Christmas in Paris foodie guide: where locals eat and drink
Stroll through the Tuileries then settle in to the city’s cosiest restaurants for molten Mont d’Or and glasses of steaming vin chaud
Looking for Paris restaurants? Want to know where to eat in Paris this winter? From spiced almond milk hot chocolates to onglet served pink with salsa verde, check out the best places to eat, drink and sleep in the French capital here. If you're looking for Paris hotels, we've found some foodie places to stay for every budget here.
Aux Bons Crus – for steak frites
In the heart of the 11ème, Aux Bons Crus stays true to its humble roots. Reserve a gingham-clothed table for hearty bistro dishes: steak-frites with delightfully gloopy bearnaise, Lyonnaise-style quenelles de brochet or tender tête de veau.
À la Mère de Famille – for sweet treats
Christmas gifts don’t get more sophisticated than a box of À la Mère de Famille’s dark chocolate-coated orangettes. This gorgeously old-fashioned chocolate shop has been in business since 1856 and its seasonal displays are among the best in the city.
Le Bel Ordinaire – for natural wines
The laid-back vibe of natural wine bar Le Bel Ordinaire has been such a hit it now has a sibling on the left bank. Head to the original branch, on rue de Paradis, for unusual pét-nats and small plates to share: perhaps burratina with chimichurri or fresh radishes to dredge through salty butter.
Le 50 – for breakfast
There’s no better start to a chilly day than a café crème and an oeuf à la coque (aka a boiled egg and soldiers) at Belleville Brûlerie’s pint-sized coffee bar Le 50. Pick up a bag of its Château Belleville beans to take home before you leave.
Judy – for nourishing comfort food
Winter menus in Paris don’t all major on melted cheese. At St Germain’s uber-chic but daytime-only cantine, Judy, there’s a nourishing spin on seasonality: spiced almond milk hot chocolates, paleo pancakes and sweet potato waffles.
Dilia – for Italian flavours
Hike up the hill from Ménilmontant to find a seriously inventive Italian tasting menu at Dilia. In a bare-brick dining room, at tables decorated with posies, feast on courgette tortellini or linguini with rascasse then onglet served pink with salsa verde.
Taka & Vermo – for French cheeses
Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis hasn’t quite shaken off its seedy past, but change is slowly on the way. Artisan fromager Taka & Vermo is one its shining stars. Stop by this minimalist boutique to stock up on winter classics, perhaps a blue-veined Morbier or Mont d’Or ripe for baking in its box.
Boulangerie Utopie – for patisserie
Get your pâtisserie fix at Boulangerie Utopie. As well as superb croissants, unusual black charbon baguettes and sesame éclairs, expect beautiful bûches de noël followed, in January, by magnificent galettes des rois.
Ground Control – for street food
Occupying the ex-industrial Halle Charolais on the edge of the Gare de Lyon, Ground Control’s sprawling community spaces offer everything from yoga classes to street food. Sample dishes from the roster of chefs at La Résidence, run in collaboration with Refugee Food Festival – perhaps Syrian mezze and shawarma followed by riz au lait from project mentor Stéphane Jégo.
Le Renard – for cocktails
For cool cocktails at cool prices, head to Le Renard (the “fox”), a locals’ spot just back from the Canal St Martin. At the time of going to press its signature creations were just €8: try the Chateaurenard with gin, lavender syrup, Suze, lime juice and egg white.
Hotel Amour – for a romantic place to stay
Up the romance close to the best restaurants in SoPi at Hotel Amour. Don’t expect four posters and rose petals. The approach here is a little more daring: erotic artwork mixed with bold colours and antiques. It’s worth visiting for a drink in the plant-filled indoor courtyard bar-restaurant alone. Check out the best foodie hotels to stay in Paris here…
Words by Eleanor Aldridge
Eleanor Aldridge is a writer and editor based in Paris and the author of Paris: A Curious Traveler’s Guide (The Countryman Press). Follow her on Instagram @elliejaldridge