London & Paris Quick and Dirty Food Guide
Barbacao - Barbacao is Jamie Olivers restaurant specializing in Steak and located in a very nice complex with window views of St Pauls. Food is exceptional and the atmosphere is romantic with St Paul in perfect view and tables lit by candle light. Price wise, it ain't cheap, but it won't rob the bank. Dinner will be about 60-80 USD per person with a drink (but there are cheaper options on the menu)
Burger and Lobster - My go to place to take visitors because it's good, affordable (about 40$ without drink per person) and in central London. They only have two things, gourmet burgers and lobster. I recommend the steamed lobster. For a whole lobster, 22 quid is a steal in London.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal - If you really want to splurge and have an amazing meal and experience, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (Michelin chef), which is located in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in central, will do the trick. Depending on what you select and how many bottles of wine you have, think Barbacao or double, price wise. But it's amazing! Be sure to try Blumenthal's meat fruit. It's where he takes meat dishes and makes them look like fruit. The mandarin which is really foie gras is absolutely amazing!
Pizza East Portobello - If you will be visiting the Nottinghill street market on the weekend, at the end of the market there is a restaurant called Pizza East. They create really yummy gourmet pizzas. Price wise, you are looking at around 16 USD per pizza, so probably 20-25 USD per person with drinks.
Another good restaurant, which has locations all over London, is Cote. It's a French restaurant with reasonably priced dishes and very delicious.
Check out the below for cheap and cheerful, good quality, quick and easy food, that will allow you to save some money for dinner:
Nandos (amazing wings) - http://www.yoninja.com/europe/listing/united-kingdom/food-drinks/1866/nandos-mayfair
Pret a Manger
Paris has soooo much great food, but they have a lot of bad restaurants catering to tourists. Make sure to stay away from the restaurants catering to tourists.
Some advice, when eating at French restaurants, make an effort to speak French, like the basic stuff: yes, thank you, 1, 2, or 3, can we have the bill please. Putting in the effort, goes a long way with the French. You are in their country afterall, try to enjoy it as a local. You can definitely speak English in most of the places, but obviously don't try to ask a million questions about this and that, as English is definitely not their first language, or one that they are fluent in. People have mixed reviews about the French, but I find that if you show a little effort, you will have a fantastic experience.
Le Relais de Venise - YOU MUST GO HERE if you enjoy yourself a good steak frites. This place doesn't take reservations, AND there is always a line out the door. They also only have one main entree item, the steak frites. Basically you sit down and your options are what do you want for your drink. :) I recommend going early, perhaps even prior to opening, so you can queue and get a seat when they first open the doors. I've waited alongside many others in 13C degree weather for over an hour because we went around 7-8pm. But the wait is definitely worth it!
Marche Ave du President Wilson - A fantastic street market of food and other types of vendors. You can eat hot and prepared food and try out all the local cuisine. You can easily kill an hour or two, just walking through this market and sampling the variety of food.
Le Congres Malliot - A good French Brasserie that has been around for many decades. Very local with excellent French dishes.
Chez Georges - Amazing Foie Gras and pork shoulder.
Le Tire Bouchon - Okay this is a very touristy crepe place, but it's very cool. It's near the Sacre Coeur Basilica, which is well worth the hike to see this beautiful basilica as well as the amazing view of Paris (this is one of the highest points of the city). This place is tiny and the seating areas are very tight (very French) and they have a piano player performing upbeat music in the middle of the restaurant. Very cool place to enjoy a nice break after walking up the hill to get to this place. (Word of advice when visiting this area by metro, be sure to take the elevator and NOT the stairs!
Relais de l’Entrecôte - Another great steak frites place which is more central. It's actually down the street from my flagship store on the champs Champs-Élysées.
Le Sèvero - Another very good tiny little French restaurant. Make sure you have your concierge book a reservation.
As for cheap and cheerful lunch options...check out these:
Pomme de Pain