The notion of Ladies who lunch takes on a whole different dimension here in Paris. In Paris, there are loads of fashionable women, of a certain age, who dine out for lunch as much to display their impeccably coiffed hair and their perfectly groomed Fifi as to enjoy a meal outside their high-celinged apartments.
Then there are all the businessmen and women who lunch. This is a serious group who dine out at least five days a week and at the best restaurants, notably in the 1st, 8th, 7th and 6th arrondissements. In fact of the restaurants here, Laurent, noted for its best terrace dining, though it's only steps off the Champs-Elysées, is a favorite among politicians and businessmen because they have perfected keeping within the two-hour business lunch time frame.
That's not to say, however, that fashionable bistros and little lunch eateries haven't popped up all over. Indeed, a few chains, like Cojean and Exki have become serious contenders because they cater to the office worker. Those two chains have found their audience by underscoring healthy, seasonal items on their casual food menus and also providing more of a self-service style atmosphere. They aren't listed here because in Paris, they are everywhere.
If you do have a bit of time to lunch, however, there are a couple of bistros, one Asian and one very French, that are not to miss. You'll find those on this list under the names Tong Yen and Bistro Belhara respectively.