10 Fabulous Restaurants in Paris

Food, glorious food…Paris definitely does not disappoint the tastebuds!
Earlier in the year we were in Paris to watch the Paris marathon but this visit soon became an eat-a-thon!

Where did we eat? Here  are ten of my favourite restaurants!


1. L’Agape Substance
This fabulous restaurant is a relatively new player in the eating game but one with impeccable connections. Chef David Toutain was previously at one of my favourite restaurants, Murgaritz in San Sebastian and also at Arpege, in Paris. His food reflects a combination of  both of these cooking styles.

Simply and stylishly decorated, this narrow restaurant on Rue Mazarine seats only 24 people, most at a long high table with stools. Along the side wall are three separate tables for couples. The best table is opposite the kitchen where you can watch the chefs at work.

Following a trend we saw repeated at Eleven Madison Park and Jung Sik in New York, the menu features one ingredient per course. At Agape Substance this is the only clue as to what you may be served on the degustation menu. There are two menu options, one with a smaller number of plates but if you would like to try all the wonderful creations from this talented chef, I would always take the full degustation menu. It’s only 15+ courses!

Wine pairings are offered and if you are seriously into your wine, the sommelier’s suggestions were clever, astute and inventive, complementing the food perfectly.

With perfect timing, the beautifully presented dishes arrived one after the other with delightful explanations from the staff. Small and inventive, each plate presented a taste sensation of their own. Each dish highlighted seasonal produce that we had seen in the market and some that we had not.

We started with wild garlic bread, beetroot chips and turnip leaves and delicious house made bread and seaweed butter . Seafood consomme with fennel powder, king crab with cucumber and pistachio, turnips with turnip puree, champignons and shallots and corn with a slow cooked egg and cumin followed. An asparagus soup served with Cyrene de Parmegiana was full of flavour whilst the sensational sea urchin with coffee stole the show. Remember these were small dishes! Squid with garlic puree and mushrooms with hazelnut root sauce followed before the fillet of beef with seaweed sauce and potatoes was served. Deep fried blue cheese preceded a stunning lemon dessert. To finish, a decadent chocolate dessert was served.

This is one restaurant I won’t be missing on my next visit to Paris!

Agape Substance L’Agape Substance
66 Rue Mazarine, 6th
Tel: 43 293 383
Bookings essential! Closed Sun, Mon


Since writing this review, chef David Toutain has moved on. I have not eaten here since this.


2. Spring Restaurant.
Chicago born Daniel Rose still wows gourmands at his fabulous restaurant in the 1st Arrondissement.

The menu changes with the seasons and you can be sure that the freshest vegetables seen in the market will be on your plate. The set menu features six or seven courses which can also often vary from table to table with each course surpassing the one before.

An earlier post about eating in the 1st Arrondissement includes the full menu that made Spring such a special meal. Because the menu changes nightly, eating here every night would not be a problem!

Getting a reservation here is a feat in itself so book the necessary month in advance.

Spring Restaurant, Paris Spring
6 Rue Bailleul, 1st Arr
Tel: 45960572
Closed Sun, Monday. Lunch served Wed- Fri


3. Kei
Kei was the surprise restaurant of the trip. I had read several reviews extolling this superb young chef’s skill cooking french food with a japanese influence and was excited to try his food.

His simple yet stylish influence was in evidence from the moment we walked into the restaurant. Against the gray and silver background, the white clothed tables and the beautiful flower arrangement on the central table said it all!
The food followed this philosophy too. Spectacular in its simplicity, fresh ingredients shone through, each course a surprise, each mouthful a new flavour. For lunch you choose from a set menu of four or five courses plus desserts. At dinner, it is six or eight courses plus two desserts.

A beautiful corn soup with hazelnuts started the procession of plates with roasted capsicum served with a prefect slow cooked egg and avocado crumbs following. My husband chose the melt in your mouth veal for his main course while I enjoyed the sea bass cooked to perfection and served on a beautifully decorated plate. A sensational dessert of strawberry meringue, basil ice cream and fresh berries finished a perfect lunch.

Kei Restaurant, Paris Kei
5 Rue Coq Heron, 1st
Tel: 4233 1474
Closed Sunday, Monday


4. Septime
After some stunning meals where the set menu prevailed we were in need of a local neighbourhood restaurant . Septime has been receiving rave reviews and being within walking distance from our apartment, this was where we headed.

The atmosphere was warm and welcoming and, as we propped ourselves up at the bar for a pre dinner drink, we could take in the room. Simply decorated, the painted walls and wooden tables and chairs oozed comfort. There is a fabulously well priced two or three course lunch menu available during the day but at night, the  à la carte menu prevails. Modern french food, cooked simply and beautifully, showcased seasonal fresh produce. It’s very popular so you need to book ahead!

Septime Restaurant, Paris

80 Rue de Charonne, 11th Arr
Tel: 43673829
Closed Sat , Sun and Mon lunch


5. L’Atelier du Joel Robuchon

My old favourite! Every trip we return here to savour new dishes and old. It’s unlike any other restaurant…Michelin star bar food at its best. I love sitting at the bar, watching the chefs in action. You can choose to have any number of small dishes or add in one or two of the larger plates. Don’t miss dessert, the souffle is one of the best in town.

The only bookings that can be made are for the 11.30-12.30 and 2pm-3.15pm lunch sitting or the 6.30 dinner sitting. If you’re wanting to come at a different time, I suggest you come a bit earlier, leave your name at the desk and pop next door to the Hotel Montalembert for a drink.

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Paris

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
7 Rue de Montalembert, 7th Arr
Open every day



6. Passage 53
Hidden between the Bourse and Galeries Lafayette, is the Passage des Panoramaas, one of Paris’s oldest covered passage ways. Here you will find an excellent restaurant, Passage 53. Again, we were offered a choice of two degustation menus…one of 4 courses which we chose and the other featuring a few more. The first course of a broccoli cream , gave us a hint of what was to come. I loved the asparagus served with morels, turnips, broad beans and a pea foam. Delicious! The beef with salsify and horseradish cream that followed was delicious. Salsify is a root vegetable that features on quite a few menus here and in New York.
Dessert was amazing. A glass dome was presented under which lay a sublime passionfruit mousse. In a separate glass was a strawberry topped brulee and just for good measure , a small bowl of oatmeal ice cream was also served. OMG…

Passage 53, Paris Passage 53
53 Passage des Panoramas, 2nd Arr
Tel: 4233 0435
Closed Sun, Mon


The Hidden Kitchen was one of  the original private dining rooms in Paris. It became so popular that the owners decided to open their own restaurant and Verjus was born! On a prefect corner position overlooking the Theatre de Palais Royal, light streams into the main dining room which seats about fifty people.There is a small wine bar on the ground floor which also offers tasty snacks and is a great place to meet and have a pre dinner cocktail. The food appeals to many people. No foams or tricks…just good, honest, quality cooking.

Verjus, Paris

52 Rue Richelieu, 1st near Palais
Tel: 42975440
Closed Sat, Sun



8. Frenchie
You either love it or you don’t! This little restaurant in the 1st Arr has been the talk of the town for a long while now and it’s not the food that is being talked about. There is no argument that the beautifully cooked seasonal fare offered is excellent. It’s just that it is ridiculously hard to get into! It’s a small restaurant so it’s best to call during the lunch or dinner service. If you can’t get in and still want to try the food, don’t forget that over the road is their newly extended wine bar where you can also have dinner.

Restaurant Frenchie in Paris Frenchie
5 Rue du Nil, 2nd Arr
Tel: 40399619
Closed Sat, Sun



9. Ze Kitchen Galerie
Ze Kitchen Galerie has been around for a while but I love to pop back there to indulge in their tasting menu or just order a plate or two. Paintings decorate the wall in a gallery like atmosphere while the real artists work from the small open kitchen. Art on a Plate describes the stunning meal we had here. If this is not for you, try their bistro, Ze Galerie Bis, just down the road.

Ze Galerie Kitchen in Paris

Ze Kitchen Galerie
4 Rue des Grands Augustins, 4th Arr
Tel: 44320032



10. L’Hedoniste
I love this great little local restaurant. When you don’t feel like a big night out but would like a beautifully cooked dinner, this is the place to come. The menu is small, two choices only for entree and main course but the food is wonderful. The night that we ate here, the choice for main course was between a wonderful entrecote of veal with girolles and an equally clever Merdu (fish) with minestrone that included beans, peas, asparagus and chick peas. I can happily report that the merdu minestrone was delicious!

L'Hedoniste in Paris

14 Rue Leopold Bellan, 2 nd
Tel: 4026 8733
Closed Sun, Mon


This list is by no means complete. As with my list of Where to eat in New York, there are still many other restaurants that I return to, and even more I would like to try. Paris is a melting pot and there are also many fabulous ethnic restaurants to try.

A lot of the well known and popular restaurants require bookings to be made well in advance but unlike New York, there is no easy way to make a reservation. Some, like Spring, need to be booked 30 days in advance whilst others can be booked a week or two prior to your arrival. Your hotel concierge will always make a booking for you if you cannot contact the restaurant either by email or phone


 What are your favourite restaurants in Paris?








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48 Responses to 10 Fabulous Restaurants in Paris

  1. Jackie Smith November 8, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    Fabulous, simply, fabulous. Love the photos and the narrative and this one will be going with us when we get back to Paris. I love the layout of your photos (as well as the subject matter). I’ve always loved being in eat-a-thons!

    • [email protected] November 8, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

      Thanks Jackie. There are so many fabulous restaurants in Paris at the moment it’s hard to choose where to go. All of these on the list are great so I hope you get a chance to visit some of them.

  2. Krista November 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    Oh my goodness!!! So much inspiration and deliciousness to choose from. 🙂 They all sound amazing, but I am drawn most to Kei and L’Hedoniste. Wonderful. 🙂

    • [email protected] November 8, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

      Great choices Krista! They are very different restaurants but both fabulous. I’ll go back to both of them on our next visit.

  3. jan November 8, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

    Hi Jenny, I wish I was dining at L’Hedoniste tonight, and on the next night I would love the fun of sitting at the bar of L’Atelier du Joel Robuchon. This list is a wonderful resource for foodies in Paris.

    • [email protected] November 8, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

      Thanks Jan. It’s interesting to see which restaurants appeal to everyone! We return to L’atelier du Joel Robuchon every trip. The food is fantastic and it’s a great atmosphere. L’Hedoniste is a low key favourite too.

  4. Mary @ The World Is A Book November 8, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

    WOW! You have such great taste and impeccable dining choices. These are absolutely beautiful and mouth-watering photos, Jenny! I’m ashamed to admit that Paris was such a whirlwind of crepes, street food, baguettes and macarons for me instead of the fine dining you have here. I’m totally bookmarking this and attempt to go to one of these places next time and passing this on to friends.

    • [email protected] November 8, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

      Thank you Mary. We still have the baguettes and macarons but I do hate to miss out on a good meal when we are away so I spend quite a bit of time researching the restaurants I want to go to. It’s all part of the fun of travel for me.

  5. Muza-chan November 8, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    I want to try Ze Kitchen Galerie someday…

  6. Lisa November 8, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

    Wow – each of those looks absolutely amazing! We were in Paris for 10 days in March and ate primarily at cafés and bistros because the restaurants didn’t start serving earlier enough in the evening for us. I had to choose between keeping Emma up late to eat or getting her up early to sightsee and we chose sightseeing. Next time there will be more restaurants like this on our agenda!

    • [email protected] November 9, 2012 at 9:44 am #

      It’s hard to go to restaurants like these when you are travelling with kids. Our kids have left home so it’s not a problem anymore but I still remember those days. Your turn will come and you can try them all!

  7. Leigh November 8, 2012 at 11:40 pm #

    What a mouthwatering set of photos and what great info for visiting Paris – if only I was going soon!! If you only had a few days in Paris I don’t know how you would choose.

    • [email protected] November 9, 2012 at 9:47 am #

      Thanks Leigh. Trying different restaurants in Paris is always a highlight of a trip for me. There’s a couple I wouldn’t miss if I only had a few days but they’re all good.

  8. Aleah | SolitaryWanderer.com November 9, 2012 at 12:28 am #

    I really hate it when I read your posts. You make me so envious! I would love love to eat those at Verjus and L’Hedoniste! Lucky you.

    • [email protected] November 9, 2012 at 9:50 am #

      Sorry Aleah! I just love eating….from Michelin star to baguettes on the run..it’s all fun! Thanks for perservering with the sight yesterday..so slow!

  9. Karen (Back Road Journal) November 9, 2012 at 3:17 am #

    They all look and sound great. I’ll bookmark these for our next trip…thanks!

    • [email protected] November 9, 2012 at 9:51 am #

      I’ll be going back to a few them on the next trip as well Karen!

  10. Jenn Smith from JetPot November 9, 2012 at 5:18 am #

    Truly 10 Fabulous Restaurants in Paris! Great pictures, great food, great tips.
    Thanks for sharing all this amazing info about Paris. Like you how much you travel and enjoy the world 😉
    I wanna invite you to visit Paris at JetPot Travel Slots!

    • [email protected] November 9, 2012 at 9:55 am #

      Thanks for visiting and commenting. I do love to travel..and to eat! I hope you can use the recommendations on your next visit to Paris.

  11. Miret November 9, 2012 at 5:31 am #

    Fabulous places, indeed! I wonder what Paris would be like without its restaurants… hmm.. scary thought, isn’t it?? 😉

    • [email protected] November 9, 2012 at 9:56 am #

      Paris would still be fabulous without its restaurants, Miret. I’d still be happy with a baguette in such a beautiful city!

  12. Sophie November 9, 2012 at 6:13 am #

    Another gorgeous and super useful post from you, Jenny. I tried a few new restaurants in Paris last autumn. Kong was one – Philippe Starck place with interesting decor and not that great food. Le Train Bleu was another, such beautiful interior I almost forgot to eat.

    • [email protected] November 9, 2012 at 10:00 am #

      Thanks Sophie. Yes, Kong used to be good but not anymore. I have dropped in to Le train Bleu to see the interior but we didn’t eat there..another time. There are so many fabulous restaurants in Paris, we’d need a year to try them.. what a great idea!!

  13. Johanna @ The Zigazag Mag November 9, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    What an informative and interesting post, Jenny! I love the way that you make food so interesting, bringing in useful insights and comparisons as well as your own opinions. The photos are stunning and it’s obvious that you’ve spent a long and thoughtful time compiling such an interesting collection of restaurants for us. I don’t know which I’d choose to go to, they all look simply amazing, but it makes me very sad that I didn’t spent more time tripping to France when I was young and living in England!

    • [email protected] November 9, 2012 at 10:05 am #

      Thanks Jo. I can understand your sentiments.We have English friends who came to Paris for the first time in 20 years to meet us. It’s a bit of so close..yet so far! There’s so many fabulous restaurants and more opening up every day that this list could have easily tripled!

  14. Debbie @ European Travelista November 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

    Even though I just finished dinner, I’m hungry all over again! Love eating my way through Paris and this list will definitely accompany me on my next visit. Can’t say what my favorite was because they all looked so wonderful.

    • [email protected] November 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

      Start at the top and work down Debbie! They’re all different…all good…so have fun eating our way through Paris!

  15. Dick Jordan November 9, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    Nice restaurant reviews. Now I’m starving.

    Good news: Dinner is about to be served.

    Bad news: I’m not in Paris.

    Sacre bleu!

  16. Shing @ The Culture Map November 11, 2012 at 3:02 am #

    WOW if heaven were a plate of food it would be any one of these.

    They all look so innovative, and how it looks on the plate is clearly as important as the ingredients – a true art!

    Ooh to be a single tastebud on your tongue, what a pleasure it would be!

    • [email protected] November 13, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

      Thanks Shing. I certainly enjoyed everyone of these taste sensations. I just love what today’s chefs are achieving in both taste and presentation especially in Paris

  17. Travel Belles November 12, 2012 at 7:36 am #

    So many delicious options! Thank you for providing an array of choices all in one place. This will be perfect to print out and take with me to Paris. 🙂

    • [email protected] November 13, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

      I hope you get to try some of these restaurants on your next visit to Paris, Krista. They are all different but all serve a fabulous lunch or dinner.

  18. Cathy Sweeney November 13, 2012 at 3:05 am #

    I’m sorry to say that I haven’t been to any restaurants in Paris that could compare to these. Thanks for the delicious suggestions. I think I’ll start with L’Hedoniste.

    • [email protected] November 13, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

      L’Hedoniste is a good choice Cathy. We love staying in the 1st or 2nd arr and it quickly became our local restaurant in between trying all the other ones on the list!!

  19. Michele @ Malaysian Meanders November 14, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    Oh my goodness, this is fantastic. One day, I’d like to try at least one of these. Lucky you to have eaten at all of them (and more). I would love to take one of David Lebovitz’s tours. He’s doing Lausanne Chocolate and Gastronomy in June, but I think it’s just going to remain a dream for me.

    • [email protected] November 20, 2012 at 12:39 am #

      Thanks Michele.Hope you get to try one when you are next in Paris. David Lebovitz’s tours would be fantastic…one day!!

  20. Turkey's For Life November 20, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

    Love the name of restaurant number 10 and got to say, it looks like they serve more my kind of food. Maybe that suggests something about my personality. 😉

    • [email protected] November 21, 2012 at 10:33 am #

      Good choice Julia! L’Hedoniste is a very relaxed, easy restaurant.Aren’t we all hedonists!!

  21. thuy November 30, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    Love your blog Jenny! Wished I discovered sooner!

  22. clifford October 3, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    WOW! Food like this exist ? This is one of the most helpful blogs i have read so far. I am going to Paris in about a week. All the bookings have been done, flying with Lufthansa because they have wonderful services. So hoping to try all of this soon now 😀

    • Jenny Freedman October 4, 2013 at 5:11 am #

      I hope you get to try some of these restaurants when you’re in Paris!

  23. Alex July 10, 2014 at 11:51 pm #

    Thanks for all the information, Ive been 7 times in Paris and Ive tried some of this fab restaurants….I love “Le Train Bleu” is wowwww elegant acd historical…”Ozzo” is really incredible , the food and the presentation for me one of the best in Paris, “Kong” awesome views , elegant, trendy… the food Normal+…. For me the best is “Le V”

    • Jenny Freedman July 16, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

      Pleasure. Paris has so many exciting restaurants at the moment. I’ll be updating the list later this year. Thanks for your recommendations. I’m still to eat at Le V but it’s on the list!!

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