The restaurants are packed, the bars and pavement cafés are spilling over with people sitting out in the open air, even more so than in the past. This is because Parisians have turned their coffee, wine and foie gras into an act of defiance to demonstrate that no one will ever change their way of life. #jesuisenterrasse was tweeted and printed on T-shirts immediately after the Bataclan attack and now that several weeks have gone by, and the commemorative flowers have withered, the city’s inhabitants show no signs of wanting to stay at home.
Tourism has fallen by 24%, according to official figures (compared to 39 million visitors in 2014) and the queue outside Notre Dame is no longer than a rat’s tail but fear has not damped the vitality of the ville lumière: new openings, new hotels and new venues continue to spring up because “Gastronomy is the new expression of humanism - Alain Ducasse has declared – and we shall start afresh from our cuisine to demonstrate what and who we are, our tradition, this city’s incredible diversity and mingling of cultures, our tolerance. We shall set out to seduce you once more and we shall make Paris the most delightful city in the world”.
So, here are 7 crowded locations in which to make every evening a tous au bistrot event.
Here, mini bars and room service are things of the past. There is a proper cocktail bar, complete with everything, in each room so that you can mix your own drinks or, if you prefer, just call the reception and a personal bartender will be straight up to assist you. The colonial style bistro is delightful. 10th arrondissement.
A gourmet restaurant for hedonists, is how they define it, and this new venue is played out between flavours that are part Italian, part Brazilian, under the guidance of chef Mauricio Zillo. With past experience in the kitchens of Ducasse, he has returned to his gastronomic homeland and now prepares Italian-inspired French cuisine in Mamma-style helpings but with elegant, sun-kissed flavours. The menu, which changes frequently, consists of about ten dishes, at an average cost of 40€. 10th arrondissement.
A spin-off from the flagship restaurant of French-Korean chef Pierre Sang, who focuses on his Asian origins in this venue. Customers are served at the counter or sitting at high tables with a view of the kitchen. A 6-course menu is priced at 20€ at lunchtime, 49€ for dinner. 3rd arrondissement
The only hotel set amidst the lively nightlife of Les Halles, 2nd arrondissement, which opened in December 2015 and is already creating a buzz among Parisians for its inviting bistro and bar run by the Experimental Cocktail Club, an association of bartenders who launched the fashion for vintage drinks in the capital before exporting it to London and New York.
Pâtisserie-salon de thé des Tuileries The second venue with tables for this pastry chef (ex-Fauchon, ex-Pierre Hermè). A menu that is perfect for a lunch break or an afternoon tea. Individual teapots make customers feel pampered. Quiches and salads are available at lunchtime, while delicious Tarte au citron and Mont Blanc will cheer up the dreariest winter afternoon. 9th arrondissement
A former chocolate factory converted into a boutique hotel in the 11th arrondissment at the end of 2015. Its design melds a post-industrial style with Forties traits, complete with views of the Paris rooftops and a swimming pool.
The craft brewery scene in Paris has still not yet developed to the same extent as in other European cities. This new brewery in the multiethnic quarter of Barbes uses ingredients such as Maghreb dates and spices to offer a product that is not so much local but an expression of its urban district.
Staff shortages are hitting the hospitality sector hard, prompting some restaurants to look outside the industry to train those without restaurant experience for life in the kitchen. Andrew Friedman finds out more.