Paris is a top spot for sightseeing, fashion, stunning monuments, and top-tier food. Filled with restaurants that have Michelin stars, super-chefs, classic French bistro options, and the infamous Cordon Bleu school, it’s easy to see how Paris has become (and remains) a top food destination. As a location with a food-educated public, any culinary claims made in Paris are first rigorously tested.
While Parisian food is stunning on its own, the French capital also offers a wide array of international delights, from contemporary Asian to African-Japanese fusion cuisine. So whether you’re on a tight budget or want to splurge on a French meal while visiting, you’ll find an option that tastes amazing and is within your price range.
Since Paris has so many food offerings spread throughout the city, it can be overwhelming to select which ones to stop by, especially during shorter visits. So we’ve put together a list of the best restaurants in Paris for you to peruse, making selecting food spots for your itinerary easier.
About Food Culture in Paris
French food is one of the most influential cuisines in the world. It has inspired food in many other locations, from the US to Canada, Vietnam, India, etc. However, it took Paris a while to develop its style before becoming such a significant influence.
Paris’ food culture began in medieval times when meals were highly acidic. This acidic flavor in dishes continued until the 1500s, when sugar became highly popular in the country. The surge in sugar led to its inclusion in a wide variety of items, from wine to fish, meat, and even water.
This sugar surge helped sculpt Parisian cuisine, creating a clear distinction between sweet and salty. It also led to nearly all meals being served with a dessert. In the 1600s, King Louis XIV and his palace (Versailles) helped spread French cuisine. This led to the creation of cookbooks throughout the 1600s and 1700s. These cookbooks made French food accessible to those around the world.
Here is a list of top Paris restaurants to check out during your next visit. These restaurants range from fine dining to casual joints, offering a spot for any budget.
In creating our list, we used restaurants we’ve visited, those that get the best reviews, or recommendations from other travelers. Let’s face it, there’s always a place we hear about after leaving that we want to try when we return. Now it’s your turn to get busy eating! Let us know your favorite, even if it’s not on the list.
Also, be sure to check our travel guide for the best things to do in Paris to find everything this amazing city has to offer.
Best Paris Restaurants
La Poule Au Pot
For authentic French cuisine, head to La Poule Au Pot. This Parisian spot stayed true to its roots, even with a change of ownership. Classic French dishes, from escargot to frog legs and poached chicken, fill the menu. La Poule Au Pot is a more expensive restaurant, so it’s best for special occasions or if you want a splurge-worthy meal.
Chef Jean-François Piège is the third owner of this establishment. Upon taking over, he updated the interior yet created a space reminiscent of Paris 60 or 70 years ago. It’s an excellent spot for enjoying authentic French dishes alongside a long list of available wines.
Le Saint Sebastien
Unassuming on the outside, Le Saint Sebastien provides a cozy atmosphere for restaurant guests as soon as you step through the door. This eatery offers a small yet creative menu that will have your mouthwatering. In addition, Le Saint Sebastien offers small touches here and there that make the experience fantastic, such as providing organic wines, locally sourced ingredients, and a focus on sustainability in their supply chain and kitchen.
You’ll find an array of modern French cuisine on the menu, including options like Oyster Mushroom Stew and Monkfish Tail with Roasted Eggplant. Save room for dessert when dining here, as the sweets are as mouthwatering as the starters and main dishes.
Double Dragon offers a unique experience that is casual and aimed toward East Asian cuisine. Instead of the typical French servers in black and white, you’ll find servers in t-shirts. This laid-back restaurant is an excellent option for those on a tight budget.
This Paris restaurant uses fresh, organic produce as a mainstay for its dishes. You’ll see many typical Asian dishes on the menu, including mapo tofu and Korean chicken wings. However, the more inventive dishes are where Double Dragon shines. Try the Foamy Red Spinach Curry with Egg Yolk during your visit.
This eatery is the perfect option for a lunch or dinner featuring French cuisine without the high price tags of a fine dining establishment. Listed on the Michelin guide, this eatery is run by a sister and brother duo. Le Cadoret opened in 2017, offering delightful French cuisine in a cozy environment.
While simple, the cuisine is delicious and skillful. You’ll find items on the menu like Courgette with Haddock and a Fromage (cheese) platter for dessert. The sweet puddings are incredibly delicious here, with a not-too-sticky consistency.
Pavillon is another delightful place that makes the best Paris restaurants list, easily earning its place as a Michelin-star eatery. Run by the famous Chef Yannick Alléno, who also runs L’Abysse and Le 1947, this eatery offers high-quality food at more affordable prices. However, even though it’s considered more affordable, the restaurant is elegant and provides a luxurious dining experience.
Upon entering PavYllon’s dining room, you’ll find comfy seats surrounding an oval bar, from which you can view the chef cooking your meal. Outstanding service and flavorful dishes can be found at this restaurant. In addition, each dish is artfully plated, adding to the culinary experience.
The Thick Turbot Fish in Two Services is a delicious entrée served at this restaurant, which includes turbot fish cooked via two different methods. Also, try the wines at this restaurant, as they have lovely wine pairing options. It’s also an ideal spot for those with dietary restrictions, as Pavillon is more than happy to accommodate restaurant guests.
Plan on visiting Mokonuts if you need to stop for a quick lunch or snack between sightseeing. This spot is recognizable by its fun, light blue exterior and a simple Mokonuts logo on the awning. The interior of this eatery is intimate and rustic, providing an ideal spot for a quick bite to eat, and why it makes the best Paris restaurants list.
There is a rotating menu, so you can expect to encounter new foods each time you visit. If you have more time to spare, enjoy breakfast or lunch at the bakery. Otherwise, there are breakfast items that you can order to go or delicious baked goods, like mouthwatering cookies.
Café du Coin
Found in the 11th Arrondissement, this casual corner café is well-known for having delicious offerings at budget-friendly prices. Café du Coin provides a constantly changing menu, with new specials listed daily on a chalkboard. The interior of the café is bright, trendy, and filled with natural light. Providing a welcoming environment, this is one café that you’ll want to take your time at.
While the menu continuously changes, you can expect to find fresh pizzettes on the menu. These pizzettes (similar to individual pizzas) feature delicious toppings like gorgonzola and zucchini. The desserts are also incredible here, like the lemon tart.
This option is another splurge-worthy restaurant found between Bastille and the 11th Arrondissement. This eatery, run by chef Bertrand Grébaut, specializes in fun, creative, and balanced menu items. Set in a minimalist space, Septime is considered a modern-style bistro.
As a heads up, you’ll want to make reservations for this restaurant far ahead of time, as it’s a popular dining spot. You can select between a wine and food pairing or a five-course tasting menu for lunch. At dinner, the options switch to a seven-course meal or a wine and food pairing option. Expect delicate dishes like seared tuna surrounded by tomato water and raspberries on the menu.
Aux Bons Crus
Aux Bons Crus is an excellent restaurant for budget travelers. Featuring a fun interior with checkered tablecloths and a cozy environment, Aux Bons Crus is well-known for its constantly changing menu. Inspired by Le Routiers, roadside eating establishments frequented by truck drivers, this eatery does an excellent job of welcoming guests from all backgrounds.
You’ll find menu items like escargots and French pepper steaks. Occasionally, the restaurant even offers deals like a two-course meal for 16 euros (including a glass of wine!).