The 50 best restaurants in Paris slideshow

From sumptuous Michelin-starred suppers to fresh falafel on the go, view our favourite places to eat in the French capital

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    Looking for the best 50 restaurants that represent Paris’s restaurant scene in 2013, Time Out’s critics have searched our anonymous, independent reviews and selected everything from sterling classic bistros that have been serving the same dishes for a hundred years to cheap and cheerful fast food joints run by hip young Parisians. These 50 outstanding venues don’t just offer fantastic food, atmosphere and service; they reflect the tradition, invention and international scope that are all part of dining out in Paris.

    Think we’ve missed an essential venue from our top 50? Let us know in the comments box below.

     

  • © Time Out

    Brasseries

    Traditionally, brasseries were inns that brewed their own beer – today, they’re identified more by their white linen, printed menus and uniformed staff than their homemade hooch. Big, bustling venues that are often open late, brasseries often serve seafood and regional specialities like Alsatian choucroute.

    To view our selection of brasseries, click here or scroll to the right using the arrows above.

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    Brasserie Mollard

    Classy art nouveau décor, everything either polished and gleaming or sporting a patina of age – a touch decrepit overall, but in a marvellously charming way...

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    Terminus Nord

    Visitors will know they are in Paris the moment they step into this immense brasserie, with its brusque, white-apron clad waiters and cosmopolitan clientele.

  • © WallyG (CC)

    Classic bistros

    Small, homely hangouts for locals, the menu of a classic bistro is robust, warming and reassuring – the same selection of earthy classic dishes will be available year round, with just a few seasonal specials. Usually there won’t be a prix fixe set menu, so you can dig deep at some of the more famous names to pay for things like cassoulet, duck confit and steak.

    To view our selection of classic bistros, click here or scroll to the right using the arrows above.

  • © Time Out / Laurie Grosset

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    Bistro Volnay

    It does seem as if Volnay has everything to please: a welcoming dining room done out in big mirrors, glowing lamps and a gorgeous 1930s bar, smiling efficient waiters, a well-stocked cellar and a menu which beautifully manages the balance between nostalgic tradition and ambitious modernity.

  • © Time Out / Laurie Grosset

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    Café Constant

    Constant truly excels at desserts, from the gargantuan profiteroles favoured by many of the regulars to a sculpted île flottante bathing in its sea of caramel-drizzled custard.

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    Chez Dumonet – Josephine

    Boeuf bourguignon, steak tartare, cassoulet: all serious food cravings can be satisfied in this art deco bistro with authentically nicotine-stained walls.

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    Chez Grenouille

    Banish thoughts of modern neo-bistro cuisine, as the specialties on the blackboard range from sweetbreads and veal onglet steak in a rich Vin Jaune sauce to the chef’s andouillette, plump homemade sausage stuffed with pig’s intestines that is the ultimate test of adventurous foodies.

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    L'Auberge du 15

    L’Auberge du 15 is a little off the beaten track on a quiet street in the 13th arrondissement; it cultivates the air of a country brasserie, with Moroccan tiles lining the open kitchen and a hunting motif on the curtains.

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    La Gauloise

    If dining in the same room as a theatre director, a former politician, a Goncourt prizewinning writer and a recipient of the Légion d’Honneur doesn’t put you off, you’ll fit right in at La Gauloise.

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    Le Bougainville

    In the extremely chic Galerie Vivienne, it’s surprising to find a bistro that has stayed apparently unchanged since the 1950s, with Formica tables and bar, brick red faux leather banquettes and old-school parquet flooring.

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    Le Garde Temps

    The menu starts with things like mullet tartare marinated in Espelette pepper with a chorizo and mustard sprout sauce, or parsnip mousseline with carrots, Chioggia beetroot and chunks of parmesan.

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    Le Voltaire

    Tuck into stellar steak-frites or golden sole meunière among the area’s bourgeois residents, in a building where Voltaire himself once lived.

  • Modern bistros

    With their roots in the bistro tradition, these contemporary spins on the classic Parisian eatery keep their ideas fresh and their menus fresher, often updating every day, week, or season. The dishes still echo the classics, but will be subject the chef’s style and influences, which can be international. Unlike more old school bistros, these restaurants will usually offer a prix fixe set menu.

    To view our selection of modern bistros, click here or scroll to the right using the arrows above.

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    Abri

    Katsuaki Okiyama's CV (Robuchon, Taillevent, Agapé) would already be impressive on a far older chef, and against a bare décor, he makes his experience felt with French cuisine enhanced by Japanese touches.

  • © Anthony de Anfrasio & Patricia Westermann

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    Coq Rico

    Gourmet poultry dishes are served in an elegant white-walled space lined with sleek banquettes in the heights of Montmartre’s Rue Lepic.

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    Chez l'Ami Jean

    This long-running Basque address is an ongoing hit thanks to chef Stéphane Jégo. Excellent bread from baker Jean-Luc Poujauran is a perfect nibble when slathered with a tangy, herby fromage blanc – as are starters of sautéed baby squid on a bed of ratatouille.

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    La Fourchette du Printemps

    A seriously grown-up and very French restaurant, La Fourchette du Printemps feels like a genuine neighbourhood find in the wilds of the 17th arrondissement, with its nearest neighbours an abandoned tramway and an industrial park.

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    La Table d'Eugène

    The décor is, admittedly, charmless, but the men behind the scenes – Geoffroy Maillard and François Vaudeschamps – are both talented and driven.

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    Le Galopin

    A little restaurant set in the pretty Sainte-Marthe square, whose unique, creative menu changes nightly according to the produce available and the mood of the chef – Romain Tischenko, winner of ‘Top Chef 2010’.

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    Le Hide

    Ever since it opened, this snug bistro has been packed with a happy crowd of bistro-lovers who appreciate Japanese-born chef Hide Kobayashi's superb cooking and good-value prices.

  • © Time Out / Laurie Grosset

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    Le Pantruche

    The name is old-fashioned (Pantruche is an old slang word for 'Parisian') and the Pigalle location a little frentic, but once inside Pantruche its charm is immediately apparent, with a classic and cosy bistro décor, myriad mirrors and smiling staff.

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    Pirouette

    A restaurant called Pirouette suggests both deft maneuvering and a dash of panache. Set in a secluded little courtyard behind the concrete mess of Les Halles in the 1st arrondissement, the stage set for the meal is immediately promising.

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    Kitchen Galerie Bis (KGB)

    The younger sibling of the original Ze Kitchen Galerie is a roaring success. Owner William Ledeuil has installed his pupil Yariv Berrebi in the kitchen, and the disciple knows what he's doing. The dishes are sophisticated, colourful and elegant, intelligently fusing the flavours of France and Asia.

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    Pierre Sang Boyer

    If the young Sang can already claim celebrity status – he occasionally interrupts his cooking to pose for photos with diners – success does not seem to have gone to his head.

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    Rino

    If you’re smart enough to bag a red banquette at Rino, anticipate being wowed by Passerini’s uniquely modern and mainly organic take on gastro Italian cooking at almost bargain prices.

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    Septime

    The cooking is direct, pure, and serious. Raw horse mackerel with yoghurt and red cabbage was superb, as invigorating as the velouté of eggs, mushrooms and chicken foie gras was comforting.

  • © Time Out / TR

    Parisian chic

    These restaurants offer that certain je ne sais quoi – a spectacular view, exceptional interior design, the cachet of a famous name in the kitchen or simply the merit of being the place to see and be seen this year. Whatever the case, if you choose one of these for a special night out, the food is also guaranteed to be stunning.

    To view our selection of chic Parisian restaurants, click here or scroll to the right using the arrows above.

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    Akrame

    Akrame has been one of the hottest Paris addresses since it opened its doors in early 2011, and talented young chef Akrame Bellalal confirmed his potential when the Michelin Guide took the unusual step of awarding the restaurant a star in its first year.

  • © La Tour d'Argent

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    La Tour d'Argent

    In the kitchen, Breton-born Stéphane Haissant has brought a welcome creative touch to the menu, bringing in unique dishes such as a giant langoustine dabbed with kumquat purée and surrounded by lightly scented coffee foam.

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    La Table du Lancaster

    The restaurant in this gorgeous hotel, where Marlene Dietrich once lived, is all the things you would expect from a place that today attracts Hello!-shy celebs.

     

  • © Jean-Luc André

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    Pétrelle

    Jean-Luc André is as inspired a decorator as he is a cook, and the quirky charm of his fresco clad dining room has made it popular with fashion designers and film stars.

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    Pizza Chic

    An address which could only exist on the left bank, nestled into the busy streets of Saint-Germain-des-Prés where 'chic' is a religion in itself.

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    Racines 2

    Racine’s little brother is the rebellious one, with its tattooed young chef and Scandinavian-influenced décor from badboy designer Philippe Starc.

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    Restaurant du Palais-Royal

    There can be few more magical places to dine on a summer evening than the terrace of this restaurant. Inside is memorable too: you sit in a red dining room alongside the commissars of arts and letters who work at the ministry of culture a few doors down.

  • © Big Fernand

    Quick bites

    There’s no contradiction these days between fast food and gourmet dining – not even in Paris. A salty dash of seafood, a celebrity chef’s twist on tapas, a giant bite of a meltingly good burger – all these dining experiences and more merit the attention of the most refined palates.

    To view our selection of quick bites, click here or scroll to the right using the arrows above.

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    Big Fernand

    A brilliant little burger joint, which takes the traditional American burger and gives it the French terroir treatment.

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    Frenchie

    Grégory Marchand’s restaurant Frenchie has become legendary not just for the quality of its food, but for the almost superhuman effort required to secure a table in the tiny dining room. Luckily there is Frenchie Bar à Vins across the street, where you can sample his Anglo-influenced take on bistro cooking without a reservation.

  • © Ambassade d'Auvergne

    Regional cuisine

    Specialties from France’s départementsoften feature on Parisian menus, but there are some restaurants devoted solely to outstanding recipes from particular regions. The heavy, comforting potato and cheese aligot from the Auvergne or the many-layered pleasures of a Breton crêpe are enough to make any gourmet swoon. These are our favourite place to find them. 

    To view our selection of regional restaurants, click here or scroll to the right using the arrows above.

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    L' Ambassade d'Auvergne

    This rustic-style auberge is a fitting embassy for the hearty fare of central France. An order of cured ham comes as two hefty, plate-filling slices, and the salad bowl is chock-full of green lentils cooked in goose fat, studded with bacon and shallots.

  • © Time Out / Laurie Grosset

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    Breizh Café

    With its modern interior of pale wood and its choice of 15 artisanal ciders, this outpost of a restaurant in Cancale, Brittany, is a world away from the average crêperie.

  • © Karl Blackwell / Time Out

    Wine bars

    The food is outstanding, sure, but so is the wine. Head to one of our favourite restaurants with superb wine lists ready to match your meal with the booze, all with the help of friendly and knowledgeable staff rather than terrifying sommeliers. Because La vie est trop courte pour boire du mauvais vin.

    To view our selection of wine bars, click here or scroll to the right using the arrows above.

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    Glou

    This charming Marais bistro from ex food writer Julien Fouin – author of 'Beurk! C’est Bon' / 'Yuck! It’s Good' – plays things straight and pan-continental with Spanish meat boards, subtle pasta dishes and bold French desserts.

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    Le Baratin

    Star pastry chef Pierre Hermé visits this cheerful little bistro and wine bar high up in Belleville at least every two weeks to fill up on Raquel Carena's homely cooking with the occasional exotic twist.

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    Le Verre Volé

    For first timers, Le Verre Volé seems like a basic wine store with a few rickety tables, but reserve a spot one night and you’ll understand why NY Times food writer Alec Lobrano calls his favourite wine bar in the city.

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    Les Papilles

    Unpretentious, jean and T-shirt-clad servers rattle off the menu, then invite you to choose your bottle of wine from the wall. Wine aficionados will have a field day; wine amateurs, ask for help.

  • © Time Out / TR

    International

    The city may be proud of its home grown culinary traditions, but Paris has also embraced some of the finest cooking from around the world – world-class sushi chefs, hotly competitive falafel joints, European and South American cuisine and more has all made its way into our top 50.

    To view our selection of international restaurants, click here or scroll to the right using the arrows above.

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    Caffé dei Cioppi

    Still wows today thanks to outstanding dishes like sausage and red wine risotto, garlicky shellfish linguine, Italian charcuterie, tangy Sicilian lasagnes, creamy burrata and sbrisolona – almond biscuits dipped in mascarpone cream

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    Candelaria

    The tiny white room with its open kitchen, a few stools and communal tables doesn’t give a hint of the hip bar behind, where the neighbourhood’s youth come to sip margaritas or the house specials, like the guêpe verte [green wasp] (tequila, lime, pepper, cucumber, spices and agave syrup).

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    Isami

    One of the best sushi restaurants in Paris is tucked away on the bank of the Seine by the Ile Saint Louis. Isami's small dining room is simply decorated but for the rows of Japanses earthenware stacked behind the bar like a vast library, and in front of them the Itamae (master sushi chef) works away in a frenzy.

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    Délices de Shandong

    But this canteen with its red Formica tables gives pride of place to the cooking of Shandong, a province south of Peking with a particularly rich gastronomic tradition.

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    L'As du Fallafel

    'Often imitated, never equalled' is the slogan here, and few who have tried other falafel joints along this street would dare to argue.

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    La Pulpéria

    The Meat at La Pulpéria comes with a capital M, served in a noisy, welcoming little dining room and whipped up in white-tiled kitchen by talented Argentinean chef Fernando Di Tomaso and his South American team.

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    L'Orient d'Or

    The birthplace of Chairman Mao, this revolutionary region is also home to one of the country’s boldest cuisines – even more so than Sichuan, with its tongue-tingling peppercorns.

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    Shu

    The restaurant specialises in kushi-agué – a sort of Japanese kebab, with different ingredients breaded and fired on sticks.

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    Yam'Tcha

    An intimate dining room decorated with tasteful Asian accents, a calm atmosphere, a friendly welcome and highly experienced chefs all add up to a practically perfect place to eat.

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    ZenZoo

    For an unforgettably unique tea-time snack head to Zenzoo, where you can get green tea cheesecake or an excellent cake made of red bean paste.

© Ambassade d'Auvergne

Click on the arrows above to view

Looking for the best 50 restaurants that represent Paris’s restaurant scene in 2013, Time Out’s critics have searched our anonymous, independent reviews and selected everything from sterling classic bistros that have been serving the same dishes for a hundred years to cheap and cheerful fast food joints run by hip young Parisians. These 50 outstanding venues don’t just offer fantastic food, atmosphere and service; they reflect the tradition, invention and international scope that are all part of dining out in Paris.

Think we’ve missed an essential venue from our top 50? Let us know in the comments box below.

 

Users say

1 comments
Carle
Carle

Paul Chêne, rue Lauriston just near the Trocadero. The Queen didn't miss it! And it's fantastic. Like traveling back to the 60s. Here they don't know what a freezer is: everything is fresh. Family owned, Jean Gabin was a friend and regular (he had his own table and also kept his wine cellar there). The family also makes its own champagne and cognac. He also has homemade gherkins his grandfather taught him. Authentic parisian cuisine!