1st Arrondissement Restaurants
239-241 Rue Saint-Honoré, 1st
Saturday nights are for Hôtel Costes, when as many tables as possible are packed into the courtyard and it feels like every young hedonist in Paris is drinking spicy margaritas.
4 Rue Sauval, 1st
French-Asian cuisine is de rigueur in Paris right now, and Yam’Tcha easily knocks out half the competition. “Yam’Tcha” is Mandarin for “drink tea,” and this is a restaurant with an in-house Chinese tea sommelier—a pot of after-dinner silver needle is mandatory—and a full tea pairing with your meal is suggested (and yes, the wine is also abundant).
14 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1st
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
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.
107 Rue de Rivoli, 1st
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.
Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie
34 Rue Montmartre, 1st
This quaint little restaurant serves excellent French food—cassoulet, steak tartare, and chocolate cake—in an unstuffy Art Nouveau dining room. The adjoining shop, complete with ham hocks hanging from the rafters, has a killer selection of French wines, cheeses, and other specialty items.
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.
9 Rue du Mont-Thabor, 1st
After a week in Paris, when it’s time to lay off the butter and goose fat, we head here. It’s not the sort of restaurant that’s going to change your life, but their seaweed salad and sashimi is solidly decent. And with two sleek and spacious floors, there’s room enough for everyone. At night, when the lights get dimmer and the music louder, it can get a bit scene-y.
Fée Nature (Closed)
69 Rue d'Argout, 1st
Situated on a charming side street in the 1st, marked by a sign that simply says Bio et Sain (healthy and organic), Fée Nature is a wonderfully warm and airy space where you can find all sorts of gluten-free fare (quinoa and carrot salads, tomato and feta tarts, butternut squash pasta) along with a range of fortifying teas.
52 Rue Richelieu, 1st
When American couple Braden Perkins and Laura Adrian moved to Paris, they didn’t start with a restaurant: Instead, they cultivated their reputation through a series of under-the-radar dinner party-style seatings—hosted out of their apartment. Called Hidden Kitchen, you could only land a reservation by booking online. The concept—and cooking—was so popular, the duo opened a permanent location, called Verjus, in 2010, situated in a small passageway across from the Palais Royal. It’s distinctly New American and it’s delicious: If you can’t stomach the prices (the tasting menu is 60 euros), hit the bar a vins next door (they also have a sandwich shop).
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