Maybe you’ve arrived in Paris late after a long flight, probably delayed and definitely serving only the worst airplane food. Or you’re leaving town earlier than seems humane and can’t find a single baguette or croissant on sale. Maybe you’re a local whose night-time wandering (and drinking) has taken you into unfamiliar territory and a state of ravenous delirium. Whatever the case, read our guide to Paris’ top spots for late night eats, and be happy!
This legendary brasserie on the Champs-Elysées has been welcoming late night diners every day of the week since 1968. The Alsatian gastronomy on offer features regional specialties like sauerkraut, Gugelhupf and local wine varieties. There are also amazing seafood dishes on the menu at L’Alsace, including sharing platters and oysters (pretty audacious for a midnight snack but why not). This avenue, with the Arc de Triomphe at one end and the Place de la Concorde at the other, you may want to avoid visiting at peak times when it’s overrun with shoppers, but in the middle of the night it could be the perfect place to soak in the city.
At the heart of Haussmannian Paris in the 2nd arrondissement, Le Grand Café Capucines attracts a diverse lunch crowd from the surrounding museums, luxury stores and banks. At night, they are replaced by a no-less exuberant crowd of revellers from the neighbourhood’s concert halls and bars. The cuisine at this café is traditional and delicious, all the more enjoyable thanks to the stunning Art Nouveau backdrop created by the incredible interior designer, Jaques Garcia.
Au Pied de Cochonwas the first Parisian restaurant to stay open all night. Since 1947, this 1st arrondissement institution, which has in its day been a favourite of the likes of Joséphine Baker, Serge Gainsbourg and President François Mitterand, has witnessed the rise, fall and rise again of Les Halles. The French onion soup, the recipe for which hasn’t changed for over 65 years, is particularly renowned. If you find yourself in the neighbourhood on a cold night, give this convivial place a try, and don’t be too freaked out by all the pig-inspired decorations.
La Maison de l’Aubrac is one of Paris’ most famed meat restaurants. The house philosophy is all about respect: respect for the livestock which they raise on vast, high pastures, respect for the environment, through the use of solar power and the reduction of the greenhouse gas emissions, and respect for their customers who they supply with the highest quality, GMO-free meat on the market. If you want to indulge in a late-night feast without compromising on taste or your ethics, this is the place for an eco-friendly meal.
Open Sunday to Tuesday, from 12:00pm to 1:00am, and Wednesday to Saturday, from 12:00pm to 6:00am.
The Smiths Bakery is one of a handful of places in Paris where you can try the world-famous Berthillon ice cream. In addition to a whole range of other ice creams and sorbets, this cute café in the Latin Quarter also offers pastries, sandwiches and hot food like quiches and burgers. Though not a 24-7 kind of establishment, its late opening hours make it a great pit stop for a midnight stroll.
Of all the amazing cafés and restaurants in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Le Café Louise is one of the few with exceptionally late opening times and without a doubt one of its finest too. The menu takes you from a morning coffee and croissant right the way through the day to a midnight platter of cheese and meat to be shared with friends whilst enjoying some live jazz. The interiors, designed by Catherine Kerboull and Courtenay O’Sullivan, mix traditional bistro chairs with welcoming Chesterfield couches, Kilim cushions and photography from the 1950s to create an ambiance of a home away from home.
Open Sunday to Wednesday, from 7:00am to 2:00am, and Thursday to Saturday, from 7:00am to 5:00am.
Le Rey is a friendly joint in the hip 11th arrondissement. A favorite of locals, this typical Parisian brasserie on Place Leon Blum is open continuously for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The traditional cuisine on the menu features classics from the Auvergne region of central France and all the ingredients are carefully selected. The meat, especially the steaks, whether they are Charolais, Aubrac or Salers, are particularly scrumptious and worthy of a late night treat.