Paris restaurants

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Pierre Gagnaire

Price guide: Expensive
#1/80
expert-rated restaurants in Paris
Best for Gourmets -
Expert overall rating:5.0 (out of 5)

Genius in the kitchen: Paris’s most exciting gourmet food.

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Le Meurice

Price guide: Expensive
#2/80
expert-rated restaurants in Paris
Expert overall rating:5.0 (out of 5)

Unforgettable grand occasion dining from one of France's best chefs.

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La Table du Lancaster

Price guide: Expensive
#3/80
expert-rated restaurants in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.9 (out of 5)

Some of the most astonishing food in Paris in a sumptuous cossetted setting.

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Le Jules Verne

Price guide: Expensive
#7/80
expert-rated restaurants in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

Gastronomic dining halfway up the Eiffel Tower.

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Laurent

Price guide: Expensive
#9/80
expert-rated restaurants in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

A beautiful setting for power dining on the Champs-Elysées.

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La Cagouille

Price guide: Mid-range
#10/80
expert-rated restaurants in Paris
Best for Value for money -
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

The breezy Cagouille serves some of the best fish in Paris.

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Fogon

Price guide: Mid-range
#11/80
expert-rated restaurants in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

Spanish gastronomy: the haute paella of Paris.

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Ze Kichen Galerie

Price guide: Expensive
#14/80
expert-rated restaurants in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.6 (out of 5)

Modern France meets Asia in William Ledeuil’s artful St-Germain restaurant.

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Itinéraires

Price guide: Mid-range
#15/80
expert-rated restaurants in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.6 (out of 5)

A culinary voyage with one of Paris's brightest young talents.

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Macéo

Price guide: Mid-range
#18/80
expert-rated restaurants in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.6 (out of 5)

Satisfying cooking and fine wines in an airy period setting near Palais-Royal.

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Chiberta

Price guide: Expensive
#19/80
expert-rated restaurants in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.6 (out of 5)

Creative modern cuisine with an elegant Parisian designer setting to match.

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Le Troquet

Price guide: Mid-range
#21/80
expert-rated restaurants in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.6 (out of 5)

A southwestern Neo-bistro with just the right marriage of rustic and refinement.

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#23/80
expert-rated restaurants in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.5 (out of 5)

Ethereal grand dining in the superchef league.

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Benoît

Price guide: Expensive
#25/80
expert-rated restaurants in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.5 (out of 5)

An upmarket take on the classic Paris bistro.

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Le Versance

Price guide: Expensive
#32/80
expert-rated restaurants in Paris
Best for Romance -
Expert overall rating:4.5 (out of 5)

A romantic Parisian setting for culinary travels.

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Le Train Bleu

Price guide: Expensive
#33/80
expert-rated restaurants in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.5 (out of 5)

An opulent setting for grand train station dining.

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La Maison Blanche

Price guide: Expensive
#34/80
expert-rated restaurants in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.5 (out of 5)

See and be scene: a glamorous table with view in Paris's fashion valley.

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Il Carpaccio

Price guide: Expensive
#38/80
expert-rated restaurants in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.5 (out of 5)

Italian Renaissance: a sparkling Tuscan ristorante in Paris.

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Georges

Price guide: Expensive
#39/80
expert-rated restaurants in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.5 (out of 5)

The Centre Pompidou's buzzy dining room with a view for art and food lovers.

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Le Relais du Comptoir

Price guide: Mid-range
#43/80
expert-rated restaurants in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.4 (out of 5)

St-Germain bistronomy - if you can get a table.

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Showing 1-20 of 22 results
Set focus

The whole concept of French cuisine can take in anything from a luxurious, faintly intimidating gastronomic experience that has you hanging on every flavour, accompanied by a ritual of silver cloches and bread handed out on tongs, to the archetypal tomato salad, steak-frites and chocolate mousse at an old-fashioned bistro. In fact, get rid of your preconceptions of French cuisine as a question of grandiose sauces, it can also be dead simple: I know a very chic old brasserie, where the starters include radishes, another where the egg mayonnaise is a cult item, but what counts is that the mayonnaise is fresh and homemade. Then there is the ambience, an art deco brasserie with its late-night buzz or a café terrace where you can survey the fauna and listen to gossip over a salad and an expresso. The current stars of the Paris dining scene are the “neo-bistros”, or “bistronomiques”, often run by chefs trained in haute cuisine establishments, who modernise regional dishes or traditional favourites, using finest-quality ingredients, while keeping the convivial, casual atmosphere and affordable prices.

There are also countless ethnic restaurants. Asian restaurants are particularly concentrated in the "Chinatowns" of Belleville and the 13th arrondissement. Sushi bars have sprouted everywhere, with a hub of authentic Japanese places on rue Sainte-Anne near Opéra, while North African restaurants, reflecting former French colonies in Morocco and Algeria, can be found all over town.

Restaurant Lore
Dresscode is generally casual, except in the grandest, haute-cuisine restaurants, which may insist on jacket and tie, but it is a carefully studied casual – think smart jeans and a well-cut jacket; adapt your style to the area (fashion-conscious St-Germain, boho 11th) and don't wear shorts or tracksuits unless you really want to stick out like a tourist.

Average prices here are for a three-course meal, not including wine. However it's fine, especially at lunch, to order just starter and main course or main course and dessert, or just a salad or omelette in a café. Bistros often have a menu-carte system, with set price for two or three courses. Many places have good-value lunch menus. Service is always included in the bill (any extra tip is purely optional) and bread and a carafe d'eau (tapwater) are free.

Most restaurants serve around 12.30-2.30pm and 8-10.30pm; if you’re looking to eat outside these times, try brasseries and cafés, which may serve food until 1 or 2am, and possibly throughout the afternoonn. Many places close for all or part of August. Top restaurants and fashionable places may need reserving weeks, even months in advance, but it can be worth worth ringing up at the last minute to see if there's a chance cancellation.

 

Set focus

I chose the places listed here for their quality, their authenticity, their atmosphere – some are places I have eaten at regularly since I moved here over 15 years ago, others are special occasion experiences or recent discoveries that have particularly impressed me. I’ve put in a wide variety of restaurants because where you want to go depends not just on budget or area but the sort of food or atmosphere you are seeking on any particular occasion. Some days, I might want simply to feast on oysters, on others the sort of flavours and combinations so innovative or complex that you cannot possibly imagine how the chef has made them. Each has that something extra that makes it stand out, but however good a meal, before including any of them, I also asked myself the fundamental question: "would I want to go back?"