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100 best restaurants: French cuisine

Discover the capital’s best French cooking, from juicy duck confits to an exquisite steak tartare

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Le Coq Rico - © Anthony de Anfrasio & Patricia Westermann

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A Noste - © Time Out / AW

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A Noste - © Time Out / AW

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La Pulperia - © Time Out Paris / Oliver Knight

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Le Garde-Temps - DR / © Le Garde-Temps

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Le Garde-Temps - DR / © Le Garde-Temps

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Le Garde-Temps - DR / © Le Garde-Temps

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Ribouldingue - © Time Out Paris / Laurie Grosset

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Ribouldingue - © Time Out Paris / Laurie Grosset

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Chez l'Ami Jean - © Time Out Paris / Laurie Grosset

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Chez l'Ami Jean - © Time Out Paris / Laurie Grosset

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Le Boeuf Volant - DR / © Le Boeuf Volant

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Les Papilles - © Time Out Paris / Thierry Richard

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Bistrot Bellet - © Time Out Paris / TR

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Breizh Café - © Time Out Paris / Laurie Grosset

Want to eat like the locals? These are the restaurants for you. French cuisine can be flashy and sophisticated, but it can also be nice and simple, as the hearty, no-frills dishes served here attest. Slabs of beef, juicy duck confits, crispy potato galettes – this is the food of the countryside, the ABC of French cuisine; it’s also irresistably tasty, and incredibly filling. Read on for our selection of the best spots in the capital in which to get your serving of meat and veg...

Recommended: The 100 best restaurants in Paris

Enjoy excellent French cooking at these unmissable Paris restaurants

Le Coq Rico

Recommended

Perched atop the Montmartre butte, Le Coq Rico welcomes its breathless customers with all the warmth of a mountain chalet. If the wood-pannelled walls, plush seats and a pervasive scent of roasting chicken don't put you in the mood, nothing will – for chicken is the order of the day here, served up with a homely assortment of amuse-bouches. Our meal begins with an egg, boiled to perfection and accompanied by crispy soldiers spread with truffle butter...

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Montmartre

La Pulpéria

Recommended

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...

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Charonne

Le Garde-Temps

Recommended

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...

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Pigalle

Ribouldingue

Recommended

This bistro facing St-Julien-le-Pauvre church is the creation of Nadège Varigny, who spent ten years working with Yves Camdeborde before opening a restaurant inspired by the food of her childhood in Grenoble. It's usually full of people, including critics and chefs, who love simple, honest bistro fare, such as daube de boeuf or seared tuna on a bed of melting aubergine. And if you have an appetite for offal, go for the gently sautéed brains with new potatoes or veal kidneys with a perfectly prepared potato gratin...

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Latin Quarter and south Paris

Bistro Volnay

Recommended

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 at having found the perfect bistro. And 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... Read more

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Opéra

Chez L'Ami Jean

Recommended

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...

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7th arrondissement

Le Boeuf Volant

Recommended

The beef here really does have wings – it’s flown in from the US, Bavaria, Australia and Spain, and its labels read ‘Black Angus’ or ‘Simmenthal’. In a little corner of Batignolles, you’ll find a doorway crowned with a pair of horns that opens onto a pretty, chic little restaurant, all hanging lamps, stained glass, vintage crockery and plain wooden furniture, hinting strongly at a modern New York steak house. The cosy feel is only emphasised by the small number of seats and the open kitchen...

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Batignolles

Les Papilles

Recommended

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...

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Val de Grâce

Le Flamboire

Recommended

Lovers of barbecues and long-braised meats, Le Flamboire is for you. Located on Pigalle’s Rue Blanche, it’s no New-York-style trendy new opening, but a straightforward meat lover’s paradise with kitsch flames painted on the walls and a no-nonsense carnivorous menu that really delivers. We began with daily special starter of sweet pepper soup with goat’s cheese (€12) and a simple but high quality crottin de chèvre – both lovely, but the grills are the main thing – you can watch turning over the flames above the huge open fire...

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Saint-Georges

Breizh Café

Recommended

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 high quality...

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The Marais

Comments

4 comments
Minerva B
Minerva B

I can not see all the 100 restaurants, only 9,  where are the others please?

Lara B
Lara B

What restaurants would you recommend with a view of the Eiffel Tower or on champs ellysees? I am looking for a place for the 31st December.

Apostolos L
Apostolos L

@Lara B I've come to the site looking for the exact same thing!! Georges has great views apparently although I have been in touch with them and they have nothing organised for NYE yet.