There’s perhaps no better place for watching the well-heeled than from the terrace of this classic brasserie, which fronts both Avenue George V and the Champs-Elysées. Fouquet’s has occupied this prime corner spot since 1899, hosting movie stars and filmmakers such as Charles Aznavour, Francois Truffaut and Orson Welles (whose photos, along with many other visiting celebrities, line the wood-paneled walls). Today you’re more likely to be dining next to an obscure government official, especially during the lunch hour, but no matter, the traditional brasserie fare is superb (if pricey, at around 100 euro for a meal). Try the foie gras starter, the steak tartar with perfectly crisp pomme frites and the delicate sole meunière.
This century-old brasserie on the Champs-Élysées is a hub of business, politics and culture, its guest book signed by presidents and film stars (the restaurant hosts the annual César Awards dinner). Shoppers and sightseers in need of a time-out will find a sunny terrace, a nostalgic wood-paneled interior (the restaurant is a national monument) and a traditional menu updated by Pierre Gagnaire.