Paris has been one of the cities I have visited frequently be it either for business or pleasure with Ms Gourmantic. Equally important as its art and history is its food. Be it the top flight restaurants, the traditional bistro or an up and comer, as long as the food is treated with respect and honesty you will not go wrong.
These are restaurants, bistros, brasseries and cafés that have impressed, whether dining alone or in company, and some have become regulars on return visits to Paris.
Café de Flore – Le Danton – Léon de Bruxelles
Paris Restaurant Guide by Arrondissement:
226 rue de Rivoli; Tel: 01 42 60 82 00; Métro: Tuileries
A Parisian institution. Come for the best hot chocolate, chocolat chaud africain and the Mont Blanc dessert. Expect a queue but it moves fast. Read our review of Angelina.
167 Rue Saint-Honoré; Tel: 01 42 60 40 11; Métro: Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre
The first restaurant in Paris where I ate Confit de Canard. Good regional food served by a waitress who was 400 years old. To my knowledge she is still there.
Au Pied de Cochon
6, rue Coquillière; Tel: 1 01 42 36 11 75; Métro: Les Halles
Pork, pork and more pork. Specialties include trotters, stuffed with truffles and foie gras. Traditionally, a 3 am venue for French onion soup. There are other dishes but come for the pork and leave your trotters in the trough. You will end up feeling like a pig, well and truly stuffed. And satiated.
2 rue Cambon; Tel: 1 01 42 60 80 89; Métro: Tuileries
Twice I have been here for the traditional cuisine. First time, a waiter was having his birthday which made a party of the night and the second time, we met a wonderful American woman who shared her travel experiences with her husband. The food is always more memorable for the events that come with it. Read our review of Brasserie Flottes.
Colette Water Bar
213 rue saint-honoré; Tel: 01 55 35 33 90; Métro: Tuileries or Pyramides
A bar serving a range of mineral waters with matching food in the basement of a hip designer shop.
Le Carré des Feuillants
14, rue de Castiglione; Tel: 01 42 86 82 82; Métro: Tuileries
In this fine dining restaurant, Alain Dutournier’s cuisine takes you to his native Gascony. An elegant and modern dining room with the kind of impeccable service you expect from this Michelin starred establishment.
Le Grand Véfour
17, rue Beaujolais ; Tel: 01 42 96 56 27; Métro: Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre
One of the truly grand restaurants near the Louvre in the Palais Royal. Michelin starred Chef Guy Martin offers both traditional cuisine and a modern take on classics. You are not served, you are pampered. Your wish is their command. Dessert, I have died and gone to heaven. Read our review of Le Grand Véfour.
36 rue du Mont Thabor; Tel: 01 42 60 27 19; Métro: Tuileries
A one idea restaurant? When they do soufflés as good as these why not. Savoury and sweet – yes please. Read our review of Le Soufflé.
2 rue Quatre Septembre; Tel: 01 42 97 43 32; Métro: Bourse
If you find yourself near the stock exchange, La Bourse, and you’re peckish, this brasserie with modern looking interior serves a good range of snacks, salads, seafood, meat, pastas and risottos at reasonable prices. Service is friendly and desserts are very tempting.
Café Mabillon – Café des Deux Moulins – Le Comptoir
17, rue Notre-Dame des Victoires; Tel: +33 01.42.60.31.90; Métro: Bourse
Plan a head and make a booking at Saturne restaurant for lunch or dinner and be tantalised by Chef Sven Chartier’s culinary delights. The wine cellar houses 100,000 bottles with some 1200 organic and natural wines.
31 Rue Saint-Louis en l’Ile; Tel: 01 43 54 31 61; Métro: Pont Marie
When visiting Notre Dame, cross the small bridge to Ile St Louis and you will find some of the best ice-creams/sorbets you will ever have. Read our review of Berthillon.
30-32, rue du Bourg-Tibourg; Tel: 01 42 72 28 11; Métro: Hotel de Ville
A sublime tea house serving a range of teas you’ll want to bring home. Good for lunch/afternoon tea and light meals. Tea is served by artisans. It is almost a religious experience.
Nos Ancêtres Les Gaulois
39, rue Saint-Louis-en-l’Ile; Tel: 01 46 33 66 07; Métro: Pont Marie
While you may not find Astérix and Obélix here, you will find a meal that would keep them happy. The menu includes a range of cold meats, some meat from the grill and as much wine from a barrel that you can drink. This is a fun place for a group, especially if the likes of Astérix and Obélix are with you.
La Tour D’Argent
15-17, quai de la Tournelle; Tel: 01 43 54 23 31; Métro: Maubert Mutualité
A Michelin starred institution famous for its duck. You will get a numbered card letting you know how many canards have been plucked. Exemplary food, wine, service, with views over Notre-Dame.
Le Bar à Huitres
33 rue St Jacques; Tel: 01 44 07 27 37; Métro: Cluny-La Sorbonne
A welcoming quality seafood restaurant. Eat your way through the shellfish and oysters of France, shucked on demand. If you are on oyster fanatic and you’re in Paris during a month that has an R in it, this is the place to go.
Le Jules Verne – Le Grand Véfour – La Tour d’Argent
41 Rue Saint-André des Arts; Tel: 01 43 26 48 23; Métro: Saint Michel
Small and intimate serving good traditional bistro fare that is reasonably priced. Expect the tables to be close together.
151 blvd St Germain; Tel: 01 45 48 53 91; Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés
A literary restaurant of the 1930s with specialties of Alsace that has lost a little lustre. Try the choucroute and ask for a good wine from the region.
Café de Flore
172 boulevard Saint-Germain; Tel: 01 45 48 55 26, Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés
Armagnacs at 2am. C’est la vie. Another literary café, why did so many writers come to Paris? Breakfast, aperitif or a late night drink.
164 Boulevard Saint Germain; Tel: 01 43 26 62 93; Métro: Mabillon
At the corner of boulevard st-germain and rue de Buci, enjoy an aperitif on the trottoir and watch the world go by. For a late night drink, try the grog au rhum.
47 rue de l’Abbé Grégoire 75006; Metro: Saint-Placide
It’s not just a patisserie. At Colorova you can enjoy brunch of an unconventional type. Not a poached egg in sight. Read our review of Colorova.
25 rue de Buci; Tel: 01 44 41 14 14 ; Métro: Mabillon
A bistro that serves in season seafood and freshly shucked oysters from Bretagne, across the road from our ‘home’ in Paris. There is also a Jazz Club in the basement that is worth visiting.
16 rue Grégoire de Tours; Tel: 01 43 54 76 95; Métro: Odéon
Taking a leisurely stroll we came into the crossfire of two touts looking to tempt us with their fare and the offer of a drink to seal the deal. Madame took us inside once she discovered we were after confit. They delivered a very agreeable dish. The cook and the maitre d’ make sure that the service is lively and fun. Read our review of L’Insulaire.
La Closerie des Lilas
171, bd Montparnasse; Tel: 01 43 26 70 50; Métro: Raspail
A favourite meeting place of many writers and artists, including Ernest Hemingway. An elegant garden terrace transports you to another more relaxed time. The restaurant provides formal service to modern cuisines with favourites such as monkfish medallions, Hemingway-style beef fillet. Desserts are a classic.
59 Rue Saint-André des Arts; Tel: 01 46 34 15 95; Métro: Odéon
Bistro style cuisine with generous servings makes it a popular choice. Welcoming atmosphere in this busy locale.
La Petite Cour
8, rue Mabillon; Tel: 01 43 26 52 26; Métro: Mabillon
Set below street level with an elegant dining room and a courtyard which provides a relaxed ambience. Game is on the menu at times in addition to the traditional fare. A favourite that I always return to.
Le Bar du Marché
75, rue de Seine; Tel: 01 43 26 55 15; Métro: Mabillon
A great place for afternoon or evening drinks to enjoy with a very friendly crowd. Also, a top spot to start the day with a petit déjeuner Parisien. Friendly and efficient service, lively ambience makes this a very popular spot.
103 Boulevard Saint-Germain; Tel: 01 43 54 65 38; Métro: Odéon
A popular meeting place due to its proximity to the Metro and cinema. With plenty of glass and mirrors this has a very open feel to it. This is also a good place to start the day for breakfast or to finish with a night cap.
13 rue de l’ancienne comédie; Tel: 01 43 26 99 20; Métro: Odéon
This café opened in 1686 and its interior reflects the history of the city. Home of many French classical authors and playwrights Voltaire, Danton, Robespierre and visited by possibly the first American tourist Benjamin Franklin. Coq au vin has always been a favourite when dining here.
132 Boulevard Saint-Germain; Tel: 01 43 29 81 80; Métro: Odéon
Our regular breakfast haunt. Fast, friendly and welcoming service every time. Sit and watch the st-germain action as you dunk your tartine in a café crème. Read our review of Relais Odéon.
Léon de Bruxelles
131 boulevard Saint-Germain; Tel: 01 43 26 45 95; Métro: Mabillon
Mussels are the specialty here, served in individual pots. Fast and simple food, good for a quick lunch.
Les Deux Magots
6 Place Saint-Germain des Prés; Tel: 01 45 48 55 25; Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés
This is one of the oldest cafes in Paris where the waiters still wear their traditional garb. A cafe where the literary and political history is in the air you breathe. You can do this at breakfast over coffee or a hot chocolate or over the seasonal dishes. Better yet, maybe just sit with a champagne, wine or Cognac.
4 Carrefour de l’Odéon; Tel: 01 43 26 67 76; Métro: Odéon
Just off the boulevard Saint-Germain one can find this delightful bistro/ bar where the printed word is still respected and the walls are as of a library. This combined with a light meal, a drink or a café makes for a very pleasant way to pass the time.
142, bd Saint-Germain; Tel: 01 43 26 68 18; Métro: Odéon
This Belle Époque brasserie offers a little feast for the eyes. As well as traditional foods there are seasonal specialities to tempt you. An extensive menu with dessert favourites like iles flottantes and genoises au chocolat.
Fouquet’s – Café Trottoir – Chez Clement
Le Jules Verne
La Tour Eiffel, 2nd level; Tel: 01 45 55 61 44; Métro: Bir-Hakeim
Dine on top of Paris on the second level of the Eiffel Tower with Michelin star chef Alain Ducasse. We celebrated our wedding anniversary here and highly recommend it. Book in advance and if celebrating a special occasion, request a window table. Read our review of Le Jules Verne.
26 place de la Madeleine; Tel: 01 70 39 38 00; Métro: Madeleine;
If you have a sweet tooth there are many fine patisseries in Paris. This, however, has the added advantage of having an Aladdin’s Cave of delights for you to take home.
Restaurant Maison Blanche
15, av Montaigne; Tel: 01 47 23 55 99; Métro: Alma – Marceau
Situated on the roof top of the Theatre des Champs-Elysees and surrounded by the haute couture boutiques of avenue Montaigne, the stylish rooms offer modern dining with views of the city.
Le Boeuf Sur Le Toit
34, rue de Colisée ; Tel: 01 53 93 65 55; Métro: Saint-Philippe-du-Roule
This is an elegant art deco room that reminds you of the grand days of the ocean liner. Film lovers look to Jean Cocteau’s La belle et la bête and Orphée. To tempt you, there is an array of seafood on crushed ice to view as you head to your table. Ordered the brandade de morue, a salt cod dish that was the best I have ever had.
99, avenue des Champs Elysées; Tel: 01 47 23 70 60; Métro: George V
Eateries along the Champs Elysées may seem like a tourist trap but this one is a Paris institution. Walk the red carpet to this luxury brasserie and enjoy a late night foie gras and a glass of Sauternes as we did.
Maxim’s de Paris
3, rue Royale; Tel: 01 42 65 27 94; Métro: Madeleine
A Parisian establishment with elegant rooms in Art Nouveau style that recall a bygone era. A formal dining experience with an ambience of opulence and class. The best memory was of the 1975 Chateau Canon.
Les 110 de Taillevent
195 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
A pin off of the 2 Michelin star Taillevent, Les 110 de Taillevent offers 110 wines by the glass and a choice of dishes, each paired with four wines at different price points, served in either 14 cl or 7 cl glasses. Read our review of les 110 de Taillevent.
Café de la Paix
12 Boulevard des Capucines; Tel: 01 40 07 36 36; Métro: Opéra
Designed by the same Garnier of the Opera fame, this is the place to enjoy a café or an aperitif and watch the Parisian world. Or dine inside in elegance.
1 Rue Auber; Tel: 01 47 42 26 25; Métro: Opéra
A mix of locals and tourist frequent this popular brasserie near Opera Garnier. A spot for lunch or a light meal, or a pause café in between shopping at Galeries Lafayette.
Le Grand Café Capucines
4 blvd des Capucines; Tel: 01 43 12 19 00; Métro: Opéra
With its beautiful Art Deco glass interior, this is a truly stunning restaurant. Travel in time and enjoy the repast after les boutiques et Galeries Lafayette. A menu that provides the traditions of cuisine parisienne.
La Régalade Conservatoire
7-9 rue du Conservatoire; Tel. 01-44-83-83-60; Métro: Bonne Nouvelle, Grands Boulevards
Located within Hotel de Nell, La Régalade Conservatoire is known to please Parisians and hotel guests alike with its bistronomie approach to dining.
Vagenende – L’Insulaire – Les Deux Magots
L’Ecailler du Bistrot
22 Rue Paul Bert, Tel: (33) 01 43 72 76 77, Metro: Faidherbe-Chaligny
You won’t find a tourist in sight at this local seafood haunt. A quaint maritime decor invites lingering over a Plateau de Fruits de Mer and a bottle of Sancerre. Read our review of L’Ecailler du Bistrot.
102 bvd du Montparnasse; Tel: 01 43 20 14 20; Métro: Vavin
A former literary haunt serving great food in the largest brasserie in Paris. The Art Deco surrounds take you back to the Paris of old with a menu of classics with a twist. Fond memories as Ms G’s bachelor Parisian uncle told me which women of the world were the best to have affairs with. I reminded him that I am married to his niece. “Of course, why else would I tell you”.
16 ave Victor Hugo; Tel: 01 44 17 35 85; Métro: Charles de Gaulle- Etoile
A fabulous original art deco interior that is dedicated to the bounty of the sea and is surpassed by fresh and beautiful seafood that is treated with great respect. The seafood platter is an earthly delight. Quality like this does come at a price.
Café des Deux Moulins
15 Rue Lepic; Tel: 01 42 54 90 50; Métro: Blanche
Who does not love Audrey Tatou? The owners play up to the film and let all the patrons have their own Amélie moment. Croque Monsieur or Madame, une coupe de vin rouge in a setting of classic 1950’s décor. Check out the Amélie memorabilia in the unisex bathroom. Read our review of Café des Deux Moulins.
La Mére Catherine
6 Rue Norvins; Tel: 01 46 06 32 69; Métro: Abbesses
In the heart of Place du Tertre, this restaurant has been serving meals for over 200 years. So after visiting Sacré-Coeur and sitting for a portrait take some time to enjoy the broad range of dishes this traditional restaurant has to offer.
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Feel free to add your favourite Paris restaurants in the comments below. Bon appétit.
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