Willi’s Wine Bar has been a Paris institution since 1980, when Mark Williamson opened up near the Palais Royal. If you’ve come to Paris to drink wine, this is a great place to stop in for a glass (or bottle) and some simple food. It’s also a good place to book for larger groups.
- Open Saturday, open Monday, good for groups, vegetarian friendly, excellent wine, near the Louvre
13 rue des Petits-Champs, 75001
Open Monday-Saturday for lunch & dinner
Reservations online or at +33 1 42 61 05 09
OUR PHOTOS OF WILLI’S WINE BAR
IN OTHER WORDS
Condé Nast Traveler (2015) “When Mark Williamson opened his place in 1980, he single-handedly put the modern Parisian wine bar on the map. And he hasn’t stopped running since.”
Not Drinking Poison in Paris (2014) “A bit odd, reminiscent of middling French-themed restaurants in London or New York. It contains croque monsieurs, a burger, and some pitifully amateurish crab-cakes, alongside more identifiably Parisian staples like duck breast and Charolais steak.”
The Guardian (2012) “…Mark Williamson, who has probably had a bigger influence on what Parisians drink today than almost anyone else, is completing a major expansion. What’s unlikely to change is the international crowd, the brilliant selection of wines by the glass and a menu that follows the seasons with dishes such as quail breast on salad leaves with spiced nectarines.”
Le Figaro (2010) “On y retrouve huit à dix personnes sur les tabourets hauts, en fonction de l’affluence. D’abord pour goûter les épatantes propositions de vins au verre et souvent pour poursuivre autour d’une bouteille (sélection tout aussi qualitative, notamment dans le Rhône) et de plats, piochés sur le menu-carte.”
We ended up at Willi’s by chance on a Friday evening, after being unable to get in at our original choice. It was a lucky find and sounds like a different restaurant than what is suggested by the old reviews. The menu now states “food by Francois” so perhaps the chef has changed?
We were early enough that it was not busy, and we had the full attention of the engaging bar manager and our server, both of whom seemed to enjoy their jobs. The menu appears to change frequently, so what we had is not listed a week later, but everything was consistently well-prepared and really good. In particular we loved a swordfish dish (almost ordered a second one) and the dark chocolate terrine. We also had several glasses of wine that we really enjoyed, which was helped by excellent suggestions from our server. The overall tone is casual and a bit self-involved (buy your own Willi’s posters!) but we had a good meal!