5 Quirky and Unusual Paris Restaurants
Had your fill of Parisian brasseries, and looking for an offbeat dining experience? Here are some ideas for unusual dining in Paris to make your trip unforgettable! Enjoy one of our Paris tours, then have dinner at one of these unique restaurants!
Dinner in the Pitch-Dark
Dans le noir? is a restaurant just next to the Pompidou Center, on the edge of the ultra-trendy Marais district. The concept has taken off around the world, and made it to France a few years ago. Translated literally as In the dark? the idea is pretty self-explanatory. The restaurant is pitch- black, and you are served by a blind staff. Rest your eyes from all the sightseeing and concentrate on the different flavors put in front of you without knowing what you’re eating. You eat with your hands, and everyone sits on long benches, so cross your fingers for nice neighbours! They even teach you how to pour yourself a glass of wine blind (and not to worry, after some initial nervousness, you can get the hang of it!)
Dans le noir? – 51 Rue Quincampoix, 75004
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Home Cooking, Parisian-Style
How about dinner chez un inconnu? Just about everyone from the ‘in crowd’ in Paris has gone to a private dinner cooked by a complete stranger. Some are so underground that they’re word-of-mouth only. Others, like the one organized by the lovely Jim Haynes have become known worldwide. He has hosted a Sunday dinner for strangers every week for over thirty years, just for the pleasure of introducing people. You can sign up for dinner at Jim’s place via his website.
Take the Train to Dinner
Paris is the center of European train travel, so what better than to go with the locomotive motif and take a ride to one of the several train-themed restaurants in the city.
La Gare is in Paris’ 16th arrondissement, in the former space of the “Passy-La-Muette” train station. They’ve kept the high ceilings, train tracks and red brick walls, but now it’s one of Paris’ largest restaurants with a lovely terrasse outside that seats 250 people. Or you could try Le Wagon Bleu, a restored train carriage, from which you can look down onto the real trains below. Specializing in quality Corsican cuisine, it only holds 30 people, so it’s worth reserving beforehand.
La Gare – 19 Chaussee de la Muette, 75016
Melt in Your Mouth
Are you a fanatic of French fondue? Then make sure to head over to La Refuge des Fondues in the storied Montmartre area. Sure, they serve wine in baby bottles and you have to climb over the table to get to your seat, but that’s what makes it such a fun, laid back place with delicious cheese and meat fondues. Some caveats: They don’t take debit or credit cards, and it gets really busy at the weekend, but overall, this is a little gem in an area where there are one-too-many tourist rip-offs.
La Refuge des Fondues – 17 Rue des 3 Frères, 75018
La Table des gourmets is one of the most atypical restaurants I have ever been to. Follow the steps downstairs and you’ll find yourself seated in a 12th-century underground chapel. The atmosphere is calming and almost surreal. The name “Table des gourmets” is a bit misleading for English-speakers, as the food is not Michelin-star quality. But it’s value for money, with a typically Parisian menu starting at 18 euro for 3 courses.
La Table des gourmets – 14 Rue des Lombards, 75004
Now that you know all about unique dining experiences in Paris, learn all about French drinks!
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