The Definitive Paris Restaurant Guide
The museums are fine and the history is cool, but let’s be honest: You really go to Paris for the food. So if you have only a few days there, you don’t have one meal to waste. Here, the best restaurant in the City of Light for every occasion.
Best Crepes: Breizh Café
Join the queue at this trendy spot in Le Marais—the buckwheat crèpes are always worth the wait. Call us purists, but we can’t resist the classic ham and Gruyère with a runny sunny-side-up egg. And don’t miss the page-long list of pear and apple hard ciders.
109 Rue Vieille du Temple; breizhcafe.com
Most OMG Cheese Plate: Restaurant Astier
It’s not hard to find fromage in Paris, but holy Camembert, these guys aren’t messing around with their cheese board. The heaping, all-you-can-eat tray with creamy Brie, pungent Roquefort and rich chèvre is enough to send you into a dairy-induced coma.
44 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud; restaurant-astier.com
Best Eggs: Holybelly
This Australian-run coffee shop may not be the most authentic French meal (in fact, everyone who works there speaks English), but you’ll go to heaven with one bite of the “Savory Stack,” a whopping plate of pancakes topped with fried eggs, bacon, bourbon butter and maple syrup.
19 Rue Lucien Sampaix; holybel.ly
Tastiest Fried Chicken Brunch: Ellsworth
You probably thought you came to Paris for the escargot and steak frites…but don’t let that stop you from popping into Ellsworth for buttermilk fried chicken served with pickles and cabbage.
34 Rue de Richelieu; ellsworthparis.com
Best Oyster Bar: HUITRERIE REGIS
In Paris, oysters are a cuisine of their own. Sit down at this tiny eatery in the 6th arrondissement and order a tower of briny, plump oysters from the beds of Marennes-Oléron. (Tip: Wash them down with a glass of Muscadet.)
3 Rue de Montfaucon; huitrerieregis.com
The Best Quick Spot to Grab Lunch Between Sightseeing: Frenchie to Go
When you only have a few days in Paris, there’s a lot to see and no time to waste. Pop into this offshoot of the popular Frenchie wine bar for a quick Reuben or heaping pastrami on rye (you won’t find anything like it in the Big Apple).
9 Rue du Nil; frenchietogo.com
Most Amazing (and Affordable) Tasting Menu: Septime
There’s no doubt about it: Septime is one of the most exciting restaurants in Paris right now. You could order à la carte, but the €60, six-course tasting menu with rotating seasonal dishes is a bargain, considering the quality of the food (think: silky tuna tartare with cured egg yolk, and rich scallops with black truffles).
80 Rue de Charonne; septime-charonne.fr
The Absolute Best Tasting Menu to Spend a Small Fortune On: Pierre Gagnaire
A meal at this three-star Michelin restaurant comes at a price: Expect to drop €500 for a dinner for two (or you can opt for the €115 lunch menu, which suddenly sounds like a total bargain). From the presentation to the cuisine, it’s a meal you’ll never forget. The standout dishes—like langostine tartare and green mango and duck breast with cassis and black garlic—wed traditional French cuisine with contemporary gastronomy.
6 Rue Balzac; pierre-gagnaire.com
Most Quintessential French Bistro: Chez L’Ami Jean
The room is loud and cramped, and the enormous plates will have you dieting for weeks. In other words, L’Ami Jean is everything we love about Paris. With a Basque chef at the helm, expect creative twists on French classics: foie gras with chanterelle mushrooms, and slow-cooked, fall-off-the-bone lamb. Don’t forget to order a bowl of rice pudding for dessert.
27 Rue Malar; lamijean.fr
Best Seafood: Clamato
Can’t get into Septime for lunch? This equally delicious sister restaurant is the place to go for beautifully-plated, fish-centric dishes like razor clams in butter, white asparagus with crab and scallop crudo paired with crisp, white wines.
80 Rue de Charonne; septime-charonne.fr
Most Innovative Cooking: Le Chateaubriand
Picky eaters might be intimidated by the out-of-the-box tasting menu at this posh eatery, but we have a feeling you’ll like everything chef Iñaki Aizpitarte puts in front of you. Expect colorful and delightfully bizarre plates like fried shrimp in strawberry powder and sea urchin salad with golden beets.
129 Avenue Parmentier; lechateaubriand.
Best Wine Bar: Au Passage
If there’s one thing Parisians are crazy about, it’s a good wine bar. (Can you blame them?) This lively local favorite, tucked away in an alleyway by Republique, stands out from the crowd. An extensive wine list boasts 200 hand-selected, natural bottles, and the chalkboard menu displays rotating daily specials like truffle burrata and pork terrine.
1bis Passage Saint-Sébastien; restaurant-aupassage.fr
Most To-Die-For Pastries: Du Pain et des Idees
It’s worth a trip to the neighborhood of Canal Saint-Martin just for a famous escargot bun from Du Pain et des Idées. (And don’t worry, there’s no snail involved—just rings of chocolate and pistachio between flaky puff pastry.) Everything from the basic croissants to the apple tarts is out of this world.
34 Rue Yves Toudic; dupainetdesidees.com
Best Cheap Eats: L’As du Fallafel
Confession: We’d book a flight just to get our hands on one of these epic falafel pitas, overflowing with juicy fried eggplant, pickled veggies, hummus and spicy harissa. This six-euro sandwich could easily be the best (and messiest) meal of your trip.
34 Rue des Rosiers; l-as-du-fallafel.zenchef.com