- As the largest city in France, it’s no surprise that Paris would have a number of delicious restaurants to choose from
- Though there are plenty of historic landmarks to stop by while in town, there are also a large number of restaurants to consider, too
- 13 chefs – who have been to the glorious City of Lights – tell INSIDER the one restaurant you should stop if you’re planning a trip to the city
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
For almost anyone, Paris ranks as one of the top places to check off on their bucket lists. From its shops to its museums to its monuments, the City of Love is known for locking down a piece of your heart each time you arrive.
Although the aforementioned are all tantalising, another big reason is the incredible and delectable food available. And while you’ve probably heard a few suggestions from friends, it can be hard to know if their tastes will align with yours. That’s why we asked food experts – chefs – where they eat when they visit.
So, if you’re ready to check the City of Lights off of your bucket list this year, here are 13 restaurants you should consider popping into.
Angelina is known for its pastries.
“Angelina in Paris. It has been there since 1903 and is a cafe and patisserie. All of their pastries are perfection and the hot chocolate is extremely rich and delicious. It’s good for breakfast or a quick cafe and pastry. As a side note, I would also suggest stopping by any and all cheese shops. These things are incredible. I could literally smell them down the streets. Another little tip is to find the closest bakery to your hotel and make it a morning regular, but get there early because usually, they sell out of all the good stuff around 8:30 and when they are out, they are done.” – Executive Chef Donald Counts, City Winery Nashville
Chez Janou is a fun spot.
“One of my all-time favourite haunts in Paris (and it is an impossible list to narrow down!) is Chez Janou, on the edge of the Marais and just around the corner from the Place des Vosges. It is a fabulous bistro with an amazing scallop risotto and a smattering of delectable small plates. It is always humming, and if you are lucky, you can grab a coveted spot outside. It’s a convivial environment with seriously amazing food – stripped of all pretense and loaded with fun and charm. We always pop in at least once on a trip to the City of Lights!” – Executive Chef Brian Riggenbach,The Mockingbird
L’Astrance features some delicious, rich dishes.
“I recommend L’Astrance in Paris. Chef Pascal Barbot has the most elegantly lyrical gastronomic imagination and it’s expressed by dishes that are often spectacularly simple, like his buttermilk and burnt toast crumb soup. Otherwise, you should try the mille-feuille of white mushrooms, apple, and foie gras.” – Executive Chef Christian Quiñones, ADDiKT at W Miami.
Café de Flore is the epitome of a bistro.
“I immensely relish the arts – culinary, visual, music, literary & garden design – as a chef with my background & style, and the one restaurant I recommend in Paris is Café de Flore (around since the 1880s and named after Flora – the goddess of flowers and springtime).
“It effortlessly embodies what I call ‘bistro life’: alive with sounds, smells, charm, simplicity & style and is famous for their curated soundtracks (series of published collections), historical legacy of literary and visual artist (regulars included: Picasso, Hemingway, etc.). Café de Flore is also famous for their culinary arts. The fresh crab salad with a special mustard sauce, perfect cooked eggs, and ripe tomatoes was mind-blowing.” – Larry Hanes, chef, owner & designer of Eggshell Bistro
Clamato has amazing food that’s “remarkably simple.”
“The last time I went to Paris, I picked the places I had been and enjoyed before, as well as throwing in new places recommended to me by friends and colleagues. Obviously, some of the list was a complete experience in classical technique overall, but the theme that became constant in my experience was the simplicity of aesthetics. It was so refreshing and inspiring to me to be reminded of the simple importance of good cooking. This feeling was most remarkable for me sitting in Clamato, a beautifully simple and understated room overfilled with joy and warmth. The cooking (and raw items, let’s be honest) were so remarkably simple, reminding me of how beautiful it is to honour ingredients for exactly what they bring to the plate.” – Kelly Fields, chef and owner of Willa Jean
L’As du Fallafel is worth the wait.
“It’s the one spot I have to make sure I hit. There’s plenty of delicious food in Paris. French, Chinese … all kinds. But as far as falafel goes,L’As du Fallafel is out of this world. Simply amazing. There are so many beautiful condiments and to a chef, condiments are king. It’s our way of making the dish our own. It’s the best I have had in all of my travels and it’s worth the wait in line.” – Chef Crystal “Pink” DeLongpre, Root 246
Le Comptoir is full of passion for food.
“My favourite restaurant in Paris is Le Comptoir Relais Saint-Germain. First, the location is outstanding. You are in the heart of St. Germain des Pres and this place breathes Paris. Then to the serious matter … the food! At Le Comptoir, you always eat extremely well. The menu is a map of the regions in France and you will find the best possible ingredients and specialties of France. It is truly a restaurant where the chef knows all the best markets of Paris and sources and works with the best producers. Additionally, you can eat from noon to 11 p.m. and the service is fast and always gracious. This place is about the passion of the products, the passion of French cuisine and French regions.” – Chef Martial Noguier, owner of Bistronomic
This chef dreams of one item at Bistro Paul Bert.
“In my opinion, the most quintessential restaurant in Paris is Bistro Paul Bert. When dining, there is only one item you should consider when ordering and it’s the Steak Au Poivre. This is one of the most transcendent dishes I have ever had, and it should be on everyone’s bucket list. The steak (filet) arrives sitting in a pool of creamy peppercorn sauce with a side of french fries and it’s tempting to order a second round upon completion. I often find myself dreaming of this dish and how we will one day meet again.” – Ronnie Evans, co-owner of Blue Oak BBQ
This chef got a five-star experience at Comptoir Canailles.
“The experience was unforgettable, at Comptoir Canailles. First, we had bubbles upon arrival, as we sat and watched their beef drying process. Then the waitress brought us to our seats, which was overlooking the kitchen. The restaurant was packed, and the kitchen was really busy, but we had the chance to experience the action.
“We even got served by the chef, who came out personally to explain the dishes, even in the midst of a busy evening. After dinner, we had coffee and petit fours in the lounge and closed the place. The cuisine is well executed with no shortcuts. The menu that day featured asparagus, morel, ceps, scampi, homemade charcuterie, aged beef, sole, chocolate and rhubarb.” – Alexandre Vachon, chef de cuisine at Manoir Hovey
Cafe Constant inspired this chef.
“Cafe Constant is right under the Eiffel Tower and has been there forever. It’s not on the ‘cool’ list of restaurants, but it’s a classic must-visit for me. When designing Maison Yaki, we pulled inspiration from Cafe Constant.” – Greg Baxtrom, chef and owner of Olmsted and Maison Yaki
Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole is an iconic spot.
“I highly recommend guests visit Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole. It is situated just a few minutes from Notre Dame, and you won’t find hordes of tourists swarming the place. It has a unique charm and a nice selection of French classics like crepes suzette flambé, which is prepared tableside. The wait staff is great and you receive such good hospitality.” – Executive Chef Sebastien Rondier, Brabo Brasserie
Jean Paul Hevin is a favourite of this fellow French chocolatier.
“Jean Paul and I achieved our MOF’s (Meilleur Ouvrier de France – Best Craftsman of France) together in Pastry in 1986. We have known each other for a very long time. We are from the same generation and share many of the same classic principles. He has an incredible palate that translates to every flavour he incorporates into his chocolates and pastries at Jean Paul Hevin. He even does bonbons with different cheese based ganache! He has several locations in Paris and is super successful in Japan. If you visit his shop, don’t leave without one of his Bouchée Sucette.” – Jacques Torres, French chocolatier and host of Netflix’s “Nailed It!”
The foie gras at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon is a favourite.
“If there were one restaurant I would recommend in Paris it would be L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. Being one of the world’s most Michelin starred chefs, Joel Robuchon created one of my most memorable meals ever. Having dined there about 10 years ago, it was the epitome of fine dining French cuisine. This is a world-class dining destination – from quail and foie gras to lobster and uni. And of course, potatoes that would make your mouth water (his signature Robuchon potatoes).
“Joel Robuchon has a way of putting together classics that accented the ultimate luxurious dining experiences. This meal I had would be at the top of the list!” – Executive Chef Patrick Bassett, Forge & Vine at The Groton Inn
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