The 50 best restaurants in Paris: The full list

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Brasseries

Brasserie Mollard

Now a protected building, time at Mollard seems to have stopped in 1985. Pushing open the door is to go back to a vibrant era when all Paris would rock up nightly between the Gare Saint-Lazare and the Grands Boulevards. 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: mosaics, ceramic frescoes, marble columns, gilt ceiling, circular lamps and furniture by E. Niermans

  1. 115 rue Saint-Lazare, 8e
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Terminus Nord

Standing across the street from the international Gare du Nord, Terminus Nord – the epitome of the dream Parisian restaurant - welcomes visitors to the City of Light. Soaring decorative ceilings, deco style chandeliers, Mucha style prints and colourful stained glass give Terminus Nord that typically Art Nouveau style which will in turns charm and intrigue. Here a bustling, vibrant crowd of locals and visitors, businessmen and tourists come together to enjoy a typically French

  1. 23 Rue de Dunkerque, 75010
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Classic bistros

Bistro Volnay

The art deco-inspired Bistro Volnay, situated between Opera Garnier and Madeleine, has been so successful that owners Delphine Alcover and Magali Marian have opened another, Les Jalles, at the end of the road. Popular with businessmen at lunch, Volnay's little dining room comes into its own in the evening. There are Parisians in their element, and tourists who seem a bit overwhelmed tat having found the perfect bistro. And it does seem as if Volnay has everything to please: a

  1. 8 rue Volney, 2e
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Café Constant

Christian Constant knows about the quest for perfection, having chased after Michelin stars for most of his career before devoting himself to simpler cooking. Maybe that’s why this small two-level bistro, one of four restaurants he owns in the same street, gets all the ingredients right, from the vintage décor with a zinc bar in the front to the menu that often reads like grand-mère’s scribbled notebook.Arriving at 12.30pm on a Saturday during school holidays we found a

  1. 139 rue Saint-Dominique, 7e
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Chez Dumonet – Josephine

This bastion of classic bistro cooking, where the use of luxury ingredients brings a splash of glamour, is guaranteed to please the faithful, well-heeled local clientele. The room with its nicotine-coloured walls and massive cast-iron radiators looks comfortingly old-fashioned, while the formal staff reinforce the impression of serious Parisian eating. The good news is that several dishes are available as half portions, opening up the possibility of exploring some classy numbers

  1. 117 rue du Cherche-Midi, 6e
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Chez Grenouille

Tucked away behind the Place de Clichy in Paris’s theatre district, it is easy to walk straight past this unassuming bistro. The impression is hardly improved on entering the tiny dining room, with the drab walls decorated only with a series of charcuterie awards – everything from best boudin blanc (black pudding) to a gold medal for pig’s brawn. But even on a midweek evening, the place was packed with local Parisians – not a tourist in sight – and once the menu arrived

  1. 52 rue Blanche, 9e
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L'Auberge du 15

Top quality, serious classic French dining should be tried at least once on a trip to Paris. This doesn’t mean you have to spend thousands at big-name restaurants – there’s a new breed of bistros serving some of the best Parisian contemporary cooking at prices that, while not exactly cheap, won’t make you retreat to the nearest Quick drive-thru. 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

  1. 15 rue de la santé, 13e
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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. This time-honoured restaurant is chic, calm and welcoming, long regulated by the etiquette of the Parisian bourgeoisie (Mitterand was a longstanding customer). It’s done out in immaculate taste (long dark wood bar, plaster mouldings, red velvet banquettes), with an eye to

  1. 59 avenue de la Motte-Picquet, 15e
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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. The new owners have left the décor practically untouched, though the dining room looks a little tidier than it used to.On the menu, there are still classic bistro dishes such as l’oeuf mayo (with house mayonnaise, a small potato salad and a few salad

  1. 5 rue de la Banque, 2e
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Le Garde-Temps

Le Garde-Temps isn’t exactly the ideal address for a romantic dinner, with tables lined up closely on either side of the small single dining room with its fashionable New York décor. But if it doesn’t bother you to shout over your neighbours to be heard, then ambiance suits the venue, with polite, unfussy service and dishes firmly oriented towards the southwest without being slaves to tradition.The menu starts with things like mullet tartare marinated in Espelette pepper

  1. 19 bis rue Fontaine, 9e
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Le Voltaire

With its perfect riverside setting, the Voltaire might be just another tourist-led Parisian bistro, but past the velvet curtains, after maître d’ Antoine has escorted you to one of the cosy tables, you realise that this is a genuinely chic spot whose regulars treat it like a private club – at lunch many of the ladies were greeted by a kiss on the hand. From a delicate niddle to a serious feed, Le Voltaire caters to everyone. Our guest kept us waiting, slightly too

  1. 27 Quai Voltaire, 7e
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Modern bistros

Abri

Mondays and Saturdays, 10am-5pm, there’s only one reason to come to Abri (‘shelter’), a pocket-sized restaurant next to the Poissonière metro: their multi-layered, super-stacked, millfeuille-esque sandwiches, put together by chef Katsuaki Okiyama. One regal specimen contained grilled bread, a deep and lovely sauce, a vegetable omelette, crusty breaded pork (‘tonkatsu’), sweet and sour cauliflower purée and soft cheese.The rest of the week, there are plenty more of the

  1. 92 rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, 10e
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Coq Rico

From the man behind successful restaurants Drouant and Mon Viel Ami, Antoine Westermann’s ‘bistrotisserie’ (a pimped rotisserie, if you like) feels like a chic mountain chalet retreat. His gourmet poultry dishes are served in an elegant white-walled space lined with sleek banquettes, in the heights of Montmartre’s Rue Lepic. We started with a gooey boiled egg, whose crunchy soldiers came with delicious truffle-infused butter, and ‘la planchette de béatilles’ –

  1. 98 rue Lepic, 18e
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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. Tender veal shank comes de-boned with a lovely side of baby onions and broad beans with tiny cubes of ham, and house-salted cod is soaked, sautéed and doused with an elegant vinaigrette. There's a great wine list, and

  1. 27 rue Malar, 7e
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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. The little front room (no more than seven tables, with one long banquet-style table in a narrow space to the rear) is understated, with dark grey walls and plain furniture, and the meal is conducted in an atmosphere of hushed gratification (plus an

  1. 30, rue du Printemps
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La Table d'Eugène

Named for Parisian novelist Eugène Sue, the gourmet cuisine at La Table d’Eugène is actually affordable. Too bad for Eugène himself, who departed this life in 1857. The décor is, admittedly, charmless, but the men behind the scenes – Geoffroy Maillard and François Vaudeschamps – are both talented and driven.They cook up some magnificent food using simple flavours, all skilfully assembled and beautifully presented. There’s blue shrimp from Mozambique in a walnut

  1. 18 rue Eugène Sue, 18e
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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’. The avant-garde Tischenko’s USP is taking unfashionable vegetables and turning them into fusion cuisine 2.0.Dishes here are deconstructions of traditional cuisine, combining the flavours of parsnips, artichokes, pumpkins, celery and apples with cocoa, scallops and

  1. 34 rue Sainte-Marthe, 10e
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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. Expect dishes such as duck foie gras terrine with pear-and-thyme compôte to start, followed by tender faux-filet steak in a light foie gras sauce or skate wing with a lemon-accented beurre noisette. Desserts are excellent: perfect tarte tatin comes with crème fraîche from Normandy. Good, affordable

  1. 10 rue du Général Lanrezac, 17e
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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.Young chef Franck Baranger, who cut his teeth at some of the most prestigious Paris establishments, offers simple yet sophisticated cooking at affordable prices – there's a set menu for €17 (dish of the day and dessert) at

  1. 3 rue Victor Massé, 9e
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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, so shiny new behind its huge plate glass window that the first thing you notice as you walk in is the fresh smell of the wood pannelling. So, with a swift arabesque, to the menu, which includes a formule  for a mere €36. We started with a

  1. 5 rue Mondétour, 1er
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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. Start with the ‘zors d’oeuvres’, assorted amuse-bouche where you choose four, five or six (€17-€23). The chef decides what they'll consist of according to the season, the day

  1. 25 rue des Grands Augustins, 6e
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Pierre Sang Boyer

  • Price band: 2/4

Along the bar-lined rue Oberkampf, food usually serves as little more than a sponge for alcohol. It’s a different story at Pierre Sang Boyer, where by 7.30pm the stools facing the narrow open kitchen were already filled with food-lovers anxious to taste the subtly Asian-influenced cooking of this Top Chef finalist. 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

  1. 55 rue Oberkampf, 11e
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Rino

For a small restaurant, Rino has attracted big press since opening in early 2010. French food critics have unanimously been nodding their approval of young Italian chef Giovanni Passerini’s 26-seat diner near Paris’ trendy Bastille quarter. 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. Lunch is a crazily good deal at under 20 euros for

  1. 46 rue Trousseau, 11e
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Septime

The Faubourg Saint-Antoine area has been making waves on the food scene for quite a while: Rue de Cotte, Rue Trousseau, the Marché d’Aligre and lots of other little streets offer an excellent range of good things to eat, and since the Rue Charonne's latest makeover, the area is more than ever on the up. Graphic arts bookshops and trendy boutiques proliferate, so it’s no surprise to fine Bertrand Grébaut’s latest restaurat venture here. A former pupil at Penninghen design

  1. 80 rue de Charonne, 11e
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Parisian chic

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. So expectations are high. Bellalal worked with both Ferran Adrià and Pierre Gagnaire, and the buzz only increases when you discover how difficult it is to get a reservation, followed by a reminder call from the maitre d’ on

  1. 19 rue Lauriston, 16e
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La Tour d'Argent

This Paris institution is regaining its lustre following the death of aged owner Claude Terrail in 2006. 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. But he also shows restraint, as in duck (the house speciality) with cherry sauce and a broad bean flan. Following in his father's footsteps, Terrail's

  1. 15 quai de la Tournelle, 5e
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La Table du Lancaster

A stone’s throw from the Champs Elysées but a world away from the crowds, La Table du Lancaster is hidden away in the luxurious Hôtel Lancaster, as discreet as it is enchanting.This one Michelin-starred venture was run for many years by Michel Troisgrois (who has three stars at the Maison Troisgros in Roanne), but since November 2012 has passed to the executive chef, Julien Rocheteau. The décor is timeless, immune to the capital’s trends, and it’s always a pleasure to

  1. 7 rue de Berri, 8e
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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. But behind the style there's some serious substance. André seeks out the best ingredients from local producers, and the quality shines through. Everything is à la carte and changes with the seasons: dishes might include marinated sardines with tomato relish, rosemary-scented rabbit with roasted vegetables,

  1. 34 rue Pétrelle, 9e
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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. But this contemporary, polished pizzeria (wood panelling, suspended lighting, design tiles and seating) isn't the least bit ostentatious, with comfortably spaced tables, white tablecloths and silver cutlery, and the pizzas are amongst the best in Paris. Rare ingredients directly imported from Italy (special mozzarella – a mix of

  1. 13 rue de Mézières, 6e
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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 Starck (we particularly like the antler lamps). In the open kitchen, the cooks only work with the best produce: Jambon Ibérico raised in the open air, dry aged beef full of concentrated flavours.The ingredient-led chalkboard menu is short and to the point. We started with a puff pastry feuilleté with snails, cream of shallots and fresh

  1. 39 rue de l'Arbre Sec, 1er
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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. Risotto is a speciality and the Black, Black and Lobster is tremendous; rice simmered in rich squid ink is served al dente, topped with tender but fleshy pink lobster, sun-dried tomato and spring vegetables. Don't miss out on the

  1. 110 galerie Valois, 1er
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Quick bites

Atao

Atao looks like a dream of a fisherman’s cabin – marine blue on the outside, then wood, white and colourful touches of fresh flowers inside, with an old mariner’s portrait, an anchor and a black and white Gwenn ha Du flag from old Brittany. At night, soft candlelight enhances the atmosphere even further.This pretty place is owned by the daughter of an oyster farmer from Morbihan, who showers her guests with platters of fine oysters – flat native plates and huge Japanese

  1. 86 rue Lemercier, 17e
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Big Fernand

A brilliant little burger joint, which takes the traditional American burger and gives it the French terroir treatment. Nowhere’s been left out, with regional specialities from all over France wedged between delicious sesame seed buns from the bakery next door. There’s fourme cheese from Ambert, tomme cheese from Savoie, Saint-Nectaire cheese, Charolais and Blonde d’Aquitaine beef and more.The menu lists five house burgers, but you can also build your own. Choose from beef,

  1. 55 rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, 9e
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Frenchie Bar à Vins

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.Showing up just after 7pm, we were able to take our pick of the high tables, some of which already had a few occupants. This is the sort of place

  1. 5 rue du Nil, 2e
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Regional cuisine

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. For the complete faux-seaside experience, you might start with a plate of creuse oysters from Cancale before indulging in an inventive buckwheat galette such as the Cancalaise, made with potato, smoked herring from Brittany and herring roe. The choice of fillings is fairly limited, but the ingredients are of

  1. 109 rue Vieille du Temple, 3e
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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. The rôti d'agneau arrives as a pot of melting chunks of lamb in a rich, meaty sauce with a helping of tender white beans. Dishes arrive with the flagship aligot, the creamy, elastic mash-and-cheese concoction. Among the regional

  1. 22 rue du Grenier Saint-Lazare, 3e
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Wine bars

Glou

For a restaurant founded by a man the New York Times dubbed the ‘wizard of offal’, it’s initially disappointing that Glou keeps it’s tongue (and it’s heart, testicles and other offcuts) in cheek and off the menu. Instead 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.Our experience was

  1. 101 rue Vieille du Temple, 3e
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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. Typical of her style, which draws on her native Argentina, are tuna carpaccio with cherries, roast Basque lamb with new potatoes and spinach, and hazelnut pudding. If the food weren't so fantastic, it would still be worth coming for the mostly organic wines. Le Baratin attracts

  1. 3 rue Jouye-Rouve, 20e
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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. Located in the ever-trendy Canal-St-Martin district, the tiny bistro has become a neighbourhood staple over the past few years, which means reservations are strongly suggested for lunch or dinner, with two services in the evening. Two other Parisian locations,

  1. 67 rue de Lancry, 10e
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Les Papilles

In the Latin Quarter, down the street from the Jardin du Luxembourg, this quaint little bistro is a safe bet for lunch or dinner in an otherwise touristy neighbourhood. It has a playful yet old-world ambiance, with colourful mosaic floors, wooden curios and a zinc bar. The 38 tables crammed between the bar and a wall of wine are filled with English-speakers early on in the evening, but that doesn’t detract overly from the experience.Unpretentious, jean and T-shirt-clad servers

  1. 30 rue Gay Lussac
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International

Caffé dei Cioppi

Lightning struck when this minuscule Italian trattoria, run by Fabrizio and Federica Mancioppi, opened three years ago. And it 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 (don’t tell the chef, but they taste good when dunked in red wine too!). Get there early if you want a table; or be

  1. 159 rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, 11e
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Candelaria

  • Critics choice

This is one of Time Out's 100 best bars in Paris. Click here to see the full list. Has Paris woken up to the temptations of the taco? Apparently so, thanks to this taqueria, with its almost totally expat clientele (English and American rather than Mexican). 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

  1. 52 rue de Saintonge, 3e
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Délices de Shandong

If there’s no shortage of Chinese restaurants in Paris, those dedicated to specific regions are few and far between. 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. It’s hard to choose badly here, as long as you appreciate offal – Shandong’s cooks positively invented the ‘nose to tail’ concept.We started with peanuts and celery (€4), a fresh,

  1. 88 boulevard de l'Hôpital, 13e
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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. He guts the fish with an expert hand and rolls the sticky rice and other ingredients in his palm with incredible precision, a constant movement, endlessly repeated in

  1. 4 quai d'Orléans, 4e
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L'As du Fallafel

Walk down rue des Rosiers any day of the week, and you will easily spot L’As du Fallafel thanks to the long queue in front of its green facade, with staff running up and down scribbling orders for the take-away window. 'Often imitated, never equalled' is the slogan here, and few who have tried other falafel joints along this street would dare to argue.Eating in the dining room is only a marginally less casual experience than munching this messy sandwich on the street, but

  1. 34 rue des Rosiers, 4e
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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. The menu changes daily, but on our visit it all began with crunchy calf’s sweetbreads accompanied by a few girolles mushrooms and a cep sauce, and a pretty cod ceviche surrounded with fine slices of sweet potato, avocado purée and a splash of lemon juice. Each flavour

  1. 11 rue Richard Lenoir, 11e
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L'Orient d'Or

For decades, Chinese restaurants in Paris have toned down their cuisine to suit delicate French palates, but lately this has been changing thanks to a handful of regional restaurants that make no compromises on ingredients. Probably none is as courageous in confronting the French fear of chili as L’Orient d’Or, run by a young chef from Hunan province. The birthplace of Chairman Mao, this revolutionary region is also home to one of the country’s boldest cuisines – even

  1. 22 rue de Trevise, 9e
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Shu

To get into Shu, you have to get in through the rustic old cellar door, bending over to get down the first series of steps. But once inside this mysterious cavern, the décor transforms into an expert mix of contemporary chic, enormous old beams that are characteristic of the centre of Paris, and Japanese effects, of which the most obvious example is the layout of the bar, which punters sit around on low, thick cushions.The restaurant specialises in kushi-agué – a sort of

  1. 8 rue Suger, 6e
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Yam'Tcha

Yam’Tcha is indisputably one of our favourite restaurants in Paris, and even more so since its recent renovation, which has made the space lighter and brighter. 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.Adeline Grattard, co-owner with her husband Chiwah (the tea guru), is in her element here. Drawing on her long experience in Asia, she creates

  1. 4 rue Sauval, 1e
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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. While you’re getting your (light) sugar fix, knock back a carton of bubble tea, the iced tea with tapioca balls that’s all the rage among Japanese teenagers – hot or cold, with or without milk, with almond, sesame or kumquat, it's oddly fun and refreshing. For main meals, the Taiwanese cooking is simple but full of flavour, cooked

  1. 13 rue Chabanais, 2e
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Users say

3 comments
bart
bart

To PHillip Cluff, Chez André is owned by a large restaurant group and is no way independent you idiot

bart
bart

Some good choices, but you guys obviously had the intern draw up the list and write the reviews. Why jump on this 50 best thing?

Philip Cluff
Philip Cluff

i really think a great restaurant has been overlooked in Chez Andre, its central, comfortable, fairly priced in terms of the foods quality and has a reputation which greatly exceeds many of the restaurants on this list. while i agree with many of these choices i feel as if Brasseries aren't getting the attention they really deserve as a lot of the smaller independent brasseries succeed in making Paris appealing with their own unique styles. nonetheless a good list.