100 best restaurants: Haute cuisine

The best gastronomic and Michelin-starred restaurants

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Passage 53 - © Thierry Richard

They don't call it the gastronomic capital of the world for nothing. Paris is studded with Michelin stars and swanky eateries; whether you're celebrating a birthday or going out on an extra-special date, these are the places to head to. If you're not a fan of steep bills and lengthy waiting lists, aim for a lunch reservation – our recommended restaurants generally offer discounted lunchtime menus. In all cases, though, booking ahead is advised.

Yam'Tcha

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

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 exotic dishes full of subtle textures and flavours which are, at times, astonishing (scallops with peppers and black soya)... Read more

  1. 4 rue Sauval, 1er
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Le Sergent Recruteur

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

In a modern-day gastronomic and architectural fairy tale, avant-garde Spanish designer Jaime Hayón and chef Antonin Bonnet, formerly of Mayfair’s The Greenhouse, have rescued a former pub on the Ile St Louis from a future of tourists and bad beer and turned it into a princess among restaurants. Stone walls and a medieval-inspired décor are finished with modern white and green touches that work with the changes in daylight, bright and clean during the day and romantic and sophisticated in the evening. Enormous mirrors shaped like suits of armour set the tone, and the rooms are open and spacious... Read more

  1. 41 rue Saint-Louis-en-l’Ile, 4e
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Passage 53

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

You’d expect the cooking of France’s only Japanese chef with a Michelin star (two, to be precise) to be something a little out of the ordinary. But it’s not just what’s on the plate at Passage 53 that holds the attention. Shinichi Sato, who trained at l’Astrance in Paris and Mugaritz in Spain, has found the ideal space in which to showcase his talents, with this tiny space in one of Paris’s most charming locations – the eighteenth century glass-covered shopping mall Passage des Panoramas. Lined with vintage stamp and postcard vendors, studded with interesting food and drink offerings, the narrow, gleaming little walkway... Read more

  1. 53 passage des Panoramas, 9e
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David Toutain

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

Eager journalists have already spilled a lot of ink over chef David Toutain's eponymous restaurant since it opened in December 2013. For those who aren't in the know, Toutain attracted considerable attention in the kitchens of Agapé Substance a few years back, before fleeing the capital for some culinary capers abroad. The grand opening in December was therefore bolstered by a sense of homecoming, and a good deal of curiosity over what the young prodigy would do with his own restaurant. First impressions don't disappoint. We walk into a vast, airy room, whose decor channels the fashion... Read more

  1. 29 rue Surcouf, 7e
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Akrame

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Akrame has been one of the hottest Paris addresses since it opened its doors in early 2011, and talented young chef Akrame Benallal 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. Benallal 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 your mobile at 9.30 the morning of the booking to reconfirm. Just a couple of minutes from the Arc de Triomphe, Akrame certainly looks the part... Read more

  1. 19 rue Lauriston, 16e
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Septime

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 2/4

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 school, the décor reflects his background: huge mirrors, industrial installations, antique flooring and furniture, reinforced concrete and bare wood... Read more

  1. 80 rue de Charonne, 11e
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La Tour d'Argent

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

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 soft-spoken son André now does the rounds, making sure that the diners are happy.

  1. 15 quai de la Tournelle, 5e
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Jin

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

If you do experience authentic Japanese cooking abroad, the experience can be radical – and it's what you can expect at Jin, 2014's new star of the scene, which just won its first Michelin star. The sushi-bar feel has a sober decor of imported Japanese wood, with nothing to distract the diner from her dinner. There are only twelve seats, set around the chef's workstation, and it's here you eat and watch the work of chef Takuya Watanabe (Taku) – aloof and imposing, he already heads up four other restaurants in Sapporo. To be clear, you don't come to Jin for a boozy catch-up with your mates – all attention here is focused on... Read more

  1. 6 rue de la Sourdière, 1er
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Saturne

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

All done out in wood, metal and stone, with bouquets of flowers and an open kitchen at the back, Saturne is a calming space. The cooking shows a similar talent for detail and harmony with flashes of inspiration – the chef and the sommelier, Sven Chartier and Ewen Lemoigne, work hand in glove to pair fine ingredients and natural wines. For €40 at lunch and €60 at dinner (or €65 for a six course tasting menu/€120 for wine matching), you'll find a balance between élan and elegance; a refreshing crab dish surrounded by a citrus syllabub and baby leeks; beautifully cooked Noir de Bigorre pork flanked by baby turnips... Read more

  1. 17 rue Notre-Dame des Victoires, 2e
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