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Helen Rosner

The 38 Essential Restaurants in Paris

Veal with Jerusalem artichoke miso at a modern Egyptian French restaurant, caviar at a luxe spot once owned by an Yves Saint Laurent cofounder, and more great bites to try now in Paris

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Paris has reclaimed its status as one of the world’s favorite cities to eat. The French capital is bustling with a brilliant constellation of restaurants these days, including a bevy of openings that show off how deliciously cosmopolitan it’s become: Menkicchi is maybe the best ramen shop in town, young French Malian chef Mory Sacko cooks stunningly original dishes at MoSuke, and Korean-born chef Sukwon Yong shows off the growing influence of Asia on contemporary French cooking at the reboot of Le Bistrot Flaubert. Plus there’s an inventive and diverse array of casual dining options, like the affordable Café du Coin, excellent Montmartre bistro Le Maquis, and Parcelles, an outstanding bistrot a vins in the Marais. There’s also been a renaissance of Paris’s long-established gastronomic landscape, with traditional bistros, brasseries, and stylish restaurants serving classic French cooking made famous by chef Auguste Escoffier.

Updated, October 2022:

With the noticeable return of the city’s tourists and Parisians themselves dining out again, the Paris restaurant scene is buzzing with glamorous new openings and talented young chefs making their debuts. Chef Omar Dhiab, who formerly worked for chef Christophe Moret and won a Michelin star for Loiseau Rive Gauche, ushers the recently uneven Jean Imbert au Plaza Athenee off stage. Dhiab’s technically impeccable and intriguingly original contemporary French cooking at his namesake restaurant has made it one of Paris’s most coveted tables. Similarly, chef Yannick Alleno’s shrewd relaunch of Prunier, the much-loved fish house with a landmarked art-deco facade and interior near the Arc de Triomphe, has become an immediate hit with the city’s beau monde and so replaces chef Jean-François Piège’s Le Grand Restaurant as a great destination for a luxurious lunch or special night out.

We update this list quarterly to make sure it reflects the ever-changing Paris dining scene.

Alexander Lobrano is a Paris restaurant expert and author of Hungry for Paris, Hungry for France, and his gastronomic coming-of-age story My Place at the Table. He blogs about restaurants and writes often for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Saveur, and other publications.

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The bulk of Paris’s famed haute cuisine is fiscally out of reach for many. However Michelin-starred Comice, headed by Canadian chef Noam Gedalof and sommelier Etheliya Hananova (the two are married), is an indulgence that won’t completely melt your credit card. The look strikes a similar balance: elegant but relaxed, with striking arrangements from a renowned local florist. Hananova’s wine list — which features lesser-known wines from around the world — is terrific, as is Gedalof’s light, inventive contemporary French cooking. Try the duck foie gras with hazelnuts, strawberries, balsamic, and black pepper, or the roast chicken with polenta, wild mushrooms, and a salad of wild herbs.

A side table in a dining room with a vase of flowers, bread basket, and spirits
The dining room at Comice
Comice/Facebook

Prunier

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Founded in 1872 by Albert Prunier, this restaurant near the Arc de Triomphe has always epitomized Parisian chic and the city’s avid love of the best quality seafood, including the caviar that Prunier started producing on farms in the Aquitaine region in 1921. Most recently owned by the late Pierre Bergé, cofounder of the Yves Saint Laurent fashion house, Prunier’s new proprietors hired chef Yannick Alleno, who earned three Michelin stars at Pavillon Ledoyen, to reboot the restaurant’s menu. Seated among the landmarked art-deco decor, be sure to try dishes like the Oeuf Christian Dior, a coddled egg on a bed of ham aspic in caviar-speckled cream; langoustines carpaccio with geranium and caviar; and the sole meuniere.

A glitzy, gold-accented round bar with a wall of Champagne fridges, a cloud-like sky, midcentury bar stools, and the name Prunier in large letters.
Champagne and caviar bar.
Nicolas Lobbestael

Le Bistrot Flaubert

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Originally founded in the 1980s by chef Michel Rostang, this cozy bistro with flea market decor has been taken over by chef Nicolas Baumann and one of the most innovative restaurateurs in Paris right now, financier Stéphane Manigold. Korean-born chef Sukwon Yong, who used to work with Rostang, leads the kitchen, and his Asian spin on French bistro cooking has made this one of the most interesting and satisfying restaurants in western Paris. Expect dishes like Korean beef tartare with avocado mousse and puffed rice, and lumache (snail-shaped pasta) with rabbit confit, red curry, and kimchi. The prix fixe lunch is a real bargain in an expensive part of Paris.

A blue velvet menu on a sunlit table beside place settings
A casually luxurious menu
Le Bistrot Flaubert

Restaurant Arnaud Nicolas

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With excellent handmade pates, sausages, and terrines, award-winning charcutier and chef Arnaud Nicolas has revived an ancient branch of French gastronomy. The space, on a leafy avenue in the silk-stocking Seventh Arrondissement, is decorated with exposed stone walls, a beamed ceiling, and battleship-gray moldings. Roasts and meat pies, Gallic pleasures that date back at least to the Middle Ages, figure as first courses, before an evolving menu filled with seasonal produce. Nicolas shows off his style with turbot cooked with cep mushrooms, salmon koulibiak for two, beef cheek braised with carrots in red wine, veal sweetbreads with girolles mushrooms, and a luscious chocolate souffle.

A chef places thick cuts of lobster in a bed of other ingredients on a mostly clean white plate
Lobster in summer stew
Restaurant Arnaud Nicolas / Facebook

Chez L'Ami Jean

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Chef Stéphane Jego’s heaving Left Bank bistro is perpetually packed. Like so few other Parisian chefs, Jego knows how to deliver beautiful, traditional French bistro food, modernized with tweaks so subtle most people won’t even notice. He’s barely touched the 1930s space since taking it over nearly two decades ago from a Basque rugby pub. The earthy dishes, often inspired by southwestern French farmhouse food, are so deeply satisfying you won’t mind the occasionally slow service or boisterous regulars. The menu includes Parmesan soup with cabbage and bonito flakes, roasted pigeon with thyme and garlic, roast lamb with smoked oregano, and light and fluffy rice pudding.

Heaping cuts of roast pork in an iron skillet topped with sprigs of laurel
Roast pork at Chez L’Ami Jean
Chez L’Ami Jean / official

Restaurant David Toutain

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After working with Alain Passard and Marc Veyrat, David Toutain first wowed Paris at Agapé Substance in Saint-Germain. Now he has his own place, and his constantly changing tasting menus (which range from 70 to 250 euros) deliver some of the boldest and most interesting food in Paris. Think dishes like seared foie gras in baked potato bouillon with black truffles; a monochromatic white composition of cuttlefish with yuba; and nearly translucent Parmesan gnocchi, seasoned with the juice extracted from cooking the cheese at very low temperatures for hours.

A casual dining room with lots of exposed wood floors and walls, long farmhouse tables with simple chairs, and large windows for natural light
The dining room at Restaurant David Toutain
Thaï Toutain/Courtesy of Restaurant David Toutain

La Scene

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Chef Stéphanie Le Quellec’s glamorous subterranean dining room feels like a luxury railroad car, with the chef working in a theater-like open kitchen at the head of the room. It’s fun and amusing, which is the point. Le Quellec has reinvented French haute cuisine for the 21st century, offering diners a good time instead of another long stuffy experience. Her cooking is light, lucid, and precise, with touches of gastronomic wit. Poached langoustines come with buckwheat and a quenelle of blanc-manger and claw meat. Scottish grouse with morels is cooked with smoked tea. Veal sweetbreads arrive with roasted cauliflower and harissa. And a ganache, featuring Criollo chocolate from Venezuela, is made with olive oil. La Scene is one of the rare Paris restaurants that works as well for a romantic tete a tete as it does for a business meal.

A shiny metallic bar with unique green felt bar stools, industrial table lamps at each place, and a gold back bar marked by dots of light
The bar at La Scene
La Scene / official

L’Arpège

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Okay, it costs a freaking fortune, but the vegetarian dishes cooked by three-Michelin-starred chef Alain Passard often come as close to nirvana as Paris can deliver for vegetarians. They’re so good that accompanying non-vegetarians will be tempted, although fish and meat are also on the menu. Passard’s vegetables come from his own organic farm, and what you’ll get depends on what’s available at the time. A sample of Passard’s talent with the bounty of the garden includes dishes like ratatouille-stuffed ravioli with an infusion of purple basil and a vol au vent (puff pastry) filled with baby peas, turnips, and snow peas in a sauce spiked with Cote du Jura wine. It’s worth pointing out that people have strong feelings about L’Arpège — the restaurant has its share of critics, including Eater’s own Ryan Sutton.

An apple tart, with spiraling toppings that look like a bouquet of flowers, sitting on a wire rack
Tarte aux pommes at L’Arpège
L’Arpège / official

Joséphine Chez Dumonet

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With its lace curtains, cut-glass room dividers, and bentwood chairs, this century-old bistro is why you put up with all those terrible hours in economy class to get to Paris. The boeuf bourguignon is the best in the city. The dish is a testament to Gallic genius, calling for slowly simmering meat to create a flavor-rich sauce from the juices. You must book in advance, and don’t miss the Grand Marnier souffle for dessert either.

A chef spoons sauce over a steak on a prep table in a kitchen
Chef Marc Amory prepares a Tournedos Rossini during lunch service at Joséphine Chez Dumonet
Pete Kiehart

In a year of lockdowns, young chef Mory Sacko was one of the stars of 2020 for the originality of his intriguing African French Japanese cooking in Montparnasse. The son of Malian immigrants to France, he grew up in the suburbs eating African dishes made by his mother and American fast food for an occasional treat. At a job at a big Paris luxury hotel, he discovered his fascination with cooking, and went on to work with two-Michelin-star chef Thierry Marx, a Japanophile who taught Sacko to love Japanese ingredients and techniques. Expect dishes like lobster in miso sauce with smoked pepper and lacto-fermented tomato, sole seasoned with togarashi shichimi, and lovage cooked inside of a banana leaf and served with a side of attieke, a couscous-like preparation of dried fermented cassava pulp. The name of the restaurant derives from the names of the chef and one of his heroes, Yasuke, the first and only African samurai, an emancipated Mozambican slave who lived in 16th-century Kyoto. 

Roasted fish wrapped in a cylinder of banana leaf, resting to one side of a couscous salad dotted with herbs and flowers
Sole cooked in a banana leaf
Quentin Tourbez

L'Assiette

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It is quiet, hard-working, limelight-shunning chefs like David Rathgeber who make Paris such an enduringly terrific food city. He took over this locally famous restaurant — previously helmed by a flamboyant chef named Lulu who charmed the likes of late President François Mitterrand and other celebrities — and has made it one of the city’s best bistros. It’s well worth the trek to the quiet 14th Arrondissement for his deft take on traditional dishes like pork-knuckle rillettes with foie gras and a superb cassoulet. The menu also offers lighter fare, including sea bream tartare with green tomato and coriander jus, and cuttlefish carbonara. The creme caramel is nothing short of epic.

From above, a dish of mixed seafood in broth
A seafood dish at L’Assiette
L’Assiette/Facebook

Menkicchi

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Right in the heart of the city, midway between the Opera Garnier and the Musee du Louvre, you’ll find a cluster of Japanese and other Asian restaurants along the Rue Sainte-Anne and adjoining streets. Stop by the very popular Menkicchi for some gyoza and a bowl of some of the city’s best ramen. The regulars love the Le Speciale ramen, which comes with handmade noodles in rich pork bouillon, a marinated egg, a slice of pork breast, and seaweed.

A bowl of ramen topped with slices of pork, egg, and scallion, beside a plate of gyoza with dipping sauce
Ramen and gyoza
Menkicchi

l’Huîtrerie Régis

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This minuscule, white-painted, no-reservations raw bar in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés is a pearl, and it serves the best bivalves in Paris. The owners get them shipped daily from pedigreed producers in the Marennes d’Oléron, Normandy, and Brittany on France’s Atlantic coast. Start with some smoked scallops, tuck into a dozen oysters, and finish up with the runny chocolate tart.

From above, a large dish of shucked oysters, with bright shrimp and lemon wedges in the center
A plateau at l’Huîtrerie Régis
Huitrerie Regis/Facebook

Juvenile’s

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This friendly wine bar and bistro is the perfect place to find really good French comfort food and a great bottle of wine without the hassle of booking three months in advance. Scottish wine merchant and longtime Paris expat Tim Johnston founded the restaurant, which is now run by his daughter Margaux and her French boyfriend, Romain Roudeau. With Roudeau in the kitchen and the younger Johnston running the dining room, the pair orchestrate a Gallic gastronomic experience that lives up to their motto: “We always deliver the goods.” The menu follows the seasons, but the kitchen displays its style with dishes like celery soup with cockles, chives with whipped cream, sauteed wild mushroom with egg yolk and prosciutto cream, duckling filet with Swiss chard and chestnuts, and scallops with leek, baby potatoes, and parsley cream.

A cozy dining room, with guests seated at small tables and bottles of wine along the walls
The dining room at Juvenile’s
Juvenile’s / official

Le Maquis

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Located in the tranquil 18th Arrondissement far from the crowds of tourists around Sacre Coeur and the Place du Tertre, this laidback neighborhood bistro pulls a discerning crowd of locals and word-of-mouth customers from other parts of Paris for the excellent bistro cooking of Paul Boudier and Albert Touton. Many of their dishes have a Southern French or Italian accent, including superb homemade pastas, ceviche with shavings of poutargue (bottarga), and pork belly cooked in cider with roasted fennel.

La Bourse et la Vie

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Chef Daniel Rose’s second Paris restaurant has become one of the city’s best bistros. He delivers superb versions of the rock-of-ages French dishes that people yearn to eat. His superb foie gras de canard comes to the table perched on a fresh artichoke heart with a dribble of aspic-like shallot vinaigrette on the side, a brilliant detail. Don’t miss the collier d’agneau provencal (braised lamb neck Provençal style) either.

From above, a plate of sliced stake with fork and knife beside a separate plate of thick-cut fries
Steak frites at La Bourse et La Vie
La Bourse et La Vie/Facebook

At this sister table to chef William Ledeuil’s Michelin-starred Ze Kitchen Galerie, young chef Martin Maumet has created one of the best restaurants on the Left Bank with his nervy, vivid, and inventive French cooking. A meal in the minimalist, gallery-like space begins with an assortment of hors d’oeuvres and then segues into a suite of Asian-accented contemporary French dishes that showcase vegetables and seafood. The menu evolves constantly, but options might include Sardinian gnocchi with mussels in herb-garnished shellfish bouillon, free-range heirloom chicken with carrots, and Iberian pork with roasted root vegetables and chimichurri sauce. Desserts are often made with vegetables, as in the butternut squash ice cream with chestnuts, pistachios, and yuzu.

A wooden tray filled with dishes including soup, lobster, and fried items
A variety of dishes at KGB
KGB / official

Restaurant Omar Dhiab

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This earth-tone restaurant near the Place des Victoires on the edge of Les Halles, is elegant but relaxing, with parquet floors and walls of walnut paneling and dusty rose. Chef Omar Dhiab welcomes guests with karkadé, a hot hibiscus drink typical of Egypt, and works chickpeas, lentils, and orange flower water into exceptionally suave and original contemporary French cooking. Dishes include marinated veal with Jerusalem artichoke miso, zucchini flowers stuffed with squid with a pistachio pesto, and beef with mozzarella dressed with green pepper and smoked sardine.

A chef at work.
Chef Omar Dhiab.
Virginie Garnier

Restaurant Granite

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Hidden on a small side street on the edge of Les Halles in the heart of Paris, this intimate restaurant sports contemporary decor of cutout wooden paneling and an open kitchen. It’s become one of the most sought-after reservations in the city for the superb contemporary French cooking of young chef Thomas Meyer, the former sous chef to Anne-Sophie Pic at her three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Valence. Meyer presents his cooking in a tasting-menu format that showcases his perfectly tuned creativity, love of fresh seasonal produce, and culinary loyalty to his native Jura in the east of France. The menus evolve regularly, but standouts of a recent meal included a grilled cepe mushroom with meadowsweet-flavored sabayon and a sauce of deeply reduced mushroom jus and white miso; sea bream with kale in Granny Smith apple juice with a gelee of lovage; roast pigeon in a sauce of its own gizzards with green cardamom and citrus; and an intriguing dessert of rice pudding wrapped in rice roll with mirabelle plums stewed with vin jaune.

White fish fillet in a light colored broth in a gray bowl with crimped edges. On top of the fish are pieces of fried skin, leaves and flowers for garnish
Pike perch, sparkling apple and colander broth, citrus leaves and lovage oil
Paul Stefanaggi

Au Pied de Cochon

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Channel your inner Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern by ordering the Tentation de Saint-Antoine (the Temptation of Saint Anthony), served at this famous brasserie in Les Halles that’s been open nonstop — 24/7 — since it opened in 1947. Saint Anthony is the patron saint of charcutiers, and this plate includes a muzzle, ears, breaded pig’s foot, and a tail with lashings of bearnaise sauce. This lively place satisfies less assertively carnivore appetites, too, with trays of oysters and other shellfish, and dishes like its famous onion soup and beautifully made sole meuniere. 

A roasted pig’s foot on a plate beside a small pile of fries, cabbage garnish, and a boat of sauce
Pig’s foot at Au Pied de Cochon
Au Pied de Cochon / Facebook

Frenchie

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Chef Gregory Marchand’s contemporary Frenchie has become a bona fide institution since it opened 12 years ago in a little lane in Le Sentier, Paris’s old garment district. Marchand’s cooking is incessantly inventive and reflects his international experiences in New York and London, and his tasting menus are perfect snapshots of how Paris wants to eat right now. Think cosmopolitan dishes like scamorza-stuffed agnolotti with butternut squash that’s roasted and pickled in a bouillon spiked with raspberry vinegar and porcini mushroom jus. There’s also guinea hen breast with roasted Treviso and a sauce of deeply reduced chicken stock. It’s a chore to land a table, but it’s totally worth it.

From above, a large stalk of asparagus curls around a sunny-side up egg garnished with seeds and flowers
Asparagus, egg, and Parmesan at Frenchie
Frenchie / official

With the opening of Tekés (ceremony, in Hebrew), vegetarian dining goes mainstream in Paris. Hidden in a lively corner of the Upper Marais, this low-lit restaurant with honey-colored wood furnishings and a patio courtyard is the latest address from Michelin star-winning chef Assaf Granit and the rest of the Israeli team that brought the city the hugely popular Balagan and Shabour. Led by chefs Cécile Levy and Dan Yosha, the busy open kitchen puts on a great show while producing dishes like butter and sage galette served with creamy labneh for dipping, vegetarian chicken liver — a composition of mushrooms served with a soft-boiled egg, dates, and pine nuts — and rotisserie celeriac lacquered with pomegranate molasses. There’s an excellent wine list, too.

A dining room with a long banquette, stone tabletops, light wood chairs and bar, and an outdoor patio at the far end between large glass doors where tables are set beneath candles.
Inside Tekés.
Benjamin Rosemberg

Raviolis Chinois Nord-Est

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The small dining room may have bare-bones decor, but you’re here for the homemade jiaozi (small Beijing-style dumplings), which are probably the best meal you’ll find in Paris for a fiver. Served grilled or boiled in orders of 10, they’re stuffed with your choice of pork and green cabbage; mushrooms, beef, and celery; egg, chives, and shrimp; or tofu, mushrooms, and green cabbage.

From above, a decorative plate containing a pile of dumplings beside a small bowl of chile sauce
Jiaozi at Raviolis Chinois Nord-Est
Deana Saukam

Les Arlots

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The neighborhood near the Gare du Nord train station is nondescript, and this tiny bistrot a vins packs its clients in like sardines. No one minds the humdrum location or the crowd, though, because the restaurant serves some of the best and most reasonably priced French comfort food in Paris. Chef Thomas Brachet’s chalkboard menu changes daily but always offers an irresistible mix of contemporary dishes — like a salad of green beans, apricots, speck, and fresh almonds, or John Dory meuniere with vegetable accras (beignets) — and traditional ones, which may include langoustines with homemade mayonnaise, or the best homemade sausage and potato puree in Paris. The stuffed cabbage and rice pudding with cinnamon and orange shouldn’t be missed either. Be sure to book a few days ahead of time.

Thick cuts of meat stacked on a plate
A dish at Les Arlots
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Since it opened in 2017 in the 10th Arrondissement, chef Adrien Ferrand’s friendly table has become one of the city’s best contemporary French bistros. The restaurant reflects its bustling, working-class district in the heart of Paris, home to two of the city’s busiest train stations, Gare du Nord and Gare de L’Est. Sand-blasted cast-iron pillars, vintage tile floors, and exposed brick walls create an industrial-chic backdrop for nervy and inventive dishes. Starters include smoked eel with Granny Smith apple, liquorice, and hazelnuts, and endive braised with scamorza and chestnut cream. Mains feature grilled quail with pattypan squash and beets, a jus flavored with tarragon and black currants, and almond brittle, as well as beef filet en croute with ceps, salsify, and a mandarin orange garnish. The desserts are great too, like a tartelette of coconut-vanilla cream with grapefruit and parsnip marmalade.

A plate with slices of eel, puddles of sauce, and crunchy and herbal garnish
Smoked eel, with matcha, kiwi, and almond
Eels / Facebook

Parcelles

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From the moment it opened in May, 2021, this bistrots a vins in the Marais has been packed to the gills by a crowd who love proprietaire Sarah Michielsen’s hospitality, sommelier Bastin Fidelin’s wine list, and the delicious cosmopolitan modern bistro cooking of chef Julien Chevallier. The chalkboard menu evolves constantly but runs to dishes like baby clams steamed with herbs and shallots in white wine, vitello tonnato, braised beef cheek in breadcrumbs with a beef jus and baby vegetables, and tiramisu with toasted hazelnuts. This stylish comfort food is exactly what Paris is hungry for right now, especially paired with charming service and a great selection of wines by the glass.

A green restaurant exterior with large windows looking in on rows of bottles
Outside Parcelles
Parcelles

Café les Deux Gares

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With charmingly quirky railroad themed decor by trendy British interior designer Luke Hall, this hotel restaurant is conveniently situated between the Gare du Nord and the Gare de l’Est stations. But Café Les Deux Gares serves such bright, original, flavorful contemporary French cooking that it’s well worth a visit even if you don’t have a train to catch. Chef Jonathan Schweitzer’s chalkboard menu evolves according to what’s best at the market, expressing his culinary imagination with dishes like smoked scallops with raw cream, chives, and herb oil; line-caught red tuna with cherries, nasturtium leaves, and elderflower vinegar; and lovage sorbet with meringue and cucumber ribbons.

Pho Tai

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The 13th Arrondissement is the largest of Paris’s Asian neighborhoods, with a mixed population originating from China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Head to Pho Tai for an excellent bo-bun composed of freshly made nem (deep-fried spring rolls) and sauteed beef on a bed of rice noodles with an umami-rich sauce. The namesake pho is very good, too.

Hands add chiles to a bowl of pho with bright green chopsticks
An order of Petit Pho (small beef noodle soup) is prepared at Pho Tai
Pete Kiehart

Breizh Café

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Brittany-born Bertrand Larcher’s brilliant creperies are found everywhere from Cancale to Tokyo. In Paris, Larcher’s kitchens star first-rate Breton produce, and his outpost in the Marais is a terrific choice for a meal of galettes and crepes. Go with a smoked herring- and potato-filled galette, then tuck into a matcha and white chocolate mousse-filled crepe garnished with strawberries. There are five other addresses in Paris, so check the website for the one nearest you.

Le Tagine

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Paris has dozens of North African restaurants serving couscous and tagines, but what sets this cheerful Moroccan restaurant apart is the outstanding quality of its produce, making it a favorite among Parisian chefs. Here, the couscous is made with fresh seasonal vegetables and succulent baby lamb from the Pyrenees. They also bake their bread and North African pastries in-house, while the wine list features an interesting selection of mostly natural wines. The atmosphere is vivid but avoids cartoonish indulgence, with mosaic-topped tables, lanterns, and candles.

L’Amarante

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At his bistro that looks like an Edward Hopper painting near the Bastille, chef Christophe Philippe serves the best chocolate mousse in Paris. It’s made from the sublime chocolate produced by Italian Claudio Corallo on the tiny African islands of Sao Tome et Principe. Unctuous, funky, deep, this dark fluff will leave you with a craving you’ll never, ever escape.

Large windows let in blinding light on a dining room with wood walls, leather banquets, and tables
The dining room at L’Amarante
L’Amarante / Facebook

Aux Bons Crus

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The tongue-in-cheek decor nods to les routiers, the roadside restaurants once frequented by truck drivers — think red-and-white checkered tablecloths, plastic bread baskets, and moleskin banquettes. Deals like a solid two-course meal for 16 euros, including wine, have kept this jaunty bistro packed since it opened. The menu changes constantly but you can expect dishes like celery remoulade with crabmeat, steak au poivre, stuffed cabbage, beef braised with carrots, and chocolate mousse.

A leg of roast chicken in sauce beside a glass of wine, metal tin of fries and basket of bread, all on a checkered tablecloth
Roast chicken at Aux Bons Crus
Restaurant les Marches/Facebook

Septime

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Given how hard it is to score a reservation at chef Bertrand Grébaut’s relaxed modern bistro, you’ll probably come to the table expecting a meal that will induce instant rapture. But that’s not Grébaut’s style. Instead, his cooking is “innocent, spontaneous, and balanced,” in the chef’s own words, which translates to superbly delicate, subtle dishes like mushrooms with oyster and foie gras bouillon, or seared tuna with raspberries and tomato water. Service is friendly and easygoing, and the loft-like space is airy.

A restaurant interior with bare wood farmhouse tables, simple chairs, large windows in an interior wall between dining sections, and metal spiral staircase
The dining room at Septime
Septime restaurant/Facebook

Clamato

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Chef Bertrand Grébaut’s seafood bar is perennially one of the hottest places in Paris right now. It does not take reservations, so if you want to beat the line, try to go right when it opens, at 7 p.m., or late, after 10 p.m. The menu changes daily, but offers dishes like smoked shrimp with roasted red pepper and white beans, tuna tartare, ceviche, oysters, crab fritters, and more. It also boasts terrific platters of raw seafood like clams, shrimp, sea snails, and other seaworthy delights.

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Café du Coin

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Paris is filled with cafes du coin, or corner cafes, but very few of them serve such good food at such reasonable prices all day long. Run by trendsetting restaurateur Florent Ciccoli, this cheerful, popular place in the super bobo 11th Arrondissement changes its chalkboard menu daily, but you’ll likely find dishes like freshly baked pizzettes, caillette (a caul fat-wrapped, herb-filled sausage patty garnished with pickled mustard seeds on a bed of potato puree), and blood sausage with roasted corn and guindillas (pickled green peppers from Basque country). Don’t miss the lemon tart for dessert.

A close-up shot of several large cooked langoustines on a plate with a small crock of butter, resting on a counter beside the photographer’s hand
Langoustines with mayonnaise and brown butter
Café du Coin / Facebook

Le Cadoret

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An old working-class neighborhood on the northeastern edge of Paris (and the birthplace of Édith Piaf), Belleville is coming on strong as one of the most interesting food neighborhoods in Paris. Brother-and-sister team Léa and Louis-Marie Fleuriot run this very affordable modern bistro in a former corner cafe. While she works the kitchen, he runs the dining room, and together they offer the kind of market-driven cooking that exemplifies the area. The petroleum-blue facade has big picture windows, and inside there’s an indigo-painted zinc-topped service bar, an open kitchen, and wooden tables with cloth napkins and French-made Opinel knives. The chalkboard menu changes daily but runs to dishes like mussels in creamy, saffron-spiked bisque, haddock in coriander court bouillon with mushrooms and potato puree, and egg-rich, caramel sauce-lashed creme caramel.

Mokonuts

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The talented couple Omar Koreitem and Moko Hirayama run this friendly cafe-bakery, the place to head for a casual but outstanding lunch or snack. French Lebanese chef Koreitem creates the savory dishes, such as bonito with spring tabbouleh, while Japanese chef Hirayama is a superb baker, serving up fennel, pickled lemon, and almond cookies, and flourless chocolate layer cake with coffee-mascarpone cream. Open from 8:45 a.m. to 6 p.m., it’s deservedly one of the most popular places in eastern Paris.

Pastries sit on a cooling rack
Chouquettes at Mokonuts
Mokonuts / Facebook

Le Baratin

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When Paris chefs want to unwind they head for this little wine bar in Belleville where Argentine-born self-taught chef Raquel Carena serves up some of the most deeply satisfying food in Paris. The chalkboard menu changes constantly, but Carena loves offal and fish, and her palate favors tart and sweet-and-sour flavors, as seen in dishes like mackerel tartare with smoked vinegar, tuna steak with black cherries, and rabbit and mushroom ragout with red wine sauce. The bohemian soul of rapidly gentrifying Belleville has taken refuge here, too. So go now while the good times last.

A server, seen through a wall cutout beneath a stuffed fish, prepares tables
A server prepares a place setting before lunch service at Le Baratin
Pete Kiehart

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Comice

The bulk of Paris’s famed haute cuisine is fiscally out of reach for many. However Michelin-starred Comice, headed by Canadian chef Noam Gedalof and sommelier Etheliya Hananova (the two are married), is an indulgence that won’t completely melt your credit card. The look strikes a similar balance: elegant but relaxed, with striking arrangements from a renowned local florist. Hananova’s wine list — which features lesser-known wines from around the world — is terrific, as is Gedalof’s light, inventive contemporary French cooking. Try the duck foie gras with hazelnuts, strawberries, balsamic, and black pepper, or the roast chicken with polenta, wild mushrooms, and a salad of wild herbs.

A side table in a dining room with a vase of flowers, bread basket, and spirits
The dining room at Comice
Comice/Facebook

Prunier

Founded in 1872 by Albert Prunier, this restaurant near the Arc de Triomphe has always epitomized Parisian chic and the city’s avid love of the best quality seafood, including the caviar that Prunier started producing on farms in the Aquitaine region in 1921. Most recently owned by the late Pierre Bergé, cofounder of the Yves Saint Laurent fashion house, Prunier’s new proprietors hired chef Yannick Alleno, who earned three Michelin stars at Pavillon Ledoyen, to reboot the restaurant’s menu. Seated among the landmarked art-deco decor, be sure to try dishes like the Oeuf Christian Dior, a coddled egg on a bed of ham aspic in caviar-speckled cream; langoustines carpaccio with geranium and caviar; and the sole meuniere.

A glitzy, gold-accented round bar with a wall of Champagne fridges, a cloud-like sky, midcentury bar stools, and the name Prunier in large letters.
Champagne and caviar bar.
Nicolas Lobbestael

Le Bistrot Flaubert

Originally founded in the 1980s by chef Michel Rostang, this cozy bistro with flea market decor has been taken over by chef Nicolas Baumann and one of the most innovative restaurateurs in Paris right now, financier Stéphane Manigold. Korean-born chef Sukwon Yong, who used to work with Rostang, leads the kitchen, and his Asian spin on French bistro cooking has made this one of the most interesting and satisfying restaurants in western Paris. Expect dishes like Korean beef tartare with avocado mousse and puffed rice, and lumache (snail-shaped pasta) with rabbit confit, red curry, and kimchi. The prix fixe lunch is a real bargain in an expensive part of Paris.

A blue velvet menu on a sunlit table beside place settings
A casually luxurious menu
Le Bistrot Flaubert

Restaurant Arnaud Nicolas

With excellent handmade pates, sausages, and terrines, award-winning charcutier and chef Arnaud Nicolas has revived an ancient branch of French gastronomy. The space, on a leafy avenue in the silk-stocking Seventh Arrondissement, is decorated with exposed stone walls, a beamed ceiling, and battleship-gray moldings. Roasts and meat pies, Gallic pleasures that date back at least to the Middle Ages, figure as first courses, before an evolving menu filled with seasonal produce. Nicolas shows off his style with turbot cooked with cep mushrooms, salmon koulibiak for two, beef cheek braised with carrots in red wine, veal sweetbreads with girolles mushrooms, and a luscious chocolate souffle.

A chef places thick cuts of lobster in a bed of other ingredients on a mostly clean white plate
Lobster in summer stew
Restaurant Arnaud Nicolas / Facebook

Chez L'Ami Jean

Chef Stéphane Jego’s heaving Left Bank bistro is perpetually packed. Like so few other Parisian chefs, Jego knows how to deliver beautiful, traditional French bistro food, modernized with tweaks so subtle most people won’t even notice. He’s barely touched the 1930s space since taking it over nearly two decades ago from a Basque rugby pub. The earthy dishes, often inspired by southwestern French farmhouse food, are so deeply satisfying you won’t mind the occasionally slow service or boisterous regulars. The menu includes Parmesan soup with cabbage and bonito flakes, roasted pigeon with thyme and garlic, roast lamb with smoked oregano, and light and fluffy rice pudding.