Paris is considered the best food city in Europe, a title that they have worked hard to claim for the past ten years. Young chefs are coming in waves, entering new kitchens at an unprecedented speed, bringing new menus, revitalizing French cuisine, and welcoming, and even starting, new food trends. Not to mention, there are a handful of new restaurants opening up in the city every month. It’s often difficult for locals to decide where the top places to eat in Paris are because the options are endless, so we can only imagine what it’s like if you’re visiting Paris for a short time. To make things a bit easier, we have chosen a handful of our favorite restaurants in the City of Light that range from French inspired yakitori to the best foie gras with a glass of champagne to Korean barbecue.
For the Best French Restaurants in Paris
At Frenchie, English Chef Greg Marchand has a menu that he calls “carte blanche”. You can trust the chef and his team and give them the freedom to create what they want – to “express their culinary creativity”. Or you can play it safe with the menu, which changes with the season and celebrates French cuisine. They have an impressive tasting menu for under €100 and is constantly celebrated as one of the best French restaurants in Paris…and for good reason.
You will often hear that it is difficult to get a table here, but it is definitely possible with reservations made many weeks in advance, a late cancellation, or for lunch. For those who want something a bit lighter or a place to drink before your table is open, head over to Frenchie bar a vins, their wine bar, where they are known for their incredible wine selection and fried chicken. If you can’t score a reservation there is also their sandwich shop, Frenchie To Go, on the same street.
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Ferdi is definitely fashionable and one of the cool places to eat in Paris. It’s a place where everyone wants to be seen and you can tell because this is where all the celebrities hang out during Paris Fashion Weeks.
The menu here is inspired by many different types of cuisine but you can never go wrong with their famous macaroni and cheese and McFerdi cheeseburger. Ferdi offers a super intimate, dimly lit space and it’s close to impossible to get in without a reservation which can only be done by text message. They also are proud to be a “slow food” space so give yourself time to dine at this establishment.
Ferdi, Reservations required. Make reservations by sending a text message to +33 6 51 70 29 70.
The food at Abri is affordable beyond your dreams with a four course lunch starting at €26 and the food is so good that you will be licking your plate. These two aspects make it almost impossible to get a reservation. In the lucky chance that you do get a reservation after obsessively refreshing LaFourchette like I do when I crave the food here or want to impress friends visiting, you must either make a deposit or confirm via email. For the main courses, you’re given the option of choosing either fish or meat and then the chef has complete freedom. But don’t worry, everything they do is fantastic and also insanely beautiful.
If you’re a coffee drinker, make sure you order a cappuccino with the dessert for the fluffiest layer of milk foam at the top. Please note that you are given the table for only one hour but it will be the highlight of your trip.
Abri, 92 Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière. Reservations required. Book your reservation on LaFourchette.
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Chef Alessandra Montagne has truly made a name for herself in the French culinary world and she can often be seen at events with President Macron and world famous chefs like Alain Ducasse. The special thing about Tempero is that the chef herself goes to the markets weekly to purchase the produce that they use here and she is often the one who brings the plate to your table. The food here ultimately celebrates a new French cuisine, one that is inspired by flavors of the world as the chef comes with Brazilian roots.
Located in the quieter side of the 13th arrondissement, Tempero is primarily a lunch destination as they are only open for dinner on Thursday and Friday. Here the chef strives to create a delicious menu that is both affordable and accessible all while being incredibly delicious.
Tempero, 5 Rue Clisson. Reservations recommended. Make reservations by phone at +33 9 54 17 48 88.
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I love coming to Mr. T for dinner for the ambiance and for brunch on weekends because they do the most ridiculously delicious take on scrambled eggs. Japanese chef Tsuyoshi San has made deconstructed kebabs, foie gras Oreo cookies, a luxury burger and homemade fries with homemade ketchup happen in Paris and the city will forever be grateful. Their menu changes every few weeks but we highly recommend the burger or steak with cheese. They have an open kitchen so you can also watch the chef and his team cooly prepare your food. Did we mention that the lunch formula here starts at €19?
Mr. T, 38 Rue de Saintonge. Reservations recommended. Book your reservation on LaFourchette.
A visit to Paris would be incomplete without a visit to a crêperie. Candelma is one of the best places to eat in Paris on a budget, with a lunch menu often offering both a savory and sweet crepe plus a cider for €15.
Candelma is a newer crêperie in Paris known for their super quirky menu. With names like “Namaste” you may wonder what you’re getting but we promise you it will be good. Candelma means, “love for the Left Bank” and with a location in the heart of Latin District in the 6th arrondissement, they celebrate both the Left Bank and the traditions of Bretagne, the region where the crepe originated from. To add to your meal here, they offer high end bottles of cider, or as the French call it: cidre. If you are faced with the challenge of choosing between a savory or sweet crepe, we recommend going for both as they use two different types, a galette for the savory and a crepe for the sweet.
On Sundays they offer an incredibly filling and affordable brunch for €23, adoringly called “Brunch Mania.”
Candelma, 73 Rue de Seine. Reservations recommended.
Canard & Champagne
Canard & Champagne is a place where the owners wanted to celebrate what it means to be French with duck and champagne. This is a duck only restaurant located in the oldest passage (covered alleyway) in Paris. They do duck in many ways including confit, foie gras and terrine, and everything was designed to go fabulously well with a champagne pairing, a drink that is traditional reserved for special celebrations. What makes this place super neat is that they have champagne that is made just for them–you really can’t find it anywhere else.
Although the main reason is to come for the food, you cannot miss their gorgeous interior. The concept of duck and champagne might also sound incredibly luxurious, the prices are incredible reasonable. After a full belly, you can find yourself perusing through this historic passage that is filled with boutiques and a lot of Paris history.
Canard & Champagne, 57 Passage des Panoramas. Reservations recommended.
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Between an affordable menu, great ambiance, and one Michelin star, getting a reservation at Septime is tough but not impossible if you call them the day their calendar opens up, exactly three weeks before your desired date. The young chef-owner knows exactly what he is doing with a simple space, attentive service, and high quality products. Their tasting menu is under €100 and they have an excellent natural wine selection.
If you can’t get in, you can always try their second restaurant next door, Clamato, or their wine bar, Septime La Cave!
For the Best Asian Restaurants in Paris
Korean food is currently having a moment in Paris and there is at least one new Korean restaurant popping up every month. The best Korean restaurant in Paris has to be the newly opened Kwon. Everything from taste and presentation here is what Korean food should be, refined and homemade.
The Korean pork belly barbecue for two comes with an array of side dishes, all served in traditional yet modern brass bowls, and is cooked in front of you at the table. The “tartare” bibimbap celebrates the blending of a famous French dish, tartare, with a Korean specialty, rice mixed with vegetables. They also serve makgeoli, a Korean rice wine, that pairs well with kimchi, spicy Korean fermented vegetables with chili.
Kwon, 7 Rue Ernest Cresson. Reservations recommended. Book your reservation on LaFourchette.
Opened in October 2017, the chef-couple-duo here celebrate good food inspired by Japan and their gastronomy training in New York. Using a Japanese grill, they offer grilled meats and vegetables, yakitori style but their menu is so much more. Although you come for their grilled meats and vegetables, it would be a shame to leave without trying their homemade pastas.
There’s around 20 small plates on the menu meant for sharing, and prices range from €5-9 per plate. Very different from any of the other Japanese restaurants, Le Rigmarole is truly one of the best places to eat in Paris for Japanese inspired dishes.
They also offer a chef’s tasting menu where you can tell your server or the chef directly depending on where you’re sitting what you can and cannot eat. If possible, we highly recommend that you sit at the bar, what we like to call the “chef’s table” so that you can see the chefs move like magic. Did we mention that they literally make everything in-house, including their ice cream and chocolates that you get with the check.
Le Rigmarole, 10 Rue du Grand Prieuré. Reservations recommended.
It’s not everyday that you can eat food made by a Master Chef France winner. Luckily at The Hood Paris, you can. Chef Khanh-Ly Hyunh celebrates her Vietnamese French heritage by incorporating flavors and ingredients only found in Asia, such as pandan and black garlic, to create a seasonal menu that changes almost often as every two weeks, driven solely by what is freshly available on the market.
The Hood, known in Paris as a creative coffee space by day, has recently opened up their venue during the evenings to offer a “Neo-Bistrot” with shared plates, organic wines, and artisanal beers. Their evening menu is available only Thursday through Saturday and a meal usually comes to around €30 per person before drinks. There’s also a fixed price menu for €20 where you choose either a starter and main course, or main course and dessert. The €30 menu includes a starter, main course and dessert, making an excellent dinner choice among the affordable places to eat in Paris.
The coolest part is that you can easily go up to the kitchen to give the chef your regards because the space currently features an open kitchen. The food here is truly unlike anything else found in Paris as the chef works hard to continuously create new and innovative dishes inspired by her travels and research in Asia.
The Hood, 80 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud. Reservations recommended.
For the Best Italian Restaurants in Paris
You may not have come to Paris to eat Italian food, but any of the Big Mamma group restaurants are among the best places to eat at in Paris. The Big Mamma food group’s presence is huge in Paris and the food is unbelievably good, as you can tell by the long lines at every one of their establishments. They have truly become the destination in Paris for Italian food as they literally import everything, including most of their employees, from Italy. But the best out of their collection of restaurants has to be Pink Mamma located in the bustling 9th arrondissement. At Pink Mamma, their four story building is truly reflective of their name as the building is adorned with gorgeous pink tiles.
You might question the Instagram worthy quality of the appearance of everything that they do, from the detail oriented interior and exterior, the gorgeous T-bone steak, and the incredibly photogenic desserts but here, everything is executed perfectly. Make sure you don’t miss out on their delicious pasta offerings and cocktails. Like all Big Mamma group locations, they don’t take reservations but if you come early enough, you will be guaranteed a seat. If you do happen to be stuck in line, we assure you that the wait is worth it.
Pink Mamma, 20bis Rue de Douai. Reservations not accepted.
For the Best Middle Eastern Restaurants in Paris
At Mokonuts, you need to make a reservation most often weeks in advance by phone to get into their lunch ( they only offer full service during lunch and are closed before dinner), but we promise you it will be one of your best meals in Paris. The chefs here have Japanese-American-French-Lebanese upbringings and you can clearly see them paying homage to their roots in the food. Their signature starter is the labneh, a thick yogurt-like dip served with olive oil and za’atar, and they are often celebrated for their take on fish.
They make everything, including their tiny, warm, fluffy pitas, in-house. Both the chefs have worked with some of the best chefs not only in Paris, but in the world. Mokonuts, which originally started as a small coffee shop with baked goods and an honest lunch, has grown into a global phenomenon. The chefs are often invited to guest chef at famous restaurants around the world. You cannot leave here without trying some of Chef Moko’s famous cookies; she uses everything from miso to coffee to come up with wonderful concoctions.
Mokonuts, 5 Rue Saint-Bernard. Reservations recommended, but walk-ins welcome. Make reservations by phone at +33 9 80 81 82 85.
About the Author
Eileen W. Cho is a Korean American photographer and writer based in Paris, France. She has been eating her way through the city for the past three years and almost eats out at least once a day, sometimes more. You can see more of her work on her website www.eileenwcho.com.