A great food city, Paris is not immune to fads. Recent trends include a fleet of food trucks and ‘monopatisserie’ boutiques, peddling just one single type of product (like éclairs). Some of these culinary tendancies are warmly welcomed by visitors and residents alike. For example, speciality coffee is all the rage and a crop of new vegetarian/vegan eateries are popping up.
As a global gastronomic capital, Paris is a magnet for top chefs and their food-obsessed disciples. Peruvian culinary star Gastón Acurio recently debuted a Paris restaurant called Manko, and Nobu Matsuhisa has opened at Le Royal Monceau. An influx of international taste-makers, along with a brigade of immensely talented local French chefs, means that the Paris restaurant scene will always be incredibly exciting. Here are 8 of my favourites.
If you find yourself in the 16th arrondissement, looking for a good place to eat, head to the wine bar opened by Japanese chef Ryuji Teshima. Adjacent to his sensational Pages restaurant, 116 offers some choice chalkboard items (including one of the best burgers in town) paired with a well-curated wine selection.
2 rue Auguste Vacquerie, Tel: +33 (0)1 47 20 10 45
A legendary institution, Astier is a classic bistrot as it should be: convivial ambiance, cheery staff, quality wines and generous, great-tasting food. Opened in 1956, Astier was taken over in 2006 by accomplished Paris restaurateur Frédéric Hubig-Schall who is a charming host. Tip: it’s not on the menu, but Astier makes a sublime Grand Marnier soufflé.
44 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, Tel: +33 (0) 1 43 57 16 35
After a six-year renovation project, the Musée de l’Homme (Museum of Mankind) reopened last fall in the Palais de Chaillot on the Trocadéro. The famed café got a makeover, too, with chic décor channelling 1930s Art Deco. Overlooking the Eiffel Tower, you’d be hard-pressed to find a prettier Paris view! The brasserie menu, designed by Michelin-starred chef Frédéric Vardon, highlights seasonal ingredients.
17 place du Trocadéro, +33 (0) 1 44 05 30 15
The talk of the town is the latest restaurant from culinary maestro Alain Ducasse, which opened in April in a prime position under the new Canopy of Les Halles. Signature dishes at this contemporary brasserie include a pâté en croûte served with pickles, and sumptuous soufflés made with chocolate from Alain Ducasse’s Manufacture.
La Canopée, Forum des Halles, Porte Rambuteau, Tel: +33 (0) 1 53 45 84 50
To celebrate a special occasion, head to Le Bristol to indulge in chef Éric Fréchon’s three-Michelin-starred dining. A meal here is guaranteed to live on in the memory: faultless food, attentive service and a gorgeous salon. Don’t miss the macaroni stuffed with black truffle, artichoke and duck foie gras, which is said to be the favourite dish of former President Sarkozy.
112 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Tel: +33 (0) 1 53 43 43 40
This no-reservations bistrot in the 14th is an all-time favourite. It’s so popular, that there are now four outlets in Paris. Chef Christian Etchebest cooks up classics from his native southwest with a focus on exceptional ingredients. While you wait for a table, the staff passes around boards of charcuterie.
101 rue de l’Ouest, Tel: +33 (0) 1 45 40 04 98
Le Bon Saint Pourçain
Nestling in a quiet side street behind Saint-Sulpice church in Saint-Germain, this bistrot has a devoted following of regulars, including celebrities like fashion icon Inès de la Fressange, who recommends it in her book, Parisian Chic City Guide. It was recently reinvented by David Lanher, the restaurateur behind Racines. Simply put, you can’t go wrong with the daily chalkboard menu.
10 bis rue Servandoni, Tel: +33 (0) 1 42 01 78 24
This historic pavilion off the Champs-Élysées has been a dining destination since the 18th century (where Napoléon supposedly met Joséphine). Star chef Yannick Alléno took over in July 2014 and promptly scored three Michelin stars. This is the place to come for an unforgettable gastronomic blow-out.
8 avenue Dutuit, Tel: +33 (0) 1 53 05 10 00
From France Today magazine