It will shock no one that the best dining in Paris isn’t clustered around the morass of tourist attractions (and traps) in the center of the city. Rather, the most dynamic restaurants can be found in its northeastern neighborhoods, particularly the historically working-class 11th arrondissement, where lower real estate prices have allowed entrepreneurs to flourish. The sheer concentration of destination-worthy bars and restaurants makes the 11th an ideal home base for the food-focused traveler, whatever else may be on your agenda.
Martin: The overflowing terrace here can best be described as "chaotic," but that’s part of the fun at this wine bar near Oberkampf. Chef Peter Orr arguably serves the best bar food in the city, and at reasonable prices. On any given night, you’ll find oozy runny Scotch eggs with mustard-tinged piccalilli served alongside homemade pastas, or liver parfaits that truly are boozy, buttery perfection. 24 Boulevard du Temple | +33 (0)1 43 57 82 37
Clown Bar: Eating poached brains in a clown-themed restaurant sounds like the stuff of nightmares, especially lately, but Clown Bar is positively dreamy. This historic spot near the Cirque d’Hiver is as elegantly decorated as a place covered in murals of clowns can be, while the terrace is wonderful in warm weather. Most important, the food is excellent. Chef Sota Atsumi’s intriguing offal dishes will entice even the most timid eaters, and the pithiviers de canard, a flaky puff pastry stuffed with foie gras and duck, is the most soulful meat pie imaginable. 114 Rue Amelot | +33 1 43 55 87 35
Aux Deux Amis: Unpretentious small plates, great wines by the glass, and a raucous, fashionable crowd that pours out into the street. You can make a meal out of the excellent charcuterie, while natural wine geeks will be delighted by the selection. Be prepared to get a bit sweaty and make some new friends. 45 Rue Oberkampf | +33 1 58 30 38 13
Le Petit Keller: It may look like a super-traditional bistro, but the food is anything but. Kaori Endo, formerly at Nanashi, is serving Franco-Japanese fusion for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Think mackerel donburi bowls with marinated, poached eggs, followed by chocolate quenelles with Armagnac-soaked figs and cream. You’ll leave feeling not just full, but healthy and refreshed—what you imagine all of the beautiful people drinking natural wine at the formica tables feel like all the time. 13 Rue Keller | +33 1 43 55 90 54
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