The Best Restaurants in Paris

Few cities can claim greater stature than Paris in the food and dining arena. It may not be the place where the greatest culinary risks are taken these days, but a new generation of talented, creative chefs are starting to turn all that around. And the city's restaurants are remarkably diverse—so no matter your moods and tastes, you'll be sure to find something delicious for lunch or dinner. Whether you're hoping to indulge in a tasting menu at a Michelin-starred table, tuck into a mouthwatering savory crepe, or find vegetarian-friendly dining options, we've got you covered. These are some of the best restaurants in Paris—for every type of eater.

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For Michelin-Starred French: L'Ambroisie

A dish from L'Ambroisie in Paris, helmed by Chef Bernard Pacaud

NIeFH / Creative Commons

9 Pl. des Vosges, 75004 Paris, France
Phone +33 1 42 78 51 45

Of all the Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris, Bernard Pacaud's L'Ambroisie carries the distinction of holding the maximum three stars for the greatest number of years. Standing on the elegant Place des Vosges, the restaurant represents a passport to gourmet French cooking—for those who can afford the experience, of course.

The prix-fixe lunch menus in four or five courses offer the best value, though they're still quite pricey. Try house creations such as scallops with Brussels sprouts and white truffle, Bresse pigeon with onions, sautéed porcini mushrooms, and fresh walnuts, or grey-pepper encrusted lamb with iced salsify.

02 of 16

For Creative New Bistrot Fare: Septime

A dish from Septime, Paris

Courtesy of Septime

80 Rue de Charonne, 75011 Paris, France

Currently ranking 15th among the world's 50 best restaurants, Septime is widely considered one of the capital's essential destinations for creative, forward-thinking French cooking. Chef Bertrand Grébaut presides over this one Michelin-starred table in the trendy Charonne district, where long waiting lists make it a challenge to book a table.

If you succeed, you can expect intensely flavorful, seasonal dishes focusing on top-rate ingredients from around the world. The five- and seven-course tasting menus offer excellent value and may be paired with wines from a careful selection of partner vineyards.

03 of 16

For Traditional Local Dining: Bistrot Paul Bert

Steak-frites at the Bistrot Paul Bert, Paris

18 Rue Paul Bert, 75011 Paris, France
Phone +33 1 43 72 24 01

This neighborhood bistrot snagged global attention when the late chef and food travel enthusiast Anthony Bourdain profiled it on his show "No Reservations." In a dining room with exposed brick walls, poster art, and cozy booths, the vibe is local and relaxed, setting the scene for a casual but outstanding lunch or dinner.

In addition to serving some of the city's better steak frites (steak and fries), the restaurant—helmed by chef Bertrand Auboyneau—offers a menu centered around fresh seasonal ingredients. Try the whole sole with butter and lemon sauce, roast venison with celeriac and cranberries, and beef tartare with egg and fresh truffle shavings. For dessert, indulge in the apple tarte tatin.

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For Gourmet Vegetarian & Vegan: L'Arpège

Arpège has a vegetarian tasting menu lauded by gourmets.

Courtesy of Arpège

84 Rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris, France
Phone +33 1 47 05 09 06

Acclaimed French chef Alain Passard made a bold move to base the new tasting menus at his three-star Michelin restaurant L'Arpège entirely around vegetables. Since then, the restaurant has helped to usher French cuisine into a new phase of vegetarian-friendly creativity.

While the menus are pricey, lunchtime offers a more affordable way to enjoy a special occasion. Dishes that recently appeared on the seasonal garden menu include vegetable sushi with laurel leaf, green asparagus with pink grapefruit and goat's cheese, topinambour soup (a root vegetable) with horseradish, and vegetable lasagna with rutabaga. Most of the ingredients are sourced from the chef's gardens.

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For Fish & Shellfish: Seabar

Seabar-Paris Pêche restaurant in Paris

Courtesy of Seabar

79 Rue Crozatier, 75012 Paris, France
Phone +33 1 43 47 45 47

For fish and fresh seafood enthusiasts, a trip to this local restaurant nestled in close reach of the colorful stalls of the Aligre Market is essential. From giant fresh shellfish platters to whole Brittany lobster, caviar, sashimi, raw oysters, and market-fresh catches of the day, dine on a variety of delicious and elegantly presented seafood dishes at Seabar, all paired with fine wines.

Sit indoors or outside on the pleasant terrace for lunch or dinner, perhaps after strolling through the bustling stalls at the market. The fixed-price lunch menu offers outstanding value.

06 of 16

For a Historic Brasserie: Le Grand Colbert

Le Grand Colbert restaurant is a classic Parisian brasserie circa 1900, but the premises are much older.

Courtesy of Le Grand Colbert

2 Rue Vivienne, 75002 Paris, France
Phone +33 1 42 86 87 88

Tucked away in a corner of the historic covered passageway known as the Galerie Vivienne, Le Grand Colbert has everything one might be looking for in a classic Parisian brasserie: eye-catching decor, delicious but budget-friendly fare, and a vibe that manages to feel relatively laid-back despite the prestigious setting.

Dining at the Colbert plunges you into a Paris circa 1900. Large mirrors, a handsome zinc bar, wall paintings, and dark leather booths set the mood. Enjoy classic French dishes such as sole meunière with potatoes, enormous shellfish and seafood platters, and duck confit with salad and garlic-sauteed potatoes. 

07 of 16

For Crepes & Savory Galettes: Breizh Café

Egg, spinach and zucchini savory galette from Breizh.

Courtney Traub

Routinely topping lists of the best crepes and creperies in Paris, Breizh Café specializes in sweet crepes, savory pancakes, and other delicacies from the Brittany region. Head to the main location in the Marais district and brave the lines outside to snag a table in the bright, modern dining room. Then start by choosing from among a tasty variety of savory buckwheat pancakes (galettes).

From the more traditional egg, mushroom, and ham to galettes with smoked herring and St-Malo potatoes, the pancakes are invariably fresh and delicious. Accompany them with a glass of Breton cider, and follow with dessert. Favorites include a salted butter caramel crepe with vanilla ice cream and a sweet buckwheat crepe with honey, ice cream, and puffed grains.

08 of 16

For Asian-Fusion: Double Dragon

Double Dragon in Paris

Courtesy of Double Dragon

52 Rue Saint-Maur, 75011 Paris, France
Phone +33 1 71 32 41 95

This cheerful, informal open kitchen helmed by sisters Katia and Tatiana Levha is one of the best places in town for street-food-inspired, pan-Asian dishes full of creativity and flavor. It's part of a crop of new-generation restaurants to have sprung up in eastern Paris in recent years, especially in the hip 11th arrondissement.

To start, try house specialties like wonton with shrimp and chicken wings with sweet and sour sauce or bao bun stuffed with comte cheese before tucking into an enormous bowl of fragrant, spicy noodles or wok-sautéed eggplant with crispy rice.

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09 of 16

For Wines With Small Plates: Frenchie Bar à Vin

Frenchie Rue du Nil, Paris

Courtey of Frenchie

5 Rue du Nil, 75002 Paris, France
Phone +33 1 40 39 96 19

Paris offers no shortage of wine bars where you can pair superb bottles with cheese, charcuterie, or full meals. And one of the best places for wines accompanied by creative small plates is Frenchie Bar à Vin, a wine bar adjoining the formal restaurant that propelled Chef Greg Marchand to fame.

Inside the intimate "cave" (cellar) appointed with simple wooden tables and stools, choose from a selection of dozens of fine wines—French, European, North American, and beyond. The small plates are artfully presented and centered around seasonal ingredients, and the cheese plates are, unusually for France, focused on British varieties. Arrive early to snag a table.

10 of 16

For Kid-Friendly Traditional Dining: Brasserie Gallopin

The main dining area at Brasserie Gallopin, Paris
Georges Alexandre/Gallopin
40 Rue Notre Dame des Victoires, 75002 Paris, France
Phone +33 1 42 36 45 38

It's no secret: finding a good restaurant in Paris that accommodates young family members can be a real headache. But at this 1876 brasserie on the Place de la Bourse, adults can enjoy a sophisticated French meal without having to worry about what the kids will eat. Alongside an adult menu featuring solid brasserie classics, Gallopin's menu for children under 12 includes a fish fillet or a minced steak (with garnish of choice), ice cream for dessert, and water with flavored syrup.

11 of 16

For Steak-Frites: Le Relais de Venise l'Entrecote

Le Relais de l'Entrecote is reputed for its excellent steak-frites.

Courtesy of Le Relais de l'Entrecote  

With outposts in cities including London and New York, Le Relais de Venise is a Parisian restaurant that gained global acclaim for its superbly tender, flavorful steaks accompanied with crunchy double-cooked fries.

There's no menu to speak of at Le Relais. Instead, choose how you'd like your steak prepared—bleu (ultra-rare), saignant (rare), à point (medium), or bien cuit (well-done). Then dine on a first course of green salad, followed by made-to-order grilled steak, smothered in a dark-green sauce that blends condiments, herbs, and spices. For dessert, try the chocolate profiteroles.

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For Scrumptious Falafel: L'As du Fallafel

Falafel Shop in the Marais, Paris, France

Garden Photo World / David C. Phillips / Getty Images

34 Rue des Rosiers, 75004 Paris, France
Phone +33 1 48 87 63 60

While the acclaimed sandwiches from this beloved Marais restaurant are mostly devoured in the streets outside the busy restaurant, L'as Du Fallafel deserves mention as one of the best places for falafel in Paris—and possibly the world.

Sit inside the bustling, always-crowded dining room for an informal lunch or dinner. The "falafel special" is a local favorite: slabs of buttery eggplant, crunchy carrots, and red cabbage slathered with tahini and spicy sauce are stuffed into a warm, thick pita, perfectly complementing crisp falafel balls. The falafel platters are more copious and equally delicious.

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For Dining With Views: Les Ombres

Les Ombres, the panoramic restaurant the Musée Quai Branly

Les Ombres

27 Quai Jacques Chirac, 75007 Paris, France
Phone +33 1 47 53 68 00

Paris boasts several restaurants offering fantastic city views, primarily housed within museums. One that especially stands out for its stunning perspectives of the Eiffel Tower, the Seine, and other sights is Les Ombres, a glass-enclosed dining room on the lush rooftop terrace of the Musée Quai Branly.

The dining room, designed by architect Jean Nouvel, is infused with the tower's warm light at night; during the day, its metal latticework "projects" its shadows onto the tablecloths. The menus offer classic French dishes with contemporary touches, such as Normandy beef with peppers and apples, marinated Brittany sardines with espelette pepper, and soft-boiled egg with spinach and crayfish.

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For Pizza and Italian: East Mamma

Neapolitan-Style pizzas at East Mamma in Paris

Courtesy of East Mamma

133 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, 75011 Paris, France
Phone +33 1 86 47 76 90

In the past few years, a new crop of superb Italian eateries has taken Paris by storm, bringing with them recipes from Naples, Sicily, or Rome. One of the best places for pasta, pizzas, and other authentic fare is East Mamma, an enormous trattoria in the trendy Charonne neighborhood. Here, dishes from Chef Ciro Cristiano regularly draw lines around the block at opening time.

The wood-fired, Neapolitan-style pizzas are must-tastes, blending crispy edges with a melt-in-your-mouth quality toward the centers. Try the classic margherita with basil and fresh buffalo mozzarella, or the pie with fiore di latte cheese, fresh tomatoes and basil, and bright yellow zucchini flowers. The pastas, served in copper pans, are perfectly cooked and full of fresh seasonal flavors.

Looking for more fantastic pizza? We also recommend the Neapolitan-style pies at Amici Miei and Popine.

15 of 16

For Late-Night Dining: Le Grand Café Capucines

Le Grand Café Capucines, a great place for late-night dining in Paris

Courtney of Le Grand Café Capucines

4 Bd des Capucines, 75009 Paris, France
Phone +33 1 43 12 19 00

If you come out of a movie or show and are looking for a place to eat well after the usual dinner hours, Le Grand Café Capucines is a good bet. One of the historic brasseries of the Grands Boulevards district, the spacious restaurant dates to 1875 and features some gorgeous Art-Nouveau design elements. It's open daily until midnight.

In the revamped dining room with plush booth seating, choose from a selection of traditional French dishes. Giant shellfish platters, French onion soup, hot goat's cheese salad, Burgundy snails, and roast duck's breast with honey are among the more popular menu items. There are limited options for vegetarians and vegans.

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For Couscous and North African Cuisine: Le Tagine

A Moroccan-style starter at Le Tajine, Paris

Courtesy of Le Tajine

13 Rue de Crussol, 75011 Paris, France
Phone +33 1 47 00 28 67

Last but not least, Le Tagine is one of the best spots in the capital for couscous and other traditional North African fare. Inside the elegant dining room decorated with sheer curtains and Moroccan-style lamps, settle onto a cushioned bench and dine on a seemingly endless variety of delicious dishes—from enormous platters of couscous with free-range chicken and vegetables to lamb tajine with preserved lemons and olives, kofta (meatballs), and mechouia, a fresh salad with grilled vegetables and boiled egg.

End on a sweet note with a pot of fresh mint tea and a butter- and honey-laced pastry.

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The Best Restaurants in Paris