Paris 10 best bars and restaurants

Paris je t'aime

Paris je t’aime

An escapade in Paris, the city of light, isn’t complete until you have been to its best bars and restaurants. From terraces to enjoy coffees till hipster cocktail bars and michelin starred restaurants, your favourite Parisian foodie (me!) selected 10 best restaurants and bars in Paris – along with their signature dishes. Enjoy and bon voyage!

**** Click on the venue name for more details ****

Cafe Charlot: 38 rue de bretagne, 75003, Paris: it’s a sunny day in Paris and you want to celebrate that on a terrace, in the most lively arrondissement of Paris: le Marais. This arty and trendy district is full of parisians, art galleries, designers shops and is the perfect place to wanderlust in small parisians streets. The cafe is located opposite the market ‘le marché des enfants rouges’, which is kind of  a food court, boasting an italian restaurant, a flower shop, some dishes from La reunion… In the Café Charlot, the truth is that the service is very french (=cold) and the food is overpriced, hence my recommendation to stop by for a coffee or a drink, an aperitif of Pastis or a glass of Rosé wine, to indulge in people watching surrounded by locals.

Pirouette , 5 rue mondetour, 75001 Paris : fast becoming one of the parisians’ favourite restaurants in town, Pirouette is fully booked almost everyday. A mean set lunch for a ridiculous 18 euros includes gastronomic (understand: small portions) of seasonal dishes, pairing remarkably with the wine list. The owners, Tomy Gousset and Jean Marie Frechet are famous chef and wine experts, hence this is the ideal place to try real french moderne cuisine without robbing the bank. The restaurant has floor to ceiling windows that lets a lot of light in – though beware of the table nearby the door should you come for dining on a cold day. Don’t miss: the Saint Chinian  “Causse du Bousquet” red wine (30€ per bottle), the signature dessert “Ossall Iraty avec confiture de cerise noire” (a cake made with a basque cheese and its red cherry jam) A.M.A.Z.I.N.G

The superb Soufflé @ la Regalade St Honoré

The superb Soufflé @ la Regalade St Honoré

La regalade, saint Honoré 123 rue saint honore, 75001 Paris: an hearty french restaurant revisiting classics with a zest of modernity, serving generous  portions in a delicious chic manner. The crowd is mixed – from the fashionistas on a shopping spree till the businessmen closing a deal or groups of friends in their thirties. The meal starts with a complimentary homemade paté and some cornichons as appetizer and is followed by your selection from the set menu (35€). Ever tried a soufflé, I mean, a real and expertly executed soufflé? this is the place for a perfectly mastered, light yet generous soufflé – the signature dessert of La regalade

Andy walhoo / Derriere 69 rue des gravilliers, 75003 Paris: you have been walking your heart off in Paris’ streets, stopped by the still futuristic Pompidou museum and the colourful fountain Stavinsky by Nikki de St Phalle, and now you would like to rest your feet and celebrate this beautiful day, far from the crowdy and touristy places. Stop by Andy walhoo for a drink, a trendy casual buzzing bar with eclectic decoration ranging from moroccan lamps till pop art bottles of beers, surrounded by locals enjoying their afterwork apero. Love the place? Don’t want to leave? move at the back for a dinner in the courtyard at the restaurant ‘Derrriere”, serving french comforting food in a secluded and so romantic parisian backyard. If you are familiar with Momo in London, this belongs to the same (hype) group.

Lena et mimile 32 rue tournefort, 75005 Paris: looking for dining options on the posh left bank of the seine? Lena & Mimile is our top restaurant there, in the 5th arrondissement nearby the Pantheon. An hidden and unexpected gem far from the touristy St Michel restaurants-serving-traditional-french-onion-soups. Lena & Mimile is located in a backstreet, inside an old parisian house and has the most exquisite private terrace overlooking the street, with a mediterranean feeling to it. The menu obviously boasts some Mediterranean influences and on a bright summer night this very sought after restaurant requires a booking for your dinner al fresco. The desserts need to be reserved when you first order, since they come from the talented Pierre Hermé (considered as the Picasso of Pastry by Vogue) and are thus available in small quantities. Not to be missed: the fabulous ‘Tartare de courgettes, fromage blanc aux herbes et caramel de vin rosé’, the “Tarte infiniment citron” (lemon tart)

Il Carpaccio - Best italian restaurant in Paris

Il Carpaccio – Best italian restaurant in Paris

Il carpaccio 37 avenue hoche, 75008 Paris: nested inside the refurnished Royal Monceau hotel nearby the ChampsElysées, this Philippe Starck designed restaurant occupies a secluded terrace, ideal for a romantic lunch or summertime dinner, and an inside area reminiscent of the italian riviera restaurants – with just a hint of kitch. The chef is the renowned Roberto Rispoli, immensely talented italian chef, and all his brigade is italian too. I am very peculiar about italian food and wouldn’t eat in a place that serves carbonara with cream instead of egg whites, and this is, to me, the best italian restaurant in Paris. Its one michelin star is more than deserved, given the high quality of each ingredient selected for every single dish according to the season, the creativity from the chef and the impeccable service. Don’t miss: the signature menu if you are hungry, otherwise the seasonal risottos are always a big hit. Pierre Hermé is responsible for the splendid desserts here too.

Apicius, 20 rue d’artois, 75008 Paris: still in the ChampsElysées area, should you wish to try the ‘creme de la creme’ or best of the best restaurant, this 2 michelin stars restaurant nested in a private hotel (hotel particulier) instantly induces an exclusive and relaxing feeling. A huge sculpture welcomes the guests in the manicured garden and can be appreciated from the outside terrace for a pre-dinner drink. Dinner is served inside the high ceiling living room and comprises the best execution of bourgeois french dishes with a twist of innovation that one can find in Paris, masterly executed by chef Jean Pierre Vigato. The signature dish is the unforgettable ‘Charlotte de pommes de terre de Noirmoutier au caviar oscietre’ and the surprise dessert ‘ Grand dessert tout chocolat’. Masterpieces.

Apicius signature dish

Apicius signature dish

Experimental cocktail club:, 37 rue saint sauveur, 75002 Paris; the after dinner drinks scene was a bit conventional if not boring until the talented and inspired crew behind it (ECC) opened the first cocktail bars in Paris. Their first opus was the Experimental, a speakeasy hidden inside a small parisian shop nearby the lively Montorgueil street. The crew then opened the Curio Parlor on the left bank, and invaded the London and NYC cocktails scenes. Put on your smartest shoes, dress up and be sparkling – the doorman will then let you in the house of what is considered to be the best cocktail makers in town.

Silencio by David Lynch , 142 rue montmartre 75002 Paris: certainly the most exclusive club in town, entirely designed by the intriguing David Lynch. The doormen are very, highly selective and your smartest outfit is required to be able to get inside this club d’un nouveau genre.

Barbershop , 68 avenue de la republique, 75011 Paris: on saturdays and sundays our inclination for lazy long lunches is satisfied by brunches, especially on a rainy day. Most of the restaurants in Paris are now offering their version of it, but not always with success. Our favourite one is served at the Barbershop, an airy, arty restaurant and bar in the hipster republique area (nearby our beloved Hotel Fabric), where guests sit comfortably in mismatching leather sofas, surrounded by Obey art pieces and other current art exhibition. The detox Kusmi tea or your choice of coffee pairs delicious set brunches or a la carte, going from burgers, eggs benedict till a not-to-be-missed carrot cake. Also a great place for drinks in the evening.

From le gay marais till the famous ChampsElysées, from terraces till the most exclusive club in town, I have shared with you my top 10 restaurants and bars in Paris.  I still have many more close to my heart and I would happily share them with you – feel free to drop me an email / comment anytime should you wish additional recommendations.

A bientôt!


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