Abundant in history and culture, Montmartre is one of the best places from which to explore picturesque Paris. If you’re looking for a place to eat in Montmartre, the former village is also rich in gastronomy, with a host of restaurants blending fine dining with a taste of history and contemporary culture. In our updated dining guide, we’ve selected the 10 best restaurants to help you experience the district in all its splendour.
Charcuterie, Restaurant, Italian, $$$
With its purple facade and small pavement terrace, it is hard to miss Le Babalou on the rue Lamarck, one of the main streets winding down from Sacre-Coeur. Le Babalou specialises in fine Italian cuisine, offering a great choice of authentic pizzas and fresh pasta dishes, all prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Desserts are no less authentic, featuring some delicious favourite Italian sweet treats such as homemade tiramisu and panna cotta. Le Babalou’s interesting interior is reminiscent of a living room complete with patterned wallpaper, well-stocked bookshelves and a fine collection of lampshades, making this a great spot to feel immersed in the area.
Le Café de la Poste
Brasserie, Cafe, Fishmonger, Patisserie, French, $$$
Situated at the bottom of the Butte in a busy shopping street, Le Café de la Poste is the perfect place to mingle with locals and get a true taste of Montmartre life. It’s an authentic brasserie, and the menu offers a great selection of burgers and steaks, including steak à cheval topped with a fried egg, snack foods and cheese or cooked meat platters to accompany a bottle of wine from the well-stocked cellar. In keeping with the local spirit, the neighbouring tradespeople, including the fishmonger, baker and patisserie supply Le Café de la Poste with high-quality fresh produce. A glass of wine at Le Café de la Poste can extend into the night with the occasional evening events organised around a good plate of traditional French cuisine.
Chez La Mère Catherine
Restaurant, French, European, Vegetarian, $$$
No visit to Montmartre would be complete without a wander around the Place du Tertre to observe artists painting at their easels and showcasing their work. This bustling area also boasts some of the oldest restaurants in Paris, including La Mère Catherine, founded as far back as 1793. The restaurant is bursting with symbols of the old days, with the ambience of old Montmartre captured in the paintings that line the walls, live musicians singing the likes of Piaff as they circle the red and white gingham-dressed tables and a menu of copious French classics, including onion soup bubbling with melted cheese, frog legs and the famous apple pie tarte tatin. In the summer months, La Mère Catherine shares the Palace du Tertre with the artists, setting up a secluded terrace and providing an excellent spot to linger over a long lunch to the sound of the bells chiming from the nearby Sacre-Coeur.
Pub, Restaurant, Vegan, Vegetarian
Montmartre’s iconic Moulin Rouge, which lights up the Place Blanche at night, is an unmissable place where you can almost experience Paris as it was during the belle époque. Its cabaret, featuring the famous French cancan, is performed here every night of the week, and dining in the legendary music hall to the sound of accordions and sweeping skirts is an unmissable once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Moulin Rouge menu offers various options, such as recipes devised by Toulouse-Lautrec, who swore by his philosophy of food being an art, or a belle époque option comprising ‘1889 beef’ with French beans. Le Moulin Rouge kitchen is also sensitive to changing lifestyles, offering vegetarian and vegan options. With champagne flowing and red lamps glowing, dining at the Moulin Rouge is a perfect blend of gastronomy and tradition.
Le Petit Parisien
Bistro, Market, Restaurant, French, $$$
Set in a small street leading from the rue des Abbesses to the Moulin de la Galette, Le Petit Parisien is full of nostalgia from food to decor. The menu is based on old-fashioned recipes passed down from generation to generation and revisited by one of Montmartre’s most well-known chefs, Ludovic Janssen. Lamb chops and roast chicken are just some of the traditional fare on offer among the various dishes that Janssen concocts using seasonal ingredients. Inside, Le Petit Parisien is full of flea market finds including old bistro objects, vintage toys and old film posters and advertisements decorating the walls, not forgetting original copies of Le Petit Parisien, the popular and now-obsolete newspaper from which the restaurant takes its name.
Le Petit Trianon
Bistro, Restaurant, French
Looking out on the busy boulevard Rochechouart, Le Petit Trianon is a delightful bistro adjoining the mythic Trianon, one of Paris’s popular venues that has staged some of the big names in French and international entertainment, such as Carla Bruni, Rufus Wainwright and Deep Purple. Although Le Petit Trianon dates back to 1894 when it was frequented by many a passing artist, it is only in recent years that it has been restored to its original function, having been occupied by various trades over the previous 20 years. Now, with its new pavement terrace, it has regained its rightful status embellishing the boulevard and welcoming passers by and theatregoers to enjoy some good French bistro classics.
Restaurant, French, $$$
Sacrée Fleur’s amusing name rhymes with its neighbouring monument but is essentially a tribute to the restaurant’s main feature, the sacred cow. Meat lovers will be in their element here, faced with a wide choice of beef, including the finest rump steak, beef rib or raw beef tartare, all prepared to order and served with chips, salad and three sauces. The menu also proposes alternative meat options, such as veal liver or leg of lamb, and classic French starters, among which are the famous frog legs and snails, and a great selection of wines from all regions of France to accompany the selection of succulent meats. After starring on the menu, the cow is present all over Sacrée Fleur from the logo to the decor, with prints of cows adorning the brick walls and the waiters’ aprons.
Cafe, Coffee Shop, Pastries, Vegetarian, Salad Bar, $$$
Run by a trio of ladies who decided to give up their day jobs to open a restaurant, Soul Kitchen is the perfect place to nourish the body after a soul-nourishing visit to the nearby Sacre-Coeur. The café serves homemade lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, using recipes based on locally sourced organic ingredients. It’s a delicious savoury menu comprising soups, pizzas, salads, couscous and vegetarian options, as well as scrumptious muffins, cupcakes and a host of other homemade pastries. The Soul Kitchen is bright and cheerful with vibrant tiled flooring and vintage furniture, making it a feel-good place with some seriously feel-good food.
Les Tantes Jeanne
Restaurant, French, $$$
Situated on a quaint back street running parallel to the rue des Abbesses, Les Tantes Jeanne is a friendly restaurant, welcoming meat lovers to an unusually splendid feast of tender cuts. The highly acclaimed Japanese Kobe meat features among the array of revisited French classics prepared with a creative twist and beautifully presented. Look out for the chef’s tantalising sweetbread cassoulet with cep mushrooms, or duck breast with Sichuan pepper, and don’t miss the selection of divine desserts including prune soufflé or fruit sorbet with champagne. Your detour from the main streets of Montmartre will be well rewarded.
Le Cabanon de la Butte
A popular venue among locals and tourists, Le Cabanon de la Butte serves popular and traditional French dishes. While the restaurant specialises in snails, duck and fish, they also offer simple yet tasty burgers and steak, not to mention beef tartare. The dining space is decorated with red and white checked tablecloths and golden curtains, giving the room a calm and relaxing ambiance. Without being overcrowded, Le Cabanon de la Butte offers a taste of authentic French cuisine and matches it with an amazing view of Paris.
Hardware Société Paris
Restaurant, French, $$$
This Aussie-run restaurant is the perfect place to visit if you are looking to have breakfast or brunch in Montmartre. With its bright walls, this small yet charming restaurant serves everything from lobster benedicte and specially made sandwiches to chocolate brownies and cheesecake. Hardware Société Paris is situated fairly close to Sacre-Cœur, but doesn’t feel too touristy due to its side-street location.