Where To Find Classic French Food In Paris, France

Croûte aux Morilles | © Arnaud 25/WikiCommons
Croûte aux Morilles | © Arnaud 25/WikiCommons
Photo of Andrea Yao
3 October 2016

Whether you are wanting something traditional or modern, fun or classic, here is where to go to enjoy the best of French cuisine. Think juicy steaks, crispy fries and creamy foie gras as you explore our guide to some of Paris’ most tasty restaurants.

Chez Dumonet

Bistro, Restaurant, French
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Chez Dumonet is a true Parisian bistro, with waiters in starched whites, tiled floors and a menu with all of the classics. Order the marinated herring starter and you will be brought a large crock of neatly packed fish from which to serve yourself. As for the main course, Chez Dumonet is renowned for their duck confit, which does not disappoint: crispy on the outside, tender and sticky on the inside. If you still have room for dessert, opt for the classic soufflé. Simple, eggy and sky-high, it comes with a glass of Grand Marnier that you pour into the soufflé before digging in.

Au Pied de Cochon

Restaurant, French, $$$
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Au Pied de Cochon was the first restaurant in Paris to open 24 hours a day
Au Pied de Cochon was the first restaurant in Paris to open 24 hours a day | © Claude Thibault / Alamy Stock Photo
Au Pied de Cochon is an institution whose guests have included Jacques Chirac, Salvador Dali and Josephine Baker. Today you will find a mix of Parisians and tourists in the traditionally decorated, two story restaurant. When at Au Pied de Cochon go for the eponymous pig’s foot which is tender, chewy and porky all at once. For those not satisfied with just the foot, the Temptation of Saint Anthony option gives you a taste of the tail, ear and snout too. If not, you can always go try the famous French onion soup and succulent red wine braised pork. End your meal with a warm crème brûlée or a soft caramel filled chocolate cake.

A la Biche au Bois

Restaurant, French, $$$
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A la Biche au Bois is perfect for those who love game. Tender steaks of deer or wild duck, which are increasingly hard to find in Paris, are their specialties. However, you will also find classics such as coq au vin, steak frites and several varieties of homemade terrine. In addition to consistently good food and friendly service, another big draw is the price. There’s a reasonably priced fixed menu which includes your choice of appetizer, main course, cheese plate and dessert. Add a bottle of wine and you have a perfect meal in Paris.

Le Comptoir du Relais

Bistro, Restaurant, French, European
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Le Comptoir du Relais was founded by celebrity chef Yves Camdeborde on the idea of bistronomie (bistro + gastronomy). This translates into inventive twists on old classics using simple, quality ingredients, served in a cozy environment for a fair price. Rack of lamb roasted with thyme, tender beef cheeks braised in red wine and luscious bone marrow are why there is a perpetual line in front of Le Comptoir du Relais. If you don’t want to wait, or prefer to eat elbow to elbow with locals, opt for the deliciously authentic small plates at the adjoining L’Avant Comptoir.

Restaurant Allard

Bistro, Restaurant, French, $$$
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Allard, Paris
Allard, Paris | Courtesy of Allard, © Pierre Monetta
This 84-year-old beloved neighborhood bistro has stuck with the classics, even after being taken over by celebrity chef Alain Ducasse. Succulent escargot in herb butter, foie gras with truffles, garlic frog legs and tender pan-fried sweetbreads are still featured favorites on the menu. Located in the scenic Saint-André des Arts region, Restaurant Allard will transport you to the Paris of old.

Café Constant

Bistro, Cafe, Restaurant, French, $$$
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Café Constant is exactly what everyone is looking for: a charming Parisian bistro with perfectly crafted traditional dishes at a reasonable price. Starters include homemade foie gras while mains focus on comfort foods such as herb butter roasted chicken and grilled fish with ratatouille. You’ll also find delicious chocolate profiteroles and a tasty ile flottante with salty caramel.

Chez Gladines

Charcuterie, French
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With its 1950s no frills look, Chez Gladines is a hearty canteen that is popular with the young, the hungry and groups out to enjoy themselves. The specialty here is French southwestern cuisine, which means a menu filled with duck, cured meats, cold cheese and charcuterie platters. The ambiance is warm and the portions are generous. In the summer, opt for their ridiculously stuffed salads, filled with fried potatoes, crumbly cheeses, sautéed gizzards and crispy lardons, all topped with a sunny side up egg.

Bouillon Chartier

Restaurant, French, European
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The Bouillon Chartier is housed in a former railway station
The Bouillon Chartier is housed in a former railway station | © Kalpana Kartik / Alamy Stock Photo
Founded in 1896 and designated a historic landmark in 1989, Bouillon Chartier’s high-ceiling, Belle Époque dining room is one of the most photogenic in Paris. The restaurant started as a worker’s canteen and has kept its tradition of hearty no-nonsense food at exceptional prices. Grilled steaks, traditional blood sausages, buttery escargot and creamy chestnut desserts are among the classics on their abundant menu. You can easily have a three course meal for less than 25 euros in a beautiful, historic setting.

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