It wasn't that long ago that you'd hear the occasional comment in Paris that this was a city where it was tough to find a good steak. Not anymore. Just as the trend for meatless Mondays seems to be taking root in urbanized areas around the globe, a parallel trend of highly curated and perfectly marbled steaks has firmly taken hold of urban, sophisticated dining trends. At least, it has here in Paris. The very best cuts of France's finest beef are what you'll get at this steak restaurant. The star is French-raised beef from the celebrated regions of France such as Aubrac, Charolaise and Limousine - where the finest cows are raised. Thick-cut fries compliment your main, and since they are quick fried, you get them served on your plate with the least amount of grease possible. Beet hummus and generous Caesar salads offer more options.
Recommended for 2nd Arrondissement - Montorgueil's Best Restaurants because: Fine, high-end beef cuts of high-end beef are the simple concept of this restaurant. So it's the fabulous location and the wood-fired grill that sets it apart.
Paige's expert tip: About once a week the restaurant has a special cut of beef that they don't put on the menu. You have to ask for it and if you're lucky you'll get a positive answer. These cuts can be Kobe, or Angus or something else. And if you have to ask the price, well, that will sort of kill the buzz. Usually, an order of this special cut is for at least two or preferably the table. The electric bull downstairs (the first known iteration of this Texan classic in Paris) finishes off this "Just the wood-fire grilled beef, Ma'am," dining experience.
There are a couple of restaurants in Paris, near this area especially, that are popular places for all-nighters since they stay open and are serving either 24/7 or until the wee hours. But few of the late, late night places get as grungy authentic as this one. Babylone has been a favorite of the post-club goers and the kitchen/serving staffs of the surrounding areas' (Les Halles, Le Marais, Montorgueil) restaurants for decades. It's as much a place where you come to enjoy a meal as it is a place where you come to drink in the colorful crowd who gathers here until closing which is usually around 6 a.m. It's a bit tricky to classify the cuisine but it's accurate to describe it as long-stewed and spicy Caribbean, Creole and Cajun dishes. It's not really all that hard to find either, especially once you're there.
Recommended for 2nd Arrondissement - Montorgueil's Best Restaurants because: Here you get a rich, satisfying Creole-Cajun meal. And you can get that until about 5 in the morning, every day except Mondays.
Paige's expert tip: It's always good to have an address or two programmed into your phone, for those after-clubbing times, where they serve meals until 5 am.
The restaurant of the ultra-hip fitness club and well-being center is nestled in the glass roof topped atrium-like inner courtyard. The real overhaul though is with their new menu which caters to the body-conscious, health-conscious clientele. Many choices on the menu are either gluten-free, vegan or both. Inventive combinations of exotic herbs like red basil and ginger used in generous doses with a beef Thai salad. Wines are nicely paired with the menu's choices of starters, mains and full-portion salads. A lovely choice of fresh-pressed juices accompany your meal, too, such as a pear-cucumber-mint press or orange, carrot and ginger is also a choice. The original cocktails are also available at the restaurant and make it well worth tasting each one on the menu. A few are served in pineapples and flaming tiki cups. After lunch, you can always retire to the bar area and enjoy one at leisure.
Recommended for 2nd Arrondissement - Montorgueil's Best Restaurants because: Healthy and flavorful. The gluten-free/vegan choices on the menu are so well integrated with the rest of the items that it's like they're embedded.
Paige's expert tip: Lunchtime attracts a good crowd in this area that has become known as Silicon Sentier, a reference to the prevalence of start-ups in the neighborhood and a nearby main street, rue Sentier. Expect a fashionable crowd here with the consistent comings and goings of well-toned bodies exiting and entering the gym part of the venue. Le Klay, by the way, has a reputation as the best gym in the city.
In what has become a sea of Parisian hamburger joints, there is now, at long last, a real doughnut shop. Doughnuts fresh-baked every 2 hours from morning 'til evening by pastry-chef-trained Amanda Bankert who owns the shop with her Irish husband. Mid-mornings and at about 4 pm in the afternoons, expect a line out the door for these hot, fresh bundles of doughy, sugary joy. Dark chocolate and craft stout. I thought that might get your attention! That is just one of the tasty-creative doughnut flavors, this one's called Hoppy Days, that Amanda has come up with for her pastry-doughnut classics. Another one is Sweet Virginia which has maple icing and salted peanut brittle bits sprinkled on top. Some of the flavors are staples and some are seasonal like the St. Paddy's bright green lucky charm icing doughnut or the matcha green tea flavored icing doughnuts. The size of these guys is American-style, too. More than a handful, one of these will fill you up but if you buy two, or two dozen, you'll get to taste more of the flavors. Oh and her densely chocolate-y brownies just won Best of Paris recently, too. So be sure to get one of those for your bedtime snack. Wink, wink.
Recommended for 2nd Arrondissement - Montorgueil's Best Restaurants because: Paris has its first real doughnut shop. And if you're wondering whether they're any good, judge by the line trailing out the door every afternoon!
Paige's expert tip: These doughnuts are vegan, by the way. Boneshaker uses non-hydrogenated vegetable fats and no chemical additives so, if you can believe it, they are guilt-free, as well as cruelty-free doughnuts. And they come in flavors such as Sweet Virginia and Hoppy Days, in other words, sugary, doughy bliss.
Hailed by hipsters as one of the coolest places in Paris when it opened a few years ago, this bistronomy restaurant has nonetheless evolved even further and I daresay, it has become better. It used to be a wine bar and a restaurant but now the wine bar is just across the way, literally next door. Separating out wine bar from restaurant allowed the new young owner to focus on developing a finely honed menu, one where each raw ingredient is grown, harvested, fished or hunted by a person he's on a first name basis with. Taste things here like cream of parmesan served over a perfectly cooked egg yolk with finely chopped champignon de Paris sautéed in butter and garlic until black. The steak for two could feed four and it comes served on a wooden cutting board with accompanying dipping sauces.
Recommended for 2nd Arrondissement - Montorgueil's Best Restaurants because: Sometimes hipster places stand the test of time. This one is that - and now under new ownership, it has gotten even better.
Paige's expert tip: This is one of the area's absolute best restaurants. The French love to do plays on words and this one is characteristically cute: Pas Sage means "bad" as in bad behavior but the location of this wine bar sits at the mouth of one of those fabulous Paris "passages" the inner galleries that traverse several buildings.
Opened in 1846 this is one of the neighborhood's longest standing and most richly historical restaurants. Opened when the rue St. Denis and rue Montorgueil were largely just footpaths, this restaurant has welcomed such artistic greats as Gavarni and Baudelaire. For decades and decades, it had the reputation of being one of the best places in Paris for oysters, a delicacy that wasn't even featured on the menu but simply served as an "amuse-bouche" to whet the appetite. This location is actually the second incarnation of the restaurant. The first stood across the street, opened at least as early as 1734 and closed in 1845. It's believed that it was at this location that the celebrated gastronomic club, "Caveau," had its defacto headquarters and met here regularly. This location today, with its powder blue and gold-trimmed façace, remains a landmark dining destination on this street and also in Paris.
Recommended for 2nd Arrondissement - Montorgueil's Best Restaurants because: Even in Paris, there are few restaurants who can trace their historical roots all the way back to 1734.
Paige's expert tip: Rue Montorgueil was once known as the place to buy oysters. At the time of the opening of this restaurant in the mid-1840s Parisian oyster, consumption was up to six million dozen oysters per year. For a city of 1 million inhabitants, that equals 25 dozen oysters per person.
Newly opened by chef Rafael Gomes after putting in his 3 solid years as the chef at the Grand Coeur (in Paris Marais), this attractive spot in the up-and-coming 'start-ups central' area of Paris is an instant hit. Here, the Brazil-born, U.S. trained (Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park both NYC top restaurants) is free to do as he wishes and follows his inspiration. Lunch is a good time to stop in to try the singularly delicious roasted avocado salad. You'll also find daily specials that include market fresh ingredients like artichokes and asparagus blended with a perfectly creamy but light risotto served with generous white-breast filets of Bresse chicken. A generous steak is also on the menu and there are also vegetarian choices which make this a super choice for dinner, too. The signature dessert here is white chocolate served with passion fruit granita and a coulis sauce of passion fruit. All is house made and all comes from the sheer passion and delight the chef has for his chosen profession. The interior decor is rustic and laid back with a gorgeous central table for group seating. Service is friendly and international but all seem to share that Brazilian touch of warmth.
Recommended for 2nd Arrondissement - Montorgueil's Best Restaurants because: This chef-owner has worked in some of the world's finest kitchens ranking on the world's 50 best lists. Now he has his own restaurant.
Paige's expert tip: You really can't go wrong with the special of the day since the chef knows what's best for which season and has an eye for sourcing the top ingredients at the market. Two things not to miss are the cheese balls as a starter which are so super cheesy inside that they knock the traditional gougeres out of the playing field. Another not to miss is the fresh juice blends, all signature and all healthy and delicious. And then, of course, the white chocolate and passion fruit dessert. Just try to find that anywhere else.
Do you enjoy dining in a harbor of hot, trendy 20-somethings? If so, if that is your scene, this is one of those Parisian places that will make you feel like you have found your tribe. Self-described as a restaurant and brasserie, this London offshoot instantly became the place to be seen when it opened in 2017. Spotted here are hipsters casually wearing the latest t-shirt and jeans fashion, sporting top-of-the-line laptops, smartphones and any other accouterments de jour that make the statement that they are the 'It' boys and girls. You can expect high quality from the kitchens here with a signature chicken dish served with 'aligot', that cheesy mashed potato specialty that the French do so well and sides of grilled cauliflower. The signature dessert coconut meringue that is much more chocolate than coconut and whose presentation has you at hello.
Recommended for 2nd Arrondissement - Montorgueil's Best Restaurants because: The vegetarian option isn't labeled as such on the menu, so confident is it of its rightful place in this kind of a venue.
Paige's expert tip: The lobby of the hotel in which this restaurant is located serves as a cafe. I, therefore, recommend that you take your after-lunch coffee (an inescapable tradition in France) by stepping out of the restaurant and into this delightful cafe area. It is a great way to relax after the meal and of course participate in that most entertaining of pastimes, people watching!
Its claim to fame is that it's Paris' oldest patisserie. Established in 1725 when King Louis XV's new wife, the Polish Maris Leszczynska's father's pastry chef followed her to Versailles. Five years later, Nicolas Stohrer, the Polish King Stanislas' former pastry chef, opened this shop on rue Montorgueil. They are famous here for their Baba Au Rhum which they once served to the Versailles court. The fine pastry shop remains as an anchor in this street both as a reminder of its storied past and also its current burgeoning reputation as one of Paris' trendier neighborhoods. There is no place in which to sit and enjoy your pastry in the shop, so it's buy-and-eat-on-your-way-out or take-home. But many Parisians will make a detour on their Saturday shopping days or on their way home from work just so they can pick up a few sweet treats from this historical pastry bakeshop.
Recommended for 2nd Arrondissement - Montorgueil's Best Restaurants because: This is touted as the oldest pastry shop in Paris so for history buffs with a sweet tooth, it's a must stop.
Paige's expert tip: This shop is more than a fine pastry and chocolate shop, it is also the French version of a deli known here as a "traiteur." If you find you have an appetite for more than just sweets you can pick up a slice of quiche or other savories while here.
If there is a world-famous rue Montorgueil restaurant, this is it. Its namesake welcoming snail that hangs in all its golden-brass glory above the door, doesn't let you forget that you're in France now. The interior had a makeover in spring 2014 so the interior décor feels refreshed though they maintained the restaurant's old-world feel. In addition to the variety of escargot (yes, snails) dishes you'll find on the menu here, you will also find many of the French classics, with respect to the seasons. The enclosed terrace dining in the colder months offers a welcoming view onto the pedestrian street just outside and all the interesting passersby.
Recommended for 2nd Arrondissement - Montorgueil's Best Restaurants because: A restaurant named after the signature French dish of snails is one that must be discovered when in France.
Paige's expert tip: Greeting you upon entrance is the Madame's (owner's) collection of snails. Be sure to offer them your salutations as you enter into the restaurant. Established in 1832 this restaurant serves Escargots Montorgueil Bourgogne au Foie Gras; Translated that's: snails from the Burgundy region of France served with foie gras.