When planning where to eat Paris, the sheer volume of restaurants to choose from can be daunting. The city is brimming with amazing places to eat. However, it’s important to have your dinner reservations set in advance – especially if you’re visiting during peak tourist times. Some places book out months ahead of time!
I have just returned from a wonderful week long trip to France. It was my first time there when I’m not just passing through in a couple days. Not being overly familiar with the food scene, I did some serious online research first, as well as asked a few well traveled friends. Here are the places that I tried and loved!
first, a few tips..
Pro Tip I: Most restaurants are closed between 2pm to 7pm. So if you happen to be in the mood for a late lunch your options will be limited. Make sure to check individual restaurant opening hours.
Pro Tip II: Paris has an astonishing amount of Michelin Star restaurants. If you want to try their phenomenal food without the breathtaking price tag, go for lunch! Many of these restaurants offer special pricing for their lunch menus that is the same or more affordable than a regular bistro.
Pro Tip III: Don’t eat at restaurants in high traffic tourist areas. Especially not at places that have staff outside trying to beckon you in. Our tour guide told us that the food at these places is always terrible and often prepared meals shipped from elsewhere that are microwaved. Gross.
where to eat in Paris
The dinner we had at Eels was so memorable and amazing. I think it was my favourite meal in Paris this trip! We opted for the tasting menu and everything was delicious. I definitely recommend checking them out. [Eels Restaurant website]
This restaurant exclusively serves a tasting menu. I highly recommend that you get the wine pairing! It was creative and interesting. While many of their dishes are not plated as elaborately as at some other places we went, they were absolutely delicious. They simply focus on substance rather than decor. [Le Châteaubriand website]
This strangely not French named restaurant serves very French food. It was named after the film. Yes, the Matt Damon one. There was even a painting featuring a movie scene in the restaurant. It was here that we enjoyed one of the best salmon dishes we’ve had. Ever. Still dreaming about it. [Invictus website]
Tentazioni rue Tholozé
This is an unassuming Italian restaurant on a steep hill that we only ended up at by chance. We decided to climb up the dome of the Sacré-Coeur (300 steep, winding steps – totally worth it). By the time we got back down, the place we had planned to check out for lunch had already closed (pro tip I above).
We were craving some good Italian food. A google search led us away from the many Italian spots wrapping around the base of the Sacré-Coeur, and to a much less touristy area (pro tip III). What a great find. The linguine with French clams was amazing! Locals were popping in just to grab a snack from their dessert counter. And it happens to be just off of a charming shopping street.
Another great Parisian food option is seafood! Stalls like this one can be seen around the streets. Unfortunately, due to only having so much time to cram in meals, I am still on the hunt for where to eat in Paris that is a great seafood restaurant. If you have a favourite let me know!
and for cocktails…
France is all about wine. Believe me, I had lots of that between lunches, dinners, and 48 hours in Bordeaux (see my post on Food & Wine in Bordeaux). But I also looove a great cocktail. And a city as sexy as Paris has lots of those to offer.
Le Bar, Four Seasons
This gorgeous cocktail bar is inside of the Four Seasons hotel and was quite possibly my favourite. They had delightfully inventive and delicious cocktails. I can’t wait to go back and try more. [Le Bar website]
Bar Hemingway, Hôtel Ritz
A beautiful bar in a beautiful hotel. The cocktails and service were wonderful. Almost too good! I couldn’t stop snacking on the endlessly refilled table snacks. [Bar Hemingway website]
Little Red Door
This is a very cool cocktail bar with a unique menu. The drinks on the menu are described not by their ingredients, but by a photograph evoking an emotion. Love the concept, however, I opted to tell the bartender what I was in the mood for and she crafted something delicious. … Then I accidentally knocked it over and she had to make it again lol. My bad! [Little Red Door website]
It would be extremely easy to miss this bar as it’s hidden inside of a very unassuming take-out taco restaurant. Enter through the door in the very back that looks like it’s for staff only. You will find a really cool basement bar with great Mexican cocktails, dim music, and a dj. [Candelaria website]
Here is a little map of all of the wonderful places I’ve talked about above, as well as my favourite foodie souvenir shop, Fauchon! I hope that the next time you are thinking about where to eat in Paris this will be some help. Have you been to Paris? Let me know your favourite food spots in the comments. I would love to check them out.