The GP 13:
Paris’s Best Restaurants
When I was 10-years-old, my father and I took a trip to Paris, leaving my younger brother and mother in London where she was filming a movie. My dad believed in one-on-one time with us, and sometimes that extended to a weekend away. We stayed at a great hotel and he said I could order whatever I wanted for breakfast (French fries). We went to the Pompidou, the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre—the usual spots. It was pretty great. On the plane back to London he asked me if I knew why we had gone, just the two of us, to Paris for the weekend. I said no, but I felt so lucky for the trip. He said, “I wanted you to see Paris for the first time with a man who would always love you, no matter what.” From that time on, Paris was and continues to be very special to me. I lived there for five months in 1994 and I have made many trips back. Here are five restaurants in Paris where I toast my dad—plus 8 more that I’m dying to try.
(For more Paris restaurants we love, check out our Paris guides.)
32 Rue du Vertbois, 3rd | +18.104.22.168.48
Sure, there are those who think L’Ami Louis is touristy and overpriced, but this tiny, wood-paneled bistro will always feel like home. Come for the roast chicken, escargot, and gigantic wine list.
80 Rue de Charonne, 11th | +22.214.171.124.38.29
There’s nothing heavy-handed about Septime’s approach to traditional French cuisine: Chef Bertrand Grébaut starts with the freshest seasonal produce, adds some culinary magic, then makes it all look beautiful on the plate. Dinner reservations are hard to get, so go for lunch instead—the 28 euro set menu is a pretty great deal.
8 Rue Suger, 6th | +126.96.36.199.25.88
This Japanese spot kind of makes you work for your dinner as it sits down a flight of stairs on the other side of a hobbit-sized door. There are three Omakase menus, though each includes the house special kushi-agué—miniature grilled or deep-fired skewers of vegetables and fish.
7 Rue Chambiges, 8th | +188.8.131.52.51.62
OK, so it can get embarrassingly scene-y, but this cozy, candle-lit space is still great for old-school Italian. Pasta is definitely the thing to order.
27 Quai Voltaire, 7th | +184.108.40.206.17.49
A total classic, this is one of Paris’s best spots for people-watching, and it’s really well located to both the Louvre and the Musee D’Orsay. The grapefruit and avocado salad is insane.
Eight To Try
15 Rue Manuel, 9th | +220.127.116.11.76.71
Paris isn’t exactly known for its bumping dim sum scene, but the Cantonese-style dumplings at this teeny spot are supposed to be the real deal (i.e. plump, delicious, and served by the basket).
1 Rue du Pont Louis-Philippe, 4th | +18.104.22.168.74.53
This is Septime’s seafood-centric, decidedly more low-key sibling, meaning you can actually get in without making a reservation months in advance (it’s strictly first-come, first-served). Unlike the majority of Parisian restaurants, it’s open on weekends, which is good because we hear the tapas-style offering changes daily.
5-6 Rue du Nil, 2nd | +22.214.171.124.96.19
We’re kind of late to the party on this one as it’s been around for years. Gregory Marchand—his cuisine has been described as Modern French—cut his teeth in the kitchens of big-time chefs (Jamie Oliver, Danny Meyer) so a good meal is pretty much guaranteed.
6 Rue Bailleul, 1st | +126.96.36.199.05.72
It’s crazy to think that one of the reportedly best newish spots in Paris for traditional French food is actually run by an American chef. Daniel Rose’s dinners are famous, not just for the just-plucked seasonal ingredients, but for the menu-less ordering process.
1 Rue Commines, 3rd | +188.8.131.52.67.89
Friends say that along with the sharable small plates that support it, the rich booze menu here is worthy of a visit. The oysters, along with the airy space are also netting rave reviews.
32 Rue Saint-Maur, 11th | +184.108.40.206.51.82
This elegantly appointed, Asian-inspired bistro is run by sisters Tatiana and Katia Levha, who unlike so many places in the city, offer a great a la carte menu, as opposed to stuffy prix fixe. You’ll need a reservation for dinner.
22 Rue des Ecouffes, 4th | +220.127.116.11.83.58
There’s no shortage of falafel shops in the Marais, and this teeny hole-in-the-wall operation (the original location was in Tel Aviv) is considered by many to be the best. Here, beef bourguignon, roasted cauliflower, and ratatouille are all served in pita form.
131 Avenue Parmentier, 11th | +18.104.22.168.78.88
Drinking is taken just as seriously as eating at Le Chateaubtiand’s wine bar offshoot. There’s not a ton of space to move around, so it’s best to stay put at the massive marble bar and tuck into the small plates menu. Supposedly there’s not a single miss on the menu.