Travel

1st & 2nd Arrondissement Restaurants

Establishment neighborhood
Claus
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…
Pur
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.
Loulou
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.
Dim Sum Cantine
85 Rue Montmartre, 2nd
Much like the Cantonese-style dumplings that are its claim to fame, this restaurant is compact but mighty. The house-made dim sum (mushroom, shrimp, lacquered pork, and more) is steamed and then immediately served by the basket and accompanied by salad and rice. Lest you forget you’re still in Paris, the steamed brioche buns make for the perfect dessert. Since this restaurant is always packed, you can also check out their second location in the 9th arrondissement.
Le Grand Véfour
17 Rue du Beaujolais, 1st
This historic restaurant—it’s the oldest in Paris, actually—has been taking up the same spot in the Palais-Royal since 1784. While it’s been thoroughly modernized, the majority of beautiful neoclassical embellishments are intact, and the tables are still marked with the names of literary legends (Victor Hugo, John Paul-Sartre, Voltaire) who frequented the spot way back when. With Chef Guy Martin at the helm, the food offering—duck, the finest cheeses—is on par with its rich history. Keep in mind that prices are astronomical and reflect the two-Michelin star ranking, so making a reservation for lunch rather than a grand dinner is a good compromise.
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