One of the toughest parts of my job as a tour guide is offering lunch recommendations to visitors to the city. It’s not that there aren’t great restaurants here – there obviously are – and many of my top choices do offer an inexpensive lunch menu that can make a nicer restaurant quite budget-friendly.
But many members of my top-ten list of Paris restaurants are not located close to the top tourist attractions, and while some people (myself included) are perfectly willing to make a journey just to eat something delicious, others want something that they can eat close to a neighborhood they’d already been planning to visit.
And that’s when I recommend Jeanne B.
This little restaurant is located on the winding rue Lepic, a natural stopping point if you’re planning to explore Sacré Coeur Basilica and the nearby Place du Tertre in the Montmartre neighborhood of Paris. If you start at Abbesses metro, the gentle slope of this street will lead you right to the restaurant’s (lilac) front door.
Once inside, you’ll see a large deli counter selling a large variety of French charcuterie as well as a handful of tables where you can enjoy the lunch menu, a constantly evolving affair that, on my last visit, featured a delicious rillettes with just the right amount of sweet Espelette pepper.
We also partook in a simple green salad with cheese and house-made croutons.
This wholly different salad was made with raw chioggia beet, endive, smoked salmon, apple, and dill.
In the past few months, I’ve learned to take a page out of my sister’s book when ordering: while I tend to neglect options featuring white fish, thinking I could just as easily do the same thing at home, she nearly always chooses these dishes, and I’m usually pleasantly surprised by how incredible a simple piece of fish can be in the hands of a pro. This version, with a summery sauce vièrge, was delightful.
The house specialty is a croque monsieur with lobster – just as decadent and delicious as you’d expect, served on brioche bread with buttered leeks and a plain side salad.
The simplicity of the front tables overlooking rue Lepic belies the cozy dining room in the back of the restaurant, which would be perfect for a large party, special event, or pretty much any visit when the weather isn’t gorgeous. When the weather is gorgeous, you’re definitely going to want to opt for the front room, with its nearly floor-to-ceiling windows that offer prime people-watching.
With reliably delicious food, reasonable prices, and the ideal location, Jeanne B has become one of my go-to recommendations for anyone visiting Paris.
Jeanne B – 61, rue Lepic, 75018