Paris’s Best Restaurants—and What to Order There

Restaurants, brasseries, bistros, and bars line the streets of Paris. The only question is how many you can pack into one trip.

Overhead view of table topped with several white plates of food, including oysters and steak frites at Brasserie Dubillot

The menu at Brasserie Dubillot is all killer, no filler.

Courtesy of No Diet Club

Paris’s reputation as one of the world’s culinary capitals is entirely justified. Food isn’t just a passion here, it’s as intrinsic to Parisian culture as summer evenings by the Seine, a love of understated fashion, and a zeal for short, bitter shots of espresso. This is the city where two-hour lunches reign, prize-winning baguettes make front-page news, the coolest restaurants command month-long waiting lists, and bistros have refused to change for decades, maintaining time-honored menus year after year. In between, you’ll find seriously creative cooking that celebrates the simple beauty of French ingredients and produce, from artichokes and asparagus to prized Bresse chickens, with a farm-to-table focus few other places can rival. We’ve selected 13 of Paris’s can’t-miss restaurants—and what to order at each one.

1. Soces

19th arrondissement

Out in the far reaches of the 19th arrondissement, next to the sprawling Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, an inconspicuous corner restaurant serving elegantly modern seafood dishes has become one of the hottest adresses to dine in Paris. You’ll need to book in advance to secure a bar seat at Soces, let alone one of the simple wooden tables, but the rewards are evident as soon as you sit down.

Start strong with its signature amuse bouche, an oyster, perhaps from St. Vaast or Oléron depending on the season, served with a spicy margarita shot. That sets the scene for the seafood-heavy menu devised by chef Sam Schwarz. Plates are ideal to share and far more complex than descriptions suggest. Tuna tartare comes with Roman-style crispy artichokes and a ham gel. Cuttlefish is served raw with red cabbage and kumquats.

On the meatier side, you might find an enormous pork chop to share for two, but it’s better to save room for the superb cheese selection. A wedge of the triple-cream Brillat-Savarin or pungent époisses and glass of natural cabernet franc is the perfect way to bring a meal at Soces to a close.

Overhead view of bowl of food (L); sidewalk seats filled with diners at Brasserie Dubillot (R)

Brasserie Dubillot offers steak, duck, or blood sausage among other items on a menu that can do no wrong.

Photo by Leo Kharfan (L) and Lou Le Bloas (R)

2. Brasserie Dubillot

2nd arrondissement

Trust us, “chicken fingers” made from tête de veau (calf’s head) might be the culinary revelation you’ve been waiting for. You simply can’t order wrong at Brasserie Dubillot, one of the Nouvelle Garde group’s growing handful of funky brasseries, where the vibes rival the menu. Beneath Belle Époque–inspired posters and stained-glass light fixtures, meals deliver as much fun as flavor.

Everything is fait maison (made from scratch) by the young team, with ingredients sourced in the Parisian region wherever possible. Charcoal-grilled meats are the real specialty: steaks and pork ribs served with rich sauces (count on spending €30, about US$32, per person). If you’re looking to try snails or steak tartare, this is also an excellent spot for the classics.

For dessert, save room for a towering Paris-Brest, a choux pastry wheel filled with hazelnut cream, before heading for drinks at one of the many dive bars nearby.

3. Vantre

11th arrondissement

We’ll let you in on a secret: Vantre has one of the best wine lists in the city. This unassuming bistro is the place for Parisian long-lunch perfection, a succession of artfully plated dishes in a light and airy small dining room. Expect a bussiness crowd for the list of 3,000 or so wines, which run from somewhat out-of-place magnums of Dom to some of Burgundy’s most interesting premier crus.

Get at least two courses. To start, perhaps a light combination of roasted cauliflower and anchovies or the red pepper mousse, then the hake with a creamy rosemary beurre blanc beef cheek. There are usually only a few options to choose from, each dish rich and flavorful without being heavy, generally making one ingredient the star. Plating is exceptionally pretty.

4. L’Avant Comptoir de la Terre

6th arrondissement

Yves Camdeborde, the founding father of the bistronomy movement, has made L’Avant-Comptoir de la Terre the stuff of Left Bank legend. “No seats, no problem” might as well be its motto. Instead, you perch against the bar, carving off curls of butter from a shared boulder-size lump for your crusty bread. The menu dangles on cards from the ceiling.

Food is tapas style and meaty, although vegetarians might find joy in a truffled Comté croque monsieur or house-made fries dredged through tarragon mayo. Other options range from classic to creative depending on the day: beef tataki with asparagus, peas and (unexpectedly) peanuts, a superb pâté en croûte, or an uber-classic black pudding terrine.

It doesn’t take reservations, so be sure to get there early or try its neighboring sister seafood bar, L’Avant Comptoir de la Mer.

5. Bistrot des Tournelles

4th arrondissement

Rarely has a new bistro become as much of an instant hit as Bistrot des Tournelles when it opened back in July 2022. Two years on, the hype for Édouard Vermynck’s homage to classic French dining continues. Although there are few giveaways that this cozy spot hasn’t been serving steaks swimming in pepper sauce for centuries.

Behind half-height lacy curtains, you’ll find Parisian romance without a hint of cheesiness (unless you get the cheese course). Instead, it’s all about elegant French comfort food, cooked with passion. Mains hover between €30 and €40, the highlight the roast chicken, which might come with a cream sauce and morels in winter or oyster mushrooms dressed in persillade (an herby garlic and parsley oil) in summer. You can choose among fries, mashed potatoes, or spinach on the side. Comparatively new restaurants rarely deliver as much historic character and charm.

6. Passerini

12th arrondissement

Where do you find good Italian food in Paris? Passerini, helmed by perhaps the city’s best-known Italian chef, Giovanni Passerini, near one of the city’s best markets, the Marché d’Aligre in the 12th arrondissement, is the elegant answer.

The modern and low-key setting—big picture windows and scant decoration other than elegant light fixtures—lends itself to easy dining. It’s a welcome antidote if you’ve been swimming in onion soup, cream sauces, and rich pastries.

Authentic fresh pastas are the essential order, with three on the menu most days. Don’t miss the tortellini in brodo or tagliolini with lamb meatballs, if you’re lucky enough to spot them. To follow, old-school recipes such as vitello tonnato might appear alongside plats making the most of the day’s freshest fish or fowl (think turbot with an onion and fennel gratin or a whole pigeon, served in two courses). If you’re looking for something lighter, try its wine bar, Passerina cave à manger, on the same street.

7. Amagat

20th arrondissement

You’ll find Amagat hidden down a cobbled, fairy-light-lit pedestrian alley in the 20th arrondissement, in the far east of the city. You’re way off the tourist trail here, but plenty of Parisians and visitors alike find their way to this not-so-secret tapas spot.

It’s at once utterly Parisian (the buzz of the service, the outside tables) and pleasingly Spanish (the untranslated menu, the padron peppers sizzling on the grill).

Sharing, of course, is a must. Mix tapas crowd-pleasers—jamon ibérico, crispy croquetas, manchego grilled cheese—with more elegant small plates. Add the baked Jerusalem artichokes in miso butter and the presa ibérica marinated in gochujang and you’ll have a feast for two.

8. Huguette

6th arrondissement

This Left Bank seafood restaurant could have been picked up straight from a chic seaside resort on the Brittany coast and dropped in central Paris. Seafood rules at the sidewalk tables beneath Huguette’s striped awnings, where friendly staff in Breton-stripe tees navigate pedestrians while balancing towering platters of oysters, lobster, and crab with frosty champagne buckets.

You can practically hear the waves crash as you scoop mignonette (a sauce of minced shallots and red wine vinegar) onto a dozen fines de claire oysters. It does have some nonshellfish options (ceviche, poke bowls, and the like), but the old-school delights of the raw bar are the real draw. You can make an exception for the fried calamari or fritto misto.

9. Kodawari Yokocho

6th arrondissement

At Kodawari Yokocho, steaming bowls of ramen are only half the appeal. The wildly but wonderfully over-themed decor—a veritable forest of paper lanterns and bamboo screens that evoke the spirit of a moonlit Tokyo alleyway—is as much of a reason to come.

This is a ramen joint unlike any other in the city, inspired by the spirit of a typical Japanese izakaya. The menu is based around six different ramen choices, including one veggie option with a sesame, miso, and cauliflower base, each customizable with toppings (nori, extra chashu pork, spicy sauce, and so on).

Everything is freshly made and ingredients impeccably sourced, the wheat for the noodles even grown and milled right outside the city.

10. Le Servan

11th arrondissement

French Filipina sisters Tatiana and Katia Levha have been running Le Servan for 10 years, but their menu feels as inventive today as when they opened this small yet special restaurant in 2014. Their cooking draws on Asian influences as well as French techniques, with seasonality and sustainability always front and center.

They made their name by turning veal brains and sweetbreads into Paris’s must-try (and must-photograph) dishes. Equally exciting are an unusual dish of raw scallops with sour cream and chili crisp or their version of a magret de canard (duck breast), served with a carrot puree and spicy jus.

Dinner here is a bit of a splurge—expect to pay $60–$70 per head before wine—but well worth it for the lovely dining room (check out the ceiling moldings), memorable dishes, and charming service.

Empty seating in wood-beamed room with glass walls (L); a few pastries at Le Doyenné (R)

OK, so Le Doyenné is slightly outside Paris, but it’s worth the trip.

Photos by Luke Burgess

11. Le Doyenné


A short drive, or RER (the suburban trains that extend beyond the metro) and taxi journey, outside Paris in the small village of Saint-Vrain, Le Doyenné more than merits a detour on a primarily Parisian culinary adventure. This farm, restaurant, and rooms from James Henry and Shaun Kelly (previously of Au Passage and Yard) epitomize the field-to-plate movement, with vegetables grown outside the magnificent conservatory-style converted stables where you dine on rough-wood tables.

On the menu? Whatever the potager has yielded that morning, along with wild game, seafood, and sustainably reared meats. Once you’ve made it this far, you might as well go for the carte blanche (€95 plus €80 for wine pairings at lunch), a skillful four-course introduction to its philosophy.

Since it scooped a Michelin green star, you’ll need to book well ahead for a table, even earlier if you want to stay overnight in one of the 10 rustic-chic rooms, too.

12. Oobatz

11th arrondissement

Yes, pizza can be among your Parisian dining highlights. Oobatz is the brand-new spin-off venture from the once Michelin-starred Le Rigmarole. It’s headed up by Daniel Pearson, who turned the Rigmarole’s focus from Japanese barbecue to superb sourdough when owners Jessica Yang and Robert Compagnon decided to focus on family life rather than reopening their restaurant following the pandemic.

The takeover was such a success that he now has his own solo spot where 36-hour leavened dough takes center stage. Pizzas are thin and crispy, topped with classic tomato bases as well as white specials featuring seasonal produce such as zucchini. Just don’t count on dropping in to share a pie. Reservations open two weeks in advance—and there’s a waiting list.

13. Fulgurances L’Adresse

11th arrondissement

If you’re looking for the next big culinary stars, you can’t go wrong by booking a table at Fulgurances. This self-styled incubator restaurant welcomes up-and-coming chefs for residencies of three to five months at a time. The menus they deliver are often among the city’s most exciting, heavy on international influences and French ingredients.

At the time of writing, Alexandre Aziza and Etienne Dupuy were starting their stint heading up the kitchen throughout the city’s Olympic summer. Hailing from the neighboring northwestern regions of Brittany and Normandy, they’re set to surprise with a playful blend of flavors drawn from their childhood favorites and personal travels. Fulgurances also plans not just to stay open throughout late July and August, when many restaurants close, but will be open five days a week: for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday as well as lunch on Thursday and Friday.

This article was originally published in June 2023 and was updated in June 2024.

Eleanor Aldridge is a writer based in Paris and the author of Paris: A Curious Traveler’s Guide. She specializes in food, travel, and (often natural) wine.
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