100 best restaurants: Seafood

Our guide to the best seafood restaurants in Paris

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The Fish Club - DR / © The Fish Club

As you may have noticed, Paris isn't by the sea, which sadly means that fine fish in the capital can set you back a pretty penny. In practice, few restaurants bother, either serving unimaginative dishes at inflated prices or simply striking fish off the menu altogether. Which is where this list comes in. We've sniffed out the best seafood joints in the city, while keeping an eye out for affordable menus. So dive in, and enjoy.

L'Ilot

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

At l’Ilot, you don’t have to pay Parisian prices for the best catch of the day. The venue is tiny but beautiful, with big slate menus, earthenware pots and white parquet, a bay window, a few photos on the walls and a terrace for nice days – it all has a solid, comfortable charm. Perch yourself on a stool and order your white wine, then browse the menu: €5 for a serving of taramasalata or tuna or salmon rillettes, €4.50 to €9.50 for pink or grey Madagascan prawns, €6.50 for whelks and €8 for a half crab (€14 for the whole). There are also beautiful oysters: Marennes from Oléron, the latest catch from Utah Beach or plates of Belons... Read more

  1. 4 rue de la Corderie, 3e
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Atao

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

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 creuses (alive and cooked). They're all certified Gravinis, the family locale, and cost between €15 and €30 a dozen. Given the pedigree... Read more

  1. 86 rue Lemercier, 17e
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Pleine Mer

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

A non-nonsense oyster restaurant that recalls a charming Breton crêperie; it’s all piles of picnic hampers, paper tablecloths and the jolly bustle and clatter of butter knives, cooking pots and oyster shells as the owner deftly flicks the shellfish open. Certainly not a destination for fine dining, it’s still a brilliant pace for hungry and thirsty groups of friends who want to sit around a table and consume plates of ultra-fresh oysters (in platters at €12.20 or €24), slices of wild smoked salmon or homemade cod roe taramasalata, and bottles of excellent white wine. Oysters are also available to take away, in hampers of 50 at €58.

  1. 22 rue de Chabrol, 10e
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L'Ecailler du Bistrot

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4

With its beautiful old model sailing boats, lobsters, shells and bottles of sand everywhere, l’Ecailler du Bistrot feels a little like a fishing boat during the calm after the storm. Decide between, for example, incredible platters of fruits de mer, oyster selections or the lobster set menu – 12 oysters and a half lobster with fries and pudding. Aside from shellfish, there are also things like scallop carpaccio, turbot and sole meunière – but most people will plump for a gargauntuan plate of crustaceans, washed down with an excellent bottle of Cheverny blanc (€20). The glorious ritual of cracking, hulling, shelling and excavating... Read more

  1. 22 rue Paul Bert, 11e
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The Sunken Chip

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The idea of a fish and chip shop in Paris carries with it overtones of the dreaded Irish bar abroad, all stale spilled Guinness and badly dressed tourists out on the lash. Thankfully, The Sunken Chip couldn’t be further from this shudder-filled idea. It is run by expats, and it has set up shop in that crook of the Canal Saint-Martin so popular with nesting Brits and Americans, but it has done so with style and plenty of local sympathy (the menu is knowingly bilingual). It’s also a very smart move – younger Parisians are endlessly enthusiastic about foreign fast food innovations... Read more

  1. 39 rue des Vinaigriers, 10e
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Fish Club

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

Following the Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, the Beef Club Ballroom and other frighteningly hip cocktail bars from the Experimental Cocktail group, Olivier Le Bon and his team have moved to a South American angle for their next project, the Fish Club, a speakeasy-style bar and restaurant specialising in fish and seafood lodged in a former butcher’s shop. Leaning on the bar, you can watch the team put together the stunning pisco (Peruvian grape brandy) based cocktails; we liked the Pisco Sour (pisco, lime, sugar, egg white and Angostura bitters, €12). If not, the thick file of wines offers difficult choices between... Read more

  1. 58 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1er
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