Discover Dining in Paris


All photos courtesy of the author

Richard Nahem, an ex-New Yorker living in Paris, leads private insider tours showing visitors the Paris most of them never see on their own (, and also writes a popular insider's blog

Paris has many categories of eating establishments serving everything from formal French fare on white tablecloths to decadent macaroons at tea salons. Below are some of the categories with picks of our favorites in each.


The iconic corner bistro now represented in cities all over the world is thriving in Paris with inventive chefs cooking up their most creative cuisine in small, intimate places. Legend has it that how the name bistro came about is when Russian soldiers were at a restaurant in Montmartre on Place du Tertre in 1812, their food was too slow in coming, so they yelled "Bistrot! Bistrot! which means quickly in Russian. Le Reminet, tucked away on a calm street in the Latin Quarter is the quintessential bistro, with snugly packed tables and chef Eric Ponchet whips up delectable dishes like mushroom fricassee with puff pastry and for dessert the all chocolate dessert with dark chocolate cake with milk chocolate mousse and a mini-milkshake. The newest bistro getting rave reviews is Le Bistronomes and chef Cyril Aveline is receiving accolades for modernizing traditional French dishes like foie gras with fig jam and Grandma’s old-fashioned roasted chicken. An out of the way gem, L’ Atelier d’ Antan looks modest from the outside and serves killer food at reasonable prices, like the excellent lunch deal for 17.50 euros for three courses.

Le Reminet
3 rue des Grand Degres, 75005

Les Bistronomes
34 rue Richelieu, 75001

L’ Atelier d’ Antan
9 rue Leopold Robert, 75014


Bustling brasseries still dominate the city with classic French dishes that have satisfied for centuries. Bofinger off the Bastille is one of the most beautiful with its Belle Époque décor dating from the late 1800s featuring a Tiffany stained glass dome and rich, dark wood details. Raw seafood platters surrounded by ice and piled high with clams, oysters, lobster, and mussels are the house specialty. Close to the stock exchange Le Vaudeville is the choice businessmen for serious lunch meetings in the authentic Art Deco interior from 1927. In St. Germain des Pres, Brasserie Lipp has long been the meeting place for the literary set since the early 1900s and still continues today to be the watering hole for power lunches for journalists and the media.

5-7 rue de la Bastille, 75011

Le Vaudeville
29 rue Vivienne, 75002

Brasserie Lipp
151 Blvd. St Germain, 75006


Outdoor cafes are still the heartbeat and life of Paris. People watching is at its best at the famous Café Flore and Les Deux Magots in St. Germain des Pres, the former haunts of intellectuals and writers including Jean Paul Sartre, Gertrude Stein, Picasso and Hemingway. Café Nemours on the Place Colette by the Palais Royal has picturesque views of the stately Comedie Francaise Theater and was also the setting for a scene from the recent thriller “The Tourist”, starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp.

Café de Flore
172 Blvd. St. Germain, 75006

Les Deux Magots
6 Place St. Germain, 75006

Café Nemours
Place Colette, 75001

Salon de Thé

Old world tea salons serving rich pastries and delicate teas in fine china cups are very much alive in Paris. Ladurée is the oldest tea salon in Paris dating from the early 1900s with hand-painted Italian frescoed ceilings and serves a full food menu in addition to their famous macaroons in over a dozen flavors. Carette has a beautiful setting overlooking the historical Place des Vosges along with the darkest, richest hot chocolate served with mounds of fresh whipped cream. Mariage Freres, the oldest teashop in Paris in the Marais offers over 30 kinds of their world-renowned tea in their salon and is served in large white porcelain and stainless teapots.

16 rue Royale, 75008

25 Place des Vosges, 75003

Mariage Fréres
30 rue du Bourg-Tibourg, 75004