The Best Food in Paris: What to Eat and Where to Eat it
Food in Paris is one of the best things about the city of lights! In addition to great Parisian food, there is also almost every other kind you can imagine — Italian, Israeli, Mediterranean, and more.
So when it comes to Paris food, where does one find THE best food in Paris? And specifically what food to try in Paris? If those questions are on your mind, you have come to right spot! Below we cover in great detail everything you must eat in Paris.
The Best Food in Paris: What to Eat and Where to Eat it
Learn to Cook Paris Food
If you would prefer to learn yourself how to cook Paris food, I highly recommend this “market to table” class recommended by hundreds of people! It starts with shopping at a market on or near Rue Cler (my favorite market street in Paris!) prior to cooking a traditional Parisian meal.
Find the Best Food in Paris via a Tour
If you are short on time, a Paris France food tour might be your best bet. There are tons of great options here depending on what your Paris foods preferences are.
If you are up for biking on your tour, my highest recommendation is this extremely popular “NO DIET CLUB Bike & Food Tour”. It is run by locals food experts and allows you to try tons of traditional food in Paris, including charcuterie & cheese, crêpes, croque monsieur, french toast, french fries, macarons, poutine à la française, amazing chocolate and more. If famous Paris food is on your list, this is a must.
It is incredibly popular and sells out early so make sure to get your spot before it is too late! Click here to check availability and reserve your place.
Parisian Food to Try in Paris
If you prefer to find and taste all of the best Parisian food on your own, great! There is a lot of traditional food to try in Paris. Depending on how much time you have you might not be able to get to it all.
We’re going to go over some of the most popular Parisian food so that if you are looking to eat traditional food in Paris, you know what to look for on the menus!
ESCARGOT — at the top of my “what to eat in Paris” list, snails! If you haven’t tried escargot before, or even if you have, you cannot visit Paris without eating this. It’s a delicacy consisting of snails, butter, parsley, and garlic, usually eaten as an hors d’oeuvre with french bread. If you like bread and butter, odds are you will like this! Snails are also high in protein and low in fat so why not? :P
FRENCH ONION SOUP — the French onion soup you know and love but better because it’s French and you’re in France! You’ll see it on manus as “soupe à l’oignon” (i.e. not called French onion soup because duh).
CHEESE — specifically French cheese, of course! Gruyere, brie, camembert, Comté, etc. Make sure to visit at least one fromagerie (that’s a cheese shop) while in town.
FRENCH BAGUETTE — another must have, a French baguette. A million times better than any “French baguette” you have had outside of France. You can pick one up just about anywhere, anytime. Carry it around with you, even!
If you’re looking for the best of the best, luckily Paris has an official “Grand Prix de la Baguette” annually, awarding the best baguette to one lucky person. Last year it was Mahmoud M’Seddi of the bakery “2M” in the 14th. You can find it on Google maps by searching ”Boulangerie M’Seddi Raspail”. It’s on my list to try next trip!
But like I said, any baguette will do, really!
CROISSANT — another popular food in Paris and absolute must-have, a croissant. If you have had a croissant in America you will be pleased to hear in France it tastes nothing like that. In America I won’t eat them but in Paris I would have one everyday (and often do). It’s a buttery, flaky, crescent-shaped pastry that in Paris can be found just about anywhere.
Gluten free? Double check this especially if you are actually allergic, but due to the fermentation process during baking in Europe you will find that most of the things we know to be gluten-filled will actually be gluten free there! More food to eat in Paris, yay!
Up for chocolate? Try a pain au chocolat — “chocolate bread”, basically a croissant with chocolate shaped differently — too!
MACARONS — a sweet meringue-based treat! In Paris you can find them in an incredibly wide variety of flavors, so it would probably be best for you to taste at least one everyday ;) Laduree is very popular internationally but my personal favorite is Pierre Herme.
ECLAIRS — another sweet French treat, an Eclair is a cream-filled pastry topped by chocolate icing. Kind of like a donut, except it’s much smaller and oblong instead of round. Visit L'Éclair de Génie for more eclair options than you’ll know what to do with!
CREME BRULEE — yet another popular French dessert, creme brûlée is a custard topped with a hardened caramelized sugar. You can find this at any French restaurant while searching for famous food in Paris!
DUCK CONFIT — considered one of the finest French dishes and foods in Paris, duck confit is a French dish consisting of salt cured duck cooked in its own fat. You’ll find it on the menu as “confit de canard”.
FOIE GRAS — a French delicacy but very controversial food, foie gras is the liver of a goose or duck that has been fattened. A lot of people consider it a must eat food in Paris.
CROQUE MONSIEUR — a Croque Monsieur is more or less the French version of an American grilled cheese! Except along with the cheese inside there is ham, and there’s also a thick layer of melted cheese on the outside too.
There’s also a popular croque madame option, which is the same as a croquet monsieur but with a fried egg on top. You can find them both at any French cafe or bar.
QUICHE LORRAINE — quiche is a part of French cuisine, but popular throughout the world. Quiche Lorraine is particularly popular in Paris, containing cheese and smoked bacon bits.
BEEF BORGONION (Boeuf Bourguignon) — a classic French stew made of beef braised in red wine.
COQ AU VIN — translated as “rooster in wine”, it is a classic French dish made of chicken raised in red wine!
RATATOUILLE — a French stew made of vegetables such as zucchini, mushrooms, and eggplant.
SOUFFLE — a baked dish made of egg yolks and beaten egg whites. There are tons of varieties - both sweet and savory - like chocolate, cheese, etc.
NICOISE SALAD — need some vegetables? Try a nicoise salad, made of tuna, hard boiled eggs, green beans, tomatoes, capers, and potatoes.
STEAK FRITES — just as it sounds, this is a dish consisting of steak and fries. It is a very famous food in Paris. It’s so popular that there’s a restaurant, Le Relais de l'Entrecote, which serves literally nothing else.
MOULES MARINIERES — sailor-style mussels doused in cider.
GRATIN DAUPHINOIS — potatoes baked with milk or cream.
CREPE — French crepe stands can be found all over Paris. They’re a great place to grab a quick snack on the go! My only advice is to stay away from ones in super touristy locations, as I have found them to be overpriced and subpar in taste. Breizh Cafe in Le Marais is said to be one of the best!
MADELEINES — a small spongy shell-shaped cake.
TARTE TATIN — a french apple tart.
OYSTERS — some of the best oysters in the world are said to be found in France.
FROG LEGS — another famous Paris food item, the French have been eating frogs’ legs for centuries.
Best Food in Paris — Top Restaurant Recommendations
One might argue that there is a ton of different food you must eat in Paris, and I would certainly agree! Of all the places I’ve been, I have more restaurant recommendations for Paris than I do anywhere else — including San Francisco where I have lived for a decade.
But I know very well that not every visit is full of unlimited time, of course, and therefore it’s important to know what is the best of the best. So before I get into all of the things to eat in Paris, let’s go over the most important. My top restaurant recommendations for the best food in Paris!
L’Eclair is a fabulous spot located on one of my favorite streets in Paris, Rue Cler. I stumbled upon it by chance during my first trip to Paris, when the cute Australian I met in Switzerland and then drug to Paris with me and I were looking for a drink prior to visiting the Eiffel Tower.
It is Paris food culture at it's finest — with outdoor seating all facing towards famous Rue Cler. They make amazing cocktails and will even whip you up something custom if you tell them what types of things you like. It is the perfect spot to relax and people watch while downing a few delicious, unique cocktails, pre-Eiffel Tower.
If cocktails are not your thing, I have also been for breakfast and it’s great. Regardless of your purpose, I would not miss L’Eclair.
Note: Le Petit Cler, just a few steps away from L’Eclair, is owned by the same people and also great! If you want to hop around a bit, I’d stop here too.
ADDRESS: 32 Rue Cler
CAFE SAINT REGIS
Le Saint Regis is a cafe located on the island of Ile Saint-Louis, just south of Le Marais, and is also one of the top things to do in Paris. I love it so much that if I have one week in Paris I find myself grabbing breakfast here numerous times. The food is great, reasonably priced, and the ambiance is beautiful and very Instagram friendly.
Le Saint Regis is open for all meals so you don’t necessarily have to visit for breakfast but it is my personal favorite. Often I get up around 6, wander around Le Marais taking photos (golden hour + empty streets = the best combo), then head here on foot at 7am when it opens. It is the best way to start your day in Paris. The seats out front have overhead heaters which makes it lovely for early morning people watching!
ADDRESS: 6 Rue Jean du Bellay
Ober Mamma is an Italian restaurant that is part of the ever so popular Big Mamma restaurant group. They have many restaurants sprinkled throughout Paris, all rumored to be fantastic, but this is the only one I have been to so far. It is extremely popular so get here as early as you can!
ADDRESS: 107 Boulevard Richard Lenoir
Another Big Mamma group spot, Pink Mamma is arguably the most beautiful of them all! Get in if you can. They currently accept reservations for lunch but not for dinner.
ADDRESS: 20 Rue de Douai
L’AS DU FALLAFEL
L’as du Fallafel is easily one of the most touristy places in Le Marais (maybe even all of Paris) but I LOVE IT. I basically dream about it when I am away from Paris. L’as du Fallafel a middle eastern restaurant famous for its falafel pita sandwich which is exactly what you must order! If you come during normal dining hours, expect to see a very long line. You can either dine in (very causal) or get takeaway — especially helpful if you are in a rush or traveling solo! I come here numerous times every single trip I make to Paris.
ADDRESS: 32-34 Rue des Rosiers
Holybelly 5 is cute cafe and a fantastic brunch spot. It’s popular so don’t be surprised to find a long line.
ADDRESS: 5 Rue Lucien Sampaix
Printemps, a department store in the 8th arrondissement, surprisingly offers one of the best views in all of Paris! On top of the department store is an open-air terrace which is now home to a restaurant called Perruche.
While I don’t love it as much as I loved the previous restaurant (a very low-key and inexpensive cafeteria-style cafe), I have a soft spot for this location. The food isn’t the best, one might argue, but it’s worth it for at least a drink!
ADDRESS: Printemps Haussmann, Men’s Store, Floor 9
Candelaria is a good Mexican restaurant but more importantly there’s a hidden speakeasy in the back! Super fun especially late night.
ADDRESS: 52 Rue de Saintonge
LE PETIT MARCHE
Le Petit Marche is non-touristy French restaurant that I was taken to by a local friend of mine. The menu is in French only.
ADDRESS: 9 Rue de Béarn
THE HOXTON, PARIS
When it comes to Paris eats, The Hoxton isn’t the absolute best food to eat in Paris, but it is still one of my favorites! The hotel itself is beautiful and it’s a lovely place to meet someone for coffee, a meal, or even to work at if you need to catch up on emails, etc. I had breakfast here while staying at the hotel and it was lovely. Very Instagrammable, too!
ADDRESS: 30-32 Rue du Sentier
Other Paris Restaurant Recommendations
When it comes to eating in Paris, there are so many different options. I have been to Paris countless times, during which I’ve accumulated a restaurant recommendation or two (or 100). Below I detail all of the restaurants I like and recommend, split up by neighborhood so that if you find yourself in a certain spot wondering “where should I eat?” you can quickly find a great place to eat nearby!
Le Marais (3rd + 4th Arrondissement)
Of all the food in Paris France, most of my favorite places are in the neighborhood of le Marais. Because le Marais is my favorite neighborhood, this is where I almost always stay and therefore spend the most time. As a result I have a long, long list of places I absolutely love to eat at.
LES PHILOSOPHES (28 Rue Vieille du Temple) — get the asian chicken salad and some onion soup!
MARCHE DES ENFANTS ROUGES (39 Rue de Bretagne) — the oldest covered market in all of Paris. You can grab individual ingredients at the market or a takeaway meal from one of the many food stalls
OB-LA-DI (54 Rue de Saintonge) — a cute cafe and coffee shop, great for breakfast!
BIGLOVE (30 Rue Debelleyme) — also part of the Big Mamma Group. A wonderful spot for brunch Italiano!
LE MARY CELESTE (1 Rue Commines) — craft cocktails, oysters, locally sourced meat and seafood from the same people as Candelaria
BAFFO (12 Rue Pecquay) — Italian by a popular Tuscan chef
SHERRY BUTT (20 Rue Beautreillis) — excellent cocktails
MANCORA CEBICHERIA (16 Rue Dupetit-Thouars) — great Peruvian food
LA MAISSON PLISSON (93 Boulevard Beaumarchais) — a one stop shop including a fresh market, a wine cellar, a delicatessen and a restaurant
FRINGE (106 Rue de Turenne) — a great coffee shop
BREIZH CAFE (109 Rue Vieille du Temple) — for crepes!
LA BRICIOLA (64 Rue Charlot) — the best pizza outside of Italy, allegedly!
L'ECLAIR DE GENIE (14 Rue Pavee) — the spot for eclairs
POZZETTO (39 Rue du Roi de Sicile) — great gelato
COMME A LISBONNE (37 Rue du Roi de Sicile) — bakery
UNE GLACE A PARIS (16 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Brentonnerie) — ice cream
JUICE LAB & CO. (25 Place des Vosges) — fresh juice
CASA SAN PABLO (5 Rue de Sevigne) — tapas
LA CANTINE (111 Boulevard Beaumarchais) — French restaurant located inside the ever so popular Merci
Louvre + Les Halles (1st + 2nd Arrondissement)
ELLSWORTH (34 Rue de Richelieu) — French restaurant with good wine. I haven’t tried the fried chick but apparently it’s a can’t miss kinda thing
KUNITORAYA RESTAURANT (5 Rue Villedo) — A good Japanese restaurant known for its udon
MAISIE CAFÉ (32 Rue du Mont Thabor) — Healthy food heaven! A delicious cafe featuring vegan and vegetarian options and cold pressed juice
SHAKA POKE (34 Rue du Louvre) — Hawaiian poke. I didn’t go here in person but ordered it on Uber Eats while working from my hotel room at The Hoxton and it was great!
PIZZERIA POPOLARE (111 Rue Réaumur) — Pizza by Big Mamma Group! I haven’t tried this restaurant but all Big Mamma Group spots are so good
BALAGAN (9 Rue d’Alge) — a great Israeli restaurant
ITACOA (185 Rue Saint Denis) — Fresh, local and seasonal products. Cold-pressed restaurant and juice bar
ECHO (95 rue d’Aboukir) — good for coffee + a quick bite
LIZA (14 rue de la Banque) — Lebanese food in a beautiful setting
JUICERIE (2 Rue De la Michodière) — Fresh juice, acai bowls, granola
MATAMATA COFFEE BAR (58 Rue d’Argot) — Specialty coffee and homemade food
DANICO (6 Rue Vivienne) — Cocktails!
LE COMPAS (62 Rue Montorgueil) — Cocktails and good people watching on popular Rue Montorgueil.
KLAY SAINT SAVEUR (4 Bis, Rue Saint Sauveur) — a cute cafe
BAR HEMMINGWAY (15 Place Vendome) — arguably Paris’ most famous bar, named after Ernest Hemingway! Located inside of the Ritz in beautiful Place Vendome
The Latin Quarter (5th Arrondissement)
FILAKIA (31 Rue Linne) — quick Greek food
SHISO BURGER (21 Quai Saint-Michel) — burgers
Saint Germain des Pres (6th Arrondissement)
CAFE DE FLORE (172 Boulevard Saint-Germain) — a very famous cafe on Boulevard Saint-Germain
LES DEUX MAGOTS (6 Place Saint-Germain des Pres) — a regular hangout for Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway
TREIZE BAKERY PARIS (5 Rue de Medicis) — a cute bakery and brunch spot located right outside Luxembourg Gardens
LE PROCOPE (13 Rue de l’Ancienne Comedie) — the oldest cafe in Paris and the world’s first coffeehouse, nothing to write home about otherwise
LE BONAPARTE (42 Rue Bonaparte) — another iconic Paris brasserie
TERRASSE DE L’ALCAZAR (62 Rue Mazarine) — a chic restaurant and indoor garden. Very trendy, expect a wait
FREDDY’S (54 rue de Seine) — great wine selection + small, sharable plates
L’AVANT COMPTOIR (3 Carrefour de l’Odeon) — tapas bar
BLUEBERRY MAKI BAR (6 Rue du Sabot) — Japanese restaurant with good sushi
JUDY, CANTINE (18 Rue de Fleurus) — healthy options
EGGS & CO. — a good breakfast spot
Eiffel Tower (7th Arrondissement)
BOULANGERIE LAURENT B (112 Rue Saint-Dominique) — a good bakery to stop at prior to picnic-ing at the Eiffel Tower
L’ATELIER DE JOEL ROBUCHON (Hotel du Pont Royal, 5 Rue de Montalembert) — one of the most famous and highly regarded restaurants in Paris.
LA GRANDE EPICERIE (38 Rue de Sevres) – a huge gourmet grocery store with lots of good local stuff. Perfect for a picnic at the Eiffel Tower.
ZIA (22 Avenue de Tourville) — great cafe with good healthy options!
COUTUME CAFE — a nice cafe.
Champs Elysees (8th Arrondissement)
CAFE POUCHKINE (16 Place de la Madeleine) — desserts
KINUGAWA (1 Bis Rue Jean Mermoz) — great Japanese restaurant
Pigalle (9th Arrondissement)
HOTEL AMOUR (8 Rue de Navarin) — a great spot for breakfast, with red leather benches and tons of plants
SUPERNATURE (15 Rue de Trévise) — a healthy, plant-based restaurant
BUVETTE (28 Rue Henry Monnier) — a good spot for brunch
Canal St. Martin (10th Arrondissement)
ABRI (92 Rue du Faubourg Poissonniers) — Michelin star upscale bistro
BONHOMIE (22 Rue d’Enghien) — good cafe
Oberkampf (11th Arrondissement)
LE CHATEAUBRIAND (129 Avenue Parmentier) — Michelin star British bistro
CAFE CHILANGO (82 Rue de la Folie Mericourt) — great Mexican restaurant
EAST MAMMA (133 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine) — another Big Mamma gem. Italian
SEPTIME (80 Rue de Charonne) — very popular (and hard to get into) French restaurant
CAFÉ MÉRICOURT (22 Rue de la Folie Mericourt) — delicious brunch
CAFÉ OBERKAMPF (3 Rue Neuve Popincourt) — also brunch
MUSCOVADO (1 Rue Sedaine)— also brunch!
Trocadero (16th Arrondissement)
HOLIDAY CAFE (192 Avenue de Versailles) — a decent cafe
Montmartre (18th Arrondissement)
CHEZ ZENA (10 Rue de la Fontaine du But) — a great Lebanese restaurant
LE VRAI PARIS (33 Rue des Abbesses) — a cute cafe, good for people watching. Incredibly beautiful outside!
LE CONSULAT (18 Rue Norvins) — one of the most Instagram-famous cafes in Paris. Decent coffee but I would not eat here
LE REFUGE DES FONDUS (17 Rue des Trois Frères) — a popular restaurant that serves wine in baby bottles
Other Helpful Paris Information
FOR WHERE TO STAY IN PARIS… Click here my Airbnb recommendations, here for the best hotels and Airbnbs with an Eiffel Tower view, and here for a detailed review of my favorite hotel, Le Pavillon de la Reine.
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