International travel is finally back with a bang, and one of the first places we’re heading to is the City of Lights. As cafés, restaurants, and terrasses begin to reopen their long-shuttered doors, we can’t wait to dive back into all that Paris’ food and wine scene has to offer. Not sure where to start? We’ve got your back. Check out nine of our favorite Parisian restaurants, here. If you love French gastronomy, keep this article in your back pocket – we promise you (and your stomach) won’t regret it.
Friendly, hospitable service, inviting ambiance and great food? At Marrow, you don’t have to choose. Situated just south of Gare de l’Est, this cozy, natural wine-focused joint is headed by Arthur Combe and Hugo Blanchet (formerly of Robuchon). The restaurant’s stone walls are clad with oil paintings and antique décor, and the ambiance is just the beginning. Enjoy heartfelt, homemade dishes washed down with copious glasses of tasty, hand-curated natural wine. Of course the restaurant is best known for its bone marrow, though vegetarian-focused options are available. Sample dishes include grilled shrimp with asparagus and pistachio, beef tongue pizza with scallions, and seared cuttlefish with bacon. Save room for cocktails and dessert – from citrus tarts and parfaits to bitter vermouths, absinthe, and everything in between, this place has it all.
Named for the quaint street on which it is situated, Le Saint-Sébastien has become a no-brainer for Paris-bound foodies and wine lovers alike. The restaurant offers a contemporary take on classic French favorites, with many produce-driven options available (vegetarians, rejoice!) Chef Christopher Edwards has worked in restaurants around the globe, adding a touch of international flare to the restaurant’s ever-changing menu. Le Saint-Sébastien’s impeccable wine list features over 400 references. Expect everything from homemade gnocchi with grilled eggplant and frizzled onions to head cheese with peas and pickled cherries to Saint Pierre ikejime (John Dory) with rhubarb and celery and more. Sidewalk seating, dietary restrictive alternatives, and a French/Spanish/English-speaking staff make the deal all the sweeter. Fair warning, this may become your new favorite Parisian restaurant.
Headed by Marseille native Frédéric Duca, this Batignolles-based restaurant is breathing new life into the 17th arrondissement’s food and beverage scene. After running the kitchen at New York’s highly acclaimed Racines, Duca returned to Paris and opened Rooster in early 2019. Here, Duca brings the flavors of New York, elegance of Paris, and his own southern French origins to every thoughtfully-curated dish on the menu. With regards to flavor, Duca’s dishes pack a serious punch. A fan of all things flavor, Duca frequently uses bold herbs, pungent star anise, and other flavor-packed ingredients to adorn his fresh meat and produce-based dishes. Rotating menu items have included grilled redfish with mashed potatoes and beurre blanc, veal tartare with sheep’s milk ricotta and tarragon oil, and sautéed quid with parsley, black rice, tomato, and fava beans. Note – this is another place where you won’t want to skip dessert.
Located steps away from Paris’ Canal Saint-Martin, this new-to-the-scene, wine-focused joint is perfect for Paris-bound travelers looking for a taste of something beyond traditional French favorites. Recently, founders Camille Machet and Victor Vaultier enlisted the help of chef Mathias Silberbauer, who brings an exotic twist to the cave’s small plates. Expect Basque-inspired steak tartare and Japanese katsu sandos, as well as produce-focused selections such as smoked celeriac purée and corn with chanterelles and apricots, and more. Post up, grab a bottle of thoughtfully-curated natural wine, and try as many small plates as you can – you won’t regret it.
Founded by Hélène Darroze, recently voted best female chef in the world, this South West-inspired menu is one of our go-to picks when craving classic French cuisine. Located just a few steps from the Grands Boulevards métro stop, Darroze’s menu features homemade recipes from her grandmother that promise to please; expect duck foie gras burgers, millefeuille crepes with Matcha and yuzu cream, and other traditional French dishes with global twists. Darroze herself describes her cuisine as “unobtrusive,“ in that “the dishes are fair and speak to everyone.” Oh, and the international wine list exclusively features wines made by women across France, Italy, Spain, and the United States – but not to worry, a slew of elevated cocktails are also regularly available, should you be thirsting for something a bit stronger. Sign us up!
Fresh seafood lovers, we’ve got just the place for you. This sister restaurant of Septime is also run by Théo Pourriat and Bertrand Grébaut, and promises a refreshing break from often heavy traditional French cuisine. The menu changes daily, though seafood lovers can expect the riffs on go-to favorites: raw bar towers, tuna tartare, seafood carpaccios, smoked shrimp, and beyond. The restaurant’s all-natural wine list is curated to pair perfectly with the menu’s carefully made dishes (and promises an equally refreshing reprieve from your run-of-the-mill bistro carafe). Looking to savor something sweet? Head to Clamato’s newly opened bakery, Tapisserie, located just a few steps from the restaurant. Indulge in tasty treats such as apricot tarts with rosemary and thyme, vanilla flan, and of course, the group’s signature maple tart with homemade whipped cream.
Aux Bons Crus
Looking for a classic French bistro to live out all of your French gastronomy-inspired dreams? This reliable restaurant is just the ticket. Clad with quaint bread baskets and red-and-white checkered tablecloths, Aux Bons Crus is known for its simple-yet-delicious home cooked dishes. Expect the classics here: beef stew, steak au poivre, and of course, fluffy chocolate mousse. Vegetarians may not fare super well here, though meat eaters looking for a hearty (and inexpensive) plate will certainly be delighted.
Located in Paris’ 20th arrondissement, this small-yet-rowdy French bistro has long been a foodie favorite of visitors and locals alike. Spearheaded by Raquel Carena, this natural wine-focused destination is well worth the trek from Paris’ city center up to the inclined streets of Belleville – though don’t expect the service to be overcharming. However, what the restaurant often lacks in hospitality is made up for in Carena’s delicious, home-cooked meals. Even Anthony Bourdain himself found the pilgrimage to be worth the climb. For those looking to save a few euros, head to Le Baratin at lunch and enjoy the 19 euro menu. Sample dishes include pigeon with sherry vinegar, seafood tartar, and beef carpaccio with fresh goat cheese – think classic French bistro food that promises to leave you stuffed.