaujolais Nouveau (read the 2014 update here and his current on-location exploration of the Beaujolais region here). And for fun, here's a link to the little video I made at the Beaujolais dinner I attended in 2010 with Meg Zimbeck of Paris by Mouth and Bryan Pirolli.  

Click here to see the full calendar of events...

Secrets of Paris gives 10% of all tour fees to the French food bank, Les Restos du Coeur

Paris Dining Reviews

Return to the Dining Reviews home page for articles and the complete list of categories.

Wednesday
Jan202010

Maoz Vegetarian Falafel

Maoz
8 rue Xavier Privas, 5th
01 43 26 36 00

Maoz
36 rue St-André-des-Arts, 6th
01 46 33 87 19

www.maozusa.com (warning, site has sound that can't be turned off)


A new falafel place is giving L'As a bit of competition! Maoz may not have Lenny Kravitz posing for photo ops with the staff, but they do have tasty falafels that you get to build yourself. Completely vegetarian, you start off with a small or large pita filled with the basics: falafel balls (minced chickpeas with herbs and spices, fried in vegetable oil) and lettuce, then you fill it up yourself from the salad bar, with tomatoes, beets, pickles, cucumbers, onions, herbs, carrots, hummus, tahini, peppers, olives, and as much hot sauce as you can handle.

You can also get hummus or aubergine (eggplant) falafels, salads, or even fries (hey, I said it was vegetarian, not health food). A large falafel on its own is €4.40. The Maoz Menu of falafel + fries + drink is €7.40. Fries are €2.20. There are two locations, only the one at St-André-des-Arts has a few stools to sit on, otherwise it's to go.

Open daily, 11:30am-1am.

Tuesday
May052009

Chez Omar

Chez Omar
47 rue de Bretagne, 3rd
M° Arts et Metier
Tel 01 42 72 36 26

Open Monday to Saturday noon – 2:30pm and Monday to Sunday 7pm – 11:30pm

Review and photos by Aileen O'Riordan

If you have a hankering for couscous, I couldn't recommend Chez Omar more. A veritable institution, it’s regarded as one of the best Moroccan restaurants in Paris. Located north of the bustling Marais, this is the kind of place you might normally walk right by. The facade is drab, but don't be fooled. When you open the door it's like you've walked onto the set of an old movie, a Paris of long ago.

The staff welcome you warmly, usher you to one of the white linen draped tables and then basically tell you what you'll have. I tried to order a bottle of red but was informed the Moroccan wine was better with couscous. When I insisted, I was told that the Moroccan wine would be served. The same went for my meal. Relent. Let them tell you what to have, they know their stuff. The wine really did compliment the couscous, which couldn't be faulted, and if you're hungry the servings are enormous, a veritable mountain of crumbly couscous will be served up. Also, the staff's recommendations were some of the cheapest items on the menu, including the wine. Don't forget to leave room for dessert. A silver platter will arrive and you can take your pick. When our coffees arrived, I remarked that there was no chocolatey delight, and the waiter treated me to a bowl full of dark chocolate buttons to fill the tiny space remaining in my already overstuffed belly.

Get here early as they don't take reservations or you'll end up queuing at the bar. Apparently it’s a right of passage to wait, join the throngs along the lovely zinc bar and indulge in the Parisian pastime of people watching. One of the first to arrive, we watched as the place packed with a line of hungry locals by the time we finished our meal. Maybe it’s an urban legend but Sophie Coppola, while filming Marie Antoinette, was supposedly a fan and spent her free time chin wagging with Omar and indulging in the spicy merguez.

Do bring cash as they don't take cards. If you're stuck there's a bank across the road.

Wednesday
Apr012009

Galopins

33 ave Philippe Auguste, 11th, tel 01 43 67 01 23. A highly recommend bistro for a hearty lunch before or after a trip to Père Lachaise...

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Saturday
Mar282009

Pamphlet

An upscale bistro specializing in gourmet, market-fresh cuisine...

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Saturday
Mar282009

Quinze 

A quest for Brunch in the 14th...

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Thursday
Mar262009

Happy Days Diner

Fonzie and Pinky Tuscadero in Paris...

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Monday
Mar092009

Black Dog

Hiding in the back of a metal music bar near Châtelet is one of the best kept secrets of Paris: an Argentinean steak house...

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Saturday
Mar072009

Moosehead Bar

‘The Moose’ has offered Paris a reasonably close facsimile to an authentic American sports bar for over a decade...

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Thursday
Mar052009

Comptoir des Belettes

A retro budget eatery on the non-touristy side of Montmartre where the humble tartine sandwich is in the spotlight...

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Thursday
Mar052009

Il Naturale

Breadstick-free Italian near the Porte Maillot...

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Thursday
Feb262009

Café Med

77 rue Saint Louis-en-I'ile, 4th. Tel 01 43 28 73 17. A good budget restaurant on the Ile St-Louis...

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Saturday
Feb212009

Entrecôte - Le Relais de Venise

271 Blvd Pereire, 17th. Tel 01 45 74 27 97. No reservations taken at this famous first-come, first-served steak house with one item on the menu: steak!

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Thursday
Feb122009

404

69 rue des Gravilliers, 3rd. Tel 01 42 74 57 81. A cozy and lively North African restaurant in the Marais...

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Wednesday
Feb112009

Part des Anges

13 rue Chappe, 18th.Tel 01 46 06 69 80. This Montmartre restaurant is about no frills, wholesome French cooking, served in very generous portions, at reasonable prices...

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Wednesday
Feb112009

Hôtel du Nord

102 quai de Jemmapes, 10th. Tel 01 40 40 78 78. A great choice for a mid-price meal in a welcoming setting on the Canal St Martin, with friends or an ‘amoureux’...

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Tuesday
Feb102009

Buron

A traditional French restaurant with excellent vegetarian options...

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Monday
Feb022009

Petit Baigneur

10 rue de la Sablière, 14th, tel 01 45 45 47 12. Tucked in an out of the way corner of the 14th, this bistro provides a very French experience without the Parisian prices...

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Monday
Feb022009

Toscana

11 Rue Amelie 7th, tel 01 45 58 92 70. A small, bright Italian trattoria with excellent salads...

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Monday
Feb022009

Table des Oliviers

38 rue Laugier, 17th, Tel 01 47 63 85 51. A true gourmet experience at an affordable price...

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Wednesday
Jan282009

Sushi Shop

A Californian discovers the closest thing to American-style sushi in Paris...

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