The Champs Elysées is Paris’s most iconic street and an unmissable attraction for travellers to the French capital. Known for its chic cafés and bustling boutiques, the famous avenue and its surrounding streets also host a number of fantastic restaurants for hungry visitors.
Walk in the footsteps of the rich and famous at Le Fouquet's
Restaurant, French, $$$
The famous Le Fouquet’s is a classic Parisian brasserie on the corner of Avenue Georges V and the Champs-Élysées. Since 1899, this establishment has had ties with the artistic community, particularly the stars of cinema, and has hosted some of the most famous names of eras past: Charlie Chaplin, Jackie Onassis, Marlene Dietrich and Winston Churchill were all fans. Today, Le Fouquet’s menu shines a spotlight on traditional brasserie dishes with a modern twist. The steamed cauliflower with truffle salad is a good example of this, elevating the seemingly simple into something outstanding.
Chef Hide Kobayashi’s eponymous bistro, which is located just steps away from the Arc de Triomphe, is refreshing in its approach to cuisine: quality, proclaims Kobayashi’s website, does not need to come at an elevated price tag. Le Hide’s menu is traditionally French and for just €38 (£33) – unheard of in the area – you can enjoy an entrée, main and dessert. Servings are generous, and flavours are rich: try the entrecôte fried in half-salted butter, or the lamb shoulder with chanterelle mushrooms. If you’re keen, come early – there’s always a line and the restaurant doesn’t take bookings.
86Champs celebrates the beauty in both life and food
This vibrant, greenery-filled space plays host to none other than celebrated pastry chef Pierre Hermé. Together with French beauty brand L’Occitane – in perhaps one of the most pleasurable of collaborations – this lifestyle concept store offers restaurant menus for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. The menu leads with pudding first, while savoury dishes are humorously listed under the heading: ‘to accompany desserts’. The most interesting part of the restaurant’s design is its dessert bar, where patrons can watch their food being made, getting a peep behind a very sweet curtain that most diners don’t have the chance to experience every day.
Pay homage to celebrity chef Joël Robuchon at L'Atelier Etoile
Restaurant, French, $$$
The late, great Joël Robuchon, who was named ‘Chef of the Century’ by French restaurant guide Gault Millau, was one of France’s most well-known gastronomic stars, and the recipient of many food awards. L’Atelier Etoile, which is located in Publicis Drugstore on the Champs-
Élysées, is his outpost on Paris’s Left Bank, and was founded on the concept of allowing the customer to watch the preparation of their meal. Expect some truly exceptional cooking from the well-designed open kitchen, including vegan and gluten-free options.
No trip to Paris is complete without a trip to Ladurée. The flagship store hosts one of the best bars along the Champs-Élysées, as well as an on-site restaurant that serves more than just their beloved macarons and patisseries. The key to getting the most out of a meal at Ladurée is to keep the entrée and main light in order to save room for what is always a marvellous dessert, but that’s easier said than done when the menu features tempting dishes like lobster vol-au-vents, black truffle risotto, and roast turbot with champagne sauce.
Le Relais de l'Entrecôte is the best place for steak frites in Paris
Restaurant, French, $$$
The Parisian outpost of the famed Swiss chain Le Relais de l’Entrecôte has a home not far from the Champs-Élysées. The restaurant serves only one dish – steakfrites – but unsurprisingly has it down to a fine art. There is no menu; the only thing required of patrons is to let the waitstaff know how you want your meat cooked. The entrecôte is then wheeled out – on a silver platter – and cut in front of guests. The steak melts in your mouth and is served with perfect, twice-cooked French fries, all bathed in a very moreish sauce. If someone’s touching the salad, you know they’ve probably not been before; watch their faces when they receive the universal second helping of steak. Come hungry: at €40 for three courses, it’s the best value for money you’ll find in Paris’s Golden Triangle.
Alain Ducasse – arguably one of the most famous chefs in the world – is one of those rare gastronomes with the ability to completely redefine what we call haute cuisine, something which he’s done to perfection at Plaza Athenée. The restaurant’s menu showcases three things: vegetables, grains and fish. The emphasis here is on naturalité, or ‘naturalness’; preserving the original flavour of each ingredient and showing care and respect to the produce, and the real standout is dessert. Niçoise lemon with kombu seaweed and tarragon, and the Passe-Crassane pear from Lizac, served with jellified sake with crushed and iced green shiso, are both fantastic ways to end an already divine meal.
Learn about Thierry Marx's fast good food revolution at Marxito
Restaurant, Japanese, European
Celebrity chef Thierry Marx is best known for his role as a judge on popular French food show Top Chef. And in Marxito, which opened in 2018, Marx focusses on his philosophy to ‘eat fast, and eat good’. This concept combines two of Marx’s favourite cuisines: street food and Japanese. A sandwich shop by any other name, Marxito’s signature is buckwheat pancakes (inspired by dorayaki, Japanese azuki-bean pastry) filled with ‘hand-picked’ ingredients such as smoked salmon with avocado, Japanese radish and a miso-parsley sauce; marinated eggplant, mozzarella and piquilhos sauce. And the wonderful range of flavour combinations at Marxitos isn’t just restricted to the savoury options; there’s also a decent selection of sweet treats for dessert.
When Japanese chef Ryushi Teshima opened his first restaurant, critics clamoured. The young chef’s menu was described as retaining a sense of purity that is unique to Japanese cuisine. Great respect is paid to the raw materials Teshima works with, and their terroir; the land and the way in which ingredients are grown and prepared. With an open kitchen, guests can witness the respect that goes into Teshima’s meal preparation. Plates are artfully constructed and are truly beautiful to look at, particularly thanks to the use of edible powders and flowers.