Once a village of artists home to the likes of Dali and van Gogh, Montmartre has managed to retain most of its artsy charm over the years. It is also one of the best areas of Paris to sample typically French cuisine in stunning venues. These are our top ten picks for the best restaurants in Montmartre.
A leading restaurant in Montmartre, Bistro Poulbot specialises in traditional fine French cuisine. Run by chef Lorenzo Torrini, a Tuscany native, the meals are spiced up with Mediterranean flavours. House specialities include thick sliced salmon with diced bacon, onion, and lentils; veal tongue and brain with small potatoes covered in ravigote sauce; and shoulder venison stew with pear and autumn vegetables. The Bistro bears the name of painter Francisque Poulbot, who significantly helped children in need living on the Montmartre hilltop in the 1920s. A typical Bistro, Poulbot’s warm and inviting interior is made up of moleskin seats, wooden tables, and glass ball lights hanging from the ceiling.
The ultimate poultry restaurant in Montmartre, Le Coq Rico, translated as ‘Cockerel Rico’, is dedicated to serving high-quality dishes based on chicken, duck, guinea fowl, and goose. Making use of poultry products in their entirety, the restaurant’s menu also offers an interesting selection of egg dishes, poultry soups and broths, seared livers and various terrines (pâtés). From a succulent full roast chicken and poached eggs bathed in red wine sauce to foie gras pan-fried with hazelnuts and almonds, all the dishes are perfectly seasoned and meticulously cooked. Located along the famous Rue Lepic, Le Coq Rico guarantees an unsurpassable culinary experience for poultry lovers.
A popular local spot, Le Babalou is a great Italian pizza restaurant situated at the foot of the Sacré Coeur. The menu offers elaborate and seasonal Italian pizzas, such as pizza with goat cheese, honey, basil and mozzarella and the Pizza Bianca with Parma ham, mozzarella, roquette salad and cherry tomatoes. A typical Italian restaurant, Le Babalou also serves fresh pasta, a range of cheeses, cuts of savoury Italian charcuterie and a heavenly homemade tiramisu. The dining space has a comfortable and familiar feel with its patterned wallpaper, bookshelves and pink lampshades. With a few tables outside on the terrace, diners can engage in some people-watching as hordes of tourists and bobos (bourgeois bohemians) stroll past.
Nestled in the heart of Montmartre, La Balançoire offers a fresh take on traditional French cuisine. A mix between a bistro and a brasserie, La Balançoire seeks to provide an unpretentious, homely ambiance in line with its poetic name, which means ‘the swing’. Red benches and offbeat artwork characterize La Balançoire’s interior along with the swing that sways gently in the doorway. The restaurant’s big chalkboard menu displays an array of creative French entrées, mains and desserts changing with the chef’s mood and the season, as well as a special tasting menu for indecisive guests. Every first Wednesday of the month, the restaurant really gets into swing mode as local artists perform live music during dinner.
Owned and run by the well-known French-Mauritian chef Antoine Heerah, Le Chamarré Montmartre is an upmarket restaurant serving the best of gastronomic French cuisine with a Mauritian touch. Signature creations include roasted cod, pan-fried cuttlefish with anchovies and garlic cream, crispy tandoori scallops with celery mousseline, and rack of suckling pig with red cabbage and polenta. Wine connoisseurs have the pleasure to choose from a wine list featuring over 200 bottles. Outside, Chamarré’s quaint tree-lined terrace accommodates outdoor dining for those blissful summer days. Stylish décor, unusual theme colours of violet, blue and orange, and well-spaced comfortable seating, make the restaurant ideal for a classy and intimate culinary excursion.
Situated on the outskirts of Montmartre, Les Tantes Jeanne, or ‘the Aunts Jeanne’, is a delightful restaurant serving delicious home-style French dishes. A true heaven for carnivores, Les Tantes Jeanne mouth-watering recipes include the Kobe-style beef fillet, cassoulet of veal sweetbread and cep mushrooms, and duck breast with Sichuan pepper. There are also a few fish-based dishes such as sole meunière and salt-crusted anchovies. For dessert, choose from the chef’s recommendations of prune soufflé, fruit sorbet with champagne, and the divine caramelised apple napoleon. Each dish is tantalising, beautifully presented and served in generous portions.
Out of the numerous flour-grinding windmills once located on the hill of Montmartre, only two remain, one of which towers above the renowned Le Moulin de Galette restaurant. This is a popular chic bistro specialising in refined, innovative French gastronomy. Housed in a building dating back to the 17th century, which together with the famous windmill, has been a subject for many famous artists such as Renoir and Picasso. The restaurant has a picturesque courtyard and is ideally situated on the famous Rue Lepic, halfway between the Sacré Coeur and the Moulin Rouge. More than just an exceptional dining destination, Le Moulin de Galette provides a glimpse into Montmartre’s fascinating past.
Le Miroir, or ‘the mirror’, is a reputable classic bistro tucked away on one of Montmartre’s many side streets. From fried sea bream fillet to braised beef and de-boned pig trotters, Le Miroir is committed to serving quality French haute cuisine at reasonable prices. The restaurant also has an impressive wine cellar where guests can enjoy a vintage wine for an impromptu appetizer along with a plate of cheese and succulent meat cuts. Other than the large mirrors decorating the back wall and banquette-style seating, the décor is kept to a minimum. As they say, happiness is found in small packages, and this no-frills restaurant promises the kind of sophisticated comfort food that everyone visiting Paris hopes to find.
A funky and lively coffee shop, Soul Kitchen serves an ever-changing menu of scrumptious handcrafted food based on organic local produce. Amply lit, Soul Kitchen’s vibrant interior features tiled red patterned floors, vibrantly colored furniture. Trays of tempting home-baked pastries, tarts, cakes, and other sweet treats are also on display. For a more substantial meal, there’s also a great savory menu of sandwiches, soups, couscous, pizza, and salads, with some great options of veggie dishes. Run by two sisters and their best friend, the Soul Kitchen is a perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of Montmartre.
Where opulence meets tradition, La Table d’Eugène leaves nothing wanting as chef Geoffroy Maillard and his team whip up a creative selection of French gourmet dishes. A meal might start with coquilles Saint-Jacques and king prawns with carrots and coriander, followed by a main course such as Iberian pork chop with risotto, mushrooms and truffle emulsion or chicken ravioli with foie gras. To finish, opt for the orange or chocolate tartelette with sorbet. Take time to choose from the exquisite wine list with handpicked bottle selections from Bourgogne, Alsace, Vallée de la Loire and other celebrated wine-producing regions in France. Run by husband-and-wife team, the restaurant offers a friendly yet professional atmosphere, and an exceptional value for money.