J'ai faim: top Paris places to eat

Paris, France

9 places
Elisa Dudnikova

Paris is all about restaurants – you will see at least one wherever you might be. However, not all of them boast service and quality. In our list you will find places with yummy food, impeccable service and outstanding atmosphere.


This restaurant is so talked-about and hard-to-get-without-a-two-month-in-advance-booking. A dinner here is a huge event for everyone who managed to book a table (by phone every weekday from 15 to 17, or online), but it's is worth waiting: the chef used to work with Jamie Oliver, the menu changes every night, and dinner is never a disappointment. Just a little tip: if planning a dinner two months in advance is not your plan but you love spontaneity, come by 7 pm. Smile (it's important, everywhere in Paris) and leave your number in case someone doesn't show up. Then go to their wine bar across the road. There is at least a couple of people who manage to dine here like this every day. If luck is not on your side, you can eat in the wine bar. Evening won't be wasted anyway.


Find Merci concept-store and have a look – right by it you will see Grazie pizza and cocktail bar opened by the son of Merci founder. This dark NYC-loft space has the best pizza in Paris (I'm serious) cooked in a huge oven. The only problem – better book a table two days in advance. However, you can always have a cocktail by the bar facing a stuffed peacock. If you visit on a weekday, get a seat on a leather coach by enormous windows, order a pizza and delicious Italian wine (you can buy it if you like). And Pozzetto. lemon sorbet is a must-have dessert.


Its name doesn't lie – what can be better than a cozy place where awesome chefs treat you to generous and affordable modernized versions of French classics. Have a look at Man Ray on the walls and sit down on a leather sofa to begin with foie gras garnished with passion fruit jelly, or taste a creamy butternut soup with star anise and croutons. Follow with their trademark Saint-Jacques mi-cuites in shellfish juice. Eat it slowly, otherwise they will be all gone in a moment.
Options for vegetarians include fresh vegetables, which is a rarity for France.
If you’re more about the meat, do not miss their grilled Iberian pork. You can cut through it like butter, it’s that succulent. And leave some place for dessert – ‘Tout Chocolat,’ a trio of chocolate in all its forms, will win your heart. And be sure to pair each course with an appropriate Bordeaux from the organic wine list.


Sometimes you want more than just a yummy dinner but an experience. For lunch with the view go to the terrace of Kong futuristic restaurant on the sixth floor of Kenzo building. Designed by Philippe Starck, this fabulous mirrored roof offers stunning views on Paris roofs, Seine and Pont Neuf . You should visit it at least once, just don't forget to book a table and specify you need a veranda one, otherwise you will be seated a floor lower. A nice meal will cost you 30-60€ (they serve British, traditional Japanese and French food). Have a drink (happy hour is from 18 to 20) and make some great shots of Paris.

Table Ronde

The Round Table restaurant is a new haute cuisine place in Marais with a lovely concept behind – sixteen people sit at a semi-circle table to watch magic – the lucky ones can see the best chefs cooking their signature stuff and telling stories. Chefs rotate – it can be Michel Roth from Ritz, Denny Imbroisi who took part in Top Chef, or Anne-Sophie Pic. The place opens several times a week, so forget about spontaneous visit. Book long in advance (luckily you can do it online) and be ready for a 170-200€ bill. Haute cuisine has its price.


An Italian restaurant hidden in a quiet patio right by the noisy Place de l'Opéra. It's dark but stylish and almost always packed (to dine here make a reservation and ask for a window seat). The crowd looks posh the same as interiors and everybody orders pizza – so huge it is served on two big plates. Take one to share but you can cope on your own – the dough is really thin and it’s not that stuffed. The remaining menu is traditional Italian and everything is perfect.

Les Philosophes

If you walk across Marais' most vibrant street – Rue Vieille-du-Temple – you will see L'étoile Manquante, Le Petit Fer à Cheval, Les Philosophes, La Belle Hortense and La Chaise Au Plafond. These restaurants are all close and don't differ in menus much. However, Les Philosophes has the most pleasant atmosphere and nice outdoor tables for people spotting. The food is simple but nicely served and made of super fresh produce. Chefs have no break (a rare case in France where eating in irregular hours is a problem) and waiters are quick and friendly. Don’t be afraid to order fish, meats or salads - they are all delicious. The best deal is plat du jour with a glass of wine (ask a waiter with a long grey beard for advice) and tarte tatin as a dessert – theirs is the best in town.

Jeanne B

If you feel hungry or wine-thirsty (no matter what time it is) when walking around Montmartre and are looking for a lovely place – that's your choice. Jeanne B is a little sister of Jeanne A (42 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud). On a summer day it offers a lovely terrace in rue Lepic and if it's raining go inside and sit by the window. In both cases, order wine. Barrels and bottles surround wooden tables while huge shop windows showcase artichokes, grilled sausages, lobsters, Bretonne pies, pates and marinated escargots – you can taste them all or take out. Better stay inside – whether it's wine or atmosphere but you will for sure feel that life is beautiful when you get out.


Merci is one of the loveliest concept stores in Paris. An enormous well-lit space hidden on Boulevard Beaumarchais seems to be perfect. It regularly showcases installations by the best stylists and designers and has everything – from clothes and accessories to house utilities, furniture, bedding, cosmetics and stationary. All profits go to charity, by the way. The place also has plenty dining options – a cozy Used Book Cafe to the right of the entrance is perfect for breakfast and brunch with a book – they have a library of thousands here. For a light lunch go to Cinema Cafe – they serve several salads and soup of the day. La Cantine on the ground floor has a patio view and healthy options – fresh fruits, smoothies, seasonal products only and fantastic desserts. So, if you have little time and need a party dress, a gift for your friend, something for your home and are hungry – Merci has it all.


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