The gastronomic excellence in Paris is unrivalled, and you can find food from around the world here, renowned for its elegance and sophistication. Our guide to the 10 best restaurants in Paris takes you on a culinary tour of the French capital, from Michelin-star extravaganzas to quaint barges moored on the Seine.
Restaurant, Thai, Chinese, $$$
Dragons Elysées is the restaurant to visit if you’re looking for a unique dining experience in Paris. Designed with a floor made entirely of glass, beneath which sits an aquarium filled with fish and turtles, the restaurant has an underwater ambiance. Located in the 8th arrondissement, a short distance from the Arc the Triomphe, Dragons Elysées offers Chinese and Thai dishes, specialising in seafood and meat. Those who enjoy strong flavours should try the spicy imperial shrimp dish; if you prefer a less spicy dish, try their deep-fried shrimp cake.
The chef who trained superstar chef Gordon Ramsay owns the eponymous Guy Savoy, located on the Left Bank of the River Seine. The Michelin-star restaurant is a bit on the pricy side, but offers the best of the best, with a tasting menu that consists of items such as foie gras, lobster and oysters.
Founded in 1946, the Zerda Café was one of the first Algerian restaurants in Paris. The restaurant, which is filled with rich history and authentic North African food, has two branches and serves a popular take on couscous. Offering an interior suffused with Algerian culture, here you can enjoy a plate of chicken tagine or couscous with lamb and merguez at an affordable price.
ASPIC is the gastronomic venture of talented chef Quentin Giroud. There are only a handful of tables in the cosy restaurant, which offers a fixed seven-course menu featuring hand-picked, fresh local ingredients that are perfectly prepared for a unique cooking and dining experience. The venue is hugely convivial, letting you observe from the comfort of your chair as the cooks whip you up a treat.
Serving traditional Eritrean food that suits both meat eaters and vegetarians, Massawa is a popular restaurant located in the 14th arrondissement. Offering filling plates with dishes like injera and spicy lamb, the simple yet welcoming venue attract locals and tourists alike.
You don’t have to dine in Michelin-star restaurants to discover the fine pleasures of dining in Paris, and La Nouvelle Seine is a perfect example. While this barge-restaurant is known for its incredible seafood – such as roasted king prawns, and fresh salmon topped with mango and chives – it has long been a favourite for its brilliant location beneath the dramatic architecture of Notre-Dame. There are not many venues that can offer such a unique view of the city, and there’s also a varied programme of theatre, ranging from comedy to cabaret, to keep you entertained.
The originality of a dining experience surely has to be taken into consideration when we’re talking about the best restaurants in a city. If so, it doesn’t get any quirkier than dining in absolute darkness. In 2004, Edouard de Broglie founded and financed Dans le Noir? (‘In the Dark?’) in Paris, helped by the Paul Guinot Association for the Visually Impaired. The idea is that you can reconnect with your taste buds without the distractions of your surroundings, and the concept is so unusual that it’s been copied all over the world. Most recently, the founders have been developing other innovative concepts dealing with deafness, such as Café Silence.
Located in the Latin Quarter, Hugo and Co is a small, warm restaurant that offers a limited menu of delicious items such as savoury pancakes and gorgonzola and mascarpone cheese crostini with pear and walnuts. Located in the 5th arrondissement, the venue also caters to non-meat eaters with its vegetarian and vegan dishes. Set in a bright environment, the restaurant is decorated in earthy colours with lots of plants and wine bottles on shelves.
If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, Auto Passion Café in the 14th arrondissement is a good option. Catering to foodies and car lovers, the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a venue decorated with automobile memorabilia, with every detail taking you to an auto racing world. Have a seat at one of the car seats or by the bar and enjoy dishes like green curry with butternut, or lentils and smoked salmon.
Located in the heart of Bois de Boulogne lies Le Chalet des Iles, a restaurant with a scenic view. The venue’s patio lights up in vibrant colours as it gets dark in the evenings, creating a warm ambiance. Guests can enjoy dishes like spicy lamb curry, risotto with truffle and rocket and cod with green beans and beets. The restaurant is situated on an island and offers a dining experience that feels far away from the hustle and bustle of Paris.