Restaurants & Cafes
Septime – Everybody’s favorite contemporary French restaurant in Paris. Chef Bertrand Grébaut’s cooking is “innocent, spontaneous, and balanced,” in the chef’s own words, which translates to 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.
Huitrerie Régis – A tiny room with white tablecloths, the 14-seat Régis oyster bar concentrates on one product: oysters from the Marennes-Oléron. You can choose between top class strains, rare strains, farmed strains that are enriched for four months in lightly salinated beds, or coppery, intense Belon oysters. Be sure to book; it’s always packed.
Mosuke – In a year of lockdowns, young chef Mory Sacko emerged as a star due to the originality of the intriguing Afro-Franco-Japanese cooking he turns out in Montparnasse. Expect dishes like lobster in miso sauce with smoked pepper and lacto-fermented tomato, sole seasoned with togarashi shichimi, and lovage cooked inside a banana leaf and served with a side of attieke (a couscous-like preparation of dried fermented cassava pulp).
Le Tagine – Paris has dozens of North African restaurants serving couscous and tagines, but what sets this cheerful Moroccan restaurant apart is the quality of its produce. It’s a favorite of Parisian chefs. The atmosphere is bright with mosaic-topped tables, lanterns, and candles. Bread and North African pastries are baked in-house and the wine list features an interesting selection of mostly natural wines.
Maison -Serene and original, Maison is the home of Chef Sota Atsumi, formerly of Clown Bar. The prix fixe menu combines gorgeous French products with Japanese restraint. Expect some sashimi-like dishes along with superb pates, farm cheeses, and gorgeous desserts. The room is airy and serene, and lunch here is among the best bargains in Paris.
L’Ecailler du Bistrot – One of the finest oyster feasts in Paris with a menu offering oysters, lobster, and shrimp, as well as sole meunière and smoked salmon. There are few better places for seafood.
Arpège – When Alain Passard began serving a vegetable-based menu it was considered very radical. Today the green philosophy is de rigueur at all good restaurants. This three-star Michelin chef heads to his kitchen gardens in the west of France for inspiration, exploring the culinary possibilities of vegetables in an attempt to elevate ingredients that are too often relegated to being mere side dishes.
Arnaud Nicolas – “My ambition is to seduce people into eating charcuterie again,” says talented charcutier Arnaud Nicolas. He won a coveted MOF (Meilleur Ouvrier de France) award for one of the country’s most ancient and profound gastronomic métiers – the art of pâtés and cooked meats.
Pierre Gagnaire – There is no one like Pierre Gagnaire, who is constantly reinventing his cuisine. The room is elegant, the food extraordinary; each dish arrives with an array of “satellite” portions until you are almost dizzied by the flavors. A long-time holder of three Michelin stars, Gagnaire says, “Today, cooking is less technical than before; it has been replaced by sensitivity, emotion and kindness, which translates into more elegant, finer cuisine”.
Chez Georges – A legendary venue in the 17th arrondissement, Chez George has been a Parisian institution since 1926. Its traditional cuisine and service have made it one of Paris’ most beloved brasseries where the great classics are honored. Gigot d’agneau, carved at the table, is among the restaurant’s signature dishes, followed by those staples of the French table, crème caramel and chocolate profiteroles.
L’Ami Jean – Chef, Stéphane Jego is among the visionaries of the early Parisian bistronomy movement, which in this case simply means the environment is anything but stuffy, the food is hearty (think American hearty, not your usual French hearty), the ambience is rollicking, and the food offers the technique and presentation of fine-dining establishments without the exorbitant prices. Don’t miss the rice pudding.
Granite’s head chef, Tom Meyer, highlights products from local producers in the Ile-de-France, responsibly raised fish and meat – and he’s all about zero waste. The plates are impactful, bold, balanced and meticulous attention is given to sauces, condiments, spices and herbs. In the hope of surprising their customers, the cellar book highlights young winemakers and new or lesser- known estates
Robert et Louise -The smell of wood smoke hits you the moment you step into this venerable spot, which has been delighting Parisians since 1958. Robert was a butcher and an early advocate of live fire cooking; today his daughter Pascal is in charge. Diners are seated side by side at communal wooden tables which makes the environment very congenial. Prices are reasonable and portions are generous.
Takes is an eco-responsible restaurant celebrating the food of Jerusalem. Begin with a feast of mezze. Dishes include fattoush salad, gnocchi served inside a pumpkin or a vegetable madfouna. Meals conclude with pumpkin soufflé accompanied by a thyme ice cream.
Caviar Kaspia was Saint Laurent’s favorite hangout and it still attracts a fashionable crowd. Today celebs like Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Rihanna come to indulge in signature dishes based around—you guessed it—fish eggs. Caviar Kaspia takes pride in a sophisticated aquaculture industry and now, like other high-end purveyors, their offerings are exclusively farm-raised.
Josephine Chez Dumonet is a small, unassuming bistro with old school charm. The boeuf bourguignon is said to be the best in the city. Don’t miss the Grand Marnier souffle either, and be sure to book in advance.
David Toutain the wunderkind, was sous chef to French master Alain Passard at the age of 21, but he found his culinary voice in the Alps under the mercurial Marc Veyrat, a pioneer of molecular gastronomy. Nobody cooks quite like Toutain, and his daring food will leave you thinking.
Menkicchi looks like an authentic Japanese ramen restaurant. Their specialities include a nicely cooked shio ramen and gyoza. Most guests recommend trying a tasty parfait.
La Bourse et La Vie is a bistro de luxe, a beautiful upmarket bistro specializing in la cuisine bourgeoise. American chef Daniel Rose, who made a name for himself at Spring and then at New York’s Le Coucou, pays tribute to French classics.
Les Arlots- A bistro that signals a major change in the gastronomic landscape of Paris. At Les Arlots, Thomas Brachet has the talent to extract everything there may be to love about La Bistronomie and apply it to old-fashioned bistro cooking with ardor and talent.
Le Maquis is located on the far side of Montmartre. Come for small portions of impeccable, contemporary bistro fare and a small, all-natural wine list. 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.
Bistro des Deux Gares- Casual, young, hip, relaxed… this little cafe located between the Gare du Nord and the Gare de l’Est is exactly what you want from a bistro. Good food – and if you’re a fan of natural wines, you’ll be in heaven.
Comice – It’s hard to imagine a more welcoming restaurant than this elegant little one-star restaurant run by a Canadian couple. The prix fixe menu is original and exciting. My last meal there began with confit kabocha with pomegranate and roasted lemon, went on to scallop carpaccio, veal loin with sweetbreads and ended with honey-roasted figs and chocolate souffle.
Prunier_-There are few more elegant restaurants than this little jewel of Art Deco design where every single object is a thing of beauty. And few menus are more luxurious. Yanick Alleno has taken over this venerable fish restaurant where it seems half the dishes include caviar.
Café Le Nemours – Located just across from the Metro Palais-Royal, steps away from the Louvre, and not far from the Comédie-Française, Le Nemours offers the perfect vantage point to absorb the beauty of daily Parisian life in the lovely 1st Arrondissement. This French cafe is described as “after dinner, apero, breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea time”.
La Maison de la Truffe – Looking for truffles and the drinks to go with them ? This is the place to shop.
Pierre Hermé is one of the most famous pastry chefs in France. A flagship boutique from the “Picasso of pastry” offers famous croissants, tartes, cakes, macarons, and even breakfast. When asked what you should get, the chef suggests, “One of every treat: tartes, cakes, macarons, pastries, and more.”
La Maison du Chocolat – The distinctive Maison du Chocolat spirit is reflected in the meticulous professionalism of people who are deeply attached to their craft. All their chocolates are made by hand in their Atelier in Nanterre, on the outskirts of Paris. Each texture is poured and smoothed out by hand on special marble tables, cut with precision, delicately enrobed, and decorated piece-by-piece and always by hand.
Poilâne – Bread made from ingredients selected for their quality, both in terms of respect for the environment, flavor and nutritional value. Poilâne products remain faithful to baking traditions while meeting Poilâne’s standards for environmental impact.
E. Dehillerin – Long time specialists in kitchen equipment, the house’s motto is “Helping modestly to promote French cuisine”. Food professionals – restaurant owners, pastry chefs, butchers, caterers – all shop here.
Cedric Grolet’s bakery specializes in trompe l’oeil fruit: hyper-realistic recreations of lemons, mangos, nuts and the like are exquisitely rendered. Grolet’s pastries are among the best in France. Order online or book a table online; if planning to book a table, book at least a week in advance.
I’m a vegetarian so I’d be at Arpege every night (if I could afford it!). 😉