Le Baratin has been offering the finest natural wines and honest, accessible French dishes since 1987, the time when Raquel Carena fled her native Argentina to open this charming bistro on a nondescript side-street in Paris’s eclectic Belleville district. Chef Carena’s no-nonsense cooking takes traditional French recipes and gives them a personal touch, somehow offering a menu that looks simultaneously innovative and orthodox (you might see a creamy oeufs mayonnaise next to an acidic and spicy Hake in a tomato ragout). Her integrity and creativity have gained her recognition from Paris’s top chefs, who are regulars at this minimalist, cream-and-brown tiled bistro. Try the sea bass bouillon (where flavoursome broths and stews are the chef’s specialties), or tender lamb shank with just a hint of spices from India. Regulars crowd around the wooden bar to try from owner Philippe Pinoteau’s fantastic wine cellar, creating a warm, welcoming and casual environment. The chef even comes out from time to time to personally deliver her plates. Tip: their two-course lunch menu at €16 is perhaps the best deal in the city.