Paris Restaurants

A new wave of culinary confidence has been running through one of the world's great food cities and spilling over both banks of the Seine. Whether cooking up grand-mère's roast chicken and riz au lait or placing a whimsical hat of cotton candy atop wild-strawberry-and-rose ice cream, Paris chefs—established and up-and-coming, native and foreign—have been breaking free from the tyranny of tradition and following their passion.

Emblematic of the "bistronomy" movement is the proliferation of "gastrobistros"—often in far-flung or newly chic neighborhoods—helmed by established chefs fleeing the constraints of the star system or passionate young chefs unfettered by overblown expectations. Among the seasoned stars and exciting newcomers to the scene are Yannick Alléno, who left behind two Michelin stars at Le Meurice to open his locavore bistro Terroir Parisien at the Palais Brogniart and earned three stars at the storied Pavillon Ledoyen within his first year at the helm; David Toutain at the exceptional Restaurant David Toutain; Sylvestre Wahid at Brasserie Thoumieux; and Katsuaki Okiyama's Abri.

But self-expression is not the only driving force behind the current trend. A traditional high-end restaurant can be prohibitively expensive to operate. As a result, more casual bistros and cafés, which reflect the growing allure of less formal dining and often have lower operating costs and higher profit margins, have become attractive opportunities for even top chefs.

For tourists, this development can only be good news, because it makes the cooking of geniuses such as Joël Robuchon, Guy Savoy, Eric Frechon, and Pierre Gagnaire a bit more accessible (even if these star chefs rarely cook in their lower-price restaurants) and opens up a vast range of new possibilities for exciting dining.

Like the chefs themselves, Paris diners are breaking away from tradition with renewed enthusiasm. New restaurants, wine bars, and rapidly multiplying épicieries (gourmet grocers) and sandwich shops recognize that not everyone wants a three-course blowout every time they dine out. And because Parisians are more widely traveled than in the past, many ethnic restaurants—notably the best North African, Vietnamese–Laotian, Chinese, Spanish, and Japanese spots—are making fewer concessions to French tastes, resulting in far better food.

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  • 1. Abri Soba

    $$ | Grands Boulevards

    Those unable to score a sought-after table at chef Katsuaki Okiyama's restaurant Abri should have better luck at this small soba bar tucked away on a back street off the Faubourg-Montmartre. The chef's savory homemade buckwheat noodles are the big draw—enjoy them hot or cold, paired with duck and leeks, fried tofu and mushrooms, or more imaginative concoctions like eel, cod intestine, and the freshest sashimi. Reservations aren't accepted, so try to arrive before noon for lunch or 7 for dinner to avoid waiting in line.

    10 rue Saulnier, Paris, Île-de-France, 75009, France
    01–45–23–51–68

    Known For

    • Crème brûlée with matcha–sesame seed ice cream
    • Good selection of natural wines and Japanese whiskies
    • No reservations—try to arrive early

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon. No lunch Sun.
  • 2. Addommè

    $$

    One of Paris's newer pizza places, in the Haut Marais, is also one of the best, serving irresistible handmade Neapolitan pies with top-quality Italian toppings: bresaola, fior di latte, burrata, hot Calabria salami, figs, fresh herbs, nuts, and creamy stracciatella. Try the sweet version for dessert, topped with a gourmet version of Nutella, among other dreamy confections.

    41 rue des Tournelles, Paris, Île-de-France, 75003, France
    09–83–27–63–80

    Known For

    • Delicious crispy crust
    • Well-curated toppings
    • Good wines by the glass

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon.
  • 3. Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen

    $$$$ | Champs-Élysées

    Tucked away in a quiet garden across from the Petit Palais, Ledoyen—open since 1779—is a study in Empire-style elegance (this is where Napoléon first met his eventual wife Joséphine). Star chef Yannick Alléno injects the three-star dining room with a frisson of modernity by putting fresh farmhouse ingredients front and center in his €415, 10-course tasting extravaganza (a seven-course menu is a slightly more reasonable €295). This may seem de trop, but in Alléno's hands dishes like smoked eel soufflé with watercress coulis and candied onion, tender mussels with tart green apple and caviar, or artichoke-and-Parmesan gratin are rendered as light as a feather. The desserts are tiny masterpieces.

    1 av. Dutuit, Paris, Île-de-France, 75008, France
    01–53–05–10–01

    Known For

    • One of the most romantic settings in Paris
    • Lots of cool history
    • Langoustine tart with caviar

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed weekends and Aug. No lunch, Reservations essential, Jacket required
  • 4. Angelina

    $ | Louvre | Coffee

    Founded in 1903 and patronized by literary luminaries like Marcel Proust and Gertrude Stein, Angelina is famous for its chocolat "l'Africain"—an ultra-rich hot chocolate topped with whipped cream. The beautiful chestnut "Mont Blanc" pastry is the ideal accompaniment. Book well in advance online to avoid being disappointed.

    226 rue de Rivoli, Paris, Île-de-France, 75001, France
    01–42–60–82–00

    Known For

    • The most famous hot chocolate in Paris
    • Opulent, Belle Époque setting
    • High popularity so book online in advance
  • 5. Assemblages

    $ | Marais Quarter

    At this restaurant set on a pretty street leading right into the Place des Vosges, it's hard to know if you've landed in someone's chic private salon or their woodworking studio. Carpenter and wine lover Eric Wilmot shares his passion for wood and wine (and Harley-Davidsons) in this stylishly intimate space, featuring Persian rugs and velvet chaises, where you can indulge in some stupendous wines handpicked by the owner and served alongside a tempting array of nibbles—homemade foie gras, smoked salmon, artisanal cheeses, and some seriously decadent desserts.

    7 rue de Birague, Paris, Île-de-France, 75004, France
    09–52–58–61–12

    Known For

    • Hard-to-find wines
    • Intimate atmosphere with a carpentry shop behind glass
    • Gorgeous interiors

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon.
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  • 6. Astair

    $$ | Sentier

    This classy brasserie in the heart of the Passage des Panoramas, Paris's oldest and most picturesque covered gallery, has much more going for it than just good looks. Every item on its tempting menu of French classics—from oeufs mayonnaise and soupe à l'oignon to frogs' legs and octopus à la Provençal, a house specialty—is made with the freshest market ingredients and perfectly cooked, beautifully presented, and served with a smile. To really take in the atmosphere, grab a terrace table in the bustling historic passage. An extensive wine list offers plenty of excellent bottles and well-priced choices by the glass, and waiters are happy to help you with pairings.

    19 passage des Panoramas, Paris, Île-de-France, 75002, France
    09–81–29–50–95

    Known For

    • Beautiful historic setting
    • Friendly and welcoming atmosphere
    • Exceptional dining without breaking the bank
  • 7. Auberge Nicolas Flamel

    $$$$ | Marais Quarter

    There's some serious magic happening at this off-the-radar retreat set in one of Paris's oldest buildings (from 1407), once the laboratory of alchemist Nicolas Flamel. The intimate space, mixing ancient beams, stone, and wood with a streamlined contemporary design, is perfect for the chef's bewitching combinations in signature dishes like Breton langoustine with herbs crowned with caviar or roasted monkfish with tender carrots and bottarga. Deliciously subtle and surprising dessert pairings include pear William with Kalamata olives and sage. Prices are steep, but you'll appreciate leisurely savoring your meal accompanied by excellent wines and top-notch service.

    51 rue de Montmorency, Paris, Île-de-France, 75003, France
    01–42–71–77–78

    Known For

    • One Michelin star
    • Top-quality seasonal ingredients
    • Stunning wines

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed weekends, Reservations essential
  • 8. Aux Cerises

    $ | Eiffel Tower | Coffee

    Don't expect to be mobbed by tourists at this bright café two minutes from the Champs de Mars. Locals love it for the sidewalk terrace and garden seating in the back—not to mention the good coffee, tea, and stellar brunch. Even if you don't snag a seat outside, the charming interior is a cheerful spot to tuck into a heaping plate of eggs Benedict, smoked salmon tartine, or avocado toast. There are also fresh fruit smoothies and home-baked pastries. Its all-day hours (seven days a week) makes it the perfect place for a well-priced lunch or teatime. Reservations are always a good idea, especially on weekends.

    47 av. de Suffren, Paris, Île-de-France, France
    01–42–73–92–97

    Known For

    • Superb brunch or lunch served seven days a week
    • Reservations a good idea on weekends
    • Minutes from the Eiffel Tower
  • 9. Bellefeuille Restaurant

    $$$$ | Champs-Élysées

    Set inside the gorgeously refurbished Saint James Hotel, one of the city's stand-out lodgings, the beautiful Bellefeuille has quickly become popular thanks to chef Julien Dumas's refined menu of inspired dishes with an emphasis on the freshest seafood and vegetables from the hotel's own gardens outside Paris (not to mention honey from the hives on-site). The eight-course tasting menu (with excellent desserts by pastry chef Jeanne Lecourt, paired with natural and biodynamic wines handpicked by the restaurant's gifted sommelier) is highly recommended, but you'll be wowed no matter what you choose. Options like briny oysters paired with beets and tangy mustard, the freshest Saint-Malo scallops, melt-in-your-mouth squid in its own velvety ink, and salt-marsh lamb from the Mont St. Michel bay deliver subtlety and sweetness. In warm weather, arrive early for a cocktail in the hotel's lovely garden or a glass of Champagne in the British-style library, among the most beautiful in Paris. 

    5 pl. du Chancelier Adenauer, Paris, Île-de-France, 75116, France
    01--44--05--81--88

    Known For

    • Lovely garden dining
    • Excellent variety of seafood
    • Michelin star within nine months of opening

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon., Reservations essential
  • 10. Bistrot Flaubert

    $$$ | Champs-Élysées

    This beautiful historic bistro highlights the extraordinary synergy that can happen when French technique meets Korean flavors. Classics like pigeon or beef come alive with pickled daikon radish, tamarind, or Korean spice blends. You'll still find dishes firmly anchored in the French repertoire, like trout with trout caviar and whipped anchovy butter with lovage, or a caramel and quince dacquoise for dessert. This is a restaurant Parisians in the know will cross town for, and that's saying a lot.

    10 rue Gustave Flaubert, Paris, Île-de-France, 75017, France
    01–42–67–05–81

    Known For

    • Sublime flavor pairings
    • Unusually good wine list
    • Lovely decor
  • 11. Bontemps

    $ | Marais Quarter

    This charming courtyard café-tearoom grew out of an adorable pastry shop (next door) specializing in the French sablé, those classic melt-in-your-mouth butter cookies, with an assortment of ethereal cream fillings. Marble-topped tables, velvet chairs, and other vintagelike touches make this one of the neighborhood's most charming spots for lunch, brunch, or dessert. The excellent food, homemade drinks, and stellar pastries are all icing on this scrumptious cake.

    57 rue de Bretagne, Paris, Île-de-France, 75003, France
    01–42–74–10–68

    Known For

    • Vintage atmosphere
    • Top-notch homemade food and pastries
    • High prices

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues.
  • 12. Breizh Café

    $ | Marais Quarter

    Eating a crêpe in Paris might seem clichéd, until you venture into this modern offshoot of a Breton crêperie. The plain, pale-wood decor is refreshing, but what really makes the difference are the ingredients—farmers' eggs, unpasteurized Gruyère, shiitake mushrooms, Valrhona chocolate, homemade caramel, and extraordinary butter from a Breton dairy farmer. You'll find all the classics among the galettes, but it's worth choosing something more adventurous like the cancalaise (traditionally smoked herring, potato, crème fraîche, and herring roe). You might also slurp a few Cancale oysters—a rarity in Paris—or try one of the 20 artisanal ciders on offer.

    109 rue Vieille du Temple, Paris, Île-de-France, 75003, France
    01–42–72–13–77

    Known For

    • Some of the best crêpes in Paris
    • Adventurous ingredients
    • Cancale oysters on the half shell

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Aug., Reservations essential
  • 13. Café de la Paix

    $$$$ | Grands Boulevards | French

    Once described as the "center of the civilized world," this grand café was a meeting place for the Belle Époque's glitterati. It's an elegant spot to enjoy a drink (or meal) in the shadow of the Opéra Garnier.

    5 pl. de l'Opéra, Paris, Île-de-France, 75009, France
    -01–40–07–36–36
  • 14. Café de Mars

    $$ | Eiffel Tower

    California-born chef Gina McLintock's elegant-cozy interiors perfectly echo her scrumptious gourmet bistro fare with an Asian twist. Crowd-pleasers include dishes like delicate pumpkin beignets, rib-eye steak, and a juicy bacon burger. Live jazz on Saturday draws a fun Parisian crowd, and the small terrace is lovely in summer.

    11 rue Augereau, Paris, Île-de-France, 75007, France
    01–45–50–10–90

    Known For

    • Great value
    • Located near Eiffel Tower
    • Live jazz on Saturday

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon.
  • 15. Café des Ministères

    $$$ | Eiffel Tower

    Don't let its veneer of a mere neighborhood café mislead you—this is one of the most sought-after tables in the 7e arrondissement and a great option after a visit to the Musée d'Orsay just a few steps away. Jean and Roxane Sévégnès have transformed it into a restaurant Parisians adore, focused on seasonal dishes with a southwest flair that mix traditional recipes, like tripe, tête de veau (veal brains), or that hard-to-find favorite vol au vent (truffled sweetbreads with chicken and spinach in puff pastry) with a contemporary touch. A list of well-chosen wines, including natural and organic choices, and gentle prices for the quality make this a good choice, whether you happen to be in the neighborhood or not. Be sure to reserve, especially at dinner.

    83 rue de l'Université, Paris, Île-de-France, 75007, France
    01–45–33–73–34

    Known For

    • Quality ingredients
    • Gracious service
    • Pleasant atmosphere

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed weekends. No lunch Mon.
  • 16. Caffè Stern

    $$$ | Grands Boulevards | Italian

    Lodged in one of Paris's most picturesque historic passages, the Italian Caffè Stern—a listed monument updated by designer Philippe Starck—is loaded with the sort of antique charm that makes a cup of coffee and dessert feel like a romantic moment in time. Full meals are a more elegant—and expensive—affair, though teatime (3 pm–6 pm, €26) and the prix-fixe lunch make for a more manageable splurge.

    47 Passage des Panoramas, Paris, Île-de-France, 75002, France
    01–75–43–63–10

    Known For

    • Superb historic setting in the Passage des Panoramas
    • Gorgeous decor
    • Top-notch food

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon.
  • 17. Cedric Grolet Opera

    $ | Grands Boulevards | Coffee

    Pastry chef extraordinaire Cedric Grolet made his name at Le Meurice, the palace hotel just down the street, with his exquisite sculpted fruits—glorious trompe-l'oeil versions of the real thing made with various chocolates filled with creamy fruit or nut ganache. At this cafe near the Opéra, you can sample the master's sublime cookies and breakfast pastries along with other gourmet delights.

    35 av. de l'Opéra, Paris, Île-de-France, 75002, France
    01–83–95–21–02

    Known For

    • Some of the most masterfully designed sweets in Paris
    • Gourmet tea and coffee
    • Perfect breakfast pastries

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues.
  • 18. Comice

    $$$$ | Western Paris

    The culinary experience here is a progression of delights, from your first luscious sip of carrot vélouté to a light-as-air chocolate soufflé contrasted with a zesty yuzu macaron. In between, the set menu (€120 for four courses; €150 for five) may include dishes like butter-poached lobster with beets, onions, and horseradish cream or foie gras en terrine with quince, walnuts, and dates—all meticulously sourced from the finest producers around France—which will surprise, comfort, and deeply satisfy. Every detail in this Michelin-starred gem, from the stemware to the service, is poised, elegant, and precise.

    31 av. de Versailles, Paris, Île-de-France, 75015, France
    01–42–15–55–70

    Known For

    • Perfect service and presentation
    • Beautiful, serene setting
    • Excellent selection of mostly natural wines

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed weekends. No lunch, Reservations essential
  • 19. David Toutain

    $$$$ | Eiffel Tower

    Although two-Michelin-star chef David Toutain's approach may be exasperatingly conceptual for some, others find his earthy, surprising, and inspired concoctions utterly thrilling. Each dish is a lesson in contrasts—of temperature, texture, and flavor—as well as a feat of composition: briny oysters, brussels sprouts, and foie gras in a warm potato consommé; creamy raw oysters with tart kiwi and yuzu; crispy pork chips alongside velvety smoked potato puree. Toutain has a particular soft spot for root vegetables and truffles, which he sprinkles liberally throughout dishes like salsify broth with lardo and black truffle. 

    29 rue Surcouf, Paris, Île-de-France, 75007, France
    01–45–50–11–10

    Known For

    • Equally wonderful choices for vegetarians and carnivores
    • Epitome of "seasonal" cuisine
    • Plenty of avant-garde thrills

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed weekends. No lunch Wed., Reservations essential
  • 20. Fragments

    $ | Marais Quarter | Coffee

    If you're serious about what's in your coffee cup, head straight to this streamlined café near the Place des Vosges, where you'll find only the best from roasters around Paris. A short but spot-on menu features avocado toast with a poached egg, cinnamon buns, and homemade cakes and cookies. The weekend brunch is very popular; arrive early or prepare to wait a little.

    76 rue des Tournelles, Paris, Île-de-France, 75003, France

    Known For

    • Great coffee
    • Popular brunch
    • Good homemade desserts

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