My American friend Ellen from the blog TWOBOOMERSABROAD went to Paris for an unforgettable month last September-October. Before she left, she told me about all the Parisian restaurants she hoped to try while there. I followed her Facebook posts with great interest as she went from arrondissement to arrondissement, looking for the best restaurants, brasseries and cafés.
When she returned home to the States, I asked her if she would like to share her dining experience in Paris on this blog. She kindly agreed. So, I am pleased to share with you my friend Ellen’s gastronomic journey in Paris with lots of good addresses. I hope you will find them helpful if you plan a trip to Paris this year.
And as we say so well in France: bon appétit!
Tell me in the comments at the bottom of the article if you have any Parisian restaurants to recommend!
How Many Parisian Restaurants Can You Try in 31 Days?
The answer is…a lot!
I recently returned from a blissful month in Paris.
I mainly stayed in apartments with the intention of eating lunch in a restaurant when I was out and about during the day and making my own dinner at night “chez moi”.
But as is often the case with best-laid plans, it was too tempting to eat out, so most dinners were eaten in restaurants.
I’m not a foodie, but I appreciate good food and wine. Of course, some restaurants were better than others, but I can honestly say that I didn’t have a bad meal during the month.
And if you’ve had wine in France, you probably know how good it is and how affordable it is there. Often the house wine is just as good as other wines on the menu and usually at least a Euro or two less expensive per glass.
In this article I’ll highlight the restaurants that I particularly liked, listed by arrondissement.
La Rose de France
24 Place Dauphine, 1st arrondissement
Whether you eat there or not, you should visit the Place Dauphine on Ile de la Cité just off the Pont Neuf. It’s a charming square with quite a few restaurants.
La Rose de France had been recommended to me and it lived up to its reputation. We had lunch outside on a warm late September day and it was wonderful. Later in the month, I stopped for an afternoon snack and ordered a cheese board which was delicious.
This was my chèvre-chaud salad, as good as it was artistically presented.
Robert et Louise
64 Rue Vieille du Temple, 3rd arrondissement
My son and daughter-in-law joined me for a few days and wanted to treat me to a belated birthday dinner – my choice of restaurant. Again, based on recommendations, I chose Robert et Louise in the Marais. It’s as popular as it is good, so reservations are a must. It definitely lived up to its reputation!
It has two levels for dining, and we chose the lower (underground) level, which was warm and cozy.
28 Rue Vieille du Temple, 4th arrondissement (Marais)
Les Philosophes is right in the middle of the Marais and has been around for ages. I had a delicious boeuf bourguignon with friends one evening. Like most good restaurants, it was crowded, and the only downside was that it was somewhat noisy.
Aux Anysetiers Du Roy
61 Rue Saint-Louis en L’Ile, 4th arrondissement (Ile Saint-Louis)
Although I feel that all the restaurants in this article were good and worthy of discussion, some stood out.
Aux Anysetiers Du Roy is one of those. It’s a tiny hole-in-the-wall on the rue Saint-Louis en l’Ile.
My daughter and I both had boeuf bourguignon and I can say it is one of the best meals I’ve ever had. I recommended it to some friends, and they also loved it. And like so many small restaurants in France, the atmosphere was as good as the food.
L’Auberge de la Reine Blanche
30 Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île, 4th arrondissement (Ile Saint-Louis)
Just down the street is L’Auberge de la Reine Blanche. This was the third or fourth time I’ve eaten there and I’ve never been disappointed. The food, wine and service are all outstanding.
6 Rue Jean du Bellay, 4th arrondissement (Ile Saint-Louis)
Le Saint-Régis is my go-to café on Ile Saint-Louis, especially for breakfast. I’ve also had lunch there – a delicious chèvre-chaud salad.
It’s on a very busy corner and on a nice day, it’s fun to sit outside and watch the crowds walk (and bike) back and forth between this island and Ile de la Cité.
L’Assiette Aux Fromages
25 Rue Mouffetard, 5th arrondissement
Do you crave raclette or fondue? I was walking down rue Mouffetard one day and decided to try my first raclette at L’Assiette Aux Fromages.
Since this is the first time I’ve had it, I have nothing to compare it to, but it was darn good! And the decorations made me think I was actually in Switzerland.
Le Petit Châtelet
39 Rue de la Bûcherie (near Shakespeare & Co), 5th arrondissement
You wouldn’t necessarily think that a restaurant in one of the most heavily-touristed areas of Paris could be so good, but it is.
Since we didn’t have a reservation, we arrived at Le Petit Châtelet at 7 pm when they opened for the evening and were graciously given a table. I’ll definitely be back.
This lovely lady spent quite a while toasting bread over the open flame – it was so good!
Au Père Louis
30 rue Monsieur le Prince, 6th arrondissement
During my recent trip, my husband joined me for the first week and we stayed in the 6th arrondissement on rue de Vaugirard.
We decided to stay close to the hotel the first night and ended up at a lovely little restaurant at the corner, Au Père Louis.
We actually ate there a couple of times. Both the food and the customer service are excellent and the atmosphere is inviting.
This salmon was delicious.
Le Prince Racine
22 Rue Monsieur le Prince, 6th arrondissement
Another neighborhood restaurant just down the street that I’ve frequented a number of times including during this trip is Café Le Prince Racine.
It’s casual, relatively inexpensive and the food and customer service are good. Unlike many other restaurants, it’s open all day so it doesn’t matter what time you want to eat.
34 Rue Mazarine, 6th arrondissement
Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos of Il Vicolo (you can find some on their website). My son and daughter-in-law decided to detour from French food one night and we lucked upon this gem.
Owned by this Italian mother and her two sons, it was exquisite in every way. And we downed a bottle of Montepulciano which rivaled the French wines I had had during the month.
La Fontaine de Mars
129 Rue Saint-Dominique, 7th arrondissement
This is the gold medal winner.
I had read and heard about how excellent it is, so one day when I was exploring the art nouveau of the 7th arrondissement I decided to try it for lunch.
I didn’t have a reservation (they asked), but I was happily given a table. It was a Wednesday and their special was coq au vin.
My mouth waters just thinking about it. The île flottante dessert melted in my mouth. Words don’t do this restaurant justice.
I wanted to return during the month but wasn’t able to, so it’s going to be one of the first restaurants I go to the next time I’m in Paris.
140 Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, 10th arrondissement
I had read about the Brasserie Bellanger, so while I was prowling the neighborhood I tried it for lunch.
The lunch crowd was mainly people from offices in the area; I’m sure I was the only non-French person there as this neighborhood isn’t one that tourists usually frequent.
My croque-monsieur was delicious, and of course, it was washed down with a glass of Côtes du Rhône!
I normally don’t take photos of washrooms, but the sinks here were works of art!
36 Rue Beaurepaire, 10th arrondissement (Canal St. Martin)
This hip little place had been on my radar for a while. I had lunch at Chez Prune while exploring the area around Canal Saint-Martin.
While the name may not elicit thoughts of culinary excellence, the food certainly did. My salad was excellent and I loved the eclectic atmosphere. On a nice day, sit outside and enjoy the canal.
This was my wonderful Asian salad.
La Boîte aux Lettres
108 Rue Lepic, 18th arrondissement (Montmartre)
And finally, Montmartre. I spent four days in an apartment there and ate at a number of restaurants. I can honestly say that every meal was good, but two restaurants stood out.
La Boîte aux Lettres is considered one of the best restaurants in Montmartre. My daughter had also gifted me a belated birthday meal, so she and I had dinner here during our time in Montmartre. It was outstanding. Nondescript from the street, the interior is inviting and warm.
I had steak and mashed potatoes which were as good as they look.
I love how so many restaurants’ menus are chalkboards!
La Maison Rose
2 Rue de l’Abreuvoir, 18th arrondissement (Montmartre)
La Maison Rose is probably one of the most photographed buildings in Paris for good reason.
It’s always busy but my daughter and I were lucky to get an outside table on a beautiful early October day. We didn’t see the inside, so I will have to wait for my next trip to Paris! I had a salad which was excellent.
A note about eating in French and Parisian restaurants
Be prepared to relax and not be rushed.
Those of us in the US are used to the check being presented in warp speed, often before dessert.
This is not the case in France where having a meal is an experience to be savored, not rushed.
In most cases in France, it’s necessary to ask for “l’addition”. It might be easy to become frustrated when you can’t get the attention of the server.
Bring a friend, a good book or your mobile device – or just take in your surroundings – and enjoy experiencing this part of French culture.
Ellen’s retirement job is writing about her travels in her blog, TWOBOOMERSABROAD. She is a lifelong francophile and spends as much time in France as she can.
Get A Table in Paris!
A few months ago I received this newly published book and I am taking the opportunity of this article about Parisian restaurants to introduce it to you. And guess what? Most of the restaurants Ellen visited and listed above are in the book!
A TABLE IN PARIS is an invitation to explore all that the Paris dining scene has to offer, through beautiful drawings, personal stories, and recommendations from those who know it best.
Discover the dining scene of Paris
Paris is a city like no other, beloved by travelers the world over for its incomparable architecture, atmosphere, arts, and, of course, food.
Parisian restaurants are rich in history, culture, and flavor.
Whether you’re a frequent visitor to the City of Light with memories of your favorite meals or an armchair traveler dreaming of the cuisine you could discover there, A Table in Paris will take you on a delicious visual journey through the arrondissements that you’ll never forget.
In his signature loose and evocative style, artist John Donohue has rendered an incredible sampling of the iconic institutions, hidden gems, and everything in between that make the Paris dining scene one of a kind.
Full of great Parisian restaurants recommendations for future trips to Paris!
Guided by recommendations from a breadth of locals, visitors, and experts, you’ll discover the Parisian restaurants one must visit and the dishes one must sample in pursuit of the perfect French meal.
The book also offers space for your Paris dining bucket list, food memories or dreams from each arrondissement, and notes on the establishments featured.
Restaurants hold a powerful place in our hearts, and a table in Paris is a must-have for anyone with epicurean visions of Paris in theirs.
Get A TABLE IN PARIS: The cafés, bistros, and brasseries of the World’s most romantic city by John Donohue.
Please note: this is a sponsored link to Amazon. If you’re planning a trip, using this link helps us keep things running. There’s no extra cost to you. All you have to do is click the link and any booking you make is automatically tracked. Thank you for your support!
Parisian restaurants: Pin it for later
Pierre, this article brings back such good memories, both culinary and general, of my month in Paris. There are so many good restaurants in Paris; I look forward to trying more with the help of John’s book when I return in April!
A big ‘MERCI’ Ellen for your gastronomic journey around Paris… as we say in French: Ça nous met l’eau à la bouche! 😋
Book ordered, thanks
You’re welcome, hope you’ll love it too! 🙂
Off to Paris in a few weeks, and already have a reservation for Aux Anysetiers Du Roy. Alas, Google shows Au Lys D'Argent as "Permanently closed". Any other recommendations for desert nearby?
Hello Rob. Thank you for your feedback – I had a quick look, and it seems the restaurant “Au Lys D’Argent” closed for good on 31 July 2022. I have just removed it from the list. The closest place I can think of would be Berthillon, famous for its ice cream!