14 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1st Arrondissement
Claus is one of those spots where you'll want to have your way with every dish on the menu (all-breakfast, all the time). There are granolas and toasts and eggs in every conceivable incarnation, and good god, so much pastry. Get a small window table upstairs, grab a newspaper, and take your time. There’s also granola: Claus will have you hooked one crunchy, subtly sweet, almost smoky bite in. And the tiny grocery store across the street that sells the stuff by the bag is the final piece of the master plan. There's also tea, coffee, and a dozen or so flavors of house-made jam. You'll buy all the jars you can carry with the best intentions of handing them out to friends back home. But even the best intentions…
5 Rue de la Paix, 1st Arrondissement
There's a certain sexiness to hotel restaurants, and Michelin-starred Pur at the Park Hyatt oozes it. Chef Jean-François Rouquette has put together a menu of flawless interpretations of classic French dishes. Gently roasted scallops, Plouguerneau abalones, and truly excellent steak are all served in the refined, many-columned dining room. For a blow-out, completely seasonal meal in Paris, Pur delivers—drink your wine at the table and save a post-dinner digestif for the elegant Park Hyatt bar.
20bis Rue de Douai, 9th Arrondissement
A new-ish sister to the absurdly popular Ober Mamma, Pink Mamma is a welcome Italian-centric addition to the very French dining scene in Pigalle. The four flights that take you up to the most Instagrammable dining room—it has a giant skylight for a roof!—are well worth the sore legs. There are plants everywhere, haphazardly placed furniture, mixed prints—in fact, the whole place might as well have been airlifted from Rome, right down to the menu. House-made pasta, grilled proteins, and really excellent pizza.
6 Rue du Sabot, 6th
Travelers missing their sushi fix usually slink over to Blueberry on night three in Paris, when the capacity to consume another plate of steak-frites is officially no more. Purists be warned: The maki are on the innovative side, imbued with tropical, citrusy flavors like mango and yuzu (trust us: These rolls are next-level good). The atmosphere is more disco than serene. Whitewashed stone walls are illuminated electric blue and neon pink, while dozens of low-hanging lamps dispel any notions of a romantic dinner. Come at lunch for value, but dinnertime is when the ambiance reaches a celebratory fever pitch, when the lighting is most dramatic. Somehow, those perfect, umami-rich mouthfuls just taste better after dark.
Les Deux Magots
6 Place Saint-Germain des Prés, 7th
Café culture is one of the many institutions that make Paris such a pleasure to visit. An hour spent sitting outside with a café au lait and a croissant watching the Parisians pass by is time well spent. Les Deux Magots in the heart of Saint-Germain has been one of the preferred literary and creative spots forever, with regulars including Picasso and Hemingway. The menu touches the greatest hits; the croque-madame is especially good, but honestly, a coffee or—hell, you’re on vacation—a glass of champagne outside under the canopy is the way to go.
1 Rue du Mail, 2nd
Chez George is hyper traditional, a little overpriced, and exactly the kind of place where one wants to eat dinner in Paris. A classic bistro in every sense, down to the mirrored walls and too-small tables. As can be expected, steak frites and boeuf bourguignon is the way to go. Unlike some of the other old-world bistros in Paris, the food here is legitimately very good and the atmosphere delivers every time.
107 rue de Rivoli, 1er
Loulou is what you get when you cross classic Italian food with French sensibility and arguably the most famous location in the world. Chef Diego Compagno to the first, chef Benoit Dargère to the second, and as for that location: "Loulou" is a cheeky play on "Louvre." The menu changes often but highlights include simple and perfect dishes like, raw purple artichokes with parmesan and olive oil or beef tagliata with black pepper infusion, arugula, and parmesan. Every course is simple and restrained and somehow light-but in a setting so regal, so historic, and so likely to make you feel like you deserve a noble rank, you'll hardly care.
22 Boulevard de Clichy, 18eme
Bouillon Pigalle is a restaurant of the proletariat. Though it would be more accurate to call it a restaurant of the proletariat of Paris who favor watercress salad, escargots, beef bourguignon, frites, and a menu that is as true to a bistro menu as it can be. Historically, in French restaurant vernacular, a "bouillon" is a restaurant that served bouillon-which is to say good, afforable food, that appealed to the working class. And Bouillon Pigalle is the 2018 version: 300 seats; a festive, bustling vibe; and a crowd willing to wait the better part of an hour for table. No matter. The profiteroles are that good.
Le Petit Lutetia
107 Rue de Sevres, 7th
La Petit Lutetia has become a favorite ever since it was taken over and face-lifted by Jean-Louis Costes, the man behind city institutions Hôtel Costes and La Société. The décor is still that of a classic Paris bistro, with charming mirrored walls, monogrammed dishes, haphazard stacks of newspapers, and too-small tables. While the food is certainly good, you're here for the people-watching, an endless parade of beautifully outfitted Parisians ducking out for cigarettes between courses and drinking seemingly endless glasses of red wine like water. Photo credit: @parisinfourmonths
Wild & the Moon
55 Rue Charlot, 3rd
&A welcome addition to Paris's growing roster of health-centric restaurants, Wild and the Moon hits that sweet spot of tasty health-conscious food that is actually filling. The menu has been formulated by vegan nutritionists, with over half of it dominated by juices and tonics—adaptogenic coffee chaga shakes, blue algae smoothies, charcoal lattes, and golden mylks. The food centers around hearty, flavorful grain and lentil bowls packed with vegetables and topped with inventive miso-based vinaigrettes. For the traveler seeking a little balance with their crème brûlée, stocking your hotel room with a mini-bar-friendly assortment of the café's raw bars, chia puddings, cold-pressed juices, and zucchini muffins is never a bad call.
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