Friday Five : French Restaurants

I am linking up with Courtney at Eat Pray Run, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What, and Mar at Mar on the Run for this week’s Friday Five, which is a theme related to food & drink. As I get a lot of questions and comments about France, I thought I would tell you a little bit about what I like about eating out in restaurants here.


  1. Very reasonable portion sizes. Many of the restaurants have an appetizer +  main dish + dessert option and you can often have all 3 without feeling stuffed.

2. I don’t feel rushed. If you are sitting at a restaurant, it is taken for granted that you are there to enjoy the food and company. In a nice restaurant the waiters will never push you out the door and you need to often ask for your check. They never seem in a hurry to bring it to you.

3. The menus change often. A decent restaurant will be using seasonal fruits and veggies for their dishes, so the menu has to change. Smaller restaurants build the menus day to day depending on what they find at the market that morning.

4. The wine. No matter where you go, you always have a great choice. In 98% of the cases you will only find French wine, but there will always be something you can pair your meal with and restaurants can easily make recommendations on what you could drink with your meal.

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5. The desserts.  I never bake desserts, cakes, etc. So restaurants are my occasion to indulge.



I don’t eat out often, so when I do I make sure to chose a restaurant I am going to fully enjoy, even if it is a bit pricy. I am rarely disappointed.

Here are a few recommendations :

  • Je The Me (pronounced Je t’aime) in the 15th district. Very Parisian !
  • Bistrot de Charenton (this is in my hometown and it has been revamped since the past 3 or 4 years with new owners. Great value).
  • La Plage Parisienne (it is a boat on the river right near the Eiffel Tower. The service is crappy, the food decent but a bit over priced, so you pay for the view. Worth it !)
  • Pavillon Montsouris This is in a park. A little pricy but very nice. I have never been disappointed and you can eat outside in the summer. Love it!


What is your experience with restaurants in France ? similar to the US ?

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Comments: 25

  1. MCM Mama Runs February 12, 2016 at 1:26 pm Reply

    I love that the portion sizes are small, so you can taste more things. It seems like only really expensive restaurants here do that – otherwise the portions are HUGE.
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    • Karen - Fit in France February 13, 2016 at 5:15 pm Reply

      Agree !

  2. Meranda@Fairytalesandfitness February 12, 2016 at 1:37 pm Reply

    These restaurants sound lovely! Especially the one near the Eiffel Tower!

    • Karen - Fit in France February 13, 2016 at 5:15 pm Reply

      Its great, especially when it sparkles while you are eating.

  3. Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner February 12, 2016 at 2:38 pm Reply

    Our portion sizes here are way too big! YOu are right they also rush you a lot here.Good observations
    Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…Why Mother Runners make the best ValentinesMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France February 13, 2016 at 5:14 pm Reply

      In France they assume you have paid for your spot. Which is why an espresso coffee might cost 3 euros but you can sit for an hour or longer. The 3 euros is payment for the table.

  4. Karen February 12, 2016 at 3:52 pm Reply

    Very different from here in a lot of ways. Portions here are usually pretty beefy in size lol
    I love a good wine 🙂
    Karen recently posted…Plantar Plate InjuriesMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France February 13, 2016 at 5:13 pm Reply

      The US portion sizes are way to big. I never ever finish.

  5. courtney @ eat pray run dc February 12, 2016 at 5:13 pm Reply

    thanks for sharing this – i would love to visit france one day!
    courtney @ eat pray run dc recently posted…Shopping for a Family of Two at CostcoMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France February 13, 2016 at 5:13 pm Reply

      So much to see and do here.

  6. Tina@GottaRunNow February 12, 2016 at 7:19 pm Reply

    I like the fact that they serve seasonal fruits and veggies. Delish and healthy!
    Tina@GottaRunNow recently posted…5 Mental Tips for RacingMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France February 13, 2016 at 5:12 pm Reply

      It also means you can go back to your favorite restaurants because the menu will always be changing.

  7. Janelle @ Run With No Regrets February 12, 2016 at 7:22 pm Reply

    Yum! I just remember when my sister and I had lunch in Paris, it took SO long to get anyone’s attention…so used to being pestered by servers every 5 minutes, I guess!
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…5 Guilt-Free Treats for Valentine’s DayMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France February 13, 2016 at 5:12 pm Reply

      Yes, it can get annoying. They are never in a hurry to serve you or give you your check.

  8. Darlene February 12, 2016 at 7:28 pm Reply

    Yes, I am drooling.
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  9. Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy February 12, 2016 at 10:27 pm Reply

    If we ever go back to France I’d have to pick your brains. 🙂

    Oh yes, the portion sizes are so much better there! It’s really obscene over here. I’m constantly telling my husband more isn’t necessarily better.

    But we do eat out once a week. I love to cook, but I get burned out on it too!
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…5 Reasons I Love Mug CakesMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France February 13, 2016 at 5:11 pm Reply

      I get burned out cooking too, trying to come up with something simple and easy.

  10. Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home February 13, 2016 at 2:23 am Reply

    I need to go to France! The food looks amazing. And the wine!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Food for the Runner’s SoleMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France February 13, 2016 at 5:09 pm Reply

      The food and wine are definitely great, and so much to see and do too.

  11. GingerRachelle February 13, 2016 at 4:46 am Reply

    Oh man, I’m so jealous of you! France is at the top of my to-visit list. And at the top of my activity list is eating at as many different restaurants as I can! I had heard that the restaurants there are very seasonal. I think that is so amazing. I wish more places in the states would do that. This looks amazing!

    • Karen - Fit in France February 13, 2016 at 5:07 pm Reply

      The food here is amazing the choice of great restaurants is crazy ! If you ever come let me know and I can make lots of recommendations.

  12. Liz February 15, 2016 at 6:14 am Reply

    YUMMMM! The portion sizes are perfect… all three courses are still probably half of one at the Cheesecake Factory.

    French food is famous for a reason.. and all my French friends swear their bodies are directly related to the type of food they eat.
    Liz recently posted…Peach Booty Bad Ass WorkoutMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France February 15, 2016 at 8:52 am Reply

      I definitely agree. I am always surprised how little our bodies need to function very well. And yes, the Cheesecake Factory portions are HUGE. Which is why I never go 🙁

  13. Christina February 17, 2016 at 2:52 am Reply

    This brings me back to our trip a few years ago to Paris and Nice. We love the people watching is so common and all the seats are facing the street on the patios. My husband and I notice how fast we finished compared to the other table hahahaha we must have look terrible scoffing down are food!

    • Karen - Fit in France February 17, 2016 at 6:59 am Reply

      LOL ! Good observation. My parents have a hard time when they come to France… we eat way too slowly for them.

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