Sylvia Whitman, Owner of Shakespeare & Company bookshop

A little place I know is . . .  Café de la Nouvelle Mairie (19 rue de Fossés Saint-Jacques, 5th) not far from the bookshop. The menu is very French, fresh and delicious – with dishes such as a mixed tomato salad and seasonal asparagus with pistachio topping.

My favourite food market . . .  The market on rue Montorgueil (2nd), a bit pricey but so much more fun than a dull, air-conditioned supermarket. There’s the round, moustachioed man in the fromagerie, the loud-mouthed fishmonger, the rosy-cheeked butcher and the flirty fruit seller.

Most memorable meal in Paris . . .  My first date with my beloved. After we’d sat through a painful production of Henry VI, Part 1 in suffocating heat, he took me to the rustic Le Bouillon Chartier (7 rue du Faubourg, 9th), one of the oldest brasseries in Paris. The food was basic, but the atmosphere beneath the tall, tall ceilings was buzzing.

Best Parisian food ritual . . .  Apéro – France’s version of happy hour, observed by most of its citizens. It’s what makes it so difficult not to drink every day in Paris! I love meeting a friend for a glass of red wine on a terrace far enough away from work not to think about it, but near enough to get to by bicycle – bars such as Le Tambour on rue Montmartre or Ma Cave Fleury on rue Saint-Denis (both 2nd).

I’d queue in Paris for . . .  Dinner at Le Comptoir du Relais (9 Carrefour de l’Odéon, 6th), which doesn’t accept reservations. Instead, diners must queue outside, often for hours at a time.

If you go to only one food or drink shop, it has to be . . .  G Detou (58 rue Tiquetonne, 2nd). It’s pronounced “J’ai du tout”, which means “I have a little of everything” – and it certainly does! There are glazed chestnuts, chocolates, olive oils, all sorts of canned sardines and on and on.

Best discovery of the past 12 months . . .  The Coutume Instituutti café at the Finnish Cultural Centre (60 rue des écoles, 5th). We finally have good coffee in the neighbourhood!

 . . . 

Barthélémy Jobert

Barthélémy Jobert, President of the Sorbonne

A little place I know is . . . Il Sorrentino Traiteur (121 rue de Sèvres, 6th), an Italian deli with all the basics of Italian food, as well as prepared dishes, including Sicilian specialities like arancini.

My favourite food market . . .  The market on avenue de Saxe (7th; Thursday and Saturday mornings) where I buy my fresh products. It also has at least two good fish stalls, and fine fish is hard to find in Paris.

Most memorable meal in Paris . . .  Twenty years ago, my rugby team had dinner every Monday night after training – either at Chez Gladines (30 rue des Cinq Diamants, 13th) or Le temps des Cerises (18-20 rue de la Butte aux Cailles, 13th). They knew exactly what to serve us when we arrived, the salade cinq diamants and the cassoulet, respectively – both still on the menu.

Best Parisian food ritual . . . Le petit noir au zinc”, or espresso at the bar, reading the newspaper. My favourite place to do this is La Brûlerie San José (30 rue des Petits Champs, 2nd) where the coffee is among the cheapest in Paris.

I’d queue in Paris for . . . Fine bread and croissants. Near the Sorbonne, I’d recommend La Boulangerie Moderne (16 rue des Fossés Saint-Jacques, 5th) and its croissants au beurre salé – but not for low-calorie diets . . . 

If you go to only one food or drink shop, it has to be . . .  La Maison du Fromage (62 rue de Sèvres, 7th) – one of the best cheese dairies in Paris, even France. The owner, Marie Quatrehomme, has just been made Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur. Try the goat cheeses in spring, the Fontainebleau at the beginning of the summer, the double-Brie in the autumn and the Comté vieux in winter.

Best discovery of the past 12 months . . . Le Terroir Parisien (20 rue Saint-Victor, 5th). Chef Yannick Alléno works only with fresh products from the outskirts of Paris, so the menu changes each season according to what’s available.

 . . . 

Claudia Roden

Claudia Roden, Cookery writer

A little place I know is . . . La Poule au Pot (121 rue de l’Université, 7th), a charming old-style convivial bistro with a bar and tables outside. The traditional terroir food is very good value and you’re made warmly welcome.

My favourite food market . . .  Rue Cler, a pedestrian market street in the 7th arrondissement, with quality greengrocers, fishmongers and butchers and some of the best charcutiers, pâtissiers, chocolatiers and cheese and honey specialists. While the quartier is grand and chic, prices are reasonable.

Most memorable meal in Paris . . .  With friends at l’Arpège (84 rue de Varenne, 7th): everything we had was spectacular. I chose an all-vegetable menu because the chef Alain Passard is famous for his innovative vegetable dishes.

Best Parisian food ritual . . .  Eating a crêpe from a street vendor. When I was at school in Paris, I hung out in the Latin quarter at weekends and couldn’t let a day go by without eating a crêpe. I still can’t resist getting my favourite, au Grand Marnier, when I pass a vendor.

In Paris I’d queue for . . .  The fantastic ice creams from Berthillon (29-31 rue Saint-Louis en L’Ile, 4th). I walk from the Latin Quarter across the Seine to Île Saint-Louis and stand in the queue outside their takeaway window.

If you go to only one food or drink shop, it has to be . . . La Grande Epicerie de Paris at the Bon Marché department store (38 rue de Sèvres, 7th). Its gourmet market is a food lover’s paradise.

Best discovery of the past 12 months . . .  Chez l’Ami Jean (27 rue Malar, 7th) is more of a rediscovery. Small, homely and rustic, depending on the time it can also be busy and noisy. You sit at tables with other people and can hear what goes on in the kitchen. The food is French Basque and innovative modern Parisian. It is delicious.

 . . . 

Julien Frydman
Julien Frydman at 'the best Lebanese takeaway', Al Dar, rue Frédéric Sauton

Julien Frydman

Director of Paris Photo

A little place I know is . . .  Al Dar (8 rue Frédéric Sauton, 5th) where I’ve been going for 20 years, for the best Lebanese takeaway. I order the most delicious shawarma and eat it on the bank of the Seine in front of Notre Dame.

My favourite food market . . .  The market in Malakoff near where I live in the southern suburbs of Paris. I go there early on Sundays and enjoy chatting with the maraîcher (market gardener), charcutier, poissonnier, fromager, the volailler (poultry seller). They know me by name, and always recommend their best products. Then if it’s a sunny day I go to the Puces de Vanves fleamarket (avenue Georges Lafenestre, 14th) five minutes from home. It’s a good way to refresh my mind and hunt for old photographs and photobooks.

Most memorable meal in Paris . . .  Before the launch of Paris Photo at the Grand Palais in 2011, I gathered a group of collectors and friends for dinner at Nomiya, an ephemeral restaurant in a container on top of the Palais de Tokyo. An amazing view in a unique setting.

Best Parisian food ritual . . .  Coffee, croissant and a glass of water at the comptoir of any café in Paris – with no TV screen, please!

If you go to only one food or drink shop, it has to be . . .  Desnoyer (45 rue Boulard, 14th). It’s the best butcher in town. I buy a côte de boeuf and grill it on the barbecue to share with family and friends.

Best discovery of the past 12 months . . .  Qui Plume la Lune (50 rue Amelot, 11th), which has just received its first Michelin star. It’s a small restaurant (15 tables) where the Breton chef Jacky Ribault creates fantastic combinations of products. The menu is improvised daily so you don’t have to choose, just enjoy the meal – very relaxing.

The Paris Photo photography fair is at the Grand Palais, November 13-16

 . . . 

Rachel Khoo

Rachel Khoo, Cookery writer

A little place I know is . . .  Bob’s juice bar (15 rue Lucien Sampaix, 10th), which also has vegetarian soups, sandwiches and salads.

My favourite food market . . .  The Marché d’Aligre (Place d’Aligre, 12th; Tuesday to Sunday).

Most memorable meal in Paris . . .  In friends’ homes where the food was simple and the wine flowing.

Best Parisian food ritual . . .  Buying a warm baguette and having a sneaky nibble on the way home (eating on the street is frowned on in Paris).

I’d queue in Paris for . . .  A piece of 24-month-old Comté.

If you go to only one food or drink shop, it has to be . . .  Pain et des Idées (34 rue Yves Toudic, 10th). I love their little bread rolls spiked with various things such as lardons, figs, Comté . . . 

Best discovery of the past 12 months . . .  ô Divin (35 rue des Annelets, 19th) – a tiny bistro with great food and an extensive list of natural wines.

Rachel Khoo is the author of “My Little French Kitchen” (Michael Joseph, £20)

Marianne Faithfull

Marianne Faithfull, Singer

A little place I know is . . .  Buvette. In theory an American doing French food in Paris shouldn’t work, but it does.

My favourite food market . . .  Boulevard Raspail (6th; Tuesdays and Fridays; organic on Sundays). Not so big as to be overwhelming.

Most memorable meal in Paris . . .  I was having dinner at one of Paris’s best fish restaurants, Le Duc (243 boulevard Raspail, 14th), and [film director] Patrice Chéreau was at another table. He offered me a part in his movie Intimacy [2001].

Best Parisian food ritual . . .  Egg mayonnaise, celery remoulade, steak-frites, crème caramel.

I’d queue in Paris for . . .  nothing!

If you go to only one food or drink shop, it has to be . . .  La Grande Epicerie at Bon Marché.

Best discovery of the past 12 months . . .  A Japanese restaurant called Hanawa (26 rue Bayard, 8th). It isn’t cheap but it’s a lovely treat.

Marianne Faithfull’s new album ‘Give My Love To London’ is released on September 29

Pierre Lemaitre

Pierre Lemaitre, Novelist and winner of the Prix Goncourt 2013 for Au revoir là-haut

A little place I know is . . .  Le Rousseau (45 rue du Cherche Midi, 6th), my restaurant of choice for years – and where I learnt that I’d won the Prix Goncourt.

My favourite food market . . .  Marché de la rue du Poteau in the 18th. Convivial and good quality.

Most memorable meal in Paris . . .  At Chez Paul (13 rue de Charonne, 11th) with my wife to celebrate the publication of my first novel, Irène.

Best Parisian food ritual . . .  The veal kidneys at Chez Paul.

I’d queue in Paris for . . .  Sunday brunch at Le Loir dans la Théière (3 rue des Rosiers, 4th).

If you go to only one food or drink shop, it has to be . . .  For tea it would be La route du Thé, (14 rue Lacépède, 5th).

Best discovery of the past 12 months . . .  The pavé de foie at Le Caméléon. (6 rue de Chevreuse, 6th).

 . . . 

Jennifer Flay

Jennifer Flay, Director of FIAC art fair

A little place I know is . . .  Paris-New York Hamburgers (50 rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 10th). The neon sign, “Cheaper than a psychiatrist”, makes you feel better just reading it!

My favourite food market . . .  Faubourg Saint Denis on a Sunday morning.

Most memorable meal in Paris . . .  Dinner at Inaki Aizpitarte’s Chateaubriand to celebrate [gallery director] Chantal Crousel’s Légion d’honneur. Great food, great people.

Best Parisian food ritual . . .  Scrambled eggs for brunch at the Café de Flore (172 boulevard Saint-Germain, 6th). My idea of comfort food.

I’d queue in Paris for . . .  My local butcher Christian Laurent’s Boucherie Gourmande (86 rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis).

Best discovery of the past 12 months . . .  Benjamin Patou’s newly opened Victoria 1836 (12 rue Presbourg, 16th) with chef Alexandre Auger: excellent dining in a refined setting.

The Foire International D’Art Contemporain, October 23-26

Get alerts on Life & Arts when a new story is published

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2021. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window) CommentsJump to comments section

Follow the topics in this article