The 10 Best Paris Restaurants: A First Timer’s Guide

Paris and excellent food are practically synonymous. But with dozens (and dozens) of restaurants to choose from and everything in French, picking the perfect restaurant can be a daunting task. This guide to the best Paris restaurants was created with true food enthusiasts in mind who want to eat at the most delicious, memorable restaurants in the City of Lights. What’s your favorite place to eat in Paris? We’d love to hear in the comments!

Paris Restaurants: A Few Quick Tips

  • MAKE RESERVATIONS. Like yesterday. Try the restaurant’s website first, then send an email, then make a phone call.
  • Tipping 15-20% is not customary. For good service round your bill up to the nearest whole figure or leave 1 or 2 Euros per person. You’ll never have the chance to add a tip to a credit card that’s been charged, so make sure to always have cash on hand.
  • Plan on eating later than usual. French culture is big on long, slow, drawn-out meals. It’s amazing.
  • Don’t shy away from foods you haven’t tried in the states or elsewhere. Dive headfirst into the chance to try dishes like escargots, steak tartare, and foie gras.
  • Butter. On. Everything.
  • Plan for the worst and hope for the best. For every French hostess or server who’s cold and crusty (it will happen), there’s always another two or three who are thoughtful and kind.
  • Save room for dessert. The French are notorious for serving impeccable sweet treats. Whether you decide to get dessert at a restaurant after a meal or at a nearby bakery, the last course cannot be skipped.

10. FTG (Frenchie To Go)

You might not think of a pulled pork sandwich or lobster roll when you’re in Paris, but after copious amounts of beef bourguignon and escargots, a gigantic sandwich is a welcome sight. Frenchie To Go (FTG) is one of our favorite spots for delectable, casual dining. Go straight for the Reuben- it has layers of salty pastrami, cheddar, coleslaw, and creamy Russian dressing.

FTG (Frenchie To Go)

$$$$ Burgers, Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt, Sandwiches

9 Rue du Nil, 75002 Paris, France 1 42 21 96 92

9. Miznon

There are plenty of uber touristy restaurants in Paris, so when you find yourself wanting to dodge the line at L’As du Fallafel, head across the street to Miznon for some fantastic, Israeli food. The vibe here is super casual and the service is fast. Grab a chair next to a stranger and load up on the complimentary pitas and hummus while your food is being prepared. The lamb kebab pita and roasted cauliflower are delicious, but you’re really here for the beef bourguignon pita. The juicy braised beef is truly out-of-this-world.

Miznon

$$$$ Middle Eastern

22 Rue des Ecouffes, 75004 Paris, France 9 71 34 53 84

8. Holybelly 5

Holybelly 5 is one of the best Paris restaurants for a dreamy, buttery breakfast. It’s not a traditional French breakfast by any means, but you have plenty of time for that. You’re here for scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, and golden pancakes. Your order move here is the Savory Stack, a rich conglomeration of pancakes, fried eggs, bacon, housemade Bourbon butter & maple syrup. If you’re looking for a great breakfast or brunch in Paris, come here.

Holybelly 5

$$$$ Breakfast & Brunch

5 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010 Paris, France 1 82 28 00 80

7. Angelina

 

Angelina is iconic as they come, and it’s certainly on our list of Paris restaurants you cannot miss. The historic Rue de Rivoli restaurant is simply stunning, with food just as noteworthy. Angelina is the perfect spot for breakfast before a day in the nearby Louvre, or a light lunch after strolling through the Tuileries Garden. The pastries are fool-proof, and savory items like the croque-monsieur or salmon eggs benedict are to-die-for, but the crown jewel is unquestionably the signature Angelina hot chocolate. This isn’t your 7-Eleven cup of hot cocoa, get ready to indulge in the best decadent, rich, chocolatey drink you have ever encountered.

Angelina Paris

$$$$ French

226 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France 1 42 60 82 00

6. Caractere de Cochon

Paris is filled with places to grab jambon-beurre, or ham and butter baguettes. There’s something tremendously wonderful about these simple, decadent French sandwiches, and your goal should be to eat as many as humanly possible during your trip to Paris. Quality jambon-beurre isn’t hard to find, but our top pick for this must-try sandwich is Caractere de Cochon. A true ham-lover’s dream come true, this delicatessen offers dozens of varieties of cooked and cured meats that taste phenomenal alone. The owner is happy to make jambon-beurre for any customer and the quality of his cold cuts paired with generous pats of butter on perfect French baguettes is a match made in heaven.

Caractère de Cochon

$$$$ Delicatessen, Beer, Wine & Spirits, Meat Shops

42 Rue Charlot, 75003 Paris, France 1 42 74 79 45

5. Breizh Cafe

You’ll have 1,000 opportunities to get crepes in Paris, but if you can only go to one spot for authentic Breton crepes, seek out Breizh Café. One of the best Paris restaurants, Breizh Café sells high quality, traditional crepes that are everything you want in this classic Parisian treat. There are a variety of incredible sweet crepe toppings such as homemade salted caramel, valrhona chocolate, ice cream, and fresh fruit- you simply can’t go wrong with any. For savory crepes, order the buckwheat crepe with mushrooms, cheese, scrambled egg, bacon, and crème fraîche.

Breizh Café

$$$$ Creperies, Cafes

109 Rue Vieille du Temple, 75003 Paris, France 1 42 72 13 77

4. Ober Mamma

Yes, we know that Paris isn’t an Italian city but if there’s fantastic pizza to be eaten, then who are we to say no? Hailing from the Big Mamma restaurant group, Ober Mamma serves delightful Italian fare from cured meats and artisan cheese to freshly made pasta. But the thing you’re unequivocally here for is the pizza. The dough at Ober Mamma is cooked to wood-fired perfection, with ideal amounts of char on the outside and fluffy, heaven-sent warm pockets of soft bread on the inside. The burrata pesto pizza is unparalleled, with both fior di latte mozzarella and creamy burrata, all topped with basil pesto, tomatoes, and pine nuts.

Ober Mamma

$$$$ Pizza, Italian, Cocktail Bars

107 Boulevard Richard-Lenoir, 75011 Paris, France 1 58 30 62 78

3. Le Servan

Le Servan is one of our favorite Paris restaurants when you’re looking for something fresh and elevated, but nothing that’s too fancy or requires dressing up. Owned and operated by two French sisters, this beautiful, cozy bistro in the 11th arrondissement is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. Menus here rotate frequently but the service here is fantastic and they’ll gladly help you navigate their French menu (no English version). The Paris-Brest at Le Servan seems to stay on the menu, and it’s one of the absolute best you’ll find in town.

Le Servan

$$$$ Modern European, Bistros

32 Rue Saint-Maur, 75011 Paris, France 1 55 28 51 82

2. Bistrot Paul Bert

 

Steak and frites is one of the most iconic French foods you can sample. But where to indulge in such a popular, must-try item? We recommend looking no further than Bistrot Paul Bert. It’s the essence of a classic French bistro, with tables close together, slightly snooty service, and a proper French menu. But back to the steak- you can’t imagine how divine and truly supernal the steak au poivre is (peppered steak) and the fries that accompany this dish are also perfection. Don’t even think about ordering it cooked more than medium-rare and make sure to drown both your steak and fries in as much of that creamy, dreamy pepper sauce as you can. Bistrot Paul Bert is extremely popular- reservations are a must.

Bistrot Paul Bert

$$$$ Bistro

18 Rue Paul Bert, 75011 Paris, France 1 43 72 24 01

1. L’Ami Jean

There are many Paris restaurants that will astound you from the very first bite, but one restaurant that truly stands above the rest is L’Ami Jean. This French restaurant executes their entire menu with precision and passion. Start your meal with charcuterie, cheese, and butter. If the weather is chilly order the parmesan soup. The beef shoulder is out-of-this-world delicious- cooked seven hours in a broth and roasted like a chicken, so it’s crispy on the inside and tender inside. And if you dine at L’ami Jean without trying the rice pudding you’ve made a terrible mistake. Served with caramel butter and roasted pecans,  this is truly the wold’s best rice pudding.

L’Ami Jean

$$$$ French

27 Rue Malar, 75007 Paris, France 1 47 05 86 89

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