Olive Magazine
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Best places to eat and drink in Paris

Published: May 20, 2016 at 3:31 pm

From wine bars, cocktail lounges and coffee bars to bistros and burger restaurants, discover where to find the best house-roast cafés du lait, kir royales and Grand Marnier soufflés in the French capital

Looking for the best places to eat in Paris? We've found the best restaurants in Paris, from the best bistros to vegetarian restaurants. We've also hunted down more local secrets and the best bars in Paris, including wine bars and cool bars in Paris.


Best bistros in Paris

Le Pantruche

Although it opened in 2011, Le Pantruche feels old-school. Slide onto a banquette, unfurl a white napkin, and eat deftly executed classics such as braised ris de veau (sweetbreads), scallops with cauliflower purée, or roast sucking pig with pear, celery and chestnut, followed by Grand Marnier soufflé or cheese from dairy royalty Pascal Beillevaire. The team’s stablemate, nearby Caillebotte, is equally admirable. facebook.com/LePantruche

Les Enfant Perdus

An elegant Parisian neighbourhood bistro whose vintage wooden bar is lined with liqueurs and a gigantic coffee machine, this is a great place for an aperitif (we’re fans of a Kir Royal), a cocktail (they specialize in juleps) or a leisurely glass of wine (you can also buy bottles to take home from the wine shop across the road).

It’s real pull, however, is weekend brunch. Sink into squishy white cushions in the bistro’s conservatory room and enjoy an excellent value (£27 for three courses) brunch menu. Platters of classic goat’s cheese salad, perhaps, or olive and cheese muffins, eggs cocotte, tiny parcels of cheese- and herb-filled pasta and thinly sliced duck breast. Mini viennoiseries, generous baskets of fresh bread and condiments, fruit juice and the house hot chocolate fill any gaps left.


A black-and-white photo of the exterior of Les Enfant Perdus restaurant in Paris

La Guinguette d’Angèle

Natural eating never looked (or tasted) as good as it does at La Guinguette d’Angèle. The perfect spot for a casual lunch, eat-in or takeaway veggie and gluten-free standouts include lentils on pesto rice with smoked tofu, hummus toast with roast vegetables and vegan hazelnut cake.

La Guinguette d’Angèle, Paris

Best hip restaurants in Paris

For burgers – Le Dépanneur

Trendy and fun, Le Dépanneur might seem anathema to “real Paris”, with its Brooklyn beer, milkshakes and cheesecake, but young locals love this neighbourhood diner. It’s more Mex than Tex, with cacti adorning tables and a menu featuring ceviche, guacamole and tacos, as well as gourmet burgers: go for a ‘dude’, with bacon, beaufort (Alpine cheese), grilled peppers and caramelised onions. ledepanneurpigalle.com

For Japanese – Ito Izakaya

A favourite among young chefs and restaurateurs (it’s open late), Ito Izakaya is hung with glamorous vintage geisha prints and paper lanterns. Book ahead for inventive small plates, and sake by the carafe, and go in a gang so you can try everything: wakame salad with fried anchovies; curried monkfish; ox cheek croquette; risotto with kombu dashi. itoeats.fr

For vegan food – Jah Jah by Le Tricycle

One of few fully vegan canteens in the city, Jah Jah by Le Tricycle blends reggae vibes with flavourful, rainbow-hued ingredients. Don’t miss the three vegan bowls (they rotate daily) and raw rolls with carrots, beets and papaya and Dakatine peanut dipping sauce -perfectly paired with a bissap-hibiscus tea.

For Mediterranean food – Les Grands Verres

It’s all high ceilings, sustainable design, natural wines and Mediterranean-inspired cooking at Les Grands Verres, the new restaurant inside the Palais de Tokyo. Kick off with craft cocktails (try a No 3, with aubergine, aquafaba, verjus and rum) then feast on heirloom tomato and melon salads with tahini, garlic candy and dill oil.

For Middle Eastern food – IMA

‘Mama’ in Hebrew, IMA excels at the kind of bountiful seasonal salads and Middle Eastern dishes that made Ottolenghi’s name: kale and brussels sprouts with hazelnuts and apples, Turkish galettes with za’atar, tomatoes and onion, and refreshing homemade ice teas.

Best coffee shops in Paris

KB Café Shop, South Pigalle

When you wake up and smell decent coffee in Paris, there’s often an Antipodean influence. Set up by a Frenchman ‘pining’ after a spell in Sydney, KB Café Shop (the KB is for ‘kooka boora’) is a cheery, laptop-friendly space where the carrot cake is homemade and the beans are roasted on site. kbcafeshop.com

Café Méricourt

This is a great vegetarian café in Paris. Equal parts coffee shop and canteen, Café Méricourt draws a crowd for dishes big on flavour and spice. Choose from shakshuka, green eggs with feta, vegetarian congee or granola with a generous helping of seasonal fruit.

Café Méricourt, Paris

Ten Belles

Ten Belles is worth heading to just to mooch along the charming neighbourhood street it’s set along. Pop into Bleuet Coquelicot, a teeny convent-turned-florist where greenery, flowers and tropical plants have colonised the building’s 17th-century tiling and murals. Then continue two doors down, to the trendy Ten Belles coffee shop, and perch on one of the funkily painted wooden stools that pepper the pavement outside this narrow, open-fronted café. Enjoy excellent Guatemalan and Honduran coffee, blended at Paris coffee star Thomas Lehoux’s roastery, Brulerie Belleville, with a sausage roll, cheese toastie or a savoury bun studded with cheese and chorizo.


Smiling barista preparing to serve customers at a coffee shop in Paris

Best bars in Paris

Best cocktail bar in Paris – Little Red Door

The team at this cosy bar has recently launched an Evocative Menu; customers are asked to take a leap of faith and choose a cocktail not by preferred ingredients but by image. Appropriately, the Little Red Door is set in the backstreets of Paris’ arty Enfants-Rouge district (in the 3rd arrondissement, the area takes its name from a covered market, Paris’ oldest, which is itself named after an orphanage that once stood on the site) and eleven artists, from tattoo artists to fashion designers and painters, were invited in for cocktails and asked to create a visual representation of the feelings each cocktail evoked. Those collected images now work as an alternative drinks menu, or an interactive picture book for adults if you like, complete with pull-out lists of ingredients if you really don’t like surprises. Sink into a chair on the bar’s more private mezzanine level, or pull up a blue velvet barstool and be seduced by this charismatic, apron-clad team.


Bird's eye view of a cocktail

Best neighbourhood bar in Paris – Artisan

Never mind Artisan’s slightly exasperating name, just enjoy its gimmick-free, friendly vibe, deftly made cocktails and superb small plates. Try a Rhubarbe, made with rhubarb-infused vodka, grapefruit juice, Peychaud’s bitters, absinthe and elderflower cordial, and a plate of pork belly with bourbon, ginger and szechuan pepper. artisan-bar.fr

Best smart wine bar in Paris – Frenchie bar à vins

During his time at Fifteen restaurant, Nantes-born chef Greg Marchand was nicknamed ‘Frenchie’ by Jamie Oliver. When he set up his own bistro in Paris that was the obvious name for it. Now, having taken the city by storm, Marchand has launched a bar à vins, a Frenchie-to-go spot and a new restaurant Frenchie back in London’s Covent Garden. Our preferred choice is the bar à vins (think wine bar): perch on a bar stool at one of its high wooden tables nestled into exposed-brick alcoves and pair French and international small-batch wines with artisan British cheeses from Neal’s Yard Dairy (yes, Greg has given a big fat nod of approval to the British cheese industry!).


Best food shops in Paris

Best deli – Maison Plisson

There’s no better one-stop shop for picnic provisions than Maison Plisson, France’s answer to Daylesford. The locally sourced produce, cold-pressed juices and array of breads make this a local favourite. Pick up a crunchy country loaf and some tapenade to compose your own sandwich.

Best food hall – Printemps du Goût

Gourmet food hall, Printemps du Goût, spans two floors of the Printemps de l’homie store, and sells only French epicerie products. Stop by Le Marché dans le Ciel while you’re there for veggie dishes of the day developed by hyper-seasonally focussed chef Akrame Benalla.

Hervé Goluza

Best patisserie – Sébastien Gaudard, South Pigalle

Pretty vitrines of cakes, chocolate and confectionery in Sébastien Gaudard’s Rue des Martyrs boutique give grown-ups a cinematic kid-in-a-candy-store treat. Indulge in a caramelised choux bun or a rum baba, or take home a jar of crème de marrons (chestnut cream) or a packet of candied fruits. sebastiengaudard.com

Best teahouse – 86 Champs

Pastry chef Pierre Hermé is known for his sweet marvels and, while at concept store teahouse 86 Champs, fans can opt for savoury dishes too – the menu must-try is the Drinkable Ispahan, a milkshake-like twist on his most famous macaron, made with soy milk, lychee and raspberry sorbet, and macaron chunks.

86 Champs, Paris

Best cheese shop – La Cuisine Paris

Book into La Cuisine Paris for a crash course in French cheeses. In the 21/2 hour cheese and wine experience, meet a fromager affineur, learn about the history of cheese- and wine-making across France, and taste up to 12 of the country’s finest, from brie de beaux to comté.

Where to stay in Paris

Grand Hotel Pigalle

The menu at the new Grand Hotel Pigalle (the first hotel project from the folk behind Experimental Cocktail Club) gives fans of Giovanni Passerini, formerly
at Rino in the 12th, a chance to revisit his ethereal pasta. Start with fiore sardo hard cheese with sautéed escarole, then try a seasonal take on gnudi or ravioli, and finish with proper cannoli. grandpigalle.com

Hotel Panache

Charmingly wonky, with an intriguing jigsaw of room shapes, and super chic, thanks to Dorothée Meilichzon’s textile-led design, Hôtel Panache occupies a wedge-shaped corner of the 9th arrondissement.

Spread over seven higgledy-piggledly floors, the hotel’s 40 bedrooms share certain features, such as fancy filament pendant lights, tiled bathrooms, and lots of fabric and colour toning (blues or pinks, depending on the floor). Some individual rooms are decorated with striking wallpaper or metallics, and a few have tiny balconies – not to be sniffed at in summer.

Your everyday breakfast spread (not included in the room rate: it’s €18 extra) is an enjoyable offering of viennoiseries, thick yoghurt, hams, cheeses and dried figs, apricots and almonds. We loved the seasonal fruit juices from Provençal producers Kookabarra. At weekends, the popular brunch menu runs from Iberian charcuterie and scrambled eggs to an excellent club sandwich or fish n’ chips, via granola and maple syrup crêpes.

Click here to read our full review of Hôtel Panache and find the best room rates

hotel panache starter

Hotel Henriette

Designed by a fashion editor-turned-hotelier Hotel Henriette is on the Rive Gauche, tucked along a quiet cobbled street in the Mouffetard district. Its 32 rooms are decked out with vintage fabrics and flea market finds and there’s a lovely courtyard garden, plus a breakfast room with a distinct Scandinavian vibe.

Breakfast can be eaten inside or out and runs to a full continental spread (€12pp), from cake and croissants to charcuterie. Don’t overdo it though; the hotel’s list of restaurant recommendations is longer than a baguette.


Hotel Henriette Paris

Hôtel Amour

This boutique hotel in Pigalle has a boho spirit with a just-the-right-side-of-risqué theme. The rooms are decked out with vintage furniture and a focus on romance (no TVs here!).

Comfort food and low-key, arty decor means the bistro at Hôtel Amour attracts a cool, sometimes starry crowd. The €21 vegetarian brunch includes salad of carrot, orange and passion fruit, tandoori avocado, and pumpkin velouté. Or, go à la carte with eggs benedict, steak tartare or chicken and chips.


How to get to Paris

If you want to continue your premium drinking experience right until the end of your trip, book a business Eurostar class ticket back to London and relax in the terminal’s business lounge while you wait to board your train. Our tipple of choice? Unlikely as it sounds, Raymond Blanc (who is the culinary director of Business Premier for Eurostar) has launched a dry gin, Toujours 21, in celebration of the train operator’s 21st birthday and it’s available in the company’s business lounges as well as on board. Made by Silent Pool distillery the gin combines a mix of French and British botanicals ­– think Provencal lavender, honey, and British angelica – it’s a perfect Anglo-French way to toast the end of your trip.



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