Le Petit Vendôme
Clued-in locals and famous food critics swear by this tatty Auvergnate bistro de quartier right off the Place Vendôme. It's hard not to love the three-dollar kir cocktails and hearty dishes suck as grilled pig's feet, yet the lines spilling out onto the sidewalk are actually for the sandwiches, on buttered, jaw-challengingly chewy baguettes from boulengerie Julien (the "it" bread of Paris.) Make yours a classic jambon-fromage with nutty Cantal cheese and cured ham from the Auvergne. Tote your lunch to the Tuileries gardens and eat while gazing out on the Louvre.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.