While a chorus of Bonsoir, bienvenue! still sounds the moment you walk through the door at Vivant 2, these days, it’s underscored by a bop-filled soundtrack and service with a smile that make a seat at the open kitchen’s wrap-around bar feel more inviting than austere. Chef Rob Mendoza is a champion of delicate, plant-focused fare, his luscious, creative moles drape anything and everything from broccoli to Bresse hen. Elsewhere, he effortlessly blends international ingredients with French terroir: House-made potato flatbread is spread thickly with tahini and blanketed with swiss chard; tuna is served with a Korean gochujang-spiked tomato broth. This restaurant is a great option for vegetarians and is open on Monday nights. A curated list of natural and sustainable wines seals the deal.
The 11th arrondissement may be flooded with phenomenal restaurants, but the seasonal menu at Massale stands out with far meatier market-driven options than most other spots leaning into the plant-based trend. Fish and seafood nevertheless abound here, and the wine list features specialties from France’s Jura and beyond.
At Pantagruel, a modern & creative restaurant in the Sentier district, each main dish is actually a parade of three smaller ones. Meaty options abound, but vegetables are given star treatment here. Balance and precision are the hallmarks of chef Jason Gouzy’s cuisine at Pantagruel, one of our favorite Paris restaurants.
Read an old travel guide to France, and you’ll likely find mention of les routiers. At these roadside restaurants catering to truckers, grub was classic, cheap, and good. And despite the absence of any highway running through the trendy 11th arrondissement, Aux Bons Crus evokes these restaurants of yore.
Tatiana Levha, formerly at L’Arpège and L’Astrance, and her sister Katia opened this light, airy bistro with a central bar & hand painted ceiling. The short list of offerings changes each day, but expect seasonally driven cuisine inflected with international touches like tandoori spiced beurre blanc atop asparagus or harissa to spice up the line caught hake. Dessert left room for improvement, but otherwise Le Servan had reasonably priced, expertly executed dishes and friendly service in a beautiful space.
Fresh off Paris’ greatest resto reboot of recent years – transforming the defunct destination Restaurant Bones into the beloved seven-day mainstay Restaurant Jones – chef-restaurateur Florent Ciccoli doubled down on the Voltaire neighborhood in late 2017, opening Café du Coin with the aid of frequent collaborator Greg Back (L’Orillon, Les Pères Populaires).
We’re falling more in love with Tomy & Co. with each visit, and have elevated this to our #1 favorite Paris restaurant for modern & creative cuisine. Chef Tomy Gousset’s cuisine is thrillingly modern, and he’s a master of using herbs, acidity and texture to elevate sometimes humble ingredients like beef tongue or tête de veau.
David Toutain, who brought acclaim to Agapé Substance before jumping ship back in December 2012, returned to the Paris scene with this signature restaurant in 2013. His meticulous and conceptual cooking highlights seasonal produce, with vegetables often playing the starring role. This is by no means a vegetarian restaurant, but Toutain’s ability to bring out the beauty in oft-ignored roots reminds us of his former boss Alain Passard.
Pancakes, poached eggs and hearty seasonal fare served alongside excellent coffee sourced from Belleville Brulerie in a sunny space along the Canal St. Martin. An international array of coffee preparations (flat whites, espressos, long blacks, cappuccinos, and very good “real deal” filtered coffee) are accompanied by hot chocolate made from homemade chocolate syrup and a selection of teas from Le Parti du Thé.
This historic three-star restaurant is perched in a pavilion just off the Champs-Elysées and has been a dining destination since the French Revolution. Long-time chef Christian Le Squer handed the reigns to Yannick Alleno in July 2014, and Alleno has promised a renewed focus on what he considers to be the great strength of French cuisine – sauces.
Delphine Zampetti, formerly of Le Verre Volé, has opened this bright spot, serving sandwiches, salads, and plats du jour for under 10€, to stay or to go. Natural wines, too.