12 Best Restaurants in Montparnasse, Paris

La Coupole

$$$ | Montparnasse Fodor's choice

This world-renowned, cavernous spot with Art Deco murals practically defines the term brasserie. It's been popular since Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir were regulars, and today it attracts a mix of bourgeois families, tourists, and lone diners treating themselves to a dozen oysters. Recent additions to the classic brasserie menu are a tart of caramelized apple and pan-fried foie gras, beef fillet flambéed with cognac, and profiteroles made with Valrhona chocolate.

Bouillon-Chartier

$ | Montparnasse

The exceptional Art Nouveau decor and inexpensive menu are strong magnets for diners who are willing to stand in line for a seat at this historic brasserie, all to enjoy a three-course meal for as little as €20. The food is average and service brisk, but it's worth a visit between traditional meal times when there is no line.

Closerie des Lilas

$$$ | Montparnasse

A popular and pricey bar-restaurant, the Closerie is also a staple of Parisian literary tours for its storied history. Commemorative plaques are bolted to the bar as if they were still saving seats for their former clientele: an impressive list of literati including Zola, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Apollinaire, Beckett, and, of course, Hemingway. ("Papa" wrote pages of The Sun Also Rises here and lived around the corner at 115 rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs.) Although the lilacs that once graced the garden—and shaded such habitués as Ingres, Whistler, and Cézanne—are gone, the terrace still opens onto a garden wall of luxuriant foliage. There is live music in the piano bar. There are two menus here; the brasserie menu, served near the bar, is less expensive and very good.

171 bd. du Montparnasse, Paris, 75006, France
01–40–51–34–50
Known For
  • Famous literary history
  • Standard French brasserie classics
  • Charming garden terrace

Recommended Fodor's Video

L'Assiette

$$$ | Montparnasse

David Rathgeber spent 12 years working for celebrity-chef Alain Ducasse before taking over this landmark restaurant, where he has created his own menu and welcomes a devoted clientele. Expect classics with a subtle modern touch, such as the signature cassoulet with six different meats, and crème caramel with salted butter—all executed with the precision you would expect of a Ducasse veteran. The excellent two-course lunch menu is a bargain at €23. Each month, the tea "tasting ateliers" span the globe via the world's greatest teas, pairing them with French cuisine.

181 rue du Château, Paris, 75014, France
01–43–22–64–86
Known For
  • Reliably excellent food
  • Generous portions and good price-to-quality ratio
  • Famous cassoulet
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon., Tues., Aug., and 1 wk at Christmas

La Crêperie Josselin

$ | Montparnasse

With lacy curtains, beamed ceilings, and carved wood walls, this might be the closest you'll get to an authentic Breton crêperie without heading to the coast. Tuck into a hearty buckwheat galette, perfectly crisped on the edges and filled with, perhaps, a classic combo of country ham, egg, cheese, and mushrooms, accompanied by a pitcher of refreshing dry Breton cider. For dessert, the traditional crêpe filled with crème de marron (chestnut) or the sublime caramel au beurre salé (salted caramel) is not to be missed. With a two-course lunch formule for €14, this is a great place for a quick, satisfying, and thoroughly French meal. Extra bonus: the kids will love it.

67 rue du Montparnasse, Paris, 75014, France
01–43–20–93–50
Known For
  • Authentic Breton crêpes
  • Quick and efficient service
  • Perfect for families
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon., Aug., and 2 wks in Jan. No lunch Tues.

La Gorgée

$$ | Montparnasse

This neighborhood bistro is a local favorite for its fresh, seasonal menu, friendly service, and excellent value. The creamy roast endive soup with foie gras starter, followed by the wild fish and celery root risotto, are always excellent choices.

22 rue de Fleurus, Paris, 75006, France
01–43–22–41–14
Known For
  • Creative seasonal dishes
  • Casual atmosphere
  • Good wines
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun.

La Rotonde Brasserie

$$$$ | Montparnasse

A second home to foreign artists and political exiles in the 1920s and 1930s, La Rotonde has a less exotic but still faithful clientele today. It's a very pleasant place to have coffee or a meal on the sunny terrace. For a quieter, smoke-free atmosphere, head inside for a traditional French dining experience in the plush, red decor.

Le Bistrot des Campagnes

$$ | Montparnasse

This small, casual French restaurant is nestled on a tiny street that runs between two major boulevards. The atmosphere is warm and relaxed, and the extensive, traditional menu of market-fresh produce makes it difficult to decide what to eat; for starters, try the sautéed pleurotes (oyster mushrooms) with a poached egg or the salmon-mango tartare, followed by the wild-fish catch of the day or juicy pork ribs, all accompanied by a wine direct from the producer. Friendly chef-owner Eric also offers daily specials depending on what he finds at the market. 

6 rue Leopold Robert, Paris, 75014, France
01–40–47–91–27
Known For
  • Tasty, unfussy dishes
  • Friendly service
  • Good wines at reasonable prices
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun.

Le Dôme

$$$$ | Montparnasse

Now a fancy fish brasserie serving seafood delivered fresh from Normandy every day, this restaurant began as a dingy meeting place for exiled artists and intellectuals like Lenin and Picasso. The family-owned institution hired star Japanese chef Yoshikiko Miura to modernize its menu while keeping some enduring classics. Try the sole meunière or the bouillabaisse, the ingredients of which are on display in their raw form in the restaurant's outstanding fish shop next door. The famous millefeuille (Napoleon) is a must for fans of this rich, creamy dessert. You can still drop by the covered terrace for a cup of coffee or a drink.

108 bd. Montparnasse, Paris, 75014, France
01–43–35–25–81
Known For
  • Very fresh, delicious fish
  • Authentic ambience
  • Haute cuisine with a touch of Japanese flair
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon. July and Aug.

Le Lithographe

$$ | Montparnasse

With its Art Nouveau decor, friendly waitstaff, and menu of fresh bistro food, this is the perfect place for a drink or meal after visiting the nearby Montparnasse Cemetery.

Le Plomb du Cantal

$$ | Montparnasse

This lively café in the heart of the Left Bank theater district specializes in meats, wines, and cheeses from the Auvergne region of France, famous for its prize beef cattle. If you don’t want meat but love cheese and mashed potatoes, try the aligot, a hearty recipe of potato puree, melted cheese, cream, and garlic.

Le Sélect Café and Brasserie

$$$ | Montparnasse

Legendary performers and artists, including the likes of Isadora Duncan and Hart Crane, used to hang out here, and now it's a popular place for a coffee, glass of wine, or well-made cocktail. It may not be as hip as the equally historic cafés in St-Germain-des-Prés, but Le Select is a low-key way of soaking in the Left Bank historic café scene without the hubbub.