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TRAVEL-48 hours in bargain Paris.

Summary: Four local food bloggers guide you around the restaurants and markets in the French capital, that make for an unforgettable trip.

The Author

BRYCE CORBETT

Australian-born and Paris-based, Bryce is a journalist and author. He has written a book A Town Like Paris (Little Brown), and his blog A Town Like Paris can be found at brycecorbett.blogspot.com.

The food writer

MEG ZIMBECK

Meg has been eating her way around Europe for over five years. A Kansas girl, she now feels more at home in Paris and can often be found playing boules. She contributes regularly to Saveur.com, BlackBook.com and Budget Travel. Read her blog, Paris and other adventures, at megzimbeck.com.

The concierge

ADRIAN MOORE

Canadian-born Englishman Adrian was brought to France by a job at Hotel Disneyland and is now an award- winning concierge at a top Paris hotel. He is also a food and travel writer and self-confessed hedonist, and food obsessive. Follow his blog, Paris Food Intelligence, at adrianmoore.blogspot.com.

The sommelier

OLIVIER MAGNY

Born and bred in Paris, Olivier is a sommelier and the founder of wine tasting company Eo Chateau. He enjoys eating well, drinking well and making fun of Parisians. Read his blog, Stuff Parisians Like, at o-chateau.com/blog.

The Author

BRYCE CORBETT

In Paris, eating is the main event. You can come here to climb the Eiffel Tower or gawk at the Mona Lisa, but food and the 24-hour-a-day appreciation of it is what your visit should be about. But as with any city crawling with visitors, there are tourist traps aplenty and rip-offs down every rue. Here's the pick of places where Parisians eat and where you'll get the most for your money.

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The French rarely stretch breakfast beyond un cafe and un croissant. If you want to save money, don't do the two together. Grab a croissant, e1/40.90, at La Fougasse (25 rue de Bretagne, 3rd; 0033 1 42 723 680) on your way across the street to Cafe Charlot (38 rue de Bretagne, 3rd; 0033 1 44 540 330) for a cafe allonge (espresso with a little extra water), e1/42.20. Or try the e1/4 e1/48.50 breakfast at L'Estaminet (39 rue de Bretagne, 3rd; 0033 1 42 722 812) - a croissant, jus de pomme, cafe and tartine with confiture, and views of the Marche des Enfants Rouges from the cafe's terrace.

If you're hell-bent on visiting some of the city's big-name restaurants but don't feel like selling your house, go for lunch. Le Chateaubriand (129 avenue Parmentier, 11th; 0033 1 43 574 595) does an excellent lunch menu for e1/416, as does the Hotel du Nord for e1/413 (hoteldunord.org). But if you really want to push the boat out and sample the cuisine of one of the leading chefs in Paris, book into Les Ombres (lesombres-restaurant.com). Atop the Musee du Quai Branly, the restaurant's lunch menvu, e1/438, includes dishes such as panfried sea bream with fennel oil and potato and shellfish risotto. Or the Alain Ducasse brasserie, Benoit, where a three- course lunch menu will set you back just e1/434 - a steal given the name over the door (benoit-paris.com).

For a traditional French dinner, forget the fancy Michelin-starred joints and head to one of the city's rambunctious brasseries. Chez Janou is among the most atmospheric. A duck with rosemary will cost you only 1e1/4 5 and the all-you-can eat mousse au chocolat, e1/47, is an out-of-body experience (chezjanou.com). French brasserie Astier's set menu dinner, e1/431, is among the best value in all of Paris and its all-you-can -eat cheese board has to be seen to be believed (restaurant-astier.com).

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Fresh food markets abound in Paris, and as well as providing a glimpse into the daily life of locals, they're brimming with dirt-cheap foodstuffs. Marche de la Bastille on Boulevard Richard Lenoir (Thursdays and Sundays, 8am-1pm) is among the best. Stock up on some cheese, take a freshly baked baguette and head to nearby Place des Vosges for a a lunchtime picnic with one of the best backdrops in the world.

The food writer

meg Zimbeck

Paris is still a place where good products are taken seriously. In shops and restaurants across this city, you'll find stubborn romantics selling lovingly aged cheeses, labour-intensive pastries, and small batch organic wines. Their insistence on artisanal quality combined with Parisians' love of value - le bon rapport qualite-prix - make it possible to eat extremely well for not much money.

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Start off on a sweet note at Du Pain et des Idees, where you'll find the city's most appley apple turnover, e1/41.80. Pair it with a pain chocolat banane, e1/41.80, and nibble your breakfast along the banks of the nearby Canal Saint- Martin (dupainetdesidees.com). Fabrice Le Bourdat at Ble Sucre tweaks the traditional breakfast pain au chocolat with white chocolate, e1/41.10, and his croissant, e1/40.90, is on every critic's 'best of' list. A sack of madeleines for the road is de rigeur, e1/43 (7 rue Antoine Vollon, 12th; 0033 1 43 407 773). For people-watching, you can't beat Chez Prune. Grab a coffee, e1/4 2.50, and observe the local bobos (bourgeois bohemians) in their natural habitat (36 rue Beaurepaire, 10th; 0033 1 42 413 047).

The delicious weekday menu at epicerie and restaurant Cantine de Quentin includes an entree and plat for e1/414, with updated classics like smoked duck with caramelised apple. (52 rue Bichat, 10th; 0033 1 42 024 032) La Gazzetta offers a set lunch for just e1/4 e1/416 in a polished bistro setting. The daily changing menu features three small entree plates and the main of your choice, such as girolles (chanterelles) with coco beans, fresh almonds and goat's cheese (satellite-productions.fr). Cross the bridge to Berthillon, the legendary ice-cream shop on one of the River Seine's little islands, Ile Saint-Louis. Crowds gather even in winter for a cone of glace aux marron-glaces, a seasonally scrumptious candied chestnut ice cream, 2e1/4 (berthillon.fr).

Spend your evening at wine bar Le Verre Vole, which specialises in natural wines. Take advantage of the relaxed dinner rules and order a series of plates to share: brandade (puree of salt cod, olive oil and milk) with Roman-style artichokes, e1/47; la Caillette (sausage and mash from the Ardeche), e1/412, and a large plate of artisan cheese, e1/411.50. The setting is small and intimate, so book ahead (leverrevole.fr). At Cheribibi, in the up-and-coming quartier of Chateau Rouge, the crowd is hip, but the menu is retro. Three courses for e1/424, including classics like veal chops and chocolate mousse. (15 rue Andre-del- Sarte, 18th; 0033 1 42 548 896).

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Wander through the fruit and veg at Marche d'Aligre (marchedaligre. free.fr) then head to the adjoining covered market, Sur les Quais (surlesquais.com), for great food gifts such as truffled mustard, e1/45.50.

The Concierge

ADRIAN MOORE

A wave of open-minded young chefs with new ideas has swept the city, renewing its culinary culture with affordable but exciting bistro cooking, and more restaurants using seasonal, organic and exotic produce.

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Kitchen is the second establishment of American expat Marc Grossman, whose first, Bob's Juice Bar, changed the way that the French saw smoothies. Organic and vegetarian, Kitchen offers breakfasts of porridge with fruit, e1/45.75, and smoothies, from e1/4 e1/43.25 (bobsjuicebar.com). The Champs-Elysees Laduree, one of Paris's oldest and most venerable pastry makers, is located on one of the most famous avenues in the world. Order a croissant filled with almonds and hazelnuts, e1/42.70, or scrambled eggs with bacon, e1/47.50 (laduree.fr). There has been a sandwich renaissance in Paris in recent years, with luxury shops, such as Cojean popping up all over the city centre. Visit for organic sarnies, such as baguette Paris Paris (poppy baguette with ham, emmental, tomato and tartare sauce), e1/45.20, and mini poulet coco curry (marinated chicken, coconut, lemongrass, pineapple, mango chutney and curry sauce in brioche), e1/43.80 (cojean.fr). Goutu is a simple sandwich shop where the bread is baked fresh daily (goutu1.com). For good value dinners, try the city's bistronomiques - these are small restaurants with short menus run by young chefs trained in Michelin- starred gastronomic restaurants . They use market-driven produce and avoid luxuries such as truffles (or charge a supplement for them), and cook using high-level techniques. Just a stone's throw from the Eurostar terminal at the Gare du Nord train station is one of the original bistronomiques, Chez Michel, owned and run by chef Thierry Breton. His e1/432 three-course dinner menu highlights his exceptional cooking - try duck shepherd's pie with foie gras, in the tiny bustling dining room in the shadow of the imposing Saint Vincent de Paul church (10 rue de Belzunce, 10th; 0033 1 44 530 620).

Newcomer Frenchie repeats the same formula: great seasonal produce, expert culinary know-how, and a belt-tightened menu for an in-the-know local dining public. The chef cut his teeth at New York's Gramercy Tavern and Jamie Oliver's Fifteen, and the restaurant takes its name from his expat nickname. The smoked trout with wild asparagus is already legendary, and the e1/433 three- course dinner menu is a steal (frenchie-restaurant.com).

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Buy a couple of bottles of wine to take home. Chapeau Melon (92 rue Rebeval, 19th; 0033 1 42 026 860) is owned by Olivier Camus, a fan of natural wine (wine produced with a minimum of chemical and technical interference). Try an Anjou from winemaker Benoit Courault, e1/411. Or head to the oldest wine shop in Paris, Caves Auge (116 boulevard Haussmann, 8th; 0033 1 45 221 697). They stock many fine wines - and many very expensive ones. A good buy is Vouvray from Francois Pinon, 2006, e1/48.

The sommelier

OLIVIER MAGNY

Paris is a city of discreet indulgence. Of all the global metropolises, Paris doesn't have the most exciting nightlife but with good reason - for us French, sitting down to a good meal is entertainment enough.

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A simple and delightful way to start off your day is at a bakery - buy croissants au beurre, pains au chocolat and chaussons aux pommes, less than e1/41.20 each, from Gerard Mulot (76 rue de Seine, 6th, 0033 1 43 268 577) then head to the nearby Jardin du Luxembourg. Want to eat in? Esmerelda is an enchanting place for breakfast on a sunny day. It's located at the tip of L'Ile de la Cite and offers cafe, e1/4 2.50, croissants, e1/4 e1/41.90, and jus d'orange, e1/43. Best of all, the terrace faces the morning sun (2, rue du CloEtre Notre- Dame; 0033 1 43 541 772).

Unpretentious, authentic and simple, Le Banquier is where you can expect good quality meat, killer French fries and value-for-money dishes. Lunch on pave de boeuf sauce au poivre (beef with pepper sauce), e1/412 (25 rue du Banquier, 13th; 0033 1 43 363 882). For a romantic vibe two minutes away from Notre Dame, the best value lunch is at Le Reminet - fantastic service, a daily changing menu of sophisticated cuisine and consistently great fish in an elegant setting. The three-course menu, e1/414, is a steal; dishes includes carpaccio de St Jacques (scallop carpaccio) and magret de canard (duck breast) (lereminet.com).

Dinner in Paris is probably the most important time of the day. For a traveller on a budget, maximum pleasure for your money is to be had at La Biche au Bois. Beautiful port- flavoured duck terrine, coq au vin, a fantastic cheese platter and sinful chocolate desserts - all within a e1/424.50, four-course menu. The wines are excellent and offered almost at cost price. I'm amazed they make a living charging these prices! (45 avenue Ledru Rollin, 12th; 0033 1 43 433 438). Le Domaine de Lintillac offers all sorts of duck specialities, straight from the restaurant's farm, near Brive. The magret de canard costs less than e1/410 and the most expensive wine on the list is e1/427.50, a Saint Eemilion Grand Cru Chateau Gravet (lintillac-paris.com).

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A good afternoon escapade for any food lover is the Montorgueil neighbourhood. From the restaurant-supply shops A. Simon (simon-a.com) and Mora (mora.fr), to the kitchen appliance heaven of Dehillerin (e-dehillerin.fr), there's a lot to dream about, without spending a euro.

G. Detou (58, rue Tiquetonne, 2nd, 00 33 1 42 365 467) is a timeless temple to food - treat yourself to well priced treasures such as jars of honey and mustard or tins of tea. Pastry fans should head to Stohrer (stohrer.fr) for unforgettable eclairs at less than e1/43.50, while chocolate lovers should opt for Declinaison Chocolat (declinaison-chocolat. com); ballotins (boxes) start at just over e1/410.

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Publication:BBC GoodFood Middle East
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Nov 29, 2012
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