Where to Eat in Paris’ Saint-Germain-des-Prés Neighborhood

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Posted October 02, 2017

Saint-Germain-des-Prés, in Paris’ Sixth Arrondissement, remains just as popular as ever today, and a focal point of most visitors’ trips here.

Saint-Germain-des-Prés, in Paris’ Sixth Arrondissement, remains just as popular as ever today, and a focal point of most visitors’ trips here. And no wonder—this neighborhood has some of the best views and walks in the city, sitting as it does along the River Seine. Traditionally, it’s also been one of the intellectual centers of Paris, which means endless opportunities for browsing the bookstores here, exploring the École des Beaux-Arts (the famous fine arts school), and the Musée national Eugène Delacroix (not to mention historical hangouts for the literati, like Cafe de Flore and Les Deux Magots). But Saint-Germain-des-Prés is also a food and wine lover’s paradise, with some of the best restaurants and bars in Paris. In between sightseeing, plan to have at least a few meals and drinks in this part of town. The five spots below are great places to start a culinary tour of neighborhood.

Le Comptoir

For a delightful lunch on the Rive Gauche, Le Comptoir, run by Claudine and Yves Camdeborde, is unbeatable. This thirties-style bistro (complete with mirrored walls) seats just 20 inside and—in warmer months—another 16 on the sidewalk, and doesn't accept lunch reservations. But take this from a veteran: it's worth the hassle of waiting and not taking non for an answer. Order the grilled tuna, which comes with the crispest vegetables, or opt for succulent souris de gigot (lamb knuckle) served with semolina. Round out your meal with an indulgent cheese plate or double-sized pots de crème au chocolat.

Josephine Chez Dumonet

Josephine Chez Dumonet is the place for seared escalope de foie gras cooked with white grapes and served with creamy mashed potatoes; the crispest confit de canard; and delicious desserts, such as the unctuous chocolate mousse and extraordinary Grand Marnier soufflé. The fluorescent lighting is not for the vain, but the food never disappoints.

Chez Gramond

Chez Gramond is ideal after a visit to see the Phillips family's private collection of Cézannes, Picassos, and Hoppers at the Musée du Luxembourg. Order the house specialty, roasted squab, and catch a glimpse of chef Jean-Claude Gramond working the room in his signature clogs.

Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels

This elegant and sophisticated wine bar, located across from the old Marché Saint Germain, is a total change of pace from other cramped, crowded bars in Paris. Couches and a fireplace create a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy the large selection of regional wines on offer. Whether just a glass, a bottle, or a tasting of several wines, customers can't go wrong with the suggestion of the knowledgeable staff. Small savory plates and some sweets are also on the menu, but play second fiddle to the red, white, and rose on offer.

Bread & Roses

This unassuming bakery on the cusp of the Luxembourg Gardens offers a range of pastries, breads, and lunch dishes. Its corner placement, with hanging flowers above the adjoining sidewalk, offers a chance to people-watch from either outside or through the large windows. Bakery offerings include dense multigrains, breads stuffed with fruits or green olives, and tarts filled with everything from chocolate to strawberry. Savory selections range from goose liver pate to puff pastries topped with tomatoes, onions, and marinated anchovies.

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