It seems strange to tell you that, if you are in Paris for more than 2 days, you simply have to go to a Korean restaurant. But Restaurant Samo is just that place.
Order the Korean BBQ beef, and you will be delivered a heavenly meal of marinated beef that cooks at your table, along with a variety of Korean pickles and vegetables. (Start with the potstickers, aka <<ravioli>> if you’re really hungry.) The food is fresh, the seasoning perfection. With a bottle of Bordeaux from the good, reasonable wine list, you cannot go wrong.
Way back when, before a topless mermaid took over your morning coffee fix, folks in coffee-centric towns like San Francisco used to go to local places for a good cuppa joe or espresso. Over the years, it’s been a real shame to see the town’s coffee houses collapse to the sterile, manufactured ambiance of the franchise kings of Seattle.
One neighborhood fought back. The Outer Sunset. It may be one of the only places in town where the closest chain coffee store is 20 blocks away in any direction.
The perfect embodiment of a local coffee house collective, along with what may well be the best espresso in the city, is Trouble Coffee, on Judah, at 46th Avenue, http://troublecoffee.com.
A fine cast of local characters runs and frequents the place. The espresso will make hair sprout instantly on your chest, though lacks the bitterness that plagues some espressos elsewhere. If you’re around for breakfast (or hungover in the noonish time), order an espresso, coconut, and toast. All will be forgiven.
When you want a kir and some free sausage snacks while standing at a typical neighborhood bar, you should head directly to Cafe du Marche in the 7th.
Same goes for a coffee on a small terrace while watching the hustle and bustle of a real working market street.
Same goes for great, reasonably priced food. From succulent steak frites to interesting salads (try the delicious Caesar, which is actually not an American Caeser at all, but more of an East Indian style Cobb salad), Cafe du Marche offers something for everyone at great prices with great rue Cler ambiance (particularly people-watching opportunities). The daily specials are traditional French fare. When they have the duck confit, it’s exceptional, and only outshined by the great potatoes that accompany it.
I’ve said “great” way too much about Cafe du Marche, but since I’ve been going here for more than 12 years and sending happy friends in that direction for the same amount of time, overuse of “great” is deserved.
Stop by when you’re in the neighborhood. Cafe du Marche, in the 7th arrondissement at 38 rue Cler.
Everyone always asks where you can stay in Paris without breaking the bank when you’d rather spend all your money shopping and drinking, and also plan to spend every night in club. If you want a reliable, simple place to lay your head when visiting Paris, the Grand Hotel Leveque right on rue Cler is just what you’re looking for.
Very clean and tidy, with helpful friendly staff, AND a location that’s second-to-none in Paris: right on rue Cler, one of Paris’ greatest market streets, just a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower and Invalides.
A word of caution to American guests: even if you’re traveling alone, if you get a single at older hotels, you may have a twin bed and have to share a bathroom with people on your floor. So, if you plan to have company or if this bothers you, book an en suite double. True at the Grand Hotel and all other French hotels of a certain age. If this isn’t a problem, book the single, as these rooms are typically a great bargain.
The 7th is a great neighborhood to stay in Paris, as it’s centrally located and you can walk nearly everywhere you’d want to visit. Not to mention, there’s a lot to see and do in the 7th itself. The neighborhood manages to be accessible to visitors while not losing its classic Parisian feel.
A fabulous base camp in the 7th is the charming Hotel de Latour Maubourg. In a beautiful older building with nicely appointed, very comfortable rooms, it’s a great home away from home when you’re visiting Paris. The staff are all extremely friendly and very helpful.
Just blocks from rue Cler, right across from a convenient Metro, and within walking distance of just about everywhere, Hotel de Latour Maubourg is a great find. The rooms that look over the little square have great views of Invalides/Ecole Militaire as well.