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Mike and I arrived in Paris hungry in the late afternoon. We had dinner reservations later in the evening and just wanted a light bite to eat to tide us over. If you ever find yourself in the same predicament, L’Avant Comptoir is the perfect spot.

The small interior

This wine and tapas bar is standing room only. No seats or stools – just a small counter. The place is tiny and fits maybe 15 people comfortably. It’s owned by Yves Camdeborde, who also owns the popular Le Comptoir next door.

The Menu

L’Avant Comptoir is known for being perpetually busy but we dropped by around 4:30pm and we were able to secure a bit of standing room. They’ve got a solid wine list and you’ll find the food menu hanging on laminated cards from the ceiling. If you’re not fluent in French, each menu item has a picture next to it so you know what to expect.

Wine is a must!

Service can be a little intimidating at first since we had no idea what we were doing or how ordering worked. After getting the attention of one of the guys behind the counter, I felt a little more at ease after he gave us a smile.

After ordering, you can help yourself to communal bread, butter and pickles – all you can eat. We actually saw a few guys come in, grab a few slices of bread and leave… terrible!

Complimentary/Communal Bread

Anyway, we started off with the Macaron de Boudin Noir (Blood Sausage Macaron 3.50€) which was one of the best bites of the trip. The moist and savoury blood sausage was sandwiched between a sweet macaron. If you love a good sweet and savoury combination, this is a must-order!

Blood Sausage Macaron

Next up was the Croquette de Pied de Porc (Pig Trotters Croquette 3.50€). It consisted of one deep-fried cube topped with a creamy salad. Another delicious bite!

Pig Trotters Croquette

Up next was the Fricassée de Coeurs de Canard (Sautéed Duck Hearts 5€). We watched in amazement as the guy behind the counter whipped up this delicious dish in the tiny kitchen space. The duck hearts were packed full of flavour and we used the bread to soak up all the sauce. Another highly recommended dish!

Fricassée de Coeurs de Canard

Something that caught our eye was the Gaufre – Artichaut, Jambon (Waffle with Artichokes and Serrano ham 4€). Like the blood sausage macaron, this was another wonderful sweet and savoury combination. The waffle base was crisp, fluffy and had just the right amount of sweetness. The three ingredients worked together perfectly.


We also ordered a board of Chorizo (5€). They have a few selections of cured meat which are all sliced to order. The chorizo was sliced paper thin and had a nice kick to it. With a bit of bread and a glass of wine, it doesn’t get any better than this.


L’Avant Comptoir has a little take-out window for sandwiches, fresh crepes and waffles. After we left the restaurant, we were tempted by the mouth-watering aroma coming from the crepes and gave in.

Watching our crepe being made

We decided on the Banana Chocolate Crepe (3.50€). They’re very generous with the chocolate! Our crepe was large, heavy and oozing with chocolate – not that I’m complaining. I assure you, we were fighting over the last few bites of the crepe.

Banana Chocolate Crepe

Overall, I had a fantastic experience at L’Avant Comptoir. While I wouldn’t recommend it for a full meal or if you’ve spent the entire day walking, the food is top notch. If you’re willing to put up with the elbow-to-elbow crowd and lack of seats, you’re in for a gastronomical treat!

At a glance:
• Wine/tapas bar – great for a snack in between meals
• Small space; standing room only (fits maybe 15 people comfortably)
• Gets very crowded; recommend dropping by during off hours (middle/late afternoon)
• Take-out window for crepes, waffles and sandwiches
• Modern French cuisine
• Blood sausage macaron & sauteed duck hearts are must-orders

Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4.5 stars
• Service: 2 stars
• Atmosphere: 1 stars

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