A Complete Guide to Eating and Drinking in Paris
Oh, Paris…city of love, lights and, well, over 40,000 restaurants. Paris is home to the most Michelin three-star restaurants, which is why it’s often referred to as the world capital of gastronomy. There’s no possible way to put together a list that includes all the best Paris has to offer, but I can tell you where to start. Bon appétit!
BAKERIES + BRUNCH
WILD & THE MOON
55 Rue Charlot
The vegan food craze is finally catching on in Paris. Wild and the Moon feels super Los Angeles at first sight. There is no shortage of Instagrammable drinks here (see: blueberry-lavender latte, iced coco matcha). Looking for more than berries and kale to hold you over? They've got you covered with breakfast and lunch bowls...so, so good!
5 Rue Lucien Sampaix
Holybelly is very reminscient of Williamburg. You'll get all the Brooklyn hipster vibes here, down to the very well thought out decor. Created by a young couple from Vancouver, the menu has items like fig and caramelized hazelnut pancakes with whipped cream and maple syrup or, my personal favorite, the savory pancakes topped with fried eggs and bacon.
14 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Claus Estermann, a man raised in Strasbourg (shoutout to my birth place), moved to Paris at 22, and made it his mission to bring the art of breakfast to Paris. In a city with so much focus on dining and baking, there aren't too many restaurants solely dedicated to the art of brunch. Claus is dedicated to serving Parisians breakfast. Everything at Claus is made in-house (excluding the bread, which is picked up fresh each morning), with an attention to sourcing. The eggs all come from a single farm just outside the city and the meat solely from Parisian butchers. Everything served is as fresh as Claus can get it. Located in adorable Saint Germain, this is the perfect place to start your day of shopping.
LA CHAMBRE AUX OISEAUX
La Chambre aux Oiseaux has quickly become not just one of the most popular restaurants on the Canal Saint-Martin, but also a blogger hotspot. With old-school porcelain, vintage floral wallpaper and velvet armchairs, you need to reserve a table for Sunday brunch a few weeks in advance. For €19, the brunch brings you a selection of breads, fresh fruit juice and a hot drink, plus tabbouleh, turkey and cucumber salad, boiled eggs and a sweet, creamy tiramisu with red berries. There are other options as well, but that seems to be the crowd favorite.
UN DIMANCHE À PARIS
4-6-8 Cours du Commerce Saint-André
A place dedicated to the art of chocolate?! Count me in. They serve a rather upscale brunch on Sundays. The €55 menu, gets you foie gras with pear and crème de cassis (in autumn) and a glass of Champagne instead of juice. There are no muffins, but rather a madeleine, a mini-éclair and a slice of cake – all of which go perfectly with one of the best hot chocolates in Paris. If you're gonna splurge on a breakfast in Paris, you might as well do it at a place that's got the chocolate thing down.
SALON DE THÉ SÉBASTIEN GAUDARD
1 Rue des Pyramides
Another boujee brunch, but what can I say? This is Paris after all. Star pâtissier Sébastien Girard's second venture is tucked away under the very gorgeous and ornate arches of the Rue de Rivoli. They have a salon de thé that serves a delightful brunch. Start with a perfect café au lait or hot chocolate, coat that piece of fresh bread with a thick layer of butter and homemade jam. Drooling yet? Then you've got all the flaky, sweet and fluffy pastries your heart desires. Top it off with fresh squeezed juices, poached eggs, smoked salmon, brioche...how do you say heaven in French again?!
DU PAIN ET DES IDEES
34 Rue Yves Toudic
If you've been to Paris, but have not had the pistachio chocolate escargot from Du Pain et des Idées...have you really ever been to Paris at all? Perhaps the most Instagrammed bakery in all of Paris, Du Pain et des Idées actually lives up to all the hype. Parisians themselves have been known to make pilgrimages from their own cozy neighborhoods to buy bread from this bakery. That's how good it is, y'all. Thank me later.
Le Loir dans La Théière
Le Loir is named after the dormouse who gets dunked in the pot at the Mad Hatter's tea party in Alice In Wonderland. Its squishy sofas are the perfect complement to its comfort foods, pastries and their famed lemon meringue. The place is often packed with tourists in search of brunch - come before noon or prepare to wait.
LUNCH + DINNER
80 Rue De Charonne
Septime is an exclusive restaurant a few strings being pulled to snag a reservation here. But once you’re in, you’ll realize it was all worth it and why this place is just so special. Septime features probably the best contemporary tasting menu in Paris alongside a wine list that is absolutely unmatched.
80 Rue de Charonne
Clamato is undoubtedly one of the most popular restaurants in Paris at the moment. Much like Septime, Clamato is big on serving small shareable plates and tapas. Unlike many other Parisian restaurants, Clamato doesn’t take reservations. Clamato follows a strict ‘first come first served’ rule. If you’re the type of person who hates reservations, than Clamato is definitely for you.
52 Rue De Richelieu, 75001
The quality of food in Verjus is indeed insurmountable. They have set the bar really high, and that’s why this is probably our first choice. Oh, and yes, Verjus is actually run by two Americans living in Paris. But it wasn’t always so smooth. First it was an underground diner dubbed Hidden Kitchen. After the word broke out of how good they are, and after a considerable amount of publicity, they finally got the attention they deserved. It’s tough to succeed in Paris in such a competitive industry, but they have surely proved themselves.
Bear in mind that you need to make reservations way ahead if you want to dine in Verjus, and the bad news is that it is shut during the weekends (Saturday and Sunday).
PAIN, VIN ET FROMAGE
3 Rue Geoffroy l'Angevin
Don't try to come here without a reservation. You won't just be disappointed...you'll probably leave in tears knowing you can't partake in a festival of delectable melted cheese (I'm not speaking from experience or anything). This place is what your Parisian dreams are made of. The wine flows freely, the cheese is all sorts of perfectly melty and it's quaint as it gets. Highly recommend for anyone who loves cheese and is comfortable with a mild food coma post feasting. Pro-tip: They have gluten free options too!
53 Passage Des Panoramas
It is a true honor to dine at a two-star Michelin eatery located in Paris (with over 40000 other restaurants fighting for that place). Michelin stars are not given away so easily, so this restaurant has surely earned it. The downside of such a classy restaurant is, however, that the food is pricey (for a reason), so make sure you don’t come here with a half empty wallet because it is not for the faint of pockets. Also, avoid coming to 53 Passage if you’re in a hurry, because food here takes time to prepare. After all, that two star deliciousness can’t cook itself! Although modestly portioned, the food and service at 53 Passage is undoubtedly par excellence.
32 Rue Saint-Maur
Le Servan is a cute little Parisian bistro that is hard not to love once you get to know it. It was recently opened (compared to some of the older ones we’ve previously discussed), in 2013 to be precise. Le Servan is a good place to stop by both for lunch and for dinner. The main benefits of Le Servan compared to some other eateries in Paris is that is it reasonably priced, and the staff is super friendly and ready to help out with an order. They specialize in preparing spontaneous dishes based on simple yet first class ingredients.
34 Rue De Richelieu
Featuring delicious vegetable menu, including browned chicken, Ellsworth is not your typical French eatery. Ellsworth is run by the same people that run Verjus, so if you liked Verjus, chances are you will like this eatery as well. The difference between the two is that Ellsworth is even more casual and easygoing than Verjus. If you’re looking for a place to have a lunch at without feeling like you’re out of place just because you are not wearing a suit or heels, then Ellsworth is definitely worth visiting!
BISTROT PAUL BERT
18 Rue Paul-Bert
Bistrot Paul Bert is another amazing Parisian bistro with a remarkable reputation, especially for a place that’s opened in the early 2000s. It looks and feels as if it has been there for at least a century. Apropos, if you are looking for a good steak, this bistro is known to serve one of the best steaks au poivre in Paris.
FRENCHIE BAR A VINS
6 Rue Du Nil
Frenchie Bar A Vins will be on almost every travelers list because it is one of the most popular restaurants in Paris (remember: there are over 40k of them competing for that spot). And it’s not just because of its name. Needless to say, being one of the best restaurants in Paris, it goes without saying that is also one of the most difficult places to get a reservation for. There is no need, however, to be sad if you don’t manage to get one. There are plenty of other restaurants in Pairs, serving food just as good or even better!
FRENCHIE TO GO
9 Rue Du Nil
Are you more of a sandwich person? Sometimes you just don’t want to go to a fancy dinner all dressed up. Sometimes a tasty sandwich is all you need to make your evening. Well, Frenchie to Go is the perfect place in that case. Take your delicious sandwich (pastrami sandwich or a mammoth sausage) and go wherever the Parisian night takes you – on the Seine River, in your room or wherever you prefer.
LA TOUR D'ARGENT
17 Quai De La Tournelle
If you’re a fan of quality French wine, then La Tour d'Argent has to be on your must-visit list. La Tour d'Argent has probably one of the best wine cellars in the world, featuring about half a million containers (enough to make your head spin). Just think about how much wine that is. In addition to that, if you like pressed duck served with typical French sauce, A Rouennaise duckling served with Rouennaise sauce, you can’t go wrong with La Tour d'Argent. As you may suspect, this isn’t a modest restaurant, so make sure you have a substantial amount of cash on you in case you decide to indulge yourself.
L'AS DU FALAFEL
34 Rue Des Rosiers
The modest slogan of this buzzing place is 'Often imitated, never equaled', and for a good reason. You’ll recognize L'As du Fallafel from a distance by its long waiting lines and busy waiters running up and down. As the name itself indicates, L'As du Fallafel serves mouth-watering falafel, we dare even say that it is probably the best falafel in Paris.
22 Rue Des Ecouffes
If you’re not in the mood to wait in lines just to get a (albeit the best in Paris) falafel, try ordering some first class sandwiches from a world famous Israeli culinary expert down at Miznon. It is named after Miznon, first one opened in Tel Aviv by the chef himself. The menu is often changing, so grab the opportunity to try something while you’re there, because maybe the next day you won’t be able to. Some dishes, however, are typically on the menu, such as the famous lamb and cauliflower. This place is open Mondays and Sundays, which is great given the fact that most of the eateries are closed during that time in Paris.
LE COMPTOIR DU RELAIS
9 Carrefour De L'Odéon
This charming little place located in Saint Germain should be on your must-visit list simply because it's literally what culinary dreams are made of. Le Comptoir du Relais is a small bistro-like place perfect for late night snacks or dinners and, of course, good wine. Everything they serve here is pure perfection. They love food and they love people who love it just as much.
Pro-tip: They have two test kitchens next door with the most brilliant of dishes. Le Comptoir des Mers, specializing in seafood, and L’Avant Comptoir focusing on quintessential french tapas. All served in small plate, tapas format so you can eat all the things. By far my most favorite place to eat in all of Paris. I go here every single trip. There's one small catch - there are no seats. It's a bar format and you order from the chefs and wine experts themselves. You won't notice the no chair thing after you bite into the most amazing croquette you've ever had in your life though. That's a promise.
COMPTOIR DE LA GASTRONOMIE
Comptoir de la Gastronomie has been feeding Parisians for over a century. There are those who come to buy charcuterie, a bottle of wine or Henras truffle oil whilst others stay for the lunch time deal or sandwiches. Get reservations for dinner to experience the true culinary art that is French cuisine. They serve up all of the traditional dishes with the highest of quality ingredients. A must visit!
129 Avenue Parmentier
This is not your typical French restaurant. In fact, Le Chateaubriand only looks and sounds French. Why? First of all, it doesn’t serve French wines at all. It does, however, include biodynamic and organic vintages from the United State and South Africa. If you went there without knowing this, you probably wouldn’t even know the difference, but it is an interesting fact to bear in mind. Secondly, as far as the food goes, they don’t serve traditional Parisian a la carte menu either, but still, the food is unmistakably delicious.
131 Avenue Parmentier
Tight seating, friendly atmosphere, and urban young elite is what characterizes this place the most. In addition to that, it is also near to Le Chateaubriand and a wine bar partner to the famous Frenchie Bar à Vins eatery. The food is prepared by the same cook, so the quality is guaranteed. The only difference being that this is a much more casual and easygoing place than Frenchie. Bear in mind that Le Dauphin is never empty, so if you are in the mood to meet some cool young French people then make sure you hit this place whenever you have the chance.
3 Rue Jouye-Rouve
Some say that Le Baradin is the place where the Parisian chefs and gourmets eat. Now, what does that mean to us, mere mortals? This is the perfect place for both food and wine pilgrims, especially for those who like to leaf through the New York Times or enjoy watching Anthony Bourdain. Although this restaurant is a bit far from the city center, it is undoubtedly worth the trip!
133 Avenue Victor Hugo
If you’re looking for a good meal on a Sunday night in Paris, it won’t be easy. But that’s where the La Stella comes in. La Stella is like the star at the end of the tunnel, just when you think that everything is closed, La Stella is shining bright. This charming bistro is everything you need to fill you up with good food on a lonely Sunday evening. This is a pooch-friendly place, so don’t be surprised if you see one under the table. This bistro also features traditional Parisian menu, so it’s a good chance to try some escargots, au poivre or tête de Cochon while you’re there.
RELAIS DE L'ENTRECOTE SAINT-GERMAIN
Look, a little about Paris restaurants isn't really even a list if you don't include this traditional French steakhouse. Chances are 6 people have recommended this place to you since you booked your flight to Paris. It's really as good as they say it is. Steak, fries and delicious sauces to top it off. Prepare to wait in line. You will enjoy every last bite and forget you ever had to wait though.
38 Rue De Bretagne
This bistro is friendly, stylish and laid-back. It’s the kind of place where you would drop by for a good glass of wine and some finger food with your Parisian friends. It is a classic French bistro. The food is good, but it's the atmosphere and location that set this place
114 Rue Amelot
The name may be off-putting to some, but don’t be too quick to judge Clown Bar by it’s name (promise you won’t be chased around by a creepy clown in costime). Clown Bar, situated next to the Cirque d'Hiver, is a nice and exuberant place worth visiting, if not for its unique 1900-style interior, then for the quality of food they serve. Clown Bar is famous for serving small plates of common French food and quality local wines. This restaurant also features bio-natural wines, as well as delicacies such as veal brain. It’s rather difficult to get a table on short notice, so if you’re determined to visit this bar make sure to book at least 3 to 4 days in advance.
PAS DE LOUP
108 Rue Amelot
Pas De Loup isn’t just a first class mixed drink bar, but they also serve delicious food. ‘First come first served’ rule also applies here, and you can sit at the bar and help yourself with whatever is being served at that moment. A real cozy and friendly atmosphere!
LITTLE RED DOOR
60 Rue Charlot
This place literally has a little red door at the entrance. Little Red Door is a quaint, small batch and innovative specialty bar tucked away on a beautiful street in Paris, serving up craft cocktails in a comfortable setting. They take their mixology seriously here with rotating, artistic themed menus. Perfect place to end your day catching up in a dim light, cozy Parisian bar.
10 Rue Frochot
Low key wanted to censor this name, but Dick is short for Richard...right?! Once a hostess bar (as you can see, they’ve decided to keep the name), the only thing risqué about this place are the Polynesian totems scattered throughout the space. Dirty Dick is a tiki bar with a twist, lots of rum and tons of fun.
With its bright, bare-bones kitchen, crowded counter, communal table, and addictive salsas — all mercifully un-Frenchified — this upper Marais spot has officially changed the game, and people are lining up for tacos and agua fresca. Go through the unmarked door next to the stove and you’ll find a serious bar, staffed by Experimental Cocktail Club grads.
7 Rue Frochot
Broken mirrors, a lit (like, lit with actual lights...but also that kind of lit) dance floor, disco balls and a slew of cocktails make up the scene at this Pigalle bar. Glass is managed by the NYU grads Josh Fontaine and Carina Soto Velasquez Tsou of Candelaria and Le Mary Celeste, Glass is your go-to for a good time with a group. Total plus? They serve gourmet hot dogs to cure your late night munchies.
5 Rue de Berri
I swear, this guide wasn't supposed to be X rated...blame the French! Titty Twister is a no-brainer if you're looking for a killer night out with friends. The scene is set with witty neon signs ("don’t make sense, make dollars" is my personal favorite) and pool tables. Looking for something a little less frat and a lot more glam? Hang in the main area where you can drop it like it's hot to hip-hop and house all night long.
69 Rue des Gravilliers
Andy Wahloo screams fun the second you enter - quirky art, pink neon signs and funky beats with a spacious dance floor. Andy Wahloo is the brain child of Mourad Mazouz, the same guy who created the instafamous Sketch in London. The outdoor seating area leads to Paris eatery, Derrière. Two good things, one great place.