Restaurants in Paris
For many travellers Paris is synonymous with gastronomy. The French, always appreciative of the finer things in life, have a unique tradition of famous restaurants and great chefs. Anyone with a love of good food and deep pockets will find true happiness in this city. The style of cooking known as 'la Grande Cuisine' comes from Paris and it's hard to walk the streets without being tempted into every restaurant by its formidable aroma.
Paris is home to more than 5,000 restaurants, with traditional French bistros being the best value for money for those on a budget. Cafés and dive bars are an almost obligatory stop on the way to or from work for most Parisians, where an ordinary lunch can be enjoyed at a reasonable price. Grab a newspaper, order a glass of fine French wine and, while soaking up the picturesque surroundings, observe the city passing by.
From classic French cooking to Nouvelle Cuisine and French regional cooking styles, as well as many other international cuisines, there is something to satisfy every palate in Paris.
This tiny bistro is simply decorated with a plain white facade and a rustic interior, and is always buzzing with locals. A blackboard menu offers classic French dishes such as calf's liver cooked in sherry vinegar, or scallops cooked in basil oil. There is also a selection of venison on offer, and the puddings are equally enticing. The bill is outrageously inexpensive for the quality of the food. Open Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner, dinner only on Sunday. Reservations essential.
Address: 28 Rue du Mont Thabor (Beaubourg/Les Halles)
Telephone: (0)1 4296 2818
La Tour d'Argent
La Tour d'Argent (The Silver Tower) not only serves up mouth-watering dishes, but also has wonderful views over the Seine and Notre-Dame. A restaurant has stood on this site since 1582 and dining here is still an unsurpassed event. A good section of the menu is devoted to duck, and diners who order the house speciality - caneton (pressed duckling) - are issued with a certificate. The practice started in 1890 and they are now at well over a million. Book well in advance, a jacket and tie is required in the evening. Closed Monday, and lunch on Tuesdays.
Address: 15-17 Quai de la Tournelle (Latin Quarter)
Telephone: (01) 4354 2331
Guy Savoy's creations are audacious and inventive; the steam-baked Bresse chicken with lemongras and the roasted rib of veal are testament to this. Half-portions allow patrons to sample various dishes on the menu, and the wine list reveals a treasure trove of exceptional vintages. Although the décor is formal, the atmosphere is relaxed and ambient. Book well in advance. Open Tuesday to Friday for lunch and dinner, and for dinner on Saturday; closed Sundays.
Address: 18 Rue de Troyon (Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile)
Telephone: (01) 43 80 40 61
The exotic Buddha Bar remains trendy with Parisians and foreigners in the know. A massive gilt Buddha dominates the spacious interior of the restaurant, which offers a variety of Japanese-Californian cuisine; tuna tataki sashimi and pork ribs with hoisin sauce are just two of the menu's many delights. Open for lunch and dinner Monday to Friday, and dinner only on weekends. Book well in advance.
Address: 8 Rue Boissy d'Anglais (Champs-Élysées)
Telephone: (01) 5305 9000
Founded in 1872, the restaurant Goumard has all the charm of a century-old establishment with original oak woodwork, an engraved 1930s glass facade and designer chandeliers. One of the finest seafood restaurants in Paris, the food at Goumard is influenced by Mediterranean and Asian cuisines, served with subtle and delicate sauces - the emphasis is on enhancing the natural flavours of the catch. Open for lunch and dinner Monday to Saturday, reservations required.
Address: 9 Rue Duphot (Madeleine)
Telephone: (01) 4260 3607
Le Grand Véfour
Housed within the arcades of the Palais-Royal, Le Grand Véfour has been entertaining diners since the reign of Louis XV and has welcomed everyone from Napoleon to Danton. The menu is influenced by the cuisine Savoie - a blend of sophisticated and rustic dishes. Favourites include the sole meunière and the wild duck in laurel leaves. Desserts include the signature artichoke crème brûlée. Booking is essential, closed Friday night and weekends.
Address: 17 Rue de Beaujolais (Louvre/Tuileries)
Telephone: (01) 4296 5627
Au Pied de Cochon
Opened in 1947, this Paris restaurant is a traditional all-day Brasserie serving authentic French fare like stuffed pig's trotters, veal kidney flambéed in Cognac, and Provençal-style pan stuffed mussels. The long benches and brass fittings echo the authenticity of the food for a truly Parisian experience. Open 24 hours a day, the restaurant is popular with tourists just come from browsing the Louvre.
Address: 6 rue Coquillière
Telephone: +33 1 40 13 7700
L'Alcazar attracts fashionable Parisians looking to dine on seafood or Modern British fare. The huge ground floor restaurant is of course designed more for style than comfort and patrons can see the chefs in action in the open-plan kitchens; the octopus salad and steak tartare are excellent. L'Az bar has regular theme nights with celebrity artists and jazz musicians. Open for lunch and dinner daily, and brunch on Sundays. Reservations recommended.
Address: 62 Rue Mazarine (Odéon)
Telephone: (01) 5310 1999
Le Jules Verne
The prestigious Jules Verne Restaurant is located on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower and has an atmosphere that is reminiscent of an airship moored high above Paris, with spectacular views of the city. The poached lobster and stuffed chicken are just two of the great dishes on the menu, and the wild strawberry and coconut cake dessert is fantastic. Open for lunch and dinner daily, reservations recommended.
Address: Eiffel Tower, second floor (the restaurant has its own private elevator access at the south pillar)
Telephone: (01) 4555 6144
Le Bouillon Racine
Le Bouillon Racine features a sophisticated Belgian menu and an enormous selection of Belgian beer. The food here is hearty and filling, even without the help of several thirst-quenching ales. The menu changes monthly and includes popular dishes like the casserole of mussels, shrimp and baby clams, suckling pig roasted with bitter Orval beer, and rack of lamb roasted in a pale biere blonde. The décor is festive and the service efficient. Reservations essential, open daily for lunch and dinner.
Address: 3 Rue Racine (St-Germain-des-Prés)
Telephone: (01) 4432 1560
Kong Restaurant and Bar
Set in an Art Deco building on the banks of the Seine, Kong has beautiful views of the city and is full of surprises - from its Sex and the City stint to the dining area's interesting Japanese Manga décor. The exotic menu offers cuisine such as the Kong Plate (a mixed fish platter), Chilean bass and Japanese beef carpaccio. Open daily for lunch and dinner, with brunch on Sundays. Reservations essential.
Address: 1 Rue du Pont Neuf
Telephone: (01) 40 390 900
Café de Flore
The historic Cafe de Flore has been immortalised by more than one French painter. A popular meeting place for post-war intellectuals like Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir and celebrated artists Camus, Picasso, and Apollinaire, the restaurant has now been overrun with tourists from all over the world. The menu offers salads, sandwiches, pastries and other cafe fare. Cafe de Flore is open daily from 7:30am to 1:30am.
Address: 6th Arrondissement
Telephone: 01 45 48 55 26