There are many things Paris is known for – historic monuments like the Eiffel Tower, prized museums like The Louvre, fashion icons like Chanel, and of course, its rich, delicious French cuisine.
When hunting for the best places to dine for my Paris trip, fortunately for me, I was able to consult with one of North America’s top pastry chefs, Belinda Leong of Manresa (2 Michelin star) whose experience ranges from Restaurante Martin Berasategui (3 Michelin star), Gary Danko, De Wulf, Bubo and renowned patisserie Pierre Herme.
Fret not; this list is not limited to fancy and expensive restaurants. Some of her favorites include hole-in-the-wall eateries that are easy on the wallet but impressive to the most developed of palates.
1. Le Comptoir Du Relais
If there is only one place you can try from this list, make it Le Comptoir, where you may just experience the best meal of your life.
Go during lunch (12-3PM) because it’s a set menu for dinner, and reservations must be made in advance. The chef is Yves Camdeborde and the GM is Daniel Boulud’s nephew.
Must Try: Pig’s feet, sliced pork belly, brandade, cochon de lait, fois gras and haricot vert salad, soups, charcuterie and beef cheek.
Address: 9, Carrefour de l’Odéon
2. L’Avant Comptoir
Excellent place for French tapas. This is next door to Le Comptoir. Note that this place has limited seating and is tiny in size.
Must Try: pig’s feet stuffed with oxtail, brandade, charcuterie, ribs, croquettes.
Address: 9, Carrefour de l’Odéon
3. Bistrot Paul Bert
Classic French brasserie.
Menu changes regularly on the blackboard. Get the 34-euro, three-course menu. Chef also came from the Michelin star restaurant, Le Regalade.
Address: 18, rue Paul Bert, 11e, Paris, 75011
4. Le Chateaubriand
Another great French brasserie for dinner. One of the most popular brasseries amongst “chefs” right now. The brasserie offers a fixed five-course menu every night.
Make sure you call ahead for a reservation. Phone: +33 1 43 57 45 95
Address: 129 Avenue Parmentier, 75011 Paris, France
A must-try for dinner but make sure you call ahead to make a reservation. Get the 3 courses for 34 EU. The chef is Stephan Lego.
Address: 27,rue Malar, 75007 Paris, France
6. L’as Du Falafel
This is the most popular falafel spot. You can order at the window, which is just 5eu, or if you eat inside, it is 7eu. This place is CLOSED Friday and Saturday
Must try: Get a falafel with everything in it (2 types of cabbage, hummus, tzatziki, eggplant, spicy sauce, falafel) Also, try the chicken. (this isn’t called falafel, just order chicken and they will know. It has everything the same as a falafel, but with chicken instead)
Address: 34 rue des Rosiers,
Regarded as one of the best creperies. Try the galettes (savoury crêpes made out of buckwheat flour).
Address: 109, rue Vieille du Temple
8. Les Pates Vivantes
This is a Chinese noodle place. The noodles are hand-made which you can see being made fresh daily at the front of the restaurant.
Must try: Sautéed noodles and the hand cut soup noodles.
Address: 46, rue du faubourg Montmartre
9. Cuisine De Bar
LOVE this place for lunch. Very simple, you get a set meal for 12.50 eu for a “tartine” open-faced sandwich, a glass of wine or water, and a cafe. The bread it is served on is Poulain bread, which is the most popular country bread for Paris. It is one of the oldest bread shops.
Address: 8 rue Cherche Midi, 75006
Hours: Mon-Sat 9 am – 7 pm
MOST popular ice cream shop/tea salon in Paris. Delightfully good. Located near the Notre Dame.
11. Pierre Herme
Known as “The King of French Pastry”. Be prepared to wait in line to get your fix of macarons, cakes and croissants.
Must Try: Litchi Raspberry Croissant, Tarte Vanille, Tarte Cafe, 2000 Millefeuille, Isaphan, Croissant and Kouign-Aman
A very pretty and modern patisserie that is fairly new. Everything is displayed in glass domes.
Must Try: Kouign-aman and Brioche feuilltee are okay. It is 4 blocks away from Le Grand Epicerie on Rue De Bac.
Mastering french pastry since 1862, Laduree knows their Macarons. There are shops throughout Paris and you can also get great gifts like caramel black tea and hot chocolate in their iconic pastel green packaging.
Try the caramel macaron, as they are one of the only shops that use real caramel.
This is a very nice patisserie. It is near Pierre Herme Vaugirard location. The chef used to work at Pierre Herme, so you will see similarities. The baguette is especially good here.
Where to Stay
I wasn’t able to get through all of these fabulous foodie recommends, but some of the experiences made for some of the best meals I’ve ever experienced. Now, a trip to Paris wouldn’t be complete without experiencing some of the romantic, Parisian styled hotels, so here are my two favorites.