When it comes to traditional French cuisine there are choices galore in Paris. Sometimes the options can be overwhelming, so to help narrow your search we’ve identified our top seven favorite classic restaurants in Paris. These tried and true places are not only delicious, but also have lovely atmospheres and reliably friendly service.
Our Seven Favorite Classic French Restaurants in Paris
La Fontaine de Mars
La Fontaine de Mars opened in 1908 making it one of the oldest bistros in Paris. The charming tiled floors, red and white checked tablecloths, and friendly service will make you feel as if you’re in a Paris from yesteryears. They are known for their incredible Escargot de Bourgogne “Fontaine de Mars,” roasted chicken with mashed potatoes (a Sunday specialty), and incredible wine list. When the weather is nice the restaurant also has a wonderful terrace. A great option not far from the Eiffel Tower! La Fontaine de Mars, 129 Rue Saint-Dominique, 75007 Paris
Bistrot Paul Bert
In France, a bistrot is different from a restaurant. A casual neighborhood bistrot has quick and efficient service, a simple menu, and a lively atmosphere. Bistrot Paul Bert is a quintessential Parisian bistrot, which is why locals and visitors alike love it. Expect high quality, carefully sourced ingredients and wines that come straight from the vignerons (winegrowers). You can’t go wrong with just about anything on the chalkboard menu. Bistrot Paul Bert, 18 Rue Paul Bert, 75011 Paris (closed Sundays and Mondays).
Paris Food Experience: Morning Market Visit, Cooking Class, and Lunch
Embark on a unique culinary and Parisian cultural experience completely inspired by its gastronomical fare!
At a local market you will have to opportunity to buy fresh produce and learn about the French market culture. You’ll discover how to choose the ingredients, why, as well as where they come from.
Then it’s back to the kitchen. You will learn basic and advanced French cooking techniques through the process of creating a three-course French meal. You will cover five to seven fundamental cooking techniques as each theory will be explained.
During lunch, your host will share stories about each of the dishes to help illustrate various aspects of French culture. A bit of history, a touch of sociology, tongue-in-cheek humor, and quite a bit of gastronomy as one might expect. This is quite a unique, intimate and quite delectable experience in Paris indeed!
Restaurant Joséphine “Chez Dumonet”
When it comes to traditional French food in Paris, Restaurant Joséphine “Chez Dumonet” is a shining star. Walking inside feels like stepping inside a time machine. The menu is small at this family-owned restaurant and everything is excellent. You won’t want to miss the beef tartare that’s prepared table-side or the beef bourguignon, which cooks for three days. Save room for dessert – the massive Grand Marnier soufflé is accompanied by a glass of eau de vie. Restaurant Joséphine Chez Dumonet, 117 Rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006 Paris (closed Saturdays and Sundays).
Le Voltaire is beloved by both local regulars and loyal visitors who return time and time again. This chic restaurant, located directly across from the Musée du Louvre along the Seine, is unassuming from the outside but warm and inviting once inside. Although prices are high, the food, service, and attention to details are all immaculate. Each dish is accompanied by Le Voltaire’s famous crispy matchstick frites which are impossible to resist. Le Voltaire, 27 Quai Voltaire, 75007 Paris.
Bouillon Chartier originally opened in 1896 as an inexpensive restaurant for workers in the neighborhood. Since that time there have only been four owners and Bouillon Chartier has remained a Parisian institution that continues to draw crowds night after night, 365 days a year. Expect hearty French classics, waiters dressed in black and white, and a bustling ambiance. Bouillon Chartier, 7 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009 Paris.
Le Grand Vefour
For a truly fine dining experience and impeccable wine list go to Le Grand Vefour in the Palais-Royal. The two Michelin-starred restaurant has hosted many top French politicians, artists, and literary geniuses over its storied 200-year history. The décor is in the incredible 18th century art décoratif style and is filled with elegant gold and red tones. Be sure to make a reservation well in advance at this opulent restaurant. Le Grand Vefour, 17 Rue de Beaujolais, 75001 Paris.
Le Train Bleu
You may not expect one of the most beautiful restaurants in Paris to be found inside the Gare de Lyon train station, but that is indeed the case with Le Train Bleu. This beautiful Belle Epoque restaurant is perfect for a romantic dinner date. Spend your meal admiring the dreamy frescos. They feature places in France that you can catch a train to just downstairs. Le Train Bleu, Gare de Lyon, Place Louis-Armand, 75012 Paris.
Paris Food Experience: Cheese and Wine Tasting
You will embark on an incredible cheese and wine tasting experience in a 17th-century cheese maturing cellar in the heart of Paris. On the agenda today: learning the skill of tasting exceptional cheeses and pairing them with wonderful wines. You will never taste cheese and wine like this again!
Ready for a trip to Paris? Our travel designers are standing by and can help incorporate these seven favorite classic French restaurants in Paris into your itinerary. Some of our most popular Paris wine and food tours include A Foodie Tour of Paris, Champagne & Bordeaux, Food and Wine Lovers Tour of Paris and Bordeaux, and an Exclusive Private Tour of Paris.