Just about as compact and cozy as one of the boxy yellow Checker taxicabs that once cruised the streets of New York City, Le Taxi Jaune is a snug little bistro in the northern Marais that remains one of the most reliable good-deal dining favorites in town. To be sure, the café-bar that opened in 1934, decorated with contemporary paintings, isn’t fancy, but the relaxed atmosphere makes it perfect for a low-key meal. Starters might include brik de chevre (warm goat cheese in flaky pastry) or a salad of seasonal vegetables followed by pan-fried duck breast, veal Marengo (said to have been created by Napoleon’s chef after the 1800 battle of Marengo in Italy), or sole tempura. Desserts are delicious, too, especially the pistachio cream and the runny chocolate cake, and wines are served au compteur (the bottle is on the table, and you pay only for what you drink). This lively little spot is open Monday-Friday for breakfast, lunch and dinner, taking last orders around 11 pm, but reservations are always advised, since it’s so popular.

13 rue Chapon, 3rd, 01.42.76.00.40, Métro: Arts et Métiers. Lunch menu €13, dinner à la carte €30. Prices are per person without wine.

Originally published in the July/August 2008 issue of France Today

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