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Best restaurants in Paris

French people love spending time eating, so they love restaurants. Especially in Paris where most people have a higher revenue than elsewhere in France, so Parisians can afford going to restaurants regularly.

Best restaurants in Paris

French people look for surprise AND reassurance. They want to be surprised by the chef’s creativity and experiment new tastes, nice textures, while eating good quality fresh ingredients in-season. But at the same time, they want to be sure of what they’ll be spending their money on and sometimes they prefer the reassurance of a good old classic dish.

So there will be 2 categories here : “classic” restaurants, providing a good classic French meal experience with emblematic dishes, or “bistronomy”, which is for restaurants with a creative approach for those who prefer an innovative and original experience. I’ll also share a few adresses of non-French retaurants which are worth trying, or if you want something different for a meal or two (Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Italian…).

Last thing: when I talk about “best” restaurants in Paris, I’m not talking about very expensive ones, but about the best value-for-money.

Before picking a restaurant, I suggest reading my page about hints and tips about restaurants in Paris.

Bon appétit!

Restaurants in Montparnasse

Montparnasse is a famous place for nightlife, so it’ full of interesting restaurants.

N°1 classic pick: La Coupole (102 Bd du Montparnasse), an iconic Art Deco brasserie. Frequented by famous artists and writers, it’s the perfect spot for a photo with its stunningly preserved 1920s decor. La Coupole was a popular haunt for writers ansd artists during the 1920s. A very good place to have a classical (and good) French meal at a correct price (40 to 50€ per person with one dish, a dessert and a glass of wine).

N°1 bistronomy pick : La Table des copains (16 rue de la grande chaumière), a creative restaurant, in a pleasant atmosphere. Don’t miss profiteroles au chocolat, a very very good dessert with its puff pastry filled with ice cream and covered with hot chocolate sauce.

Click here for the best restaurants in Montparnasse…

Restaurants near Grands Boulevards

N°1 classic pick: Bouillon Chartier Grands Boulevards (7 rue du Faubourg Montmartre): the essence of the parisian brasserie (brasserie means brewery in French, but it’s more globally a classical French restaurant and bar). The place in itself is worth eating there. As for the food, it’s very simple and classical French dishes at a very reasonable price (20€ for a whole meal). Come early since it’s packed at meals hours and you may have to queue. Open all day long from 11.30 am to midnight.

N°1 bistronomy pick: Le Richer (2 Rue Richer): a very creative restaurant where you’ll always be surprised (positively) by the flavours and textures. Their wines are great (ask the waiter for advice, often the boss Charles will come and tell you) and their coffee is so good that people come to buy coffee packs here. Just arrive early since they don’t take reservations. You’ll get a (very) good meal there for 25-30€.

Click here for more restaurants near Grands Boulevards…

Restaurants in Montmartre

If you’re looking for a very French experience at Montmartre, here are my 2 favorites…

N°1 classic pick: La Mascotte (52 rue des Abbesses): a beautiful and typical parisian brasserie with very good food. If you like fish and seafood, that’s a great place for that.

N°1 bistronomy pick: Le bon, la butte (102 ter Rue Lepic): nice place where you’ll find more Parisians than tourists (a good spot, then). Great French dishes with a hint of creativity.

FAQ about restaurants in Paris

Do I need to tip in Paris restaurants?

Tipping is not mandatory in Paris as service charge is always included in the bill (“service compris” = service included), but a small gratuity (5 to 15% according to service quality) is appreciated. You can leave it on the table or include it in your credit card payment.

Are Parisian restaurants expensive?

The price range of Parisian restaurants varies widely. While there are certainly upscale dining options, plenty of affordable restaurants and bistros offer delicious meals. Look out for “formule” or “menu du jour” (lunch specials) or “plat du jour” for good deals. Prices are often lower for lunch than for dinner.

What are the typical meal hours in Paris?

Lunch is usually served from 12 pm to 2 pm, and dinner from 7 pm to 10 pm. Many restaurants might close between lunch and dinner service, so plan accordingly. It’s advisable to make reservations for dinner, especially at popular spots.

Can I find vegetarian or vegan options in Paris?

Yes, Paris is increasingly accommodating vegetarian and vegan preferences. Look for restaurants labeled as “végétarien” or “vegan”, or just check the menu online before choosing a restaurant.

How do I reserve a table in Paris?

To book a table, you can call the restaurant directly or use online forms available on the restaurant’s web site. A few very popular restaurants (especially those with Michelin stars) may require reservations weeks in advance, so plan ahead.

What should I do if I have food allergies?

Inform your server about your allergies before ordering. Many restaurants can accommodate dietary restrictions with advance notice. Learning a few key phrases in French to communicate your allergies can be very helpful… Like “je suis allergique aux fruits de mer” (I’m allergic to seafood), which works wish gluten, cacahuètes (peanuts), produits laitiers (dairy products), oeufs (eggs), sesame (don’t use the “e” at the end of this word in French, otherwise it may be understood as a joke since it sounds like “ses amais”, meaning “his/her friends”).

Are there any food or dining customs I should be aware of?

Service in Paris can be slower than in some other countries. Especially since Covid pandemy where many waiters decided to change jobs and it’s become very difficult for restaurants to find experimented waiters. So relax and enjoy the atmosphere!
It’s polite to say “bon appétit” before starting your meal.
It’s customary to keep your hands on the table (but not your elbows).
Bread is typically placed directly on the tablecloth rather than on a plate.

What are French popular dishes that I must try?

Depending on the season, you can go for steak-frites (beef with French fries: be careful, French people eat it rare, so be precise when you order: rare is said saignant, medium is said à point and well-done is said “bien cuit”), boeuf bourguignon (beef stew), onion soup… But my advice is to find on the menu a dish with the ingredients you like (meat, vegetables…) and try it. Most dishes come with some vegetables and potatoes, pasta or rice (carbohydrates).

How do I choose wine in a restaurant?

Usually, the waiter will guide you through the best choices according to the dishes you’ve ordered… But be careful with the price! A high price is not always the sign of a good wine. When in doubt, ask for a Vin du Languedoc (Wine from Languedoc area), since it’s most often the best value for money.

Are most restaurants open everyday?

Many restaurants are closed on Sundays and sometimes on Mondays as well, and some may close for lunch on weekdays. Check the restaurant’s website or call them beforehand.

What is a typical French breakfast in Paris?

A classic French breakfast includes a croissant or a pain au chocolat, a baguette with butter and jam (confiture), and a coffee (un café) or hot chocolate (un chocolat chaud). It’s simple yet utterly delightful! Most restaurants and cafes have a special breakfast offer including those, and sometimes a glass of orange juice… But from nutrition’s point of view, drinking an orange juice in the morning is a disaster, since there are no more vitamins in industrial fruit juices and it’s terrible for digesting other foods. More generally, a healthy breakfast should be made only of salted foods and fats (fats prevents you from being hungry during the morninng, while sugar makes sure that you’ll want to eat 2 hours later). So bread and butter is great! But well,l you’re in Paris, so indulging in some delicious pastries is part of the pleasure…

And if you’re still hungry, don’t miss the best boulangeries (bakeries) and patisseries in Paris!