Our favorite thing to do while traveling is to explore a city through the food. Paris has an endless supply of restaurants to try, from fine dining to casual fare, and from traditional French food to diverse cuisine. I honestly don’t think you can go wrong and just have to jump in and try some of them. Here is a list of our favorite restaurants in Paris that we ate at and enjoyed!

1. Le Baratin

It was our first night in Paris and dinner was at Le Baratin, a highly rated restaurant serving bistro fare in the 20th arrondissement. Anthony Bourdain reportedly had good things to say about it. My husband had added this to our list of restaurants in Paris to try because he knew that Anthony Bourdain was a fan. I wasn’t aware of that at the time, but now I feel so grateful to have been able to share this same culinary experience as Anthony Bourdain. And I can see why he loved it.

Anthony Bourdain said ‘‘There were some places in Paris that were way ahead of the others – early adopters of young, biodynamic wines, and the sort of my-way-or-the-highway menus that are popular now. Although it’s been in business for 30 years, the owners of Le Baratin have always been using biodynamic, young wines since the beginning. And chef Raquel Carena’s cooking is generally considered to be some of the very best in Paris.’

We were seated at a small table in the corner with barely enough room to move, but that is part of what made the experience so wonderful. It was cozy inside, and we were surrounded by chatter amongst friends and warmed by drink. The menu was written on a chalkboard. We both ended up getting brill fish in a butter sauce with zucchini and it was divine. We enjoyed multiple glasses of wine and chatted in the charming atmosphere surrounded by locals, a wall of books about Rousseau, and pictures of Samuel Beckett. I also got to try pétillant naturel for the first time and it’s now my new favorite thing.

Le Baratin
3 Rue Jouye-Rouve
75020 Paris, France
Open Wednesday-Saturday for lunch & dinner, Tuesday for dinner only
Closed Sunday & Monday
Reservations required
Phone: +33 1 43 49 39 70

2. Le Bidule

Our second night in Paris we were hoping to go for dinner at Le Bistrot Paul Bert but we had pas de la réservation and so were turned away. Oops, we learned our lesson! But we stumbled into a low key joint down the street – Le Bidule. A casual joint serving up bistro fare in the 11th arrondissement “pour manger, pour boire, pour s’amuser.”

The waiter was so nice and fun! We had a great night enjoying burgers and beer. The Frenchie burger was delicious! It was the perfect, unexpected evening. It wasn’t what we intended but it ended up being even better than we had planned. I would recommend Le Bidule to any American in Paris looking for a good burger and beer in a friendly atmosphere.

Le Bidule
2 Rue Faidherbe
75011 Paris, France
Open Monday-Sunday 8am-2am
No reservations required
Phone: +33 9 67 37 02 03

front entrance to le bidule in paris

3. L’Aller Retour Marais

After our cocktail tasting at the Little Red Door, we were supposed to go to Clover Grill but were so exhausted from a long day of sightseeing that we decided to stay near our hotel. We found a highly rated restaurant nearby that we popped into to ask if they had any openings, and by chance they did! I think that’s one of the best things about traveling – being open minded, and willing to change your plans without a set schedule.

I’m so glad we tried this restaurant. It was a chance to try some traditional French cuisine and knock off some things on my bucket list. My husband had steak frites and I had andouillette. Andouillette is basically a really stinky French sausage made from the large intestine of pork with pepper, wine, onions, and seasonings. It honestly sounds terrible but I had seen it on a Rick Stein episode and was curious to try it while in France. I guess you could say I’m an adventurous eater. It wasn’t my favorite but it was an experience for sure.

We then shared escargot (another bucket list moment). The best thing I can describe it as is if oysters taste briny like the ocean, then escargot tastes very earthy like soil. But it actually wasn’t bad! The escargot was served with bread and butter and was actually quite delicious. I would have it again.

The food at this restaurant was classic, elegant, and served beautifully. My husband’s steak frites really hit the spot. This was overall a very French and very delicious meal, and one to try if you’re in the Marais district!

L’Aller Retour Marais
5 Rue Charles-François Dupuis
75003 Paris, France
Open Thursday-Friday for lunch, Monday-Sunday for dinner
Reservations required
Phone: +33 1 42 78 01 21

the front entrance to l'aller retour marais in paris

4. L’Alsacien République

This quickly became one of my favorite restaurants in Paris! I’ve long felt a love for the Alsace region of France and it’s one of my dreams to visit there someday. My family has German ancestry and I love France, so how great is it that a region like Alsace exists where it’s a beautiful and unique combination of the two?

Several years back my parents went on a cruise down the Rhine river in Germany and while stopping near Alsace they had a tarte flambée, or flammekueche. It’s a dish consisting of crème fraîche, onions, bacon, and fromage on a crispy pizza-like dough. It became one of my dad’s favorite meals and he came home excited to make it for us. Following that, we would sometimes make it together at home for a quick and simple dinner.

When we saw this restaurant near our hotel it immediately caught my eye for all of these reasons. We popped in to try it and weren’t disappointed. We split a charcuterie board (hello meat and cheese) and a traditional tarte flambée, and indulged in some Alsacien beer. It was a lovely evening all around.

L’Alsacien Republique
9 Rue René Boulanger
75010 Paris, France
Open Monday-Sunday for lunch and dinner
Reservations not required
Phone: +33 1 42 40 87 83

a tarte flambée
the front entrance to l'alsacien république in paris

5. Noori

This was also one of my favorite meals in Paris. I am drooling just looking at this photo! I adore sushi and Japanese food. This place served sushi tacos, and I fell madly in love. I kept asking my husband if we could go back for a second night. This place was so much fun and truly a unique place to eat at.

Like any big city, Paris has a lot of diversity and we really took advantage of being able to try different cuisines while there and not just sticking to traditional French food. There are quite a bit of Japanese restaurants which really tickled my fancy. I also fell in love with a tea shop nearby that served sakura and matcha which I craved every time I walked by. So if you love Japanese culture as well, you may be able to find some exciting dining options.

I wish we had something like this near where we lived and will go back here in a heartbeat when we visit again!

20 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin
75010 Paris, France
Open Monday-Sunday for lunch and dinner
No reservations

a sushi taco

6. Le Bistrot Paul Bert

And finally, we are finishing off our list of restaurants in Paris with a classic. You just can’t complete a list of restaurants in Paris without adding Le Bistrot Paul Bert, an old-fashioned and traditional French bistro. Another Anthony Bourdain favorite and now one of mine.

Anthony Bourdain said about this traditional dining experience ‘‘About the classic French bistro, I am a sentimental fool. To my way of thinking, there is no greater culinary institution in France than the old-school dino-style, unchanged-by-time classic Parisian bistro. And this place, Bistrot Paul Bert in the 11th [Arrondissement], is one of the best. However people are cooking one hundred years from now, whoever is cooking, will always, and must always, love and respect this.’

Because of the demand to eat at this restaurant, reservations are required. Our hotel was able to help us make that reservation and I’m so glad that we were able to have this experience. We both had the “Filet de bœuf au poivre de Sarawak, frites maison” and it was simply delightful. A steak in a rich, creamy pepper sauce with a side of house frites. One of the best things I probably have ever eaten. It was truly the perfect way to finish off our vacation in Paris.

If you’re in town, go go go! But don’t forget to make a reservation first 🙂

Le Bistrot Paul Bert
18 Rue Paul Bert
75011 Paris, France
Open Tuesday-Saturday 12-2pm, 7:30-11pm
Closed Sunday-Monday
Reservations required
Phone: +33 1 43 72 24 01

the front entrance to Le Bistrot Paul Bert, one of the best restaurants in Paris

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