8 best restaurant in Paris

Over the last 10 years, Paris has boldly reclaimed its title as the best food city in Europe. The French capital is bustling with a brilliant constellation of new restaurants by talented young chefs from all over the world, plus an inventive and diverse array of casual dining options. There’s also been a renaissance of its long-established gastronomic landscape, including traditional bistros, brasseries, and stylish restaurants serving classic French cooking made famous by Escoffier, including dishes like blanquette de veau (veal in cream sauce) and pistachio soufflés.

1.     L’Astrance.

4 rue Beethoven.

Paris, Île-de-France.

( +33) 1 40 50 84 40.

The one haute-cuisine restaurant in Paris that’s really, truly worth it? L’Astrance. Chef Pascal Barbot has the most elegantly lyrical gastronomic imagination of any chef working in Paris today, and it’s expressed by dishes that are often spectacularly simple, like his buttermilk and burnt toast crumb soup. The dish is not always on the menu, but if you tell them you’re desperate for it when you make your reservation, Barbot and maitre d’hotel Christophe Rohat are such nice guys, they might make it for you. Otherwise, you should beg for the mille-feuille of white mushrooms, apple, and foie gras.


2.     Au Petit Tonneau.

20 Rue Surcouf.

75007 Paris, France.

( +33) 1 47 05 09 01.

Of course, you want to discover a fabulous little bistro in Paris none of your friends have ever heard of. This is the place, and the blanquette de veau– a homey classic of veal in cream sauce with mushrooms, onions, and carrots– is the reason you’ll never forget it. At 22 euros, it’s a great buy, too.

3.     L’Arpège.

84 rue de Varenne.

Paris, Île-de-France.

( +33) 1 47 05 09 06.

Okay, it costs a freaking fortune (145 euros), but the vegetarian tasting menu by three-Michelin-starred chef Alain Passard is as close to nirvana as Paris can deliver for vegetarians. It’s so good that accompanying non-vegetarians will forget they came as a somewhat selfless gesture, too. Passard’s vegetables come from his own organic farm, and what you’ll get depends on what’s available at the time. A sample of Passard’s talent with the bounty of the garden includes dishes like cep mushrooms with lemon and a vol au vent (puff pastry case) filled with baby peas, turnips, and snow peas in a sauce spiked with Cote du Jura wine. It’s worth pointing out that people have strong feelings about L’Arpège– the restaurant has its share of critics, including Eater’s own Ryan Sutton.


4.     Veal Sweetbreads at Le Grand Restaurant.

7 rue d’Aguesseau.

Paris, Île-de-France.

( +33) 1 53 05 00 00.

The French have a genius for offal cooking, especially veal sweetbreads. Maybe you love them already, but if not, there’s no better souvenir to take home from Paris than a newly discovered favorite dish. The place to make this happen is Jean-François Piège’s Le Grand Restaurant: He cooks the sweetbreads on walnut shells in a hot box and serves them with walnut mousseline and morels.


5.     Joséphine Chez Dumonet.

117 rue du Cherche-Midi.

Paris, Île-de-France.

( +33) 145-485240.

With its lace curtains, cut-glass room dividers, and bentwood chairs, this century-old bistro is why you put up with all those terrible hours in economy class to get to Paris. The boeuf bourguignon, a testament to the Gallic genius of creating a flavor-rich sauce from the juices created by slowly simmering meat, is the best in the city. You must book in advance, and don’t miss the Grand Marnier souffle for dessert either.


6.     Le Severo.

8 rue des Plantes.

Paris, Île-de-France.

( +33) 1 45 40 40 91.

William Bernet used to be a butcher, so he knows his meat. His steaks are superb, but his pride and joy is the steak tartare he hand-chops from premium French beef and then seasons with a light hand. It comes to the table with an avalanche of some of the city’s best frites.


7.     L’Assiette.

181 Rue du Château.

75014 Paris, France.

01 43 22 64 86.

It is quiet, hard-working, limelight-shunning chefs like David Rathgeber who make Paris such an enduringly terrific food city. He took over this locally famous restaurant– previously helmed by a flamboyant chef named Lulu who charmed the likes of late President François Mitterrand and other celebrities– and has made it one of the city’s best bistros. It’s well worth the trek to the quiet 14th Arrondissement for his deft take on traditional dishes like pork-knuckle rillettes with foie gras and a superb cassoulet. The menu also offers lighter fare, including sea bream tartare with green tomato and coriander jus and cuttlefish carbonara. The creme caramel is nothing short of epic.


8.     Détour.

Rue de la Tour des Dames.

Paris, Île-de-France.

On a quiet side street in the heart of the city, not far from Pigalle, chef Adrien Cachot’s storefront bistro is one of the best buys in Paris right now. After working in a variety of top-notch kitchens, Cachot opened Detour, his first restaurant. Expect skilled contemporary French cooking and a frequently changing menu that consistently exhibits well-edited creativity, as seen in dishes like cod with a soubise, mussel emulsion, and powdered grilled onions. Cachet’s beef heart, a piece of offal that’s suddenly a la mode in Paris, comes in fine slices with fromage blanc and harissa; it’s succulent and quietly funky.


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