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. 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...Read More

  • 2. Double Dragon

    $ | Oberkampf

    Anyone with a hankering for enticing, well-priced, gourmet-inflected Chinese fare in a chic setting need look no further. Friendly to both carnivores and herbivores alike,...Read More

  • 3. Fripon

    $$ | Belleville

    Top Chef contestant Pauline Séné's beautiful marble-clad dining room has created a major buzz across Paris for the kind of subtle and imaginative cuisine you'd...Read More

  • 4. La Scène

    $$$$ | Champs-Élysées

    Shortly after earning a second Michelin star from the chic open kitchen at the Hôtel Prince des Galles, Stéphanie le Quellec left to strike out...Read More

  • 5. Le Rigmarole

    $$$$ | Oberkampf

    This small, most earnest of gastronomic restaurants quickly became one of the hottest tickets in town and won its first Michelin star in 2020. French-American...Read More

  • 6. Mâche

    $$ | Canal St-Martin

    Don't let the casual decor and laid-back atmosphere here fool you, this is a seriously ambitious restaurant full of Parisian foodies who would be happy...Read More

  • 7. Maison Russe

    $$$$ | Eiffel Tower

    Oriental carpets, plush velvets, glossy wood, candlelight glinting off silver: this is a dream of Belle Époque Paris, where it's no stretch to imagine threadbare...Read More

  • 8. Mimosa

    $$$$ | Champs-Élysées

    Two-Michelin-star chef Jean-Michel Piège takes the Mediterranean Sea as his inspiration in this beautiful dining room housed in the Hôtel de la Marine. Delicacies from...Read More

  • 9. Mokonuts

    $ | Oberkampf

    One of the city's best examples of the casual gourmet cafés popping up around Paris, Mokonuts is run by a talented husband-and-wife team who create...Read More

  • 10. Passerini

    $ | Bastille

    Chef Giovanni Passerini, a favorite Parisian chef, has done it again with this wine-focused spot, the companion to his wildly popular Italian restaurant just a...Read More

  • 11. Restaurant David Toutain

    $$$$ | Eiffel Tower

    Although 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...Read More

  • 12. Savarin la Table

    $$$ | Eiffel Tower

    This cozy restaurant has a laid-back, contemporary vibe that belies the immense sophistication of the dishes created by Mehdi Kebboul, a young chef who trained...Read More

  • 13. Brasserie Dubillot

    $ | Grands Boulevards

    There's nothing quite like a good old-fashioned Paris brasserie...except, perhaps, for a good old-fashioned Paris neobrasserie, a lively new genre that takes the best of...Read More

  • 14. Café Lapérouse

    $$ | Champs-Élysées

    A charming and much less infamous version of its sumptuous mothership—the legendary 250-year-old Parisian restaurant Lapérouse—this light-drenched café, housed within the beautiful Hôtel de la...Read More

  • 15. Early June

    $ | Canal St-Martin

    To taste the sheer love of cooking get thee to this unassuming canal-side café—named for that most delicious time of year. The outrageously talented young...Read More

  • 16. Madame Brasserie

    $$$$ | Eiffel Tower

    There's not a brasserie in Paris with a view to match the one at this eatery set on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower....Read More

  • 17. Pavyllon

    $$$$ | Champs-Élysées

    This is a great opportunity to sample chef Yannick Alléno's cooking for a (slightly) less lofty price tag than at his three-star Pavillon Ledoyen on...Read More

  • 18. Sadarnac

    $ | Belleville

    If you love to discover Paris's authentic corners and hidden culinary gems this is a place for you. In a pretty dining room set on...Read More

  • 19. Sapid

    $ | Canal St-Martin

    Organic, plant-based, no-waste, accessible: this isn't exactly what we think of when we think of the haute-cuisine world of Alain Ducasse, chef extraordinaire of 20...Read More

  • 20. Ten Belles Bread

    $ | Bastille

    The two British chefs behind this bustling café set in an industrial-style loft on an up-and-coming corner of the 11e are known around town for...Read More

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