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The 50 best dishes in Paris

Tried and tested: our favourite things to eat in the French capital

There may be a fair few snails, slabs of red meat and curious bits of offal in our selection of the 50 best dishes in Paris, but there are also things that will surprise fans of French cooking. Cannelloni? Ramen? Cari from Réunion? Sauerkraut? Today, Paris's timeless bistros and brasseries rub shoulders comfortably with hundreds of restaurants, cafés and canteens serving food from all over France and from around the world. This snapshot of just 50 dishes out of thousands of possibilities gives an image of cooking and eating in Paris at its best: full of tradition and invention, talent and enthusiasm, generosity and greed.

These are our editors' favourite dishes (and the restaurants that serve them) in that they're what we consider essential to getting a rounded sense of the city 's food scene. Have we missed one of your favourite Parisian dishes? Think you know a better version than the one we've chosen? Join the conversation in the comments box below. 

Classic cooking

Honoring classic dishes that have been served by lamplight in the oldest Parisian canteens. Simple, filling and comforting dishes: snails, steak tartare, eggs with mayonnaise, croquet-monsieur, shellfish platters, ham sandwiches, frites, sole meunière, pressed duck and roast chicken. Because Paris will always be Paris.

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Bistro favourites

The best Parisian bistro food is in a class of its own, both unique and characteristic; and it always manages to stay ahead of trends, as bistro menus are constantly reinvented by some of the city’s most talented chefs. So the handwritten chalkboard menu might contain some surprises among the familiar names: veal liver, pâté en croute, onion soup, entrecôte, calf’s head, pheasant pie, tentation de Saint-Antoine, pot-au-feu, saddle of rabbit and veal blanquette.

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Regional cooking

You can eat your way around the gastronomic inventions of France’s different regions from the comfort of a few choice restaurants in Paris, from deepest Auvergne to far-distant colonial islands. So ready yourself for tastebud trips to Corsica, Brittany, the southwest, Savoie and Réunion.

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International cuisines

A tour of cusines from around the world that have only added to Paris’s gastronomic richness. All aboard for Japan, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Vietnam, Kurdistan, Israel and the US – because Paris is nothing if not cosmopolitan.

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Desserts

There is nothing as sweetly satisfying as a good dessert to round off a meal in style – though even in Paris, that slice of carrot cake, lemon tart, rum baba, chocolate mousse, Grand Marnier soufflé, millefeuille, rice pudding, pain perdu or profiterole might come back to haunt you if you over-indulge.

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The restaurants: Classic cooking

Restaurants

L'Ecailler du Bistrot

An excellent Parisian seafood venue with a lovely selection of oysters in a sprightly atmosphere.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Restaurants

Le Petit Vendôme

An authentic neighbourhood joint in the middle of a stuffy quartier, Le Petit Vendôme serves one of the best sandwiches in Paris.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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The restaurants: Bistro favourites

Restaurants

La Gauloise

La Gaulouise is an institution. Becoming more and more modern, it offers excellent seasonal cooking at reasonable prices.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Jadis

Young chef Guillaume Delage revisits classic dishes with a light and contemporary touch.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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The restaurants: Regional cooking

Restaurants

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 high quality - including the use of Valrhona chocolate with 70% cocoa solids in the dessert crêpes...

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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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 wines (Chanturgue, Boudes, Madargues), the fruity AOC Marcillac makes a worthy partner. This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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The restaurants: International cuisine

Restaurants

Urfa Dürüm

Kurdish wraps with meat or vegetables.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Restaurants

Big Fernand

A brilliant little burger joint, revisiting American burgers with French ingredients.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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The restaurants: Desserts

Restaurants

Le Comptoir du Relais

Brasserie cooking at lunchtimes and a unique menu in the evening, all orchstrated by Yves Camdeborde.

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Restaurants

Chez Michel

A solid menu, which allows its classic dishes a few audacious moves.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Comments

5 comments
Huw O
Huw O

The Yasai Katsu Curry at Dune in the 12th!! I'm not sure they serve it that often any more, but what a dish!

Clotilde G
Clotilde G

My grandmother's veal blanquette of but you have to be VIP to taste it...  ;)

Tolga
Tolga

where is Kurdistan