My girlfriend and I will be visiting Paris the 3rd week of May, staying 6 nights. We'll be staying near the Chemin Vert metro stop, between Place de la Bastille and Place de la Republique, on the border of the 3rd and 11th arrondissements. We'll be in the same location as our last visit 5 years ago.
I speak (fairly) fluent French (family in Annecy, who we'll be visiting the first leg of the trip), and know Paris fairly well. Breakfasts and lunches are generally taken care of - there's a little cafe a few blocks away for breakfast, and a boulangerie and charcuterie on Rue Amelot and Saint Sabin that, in the past, we have gotten our picnic-on-the-go items from. While there are of course certain sights and destinations in mind, we're not very rigid planners, and so we're unlikely to have set lunch destinations in mind - unless there is reason to do so.
Lastly, we really enjoy the Marais area, and so when not out at a particular destination, we tend to find ourselves roaming the streets and alleys of that area. Our last visit, we had a very memorable meal at Le Bar a Huitres on bd Beaumarchais, and another one at Caves Saint Gilles, a wonderful little Spanish tapas joint.
We are both very adventurous eaters, willing to eat anything (at least once). We are on somewhat of a limited budget - very high end eateries are out of our price point (we can do 2 dinners where we spend 150 euros for both of us, on each of the 2 nights). We also tend to shy away from high tourist destinations, at least as much as one can do in Paris. That means that some of the classic Paris restaurants, both for price point and because of the tourist factor, are not on our radar.
All that being said, we are looking for:
1) Dinner recommendations in the Marais area, or in the 3rd, 4th, or 11th, as that's where we'll spend much of our "unstructured" time.
2) Rue Montorgueil neighborhood - we've never really explored it, but would like to this time. Any good lunch or dinner recommendations in that area?
3) Left Bank - in the 5th, near the Rue Mouffetard. We loved the Natural History museum, and plan on a return visit. Rue Mouffetard was delightful. I realize it's a bit touristy there, but a good lunch spot there away from the beaten path would be great.
4) Any thing else - any other very good, mid priced, inventive recommendations? I know there's been a great recent movement in Paris (and elsewhere) to make higher end food more approachable, resulting in the "gastro-pub" approach (at leas as I've heard it called). I think this was a focus of Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" Paris episode (his 100th episode?), which we plan to rewatch for some ideas. Are the restaurants on that show truly worth a visit (La Quincave, Frenchie, Le Chateaubriand, les cocottes de Constant, Le Jeu de Quilles, Je Thé...me). Which of these are truly worth the visit, yet won't break the bank? If these have become insanely popular, what other choices are there that are similar, but less popular?
Merci a tous en avance!