Paris is a city of restaurants. Perhaps no other city in the world is so closely associated with dining out, nor is there another place where the restaurant is so integrated with daily life.
There are more than ten thousand restaurants in Paris but, using the TripExpert score, we can find the critical-consensus best in each of Paris’s 20 Arrondissements. Here then, is the best restaurant for whatever part of Paris you’re in.
Housed within one of the most beautiful restaurant interiors in Paris, Le Grand Vefour has been around since the 18th century but it’s not a period piece. The food is “top notch” according to Lonely Planet, and Fodor’s praised “chef Guy Martin's unique blend of sophistication and rusticity” that is seen in dishes like ”frogs' legs with sorrel sauce.” Fun fact: Napoleon Bonaparte, Victor Hugo, and Julia Child have all dined here.
The 2nd arrondissement’s top spot Frenchie is a hot ticket. Time Out claims the restaurant is as legendary for food as it is for “the almost superhuman effort required to secure a table in the tiny dining room.” But there is a reason for the wait; Frommer’s calls Grégory Marchand’s cooking “astonishingly good” while Lonely Planet praises the his “unpretentious creative flair.” Fodor’s likes the “boldly flavored dishes such as calamari gazpacho...and melt-in-the-mouth braised lamb.”
The 3rd arrondissement’s top rated restaurant is this fashionable creperie. Travel + Leisure says they’re “[s]ome of the best and most inexpensive crepes in the world.”
The best in the 4th arrondissement is helmed by super chef Alain Ducasse. Beoint has been open since 1912 and excels at classic French bistro fare; Time Out says “[i]f you have a picture in your head of a golden age of Parisian dining, it probably looks something like Benoit.” Fodor’s approves of “dishes such as marinated salmon, frogs' legs in a morel-mushroom cream sauce, and an outstanding cassoulet served in a cast-iron pot.”
The 5th arrondissement’s top restaurant is known for its history and view as much as its food; Lonely Planet says La Tour d’Argent is an attraction for its “glimmering Notre Dame views and a fabulous history harking back to 1582.” DK Eyewitness commends owner André Terrail, who “has hired young chefs who have rejuvenated the classic menu.” Michelin Guide calls the Challans duck “legendary”.
Top honors for the 6th arrondissement go to Ze Kitchen Galerie, presenting an “original and artful marriage of French and Asian ingredients,” according to Blackbook, and Michelin, in a one star review, applauds the “[a]ttractive fusion cuisine.” Fodor’s thinks the “cooking shows creativity and a sense of fun.”
Not only is Arpège the top rated restaurant in the 7th arrondissement, it’s the top rated restaurant in all of Paris. The World’s 50 Best Restaurants lauds chef Alain Passard who “has cooked at L’Arpège for nearly 30 years. In that time he has achieved living-legend status as one of France’s greatest and most influential chefs.” Michelin gave Arpège 3 stars for its “dazzling vegetable inspired cuisine.” Fodor’s says Passard’s “dishes elevate the humblest vegetables to sublime heights.”
The 8th arrondissement is home to the 3rd highest rated restaurant in Paris; Pierre Gagnaire. Concierge calls head chef Gagnaire “not only a wizard of contemporary French gastronomy but also one of the most original and artistic chefs working anywhere today.” Frommer’s commends the chef, calling him “by far the most playful and experimental” of the three Michelin starred chefs in Paris.
The 9th Arrondissement’s best is Le Pantruche. Time Out approved of its “ classic and cosy bistro décor” as well as its “simple yet sophisticated cooking at affordable prices.” Frommers gives Le Pantruche four stars and recommends reservations, as the “fixed-price menus are a terrific value and the tiny dining room fills quickly.”
Lonely Planet calls the 10th arrondissement’s best restaurant, Le verre volé “[j]ust about the most perfect wine-bar-cum-restaurant in Paris.” Blackbook says “[f]or the happy few who have scored a table, it’s an elbows-on-the-tables, wine-guzzling good time.”
Concierge.com praises Bistrot Paul Bert, the highlight of the 11th arrondissement, saying [w]ith a friendly, arty crowd and wonderful food, this back-beyond-the-Bastille bistro would be well worth seeking out even if it weren't one of the best buys in town.” and Fodor’s claims that “[t]he Paul Bert delivers everything you could want from a traditional Paris bistro.” “Ask any local food writer to name his or her favorite classic bistros and there's a very good chance that you'll be directed here,” says Frommers.
Rough Guide suggests that "A halt at this sumptuous belle epoque establishment is a must even if you're not going anywhere." Most people in the vicinity, of course, are train passengers — the 12th arrondissements top restaurant is located directly in the Gare de Lyon.
Le Bambou, a small Vietnamese restaurant is praised for its authenticity and price; Time Out says it’s a “notch above what is normally served in Paris.”
The 14th’s best is Severo Bar, a meat-focused cozy neighborhood bistro; some of the offerings include “]c]rispy fried pigs' feet, farmhouse boudin noir (blood pudding), steak tartare, and massive cote de boeuf (rib-eye steaks),” according to Frommers. Time Out praises the chips, calling them a “stand out”.
The Michelin Guide says the 15th arrondissement’s best, Afaria, is “[a] welcoming bistro that honours the cuisine of the Basque country.”. Frommers says the restaurant is reason enough to go to the 15th arrondissement. Travel + Leisure commends chef “Julien Duboué’s playful exuberance.”
Concierge.com says “[s]ome of the most demanding local gourmets insist there's no young chef in the French capital today who has more talent and imagination than Pascal Barbot,” chef of the 16th arrondissement’s best restaurant, and second best in all of Paris, L’Astrance. The praise is unanimous; Fodor’s says “Barbot's cooking has such an ethereal quality that it's worth the considerable effort of booking a table” while Frommers gushes that “Pascal Barbot is a true culinary force in the kitchen.” “Reresentative dishes include grilled lamb with miso-lacquered eggplant, sautéed pigeon, and turbot flavored with lemon and ginger,” says Travel + Leisure.
"Michel Rostang is one of Paris's most renowned old-school chefs, the fifth generation of a distinguished French 'cooking family'" according to Frommer's and the Michelin Guide says that the 17th arrondissement's top restaurant has a "a luxurious and original look" with "[w]ood panelling, Robj statuettes, Lalique glass and Art Deco stained glass."
La Table d’Eugene, the best restaurant in the 18th arrondissement, is praised as an excellent value by nearly all critics. Gayot calls the restaurant as “absolutely exciting” and Time Out says the menu is “flawless” and that “it’s just tough to leave things on the menu untasted.” Frommer’s highlights menu items such as “[c]rispy pigs' foot with shaved daikon radish and a balsamic reduction, risotto with wild mushrooms, and venison with red wine sauce and chestnuts.”
The best restaurant in the 19th arrondissement is an Asian restaurant focusing on Thailand and Laos. Time Out highlights the “extensive” menu as well as Lao Siam’s ability to give “equal attention given to Westerners' favourites and to less well-known dishes for those with a more adventurous palate.” Lonely Planet actually counts the menu items, and reports they number over 150. Concierge.com recommends coming in a group so “that you can sample as many different dishes as possible.”
Le Baratin is one of the 10 best restaurants in Paris and is tops in the 20th arrondissement. Fodor’s calls the cooking “inventive yet comforting.” Frommer’s highlights items such as “smoked mackerel tartare and duck with ginger and gooseberry jelly, as well as more traditional fare” while Travel + Leisure spotlights the “red tuna tartare with black cherries and foie gras with lentils,” and also passes along writer Alexander Lobrano’s says “this is the type of place that Parisians guardedly share with friends.”