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The 50 best dishes in Paris

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

50 best dishes in Paris

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

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.

Bistro favourites

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.

Regional cooking

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.

International cuisines

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.

Desserts

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.

The restaurants: Classic cooking

L'Ecailler du Bistrot
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
Le Petit Vendôme
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

La Gauloise
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
Jadis
Restaurants Book online

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

Le Bernica
Restaurants

Le Bernica

Nothing can replace the wood-fired cooking of a Creole grandmother. A cari prepared in a huge pot, with a base of ginger, garlic, onions, tomatoes, chilli and turmeric, allows the flavours to blend and mingle into something new – the special alchemy of the cooking of the island of Réunion. You won’t find the real thing in Paris (or let us know if you do), but the ‘péi’ (‘home cooking’) at Bernica is perhaps the closest you’ll get in these latitudes.The signature dish of Réunion, the cari (distant cousin of the Indian curry) works with almost all fish, meat, seafood and vegetables of the Indian Ocean. On the plate, it comes with rice, grains (peas, red beans, lentils), brèdes (green leaves from cauliflowers, etc.) and a rougail spiced paste, often scented with kaffir lime, which can also vary to encompass tomato, mango, aubergine and more.The menu at Bernica offers a good range of local specialities: cari with chicken, zourite (octopus), bringel (aubergines), prawns, sausage rougail (a great classic), cod rougail, baba-figue (with banana flower and smoked bacon) and cabri massalé (a variation of the cari with masala spices). Add to this samosas and balls of cod to start, a sweet potato cake, and an excellent coconut tart for dessert, all watered down with punch and rum, and all the boxes are ticked.Cosy and familial, the restaurants has slightly dated décor, and tucked away in a little alleyway it offers neither sunshine nor particularly warm service. The bill isn’t exactly ch

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

Chez Jenny

Alsatian restaurant Chez Jenny, done out all in marquetry, statues and frescoes of provincial scenes, is a legendary brasserie that’s something of a local monument in Parisian gastronomy.As well as the famous choucroute (sauerkraut) and the traditional oyster bar, the menu features perfectly-executed Alsatian specialities such as flammekueche, a salad with saveloy sausages, caramelised pork shank, strudel and kouglof. There are also more traditonal French brasserie elements to the menu (onion soup, Scottish salmon, beef entrecote, duck confit, crêpes, profiteroles), but you don’t come here for that. Sitting down to eat at Chez Jenny should be like taking the train from Gare de L’Est to the Alsatian foothills and enjoying cabbage, sausages, sometimes fish.Just be aware that outside of the well-chosen set menus (which don’t include any of the local specialities), the bill can mount up alarmingly – for example, allow between €20 and €30 for the sauerkraut. A real regret is that there aren't any speciality Alsatian beers on the menu – you’ll have to content yourself with a Kronenbourg. This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.

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

Urfa Dürüm
Restaurants

Urfa Dürüm

Kurdish wraps with meat or vegetables.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Big Fernand
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

Le Comptoir du Relais
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
Chez Michel
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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