Tomy & Co. currently holds the #1 ranking in our list of favorite Modern & Creative Restaurants in Paris. I loved chef Tomy Gousset’s cooking when he was at Pirouette, but this signature restaurant has just blown me away. The room is comfortable and a little plain, which is to say it fits nicely in the 7th arrondissement, but Gousset’s cuisine is thrillingly modern. He is a master of using herbs, acidity and texture to elevate sometimes humble ingredients like beef tongue or tête de veau. His compositions are intricate and colorful, making them a dream for Instagrammers, but flavor and balance are not sacrificed to beauty. Those who like to try different wines will love their list with a rotating cast of 20 selections by the glass. Service is on point and supports, rather than detracts from the brilliance of the kitchen. The menu changes regularly enough to warrant repeat visits, and I for one can’t wait to go back.
Chef Philippe Damas is showcasing the season's best ingredients (porcinis, partridges) at this this bistro near the Canal Saint-Martin.
This simple bistro has for years been a favorite among wine lovers, who arrive hoping to plumb the depths of Rodolphe Paquin’s cellar. Whether you taste something from the carte, or persuade Paquin to share an off-list treasure from his cave, wine is undoubtedly the highlight of any experience here. Paquin’s terrines are also extraordinary. He’s written a book about the subject and sells them whole in ceramic crocks to go. In autumn and winter, this is the place to go for wild game. Everything else here is pretty average, except for the service, which is atrocious. Two different tables stormed out during my most recent visit. What saves the experience for some is the joyful welcome from Paquin, the affable host (some ladies might say too affable) who greats regulars like long lost friends. Since I’ve been coming for years, I get a squeeze and a smile but still suffer through the terrible service… no one is safe. Visitors to Paris who can’t cite a winemaker connection or who haven’t yet been introduced will most likely be ignored and wondering why we’ve included this on our site. We’ve included it to reclassify Le Repaire de Cartouche as a great place to sit at the bar without reservations, order wine with a slab of terrine, and wait for your table to open up at Au Passage. It’s still great fun as a wine bar, even if it can no longer deliver as a restaurant.
Le Chateaubriand currently holds the #4 ranking in our list of our favorite Tasting Menus under 100€. You can only reserve for the first seating at Le Chateaubriand. After that, you’ll have to wait in line from 9pm for a stab at Iñaki Aizpitarte’s no-choice tasting menu, a parade of provocative flavor pairings that has landed the restaurant on San Pellegrino’s 50 Best list for several years running. Whether you love or hate this restaurant may depend on your affinity for natural wine and improvisational cooking. We have had brilliant meals here, where every delicious dish taught us something new. We have been outraged, and we have been indifferent. You never quite know what to expect here, and that’s part of the fun. Just be sure to go with omnivorous friends who share that outlook.
We have not yet visited Le Bel Ordinaire, which combines an épicerie (grocery and wine shop) with a wine bar and cave à manger. Scroll down to read some of the early reviews.
What people are saying
With its worn wooden tables, intricately painted ceilings, and charcuterie slicer propped on the marble counter, L’Assiette has the precise look of a dream Paris bistro. It also serves many of the classic dishes, like escargots and cassoulet, which have mostly disappeared from the city’s restaurants. The far-flung location in the 14th arrondissement, near the catacombs but far from the center, has probably helped L’Assiette to stay off the tourist radar. Chef David Rathgeber and his team are friendly with visitors but don’t cater to them. The customers who come to indulge in this hearty fare are mostly local, which makes this a great option for tourists looking to avoid their own countrymen.
The many fans of Café Oberkampf will rejoice at the opening of a sister restaurant with longer hours and online reservations. With its light and airy interior, friendly staff, and an addictive breakfast roll, Café Méricourt is currently our #1 favorite place for breakfast or brunch in Paris.
Chez la Vieille is a fun place to drink but a confusing place to eat.
Address: 31 rue Lepic, 75018
Nearest transport: Abbesses (12), Blanche (2)
Hours: Open every day from 8:30am
Reservations: Reservations not accepted
Telephone: 01 84 79 23 40
Average price for lunch: Less than 10€
Style of cuisine: Baked goods, soups/salads/sandwiches
Photo via L’Éclair de Génie Café’s Facebook
Reviews of interest
Paris Bouge (2016) “L’incroyable (inégalable même!) chocolat chaud aux notes biscuitées et pralinées, la tablette «grand cru» au lait et noisettes, l’entremet noisettes avec crème de noisettes, ganache gianduja nappé d’une couche chocolat/amande. Vous le sentez ce goût de l’enfance? Addictif, sucré et craquant, lacté et boisé, c’est l’obsession de Cyril Lignac.”
It appears to be run by bike messengers,” was what a friend said of charming, wood-paneled épicerie and greengrocer Le Zingam when it opened by Voltaire in 2014. And lo, indeed it is. But who says bike messengers can’t also have impeccable taste and wallet-friendly politics?
Longtime friends from the neighborhood Lelio Stettin and Sonny Lac offer rigorously-selected vegetables, cheeses, meats, eggs, craft beers, organic and natural wines, and tinned preserves – all of opulent quality at quasi-socialist prices. Lac formerly worked nearby at the quaint wine-bistrot Mélac, and his wine selection at Le Zingam is honest and simple, geared towards casual refreshment over geek reverence. The shop’s product selection overall is a work of low-key brilliance – from tomme de chevre to pancetta to yogurt pots, Le Zingam’s selections are laser-targeted to invite wholesale adoption into one’s habitual home meals. For any Parisians perturbed by the slow transformation of quality foodstuffs into luxuries in their city, Le Zingam – discerning, refined, and unpretentious – is a godsend.
Address: 60 rue du Cherche Midi, 75006
Nearest transport: Rennes (12), Vaneau (10)
Hours: Closed Sunday & Monday; Open Tuesday-Saturday for lunch & dinner
Reservations: Walk-ins Welcome
Telephone: 06 88 88 48 23
Average price for lunch: 20-39€
Average price for dinner: 20-39€
Style of cuisine: Small plates, modern French
Reviews of interest
Time Out (2016) “As soon as you enter this well-presented cave-cum-restaurant on the Rue du Cherche-Midi, you get an inkling you’re going to eat well. There’s something about all those interesting wine bottles stacked on the walls, the friendly intimacy of the main room (just 15 tables) and the small kitchen nestled at the back that immediately gives a good, homey impression.”
Address: 21 rue Keller, 75011
Nearest transport: Voltaire (9), Bastille (1,5,8), Ledru-Rollin (8)
Hours: Open every day
Reservations: Walk-Ins Welcome
Telephone: 01 48 06 03 95
Website Facebook Instagram
What people are saying
Hipsters in Paris (2015) “Excellent drinks made without any pretension, at reasonable prices, with a great vinyl-only soundtrack to get you through the night.”
World’s Best Bars (2015) “Witness the cocktail list, a short but inventive thing, populated in the main by American classics with a few contemporary twists thrown in for good measure. The menu features their take on the Lemon drop, the Royal Jamaican Yacht Club and the Clover Club, but there are also house tipples available featuring ingredients like red pepper and coriander infused tequila.”
Astrance is included among our favorite Tasting Menus over 100€.
Address: 4 rue Beethoven, 75016
Nearest transport: Passy (6)
Hours: Closed Saturday, Sunday & Monday; Open Tuesday-Friday.
Reservations: Book many weeks in advance
Telephone: 01 40 50 84 40
Website Facebook Instagram
Astrance in photos
What people are saying
Have you been? Leave your own opinion about Astrance in the comments!
Condé Nast Traveler (2015) “It’s a sanctuary where you can revel in the pleasures of such dishes as spinach with spicy piquillo peppers, chili pepper sorbet, and baby ravioli stuffed with a tangy bite of citron.”
Juveniles currently holds the #2 ranking in our list of favorite Classic Bistros in Paris.
What used to be a friendly wine bar run by the inimitable Tim Johnston is now a friendly wine bistro run by Tim’s daughter Margaux and her boyfriend Romain. The fresh market cooking from Romain (formerly at Le Comptoir and La Régalade Saint-Honore) goes well beyond the satisfying sausage & mash of the old carte and Margaux’s service and wine selections make this the sort of place where you’ll want to become a regular. Desserts are delicious, but their selection of British cheeses with recommended wine pairings is my favorite way to finish. On your way out, buy a bottle from the shelves to bring home.
Clown Bar currently holds the #5 spot in our list of favorite restaurants for small sharable plates. The team from Saturne has taken over the historic bar near Cirque d’Hiver. The beautiful Belle Epoque space remains (tastefully) decorated with clowns, but the menu has been seriously revived by Sota Atsumi’s intriguing small plates. Wines are heavily natural, with good options by the glass as well as the bottle. Don’t expect to get a table without calling a couple of weeks in advance.
The Bistrot Paul Bert currently holds the #4 ranking in our list of favorite Classic Bistros in Paris. The Bistrot Paul Bert boasts of the most charming dining rooms and patrons in town, appearing to first-time visitors like the Paris bistro of their dreams. Their menu is torn straight out of the classic bistro playbook, with options like steak frites, andouillette, soufflé and tarte Tatin. Compared to many other bistros, Paul Bert shines bright because of superb ingredient souring and careful cooking. Owner Bertrand Auboyneau is a real wine lover and supporter of vignerons, and his list is a joy to drink from. Overall, while many long-time fans will admit that it’s not quite at the level it once was, Le Bistrot Paul Bert remains a top recommendation for anyone wanting to experience a classic bistro in Paris.