10 Must-eat places in Paris

10 Must-eat places in Paris

It’s hardly any secret that Paris is a bona fide nirvana for foodies. Home to many of the best restaurants in the world, the most overwhelming thing about eating in Paris is typically choosing where to spend your limited time chowing down. Well, if you’re wondering where to eat in Paris, we’ve done the hard work of narrowing down the deluge of options for you. From charming old-school Parisian bistros to cool outfits dedicated to seasonal market freshness, here are our top 10 must-eat places in Paris right now. 

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1. Astair

Paris is seeing a revival of traditional French brasseries celebrating the time-honoured delights of classic French gastronomy. But few spots serve French fare with as much savoir-vivre as Astair, a chic bistro squirreled away in Paris’ stunning covered arcades (at the intersection of Passage des Panoramas and Galerie des Varietes.) Inside Astair, the beloved French interior designer Tristan Auer has created an ambience that exudes Parisian charm; think a striking stucco cocktail bar, terrazzo floors, and classic bentwood chairs. Much of the menu was designed by triple-Michelin-starred chef Gilles Goujon (the talent behind the renowned L’Auberge du Vieux Puits.) Come to indulge in delicacies like escargots and roasted quail with grapes and figs while moody jazz music wafts through the air. It’s all very elegant without ever feeling pretentious, a testament to the restaurant’s suave, modern take on old-school Parisian dining.

Photo: John Canelis

Photo: Jean-Baptiste Burbaud

2. Loustic

If checking off all the top things to do in Paris has you feeling frazzled, Loustic is a design-forward espresso bar bound to deliver that paramount pick-me-up. The natty space is all plush pink cushions, tiled and planked floor, geometric wallpaper, and exposed concrete walls—a brilliant blend of textures that exudes Bohemian elegance. We’re partial to the chai latte and homemade carrot cake, but you can’t go wrong with any of the coffees on offer (a welcome respite from Paris’ all too abundant bitter and burnt espressos.) Loustic is about a 20-minute walk from the best restaurants in Latin Quarter Paris, so save room to revel in desert and after-dinner coffees here.

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Fresh herbs and vegetables come from the chef’s own garden outside of Paris, and protein options rotate depending on market freshness

3. Tannat

Tannat gets its name from a red grape hailing from southwest France, a fitting inspiration for this neo-bistro that’s all about seasonal ingredients paired with small-scale French wines. Fresh herbs and vegetables come from the chef’s own garden outside of Paris, and protein options rotate depending on market freshness. The vibe here is low-key but sophisticated with its mirrored ceiling, fresh flowers, and detailed food platings. The lunch menu is one of the best bargains you’ll find in Paris; when the sun goes down, Tannat becomes a dimly-lit spot ideal for quiet conversations and romantic date nights. All of which makes Tannat a must-include on any gay travel guide to Paris.

Photo: Alex Munsell

4. L’Abysse

For some of the most decadent sushi and sake that you’ll taste outside of Japan, head straight to L’Abysse. While sushi might not typically make the list of top foods to eat in Paris, France, L’Abysee is a welcome exception. With its dramatic wall sculpture of thousands of crisscrossed chopsticks and undulating walls designed to look like sea urchins, the fantastical decor is an experience in and of itself. But the real magic happens behind the 12-person sushi bar, where meticulously made nigiri sushi is expertly paired with sake by the sommelier Jean-Baptiste. You’ll find the relatively new Japanese restaurant on the ground floor of the historic Pavilion Ledoyen, where Michelin three-star chef Yannick Alleno also has his highly celebrated French restaurant located upstairs.

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5. Dersou

Dersou is unique to most good food places in Paris in that it’s all about pairing an inventive tasting menu with craft cocktails over five, six, or seven courses. Make a reservation well in advance to sit at the bar and watch master chef Taku Sekine artfully whip together each plate, all the while sipping on a perfectly paired drink like a bourbon-Madeira-walnut syrup cocktail. Stripped wood decor, dangling vintage light bulbs, and exposed pipes give the ambience a decidedly trendy yet laid-back vibe. If you prefer an a la carte dining option, stop by Dersou for their always thrumming Sunday brunch. The Thai basil panna cotta is divine.

Photo: Ilnur Kalimullin

Photo: Tommy Milanese

6. Miznon

From Israeli celebrity chef Eyal Shani, this hip Tel Aviv restaurant long revered for its fluffy pitas and next-level hummus now has an outpost in Paris. Pita sandwiches take center stage at Miznon, best accompanied with the restaurant’s signature whole-roasted cauliflower. Just as its Israeli homebase, the decor here is warm and welcoming; if you can’t get a seat in the buzzing dining room, take away is available. Miznon is a smart choice for any day of the week, but it’s especially sought after on Mondays and Sundays when much of the rest of Paris is closed down.

7. Falafel on Rue des Rosiers

It’s hardly any secret that falafel tops the list for the best street food in Paris. While you’ll find falafel stands across the city, Rue des Rosiers in the Jewish quarter of the Marais district takes the prize as the top spot to get your deep-fried chickpea fix. Any shop with a snaking line around lunchtime is a safe bet, but gay travellers who prefer to err on the side of caution should make a beeline for L’As du Falafel; it’s a Parisian favourite that’s well worth the wait. With your prized falafel in hand, discover the top things to do in Le Marais with our in-depth guide to one of Paris’ most fashionable districts.

Photo: Dewang Gupta

Septime

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Winner of the highly acclaimed Sustainable Restaurant Award, Owner-chef Bertrand Grebaut takes fine dining to the next level at Septime

8. L’avant Comptoir

There’s no shortage of popular foods in Paris, France to taste test. Enter the fabulousness that is L’avant Comptoir, a small plates wine bar that boasts succulent tapas-style menu items like Cap Ferret oysters, charcuterie boards, and roasted scallops and salmon croquettes. It’s standing room only at this always buzzing neighbourhood haunt, but the high energy and jostling bar are all part of the fun. Plus, the next-level artisanal bread and creamy hand-churned butter promise a satiating nibble while you wait to get the bartender’s attention. The wine list is impressive; opt for a bottle and make an evening out of the unique Paris dining experience.

9. Le Colimaçon

If you’re wondering what food do they eat in Paris, Le Colimaçon is a fitting spot to continue your French food education. Tucked away in historic Marais, this rustic Parisian bistro features traditional cuisine far removed from the traditional tourist traps in the surrounding streets. Decadent dishes like local morel mushrooms in cream and rabbit stuffed with foie gras and bacon are just a few of the soul-warming, crowd-pleasers. Extra friendly service and generous portion sizes round out this charming bistro experience.

Le Colimaçon

Le Colimaçon

10. Septime

You’ll need to book three weeks in advance to score a seat at this highly coveted Paris restaurant, but don’t let the extra effort at scoring a seat deter you from calling ahead. Winner of the highly acclaimed Sustainable Restaurant Award, Owner-chef Bertrand Grebaut takes fine dining to the next level at Septime—without any arrogance or a high environmental footprint. Septime attracts serious foodies to its Nordic, paired-back space. Expect a cosy ambience that’s all reclaimed wood, exposed concrete and industrial lighting. Dinner is a surprise tasting menu that plays on the textures and flavours of seasonal ingredients. Pair it with any of the superb natural wines on offer.

Septime

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