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The Best Places to Eat in Paris, France

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Where to eat, and eat some more, in the City of Light.

Audrey Hepburn once said, “Paris is always a good idea.” Eating your way through the City of Light is one big reason why. Here’s a food lover’s guide to all the best places to eat in Paris, France: the best restaurants, gourmet shops, bakeries, wine bars, and more.

best paris must eats dining guide
Photo courtesy Le Jules Verne via Instagram.

All the Must Eats in Paris, France 2024

With the Summer Olympics and Taylor Swift in town in 2024, there’s more reason than ever to visit Paris. Paris is not only the biggest culinary city in France, it is also one of the best food cities in the world. With so many options, deciding where to eat in Paris can be daunting for even the biggest food lover.

This food guide fills you in on all the best places to eat in Paris, from fancy blow-out dinners to charming bistros, chic date-night restaurants, bakeries, wine bars, cheese shops, gourmet food shops, and more — in all price ranges and styles.

And if you’d like to explore some other reliable travel dining guides to Paris (there are just too many good restaurants to include in one guide!), I recommend the following:

Hope you brought your appetite! Read on, and bon appétit.

the best places to eat in Paris, France

The Best Fancy Paris Restaurants

Let’s be clear: anyone can visit Paris (and France, for that matter) and eat very, very well just on casual bistro fare, cheese, and bread alone. But for those wanting to splurge and have a particularly memorable meal out, no one does fancy like Paris restaurants do fancy.

Pro tip: Go for lunch. These fancy, multi- multi-course meals are frequently a several-hour endeavor, and the high price is occasionally even higher at dinner. (Not to mention trying to digest a huge, rich meal during the night.)

From top-notch service to stunning dining rooms, here are the best places to eat in Paris for fancy, very upscale dining. These are in no particular order.

1. Le Cinq

Best Paris Restaurants: Le Cinq dining room
Photo courtesy Four Seasons Hôtel Georges V

There is no shortage of classic formal dining in Paris. But Le Cinq, in the formal Four Seasons Georges V Hotel, executes its brief particularly well. Sink into a deep, cushioned chair in the iconic dining room with sweeping ceilings and windows and enjoy the three-Michelin star creations of chef Christian Le Squer, who adds a just enough whimsy to keep things feeling fun, not stuffy. This is consistently one of the best restaurants in Paris.

2. Plénitude at the Cheval Blanc Hotel

3-michelin star best restaurant in Paris food
Photo courtesy Cheval Blanc.

It only makes sense that one of the most chic, upscale hotels in Paris has a restaurant to match. Stunning views of the Seine plus modern, elegant food with an emphasis on sauces makes for a deeply memorable dinner.

Note: The Cheval Blanc has other, less formal restaurants, each of which will make you feel like you’re part of Paris’s most stylish intelligentsia. In fine weather, nothing beats the views from the terrace tables of all-day Le Tout-Paris, and rooftop bar Celeste has epic nighttime views. Be warned: nice views don’t come cheap.

3. Arpège

Photo courtesy L’Arpège

There are a few vegetable whisperers in the world: true believers who, through talent, hard work, integrity, sourcing, and maybe a little magic, coax produce into elevated realms. Alice Waters comes to mind. And in Paris, no one does it better than Alain Passard. Arpège is the real deal: an iconic Paris temple of dining that checks all the boxes of food, service, and experience. The 185 Euro lunch is a great deal (relatively, of course).

4. Table de Bruno Verjus

where to eat in Paris dining guide
Photo courtesy Table de Bruno Verjus.

Award-winning, self-taught chef Bruno Verjus’s eponymous restaurant features a sleek, mod-ish dining room and open kitchen. And let’s be honest, watching top French chefs cook right in front of you is high theater in its own right. The food is just as attention grabbing, with an emphasis on seasonal produce that feels elevated, but never contrived.

5. Marsan par Hélène Darroze

Paris Must Eats Restaurants
Photo courtesy Marsan Hélène Darroze

Women are still sadly underrepresented among the high echelons of Parisian cooking. But Chef Darroze, who hails from a family of chefs, continues to set the bar for the very best of what French dining can be, mixing classic food and technique with modern. multicultural ingredients and inspiration.

7. Le Jules Verne

best fancy restaurant in paris must eat dining guide
Photo courtesy Le Jules Verne via Instagram.

There’s a haute cuisine restaurant amid the rarefied air of the Eiffel Tower’s high-up second floor. It’s actually very good, and it’s very expensive. Reserve the second that reservations open exactly three months in advance, or hope to luck into a last-minute cancellation opening via the waitlist. Jackets required for gentlemen.

Paris Must Eats: The Best French Bistros and Crêperies

When many of us think of Paris restaurants, we think of a classic French bistro: a small- to medium-sized room, perhaps with tall ceilings and mirrored walls accented with brass fixtures, and a whirlwind of white apron-clad waiters (and they are almost always waiters) bustling around the dining room with trays of wine, steak frites, cassoulet, and the like.

Likewise, a crêpe or galette makes an unpretentious, satisfying, très French meal. Here are some of the must-eat crêperies and French bistros in Paris.

1. La Bourse et La Vie

best bistro restaurants in Paris
Photo courtesy La Bourse et La Vie.

It seems like American-born Daniel Rose can do no wrong with French bistro cuisine, and this sexy little jewel box, tucked in the 2nd arrondissement, is one reason why. Open for lunch and dinner.

2. Parcelles

Parcelles restaurant Paris
Photo courtesy Parcelles via Instagram

I love Parcelles. This tiny restaurant on a quiet street in the 3rd arrondissement gets a strong vote for one of the best places to eat in Paris — especially for those looking for lovely seasonal cooking, a smart wine selection, and a dining room that makes you feel like there’s no where you’d rather be on a rainy day. Reserve in advance and be sure to check out their little grocery and wine store across the way.

3. Chez L’Ami Jean

Paris must eat restaurants dining guide
Photo courtesy L’Ami Jean via Facebook.

Classic French bistro cooking gets new life under the thoughtful watch of chef Stéphane Jégo. You’ll find classic French dishes like roast pigeon, paté, and various confits. But everything is done in a way that says classy, never cliché. The lunch prix fixe menu is a good way to experience this Paris must-eat restaurant for a better value. It’s a bit touristy, but great for that classic French bistro feel.

4. Le Pantruche

With a fantastic location in now-trendy Pigalle, Le Pantruche serves comfortable, satisfying bistro food (beef, chicken, fish, vegetables) with a lighter, elevated touch. The prices are more than fair in this oak-paneled favorite, especially at lunch. Note: This is a great bet for Mondays, when many restaurants are closed. Le Pantruche is closed on weekends.

5. Breizh (Multiple Locations)

best must eat crepes in Paris
Photo courtesy Breizh Paris.

Any Paris must-eat list must include a crêpe. Or ten. It’s always fun to grab a sweet dessert crêpe to go (“à emporter”) as you stroll the streets. But I recommend settling into a little table at Breizh for lunch or dinner for savory buckwheat galettes that range from classic ham and cheese to inventive vegetable and seafood. Breizh is very popular, so reserve in advance. My favorite is an outdoor table at the Carrefour de l’Odéon location for people watching.

6. Bernadette Galette

Paris must eat restaurants for crepes and galettes
Photo courtesy Bernadette Galette via Instagram.

Named for the chef’s grandmother, sunny Bernadette Galette in the 11th arrondissement is a happy little spot filled with authentic Brittany-style galettes and cider, plus a lovely selection of traditional dessert crêpes.

7. Le Bistrot Paul Bert

where to eat French bistro food in Paris
Photo courtesy Le Bistrot Paul Bert.

The word is out (sigh) on this classic Paris bistro, favorited by celebrities, tourists, and Parisians alike. Assuming you can get in — reservations are by phone only; good luck — you’ll be treated to well-made, traditional dishes like steak au poivre with French fries, tender scallops, and sole meunière. Open for lunch and dinner; closed Sunday and Monday.

8. L’Ami Louis (no website)

First the cons: L’Ami Louis is difficult to get into, has a reputation for surly waiters, and costs a lot of money. In fact, I debated whether to include this tiny wood-paneled bistro in the list at all.

Pros: If you have money to spare, it’s worth trying to gain entry into this tiny bistro for food and atmosphere that feels unchanged since it’s opening in the 1920s. The roast chicken is world-famous, and the portions are generous. If you want to try escargot, this is the place.

9. Le Chardenoux

best paris restaurants
Photo courtesy Le Chardenoux.

This sweet bistro nestled in the 11th arrondissement is one of the prettiest in Paris. Under the expert hand of chef Cyril Lignac, diners are treated to modern, seafood-forward food gently inflected with Asian influence. This is a top pick for many in-the-know visitors to Paris.

But Wait, There’s More Best Places to Eat in Paris, France!

There are so many must-eat restaurants and good food options in Paris. From chic restaurants to cozy bistros to a simple baguette sandwich from a bakery, you’ll discover so much food to enjoy in any style and price. Now that you know the best places to eat in Paris for classic French bistros, crêpes, and upscale dining, there’s lots more for you to explore.

So I’m publishing even more Paris dining options. Some are live now, the rest are coming soon! So click through below to find more Paris dining options in other essential categories, like trendy restaurants, bakeries, and more, or check back soon.

  1. The Best Trendy Paris Restaurants Right Now
  2. The Best Bakeries in Paris, France
  3. The Best Italian Restaurants in Paris
  4. The Best Gourmet Stores and Cheese Shops
  5. Where to Find the Best Asian Food in Paris

Do you have a favorite restaurant or food spot in Paris? Share in the comments, below.

And if you like this dining guide to Paris must eats, check out these other dining guides and recipes:

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