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Richard Nahem's American Dining in Paris

May 13, 2010 By: Richard Nahem

Richard Nahem, an ex-New Yorker living in Paris, leads private insider tours showing visitors the Paris most of them never see on their own (, and also writes a popular insider's blog

As much as Americans love indulging in French food when they come to Paris, they sometimes long for good ol’ American comfort food like hamburgers, pancakes, and crispy bacon strips. Here are our favorite picks for American-style restaurants in Paris. 

Breakfast in America

Craig Carlson is an American who moved to Paris to work in the film industry and missed American style breakfasts. Not satisfied with just having a croissant for his morning meal, he opened up Breakfast in America in 2003, a quaint diner that serves tall stacks of pancakes with maple syrup, waffles, fluffy omelets, French toast, and bagels with cream cheese.

The other specialty of the house is hamburgers served in many varieties, including cheeseburgers, bacon cheeseburgers, veggie burgers, and chili burgers, and you can wash them down with a Dr. Pepper or root beer. Now with two locations, Breakfast in America is just as popular with the French as it is with homesick ex-pats craving American fare. The lines are often long during lunch and on the weekends, so go at off-peak hours. Breakfast is served all day long. 

17 rue des Ecoles, 5th arr.
Open everyday 8:30 a.m.- 11:30 p.m.

4 rue Mahler, 4th arr.
Open everyday 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 p.m., Sunday

Joe Allen

Joe Allen, a spin-off of the popular New York City theater restaurant, has been a Paris staple for Americans for almost three decades. Located in the bustling Les Halles section of the city, it serves home-style dishes like chili con carne, barbeque spare ribs, Chefs salad, bagel and lox, and BLT with coleslaw.

Luscious desserts include strawberry shortcake, angel food cake with pineapple and mango, and pecan bourbon pie. The cozy joint has a long bar that you can eat on, checkered tablecloths, and brick walls with theater posters. 

30 rue Pierre Lescot, 1st arr.
Tel. 01 42 36 70 13- Reservations accepted
Open 12 p.m.- 12:20 a.m Sunday to Wednesday, 12 p.m. - 1 a.m. Thursday to Saturday


Ralph Lauren has just opened a stunning new flagship store in St. Germain des Pres in a former 17th century mansion that painstakingly took over three years to restore to its original beauty. Ralph’s, the in-store restaurant, is the first one to open in Europe. The sumptuous dining room is handsomely appointed with dark brown leather club chairs, fox hunt paintings, a massive stone fireplace, saddle racks, and vintage horse blankets, creating an equestrian-like atmosphere. Ralph Lauren hand-picked the menu of classic American cuisine at its finest. The highlight of the menu is the steak from his cattle ranch in Colorado, exclusive to the Paris location. Other specialties are Maryland style lump crab cake, shrimp cocktail, turkey burger, meatloaf with mashed potatoes, and crispy southern fried chicken. You can pig-out on their decadent desserts like New York style cheesecake, Ralph’s brownies with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce, carrot cake, and if you want to spare some calories and still indulge, have frozen yogurt with red berries. You can dine al fresco in the lush courtyard with cushy couches and chairs and big white umbrellas. 

173 Blvd. St. Germain, 6th arr.
Tel. .01 44 77 76 00 –Reservations accepted
Open everyday, Lunch 12 p.m. - 2: 30 p.m., Dinner 8 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.


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