Discover New Restaurants by Les Heures Heureuses

For the third consecutive year, the City of Paris organized Les Heures Heureuses in the end of May. This successful food event has become very popular and it is about new discoveries: to make Parisians break their usual habits by visiting new bars and restaurants.

And sure, there is a lot to discover! This year, more than 280 restaurants in different parts of Paris were selling small tapas at only 2€ and most places offered wine at 2€ per glass to go with. We participated only on Friday night (and missed Thursday and Saturday), and made some excellent new discoveries.

 les Heures Heureuses

Our first we stop was La Cave Mavrommatis, the famous Greek wine bar and shop. Our food tour started well with a complimentary, full-scale wine tasting of white, rosé and red from Domaine Kir Yanni from the northern part of Greece. The moment we tasted the mini pitta filled with Graviera cheese, our next holiday destination was chosen…

Tip: If you have not yet eaten at Mavrommatis (42 rue Daubenton), hurry up! One of the best pigeons I have ever eaten.

Les Nautes

Our second stop, Les Nautes, continued on the Mediterranean side: veal meatballs in tomato sauce. Yummy! And excellent rosé.

Tip: Looking for a terrace by the Seine this summer? Think of . During Paris Plages there won’t be any cars.

Allo Sushi

From the Seine we moved to the heart of Marais for marinated salmon with herbs and edamame. Allo Sushi was previously unknown to us and we made a decision to make it our new Japanese cantine.

Tip: Every morning a seven-kilo Scottish salmon is delivered to Allo Sushi… with Le Label Rouge guarantee of excellency!

Le Thé des Écrivains

Our fourth stop was a book shop with a cafe –again a place we did not know about. Le Thé des Écrivains served a delicious Thai cake made of tako flower and coconut milk, and we had a cup of tea with it. A delightful address worth returning to!

Tip: More than a book shop! Cultural activities every week. Check Le Thé des Ecrivains for program.


Energy level up, we walked from the Marais to the 11th arrondissement. Our fifth stop was L’Embuscade, a lively bar in the trendy Oberkampf area. We had homemade Berber couscous and enjoyed friendly service and lively atmosphere.

Tip: Free couscous every Friday!!

Pierre Sang

Next and last stop was in Oberkampf, too. Run by a Top-Chef finalist of the same name, Pierre-Sang has been making buzz in Paris since 2012. We had two cheese tartines that were served with some unidentifiable (but delicious!) sauce. Will return very soon.

Tip: No reservations, no telephone, so arrive at the opening (7 o’clock in the evening) and preferably a bit earlier!


It was my first time to take part in Les Heures Heureuses and I would not want to miss it next year! We made many new discoveries at the cost of 40€ for two wine included. Who would not be happy?

Les Heures Heureuses:

Addresses we tried:

Mavrommatis (group of restaurants and shops):
Les Nautes:
Allo Sushi: (ALLO SUSHI)
Le Thé des Écrivains:
L’Embuscade: L’Embuscade

22 thoughts on “Discover New Restaurants by Les Heures Heureuses

    1. Miia Post author

      No reason why it wouldn’t –unless you know something I don’t 😉 ?

      It should be twice a year I think!

      Have you participated? What are your best discoveries?


      1. Smaïn A.

        Yeah I did!

        I discovered really great shops in the 18th and i also stayed around Oberkampf.

        In few month we will have the restaurant week in Paris, you know this event ?


      2. Miia Post author

        Not the Restaurant Day? (which is a Finnish concept by the way!!)

        If it is “week”, then I don’t know. However, tell me more please 🙂


      3. Miia Post author

        Oh cool!! Thanks!

        I see this is the 5th year –how come I never heard about!? Well, last year I was not here at that time, but come on, 5 yrs! Need to ask my husband if he has heard..

        I looked at the website but could not find the restaurant list. What kind of restaurants participate?


      4. Smaïn A.

        The final list will be available in the beggining of September.
        Lot of famous restaurants participates, and the great tables are booked fast..


      5. Miia Post author


        Mavrommatis is good. Classic but very good. I had a super delicious pigeon (or maybe “caille” there). Been there several times over the years. Would return.

        P.D. I go sometimes for business mtgs but prefer to eat elsewhere if I can choose myself..

        The rest: don’t know if I would go. Did you/would you? If yes, which one?


      6. Miia Post author

        I see she works with La Fouchette (for reservations). What do yo think of La Fourchette? To me it is a turn off… I have always been disappointed with LF restos. BUT, Pic menu looks really great, and I am sure (and I know for fact) that LF also works with some high-end restos.

        This said, somewhere north of Bastille there is a resto by a woman called Flora.. cannot remember the name. Do you know this one? I just read an article about her.


      7. Smaïn A.

        LF is not the best place to choose a restaurant.
        Most of the restaurant are not interesting. And as you said, they tend to accept high end restaurants now, but do not provide any discount, it is just for the resrvation system.

        Two type of restaurants use this service:
        1. restaurant has not enough customers to run, so they need to attract more people
        2. some new restaurant use LF to be noticed!


      8. Miia Post author

        I only go to LF restos when someone else reserves, but rarely. Do my best to avoid. The last time it happened I was pretty sure the food was frozen and heated up. It looked sophisticated but not good taste. Not fresh.Something was off.

        Every French person/Parisian I know avoids LF.

        I get your point, but from the marketing/communications point of view (have done a lot of that myself) I don’t understand why a high-end resto would want to have anything do with the group that is associated with bad quality. Aren’t there other reservations systems? Don’t these high-end restos want to take care of the reservations themselves (which goes in hand with being able to provide good service)?

        I don’t get it from this point of view…


      9. Smaïn A.

        I personally think it is financially interesting for them. LF get lots of traffic, and they were just bought by TripAdvisor!

        The competition is not crazy in France, i don’t know why. Open table has maybe 20 restaurant using it in Paris (They stopped selling it in France now). And SeatMe has nothing here yet. Sad, it is so convenient.


      10. Miia Post author

        You think so… Well, you know the French mentality better than I do 😉

        Do you use these reservation systems yourself? I never do. I like the pop-in mentality, and if one bistro is full, then there is always another one on the to-do list 🙂 But of course I reserve if it is a special occasion, far away, or for more than 2 ppl, but I reserve myself.

        Ok, sorry you must think je suis penible 😉 but why would I reserve by a system?

        Btw do you follow New York Times? There was a cute article about Parisian bistros I read yesterday. Some interesting names I want to try.


      11. Smaïn A.

        i follow the NYTimes 🙂 But hard to get all the news, what is the link?
        No I don’t lol I am happy to share/talk with you!

        I tend to use reservation system (or phone call) when available, especially when I know the restaurant is buzzing.


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