So you’re in Paris en couple. How original. There can be a lot of pressure to make an evening out in the City of Love especially romantic – and finding the perfect restaurant is particularly difficult in a city also famed for its cuisine. But don’t stress. We’ve tried and tested thousands of restaurants in our time, and also have a pretty good idea of what makes the ideal date spot. The two go hand in hand – duh. So from cosy casual spots to fine-dining blowouts, here’s our guide to the most romantic restaurants in Paris.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Paris
Romantic restaurants in Paris
What’s the deal? If you want to pull out all the ridiculous stops, try the oldest restaurant in Paris, going since 1582. With views over the Seine, exceptional wines, Michelin-starred food and incredibly good service, it’s very much a bit of all right. Woo ’em, we say.
What should I order? The canard au sang (pressed duck) served here since 1890 and prepared four ways, with orange, green pepper, seasonal fruit and ‘Tour d’Argent’-style.
Where? 17 Quai de la Tournelle, 5th
What’s the deal? Tucked down a discreet Left Bank street, this ultra-stylish spot is ideal for a hushed date-night dinner. Chefs Kwen Liew (ex-Antoine) and Ryunosuke Naito (ex-Meurice et Taillevent) never fail to dazzle the 18-seater room. Service is sweet, and the bill (justifiably) high.
What should I order? The exquisite roast Racan pigeon with black radish and ricotta-stuffed olives.
Where? 29 Rue de l’Exposition, 7th
What’s the deal? It may a little out the way, in Paris’s eastern suburb of Montreuil, but this cosy restaurant is well worth the trek. From the piano in the entrance through the dashing oil paintings to the two flower-filled hidden courtyards, you’d struggle to picture a homier setting (apart from maybe actual chez toi).
What should I order? The piquant lemongrass shrimp with squid ink risotto.
Where? 1 Rue du Sergent Godefroy, Montreuil
What’s the deal? For veggie-friendly Japanese cuisine in an especially snug, thoroughly tranquil setting, head to this restaurant at the back of Hôtel Bienvenue. The natural wine selection is, frankly, phenomenal. And if you hit the grape a little too hard? There are always those hotel rooms to sleep it off in...
What should I order? The fiery donburi curry with crispy veg.
Where? 23 Rue Buffault, 9th
What’s the deal? Proposal on the cards? This is that sort of place. As sexy as it comes, Girafe’s Joseph Dirand-designed interior is all marble and cream-hued banquettes, while outside pairs smart white tablecloths with old-style lamps and killer Eiffel Tower views. The menu puts fish and seafood front and centre. Time it right and you’ll catch the Iron Lady’s twinkling lights being turned on.
What should I order? The baked cod with morel and girolle mushrooms.
Where? 1 Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, 16th
What’s the deal? There are few places more romantic – or more OMG-we’re-in-Paris – than the city’s passages couverts. This low-lit restaurant is hidden inside one of the prettiest, the Passage des Panoramas, and its décor is pleasingly out-there. Design star Philippe Stack’s diamond-bearing stuffed wolves are a highlight.
What should I order? The precise, elegant tagliolini with dill.
Where? 47 Passage des Panoramas, 2nd
What’s the deal? Got cash to flash? Alain Passard’s three-starred restaurant is a sure-fire date-pleaser. Swallow the exceptionally high bill in the name of a simple, brilliant, palate-dazzling experience. A main course of sautéed free-range chicken with a roasted shallot, an onion, potato mousseline and pan juices is the epitome of comfort food.
What should I order? The leek dish with jus de poulet emulsion.
Where? 84 Rue de Varenne, 7th
What’s the deal? Precise, creative Michelin-starred dining in stylish yet understated surrounds. The décor is thus: huge mirrors, industrial installations, antique flooring and furniture, reinforced concrete and bare wood. The cooking is direct, pure and serious. The whole thing? Exquisite.
What should I order? Duck filet with Guéthary anchovies and laurel-infused jus.
Where? 80 Rue de Charonne, 11th
What’s the deal? This cuisine-meets-cocktails joint from Amaury Guyot (ex-Prescription Cocktail Club and Sherry Butt) and Japanese chef Taku Sekine (once at Ducasse and Saturne) really works. Pitched somewhere between Paris and Asia, the menu includes generous portions of soy-braised beef, fried Japanese chicken and lamb croquettes with aioli.
What should I order? Five courses and five cocktails for €90.
Where? 21 Rue Saint-Nicholas, 12th
What’s the deal? The only Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant in France, Shang Palace doesn’t disappoint with its subtle Asian décor (think marble tables and a carpet patterned with a Hokusai print) and vast menu of dishes from the Canton and Huaiyang regions of south-east China. Chef Samuel Lee Sum focuses on refining classic flavours, presenting plates that are meticulously crafted and absolutely divine.
What should I order? The rice fried à la façon du chef with honey-slathered pork.
Where? 10 Avenue d’Iéna, 16th