Next to New York, Paris is my favorite city in the entire world. I first visited just after I turned 13, and now, nearly a decade later, I'm lucky enough to call the City of Lights my part time home. Besides the rich history, gorgeous architecture, and fascinating people, what kept my family and I coming back was, not surprisingly, the food. When I'm away for too long, I start dreaming about baguettes. My favorite meal of the day is lunch. Unlike the rushed pastries grabbed at breakfast and the notoriously opulent dinners, Parisian lunch can be as casual or fancy as you want. Here's list of my top 5 places to get lunch in Paris. Bon appétit!
Don't let the size of this small lunch spot deter you.Situated on rue de Vaugirard in the city's 6th district, Le Petit Lux is a restaurant-bakery combo that never fails to please. For a quick bite, grab a a sandwich (the salmon is my favorite) or a slice of quiche from the bakery side. The line spills into the street in the early afternoon, but the wait is definitely worth it. To pass the time, I often admire the immaculate pastries that sit in pristine lines behind the large display window. If you can't resist digging right in, the Luxembourg garden is a mere five-minute stroll away, and is the perfect place for a picnic.
Located not far from Le Petit Lux, Eggs & Co. is the ideal restaurant for those who can't decide between breakfast and lunch. Like Le Petit Lux, this is a case of something very good coming in a very small package. In short, be prepared to wait, especially on the weekend. The interior of the restaurant is best described as quaint French cottage meets trendy Brooklyn cafe. Once you squeeze everyone around the tiny table, order a cappuccino and the Eggs Benedict. It will rock your world.
For an authentic French brasserie experience, head over to Le Recrutement in Paris' 7th district. Located a stone's throw from Les Invalides, this brasserie is the perfect place to refuel while exploring the neighborhood's many monuments. While you may recognize the exterior from the famous painting by Guy Buffet, the caesar salad will keep you coming back. Topped with obscene amounts of parmesan cheese and crispy chicken, this salad is best enjoyed en terrasse with a glass of rosé.
Located a 15 minute stroll down rue Saint Dominique from Le Recrutement, Les Cocottes offers visitors a more elevated lunch experience. Even though it's flanked on either side by its sister restaurants, Les Cocottes stands out with help from its unifying theme. All of the main dishes and several appetizers are served in cocottes, which are small cast iron crocks in which the meal is usually cooked. You can't go wrong with the pig's feet stuffed potatoes (Sounds weird, but it's delicious. I promise!) the oeufs mayonnaise (think awesome French deviled eggs), or my go-to, the plat du jour. It never fails to please.
For a truly opulent Parisian lunch, head over to L'Esplanade, located just steps from Les Invalides and a block from Le Recrutement. This white table cloth restaurant is classically elegant. While the price of a meal is a bit on the expensive side, the quality of the food and view are totally worth it. Get an order of the nems (think egg rolls) and follow it up with the tuna tartare. The club sandwich is pretty extraordinary too.