My Best Paris Restaurants

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What selection criteria can be used for a Best Paris Restaurants list without leaving out some gems? Undoubtedly, the restaurant experience in Paris is as rich a feast as the City of Light itself.

Some restaurants feature chefs that are bona fide rock stars in their field, while others, perhaps the little bistro on your corner street may offer the most “wicked” steak tartare you’ve ever tasted!

The Paris restaurant experience is an individual adventure in culinary discovery.
Therefore, to propose a list of best restaurants in Paris is the exercise in subjectivity par excellence.

However, there are reasons some restaurants are renowned and others not. When I selected the criteria I was going to observe for my Best Paris Restaurants list, I focused on what a visitor to Paris on a short trip or vacation would have the time, interest and curiosity to try and experience.

I also went along with my personal taste and biases as might be expected. And lastly, I tried to favor the restaurants with the best combination of outstanding food, conveniently central location, great atmosphere and name recognition.

After all, your bed-and-breakfast dining room may serve an amazing croque-monsieur, but there’s just got to be a few more factors than that to land it on a Best Paris Restaurant list. So, for the benefit of the many over the few, some good “neighborhood” restaurants will unfortunately have to be overlooked.

On the other end of the spectrum, I’m an equal opportunity offender for skipping some very highly rated restaurants with outrageously expensive menus, which require a reservation two months in advance. That will have to be for another Best Paris Restaurants list, or for professional food critics.

One last thing; Any list of best Paris restaurants can only go so far, given the sheer multitude of specialty restaurants in this city. For visitors, specific restaurant destinations might be best balanced out with bistros you’ll come across in the restaurant alleys of renowned areas such as the Quartier Latin, the Montmartre village, etc…

So, trust your instinct and don’t be afraid to experiment. If you strike out at lunch, there’s always dinner for a brand new opportunity in culinary delight. And for those with Paris memories to share, don’t forget to send us YOUR best Paris restaurant picks.

AND NOW... (drum roll please!) here is in no particular order of merit, my best Paris restaurant list. (Click on the restaurant name for my full review).

Brasserie Lipp
151 Blvd. Saint-Germain 75006 Paris
Metro: Saint-Germain des Prés
Phone: 01 45 48 53 91
Hours: 10:00am to 1:00am daily

Hemingway hung out here, and so have Sharon Stone and Nicole Kidman…

La Tour d’Argent
15-17, Quai de la Tournelle, 75005 Paris
Metro: Pont Marie or Cardinal Lemoine
Phone: 01 43 54 23 31
Hours: Lunch and Dinner (closed for lunch on Mondays and Tuesdays)

French Haute Gastronomie at its very best…

Allard
41, Rue Saint-André-des-Arts, 75006 Paris
Metro: Odéon
Phone: 01 43 26 48 23
Hours: lunch and late dinner (till 11:30). Closed on Sundays

A charming and very alive 1900-style bistro…

Cafe Costes
239, Rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris
Metro: Concorde or Tuileries
Phone: 01 42 44 50 25
Hours: 12:00pm to 1:00am daily

Music and décor, then the food, romantically…

Eiffel Tower restaurants, Le Jules Verne and 58 Tour Eiffel
Eiffel Tower, 75007 Paris
Metro: Trocadero or Bir Hakeim, or Ecole Militaire
Phone: Le Jules Verne 01 45 55 61 44 / Altitude 95: 01 45 55 20 04
Hours: Le Jules Verne: Lunch and dinner, daily / Altitude 95: All day, everyday

For those who would love to say “I had dinner on the Eiffel Tower”…

L’Atelier Renault
53, Avenue des Champs Elysées, 75008 Paris
Metro: Franklin Roosevelt
Phone: 01 49 53 70 70
Hours: until 1:00 am 7 days

Industrial chic you must see to fully appreciate…

Buddha Bar
8, rue Boissy d’Anglas, 75008 Paris
Metro: Concorde
Phone: 01 53 05 90 00
Hours: Lunch and late dinner (till 12:30am). Closed for lunch on Sat. and Sundays

Temple of the Cool; One of the most exotic “must-see” trendy Paris spots…

La Coupole
102, Bvld du Montparnasse, 75014 Paris
Metro: Vavin
Phone: 01 43 20 14 20
Hours: 7:30am to 2:00am daily

F. Scott Fitzgerald and Pablo Picasso bore witness to the renowned seafood…

Le Ciel de Paris
Tour Montparnasse 33 Avenue du Maine, 75015 Paris
Metro: Montparnasse-Bienvenüe
Phone: 01 40 64 77 64
Hours: Lunch and dinner daily

Breathtaking 56th floor view of Paris from Europe’s highest restaurant…

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