Let’s say you’re young and in love, in Paris for the first time. You can’t afford Allard and you’re not impressed by the new bistronomic cheffery. You want a super-French vibe, and a fleamarket-chic setting so perfect it could almost be a film set? Welcome to Chez Paul on rue de Charonne (not to be confused with its also-good namesake on the rue de Butte aux Cailles). The several small dining rooms are done out with well-worn wooden chairs, junk-shop art and vintage posters and chunky radiators; you get a nice degree of formality for your money, mostly supplied by veteran waiters in white aprons. The menu doesn’t stray from French tradition, featuring snails, crudités, leek vinaigrette and marrowbone among the two dozen starters, and robust meat and offal dishes for mains. It gets busy, so do book; if you get a walk-in anywhere near 9pm, you’re very lucky.