The 38 Essential Restaurants in Paris – Alexander Lobrano

Helen Rosner

From a cozy ’80s-era bistro with Korean twists, to the Hotel Plaza Athénée where an upstart just replaced gastro wizard Alain Ducasse, here’s where to eat in the French capital

Paris has reclaimed its status as one of the world’s favorite cities to eat. . The French capital is bustling with a brilliant constellation of restaurants these days, including a bevy of openings that show off how deliciously cosmopolitan it’s become: Menkicchi is maybe the best ramen shop in town, young Franco-Malian chef Mory Sacko cooks stunningly original Franco-African-Japanese dishes at MoSuke, and Korean-born chef Sukwon Yong shows off the growing influence of Asia on contemporary French cooking at the reboot of Le Bistrot Flaubert. Plus there’s an inventive and diverse array of casual dining options, like the affordable Café du Coin, excellent Montmartre bistro Le Maquis, and Parcelles, an outstanding bistrot a vins in the Marais. There’s also been a renaissance of Paris’s long-established gastronomic landscape, with traditional bistros, brasseries, and stylish restaurants serving classic French cooking made famous by chef Auguste Escoffier.

Updated, May 2022:

With tourism picking up and mask- and proof-of-vaccination mandates lapsing , Paris restaurants are thriving again. The cooking of young chefs like Tom Meyer at Granite —which replaces Maison on this list — showcases the Parisian gastronomic grail of the last few years: using only seasonal produce that’s as local and organic as possible. The restaurant also plays to the new interest in the regional kitchens of France; Meyer references his native Jura by using vin jaune, Morteau sausage, and other products from eastern France. The seemingly immutable landscape of French haute cuisine has also gotten a jolt from the arrival of chef Jean Imbert, who takes over the kitchens of the palmy Hotel Plaza Athénée formerly run by Gallic gastro wizard Alain Ducasse. Jean Imbert au Plaza Athénée not only offers much more reasonable prices than the table it replaced (be forewarned, it’s still a wallet-bruiser), but a grand slam of impeccably mad dishes from the grand canon of traditional French gastronomy like lobster Bellevue and chicken in a sauce of morels and vin jaune.

Prices per person, excluding alcohol:

$ = Less than 10 euros (less than $10 USD)
$$ = 10 – 35 euros ($10 – $36 USD)
$$$ = 35 – 75 euros ($36 – $78 USD)
$$$$ = More than 75 euros ($78 USD and up)

Looking for a more comprehensive take on Paris, from the hottest new restaurants to a ranking of the best macarons? Consult the Eater Guide to Paris.

Alexander Lobrano is a Paris restaurant expert and author of Hungry for Paris, Hungry for France, and his gastronomic coming-of-age story My Place at the Table. He blogs about restaurants and writes often for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Saveur, and other publications.

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