Haussmannian architecture, wide boulevards, and wealth of history aside, one of the best aspects of Paris you must experience while in the French capital city is that of the foodie scene and culture. From big brunches to sweet treats, here’s your ultimate guide to a foodie’s way around the French capital and where to eat in Paris!
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Introducing Paris, one of the gastronomic capitals of the world. If you’ve ever been to the French capital, then you’ll know that there’s no shortage of delicious places to eat and drink. If it’s your first time in Paris, then be sure to check out our guide on how to order in a Parisian restaurant (and get it right every time!)
Though there are truly some sumptuous places to eat in Paris, there’s also a fair share of mediocre experiences to be had and, over the years, I’ve had my fair share of both delectable dishes and meals I feel like I’ve wasted money on! As a result, I’ve put together this guide for the very best food I’ve found in the capital so far…
- Best Pizza: Sette
- Best Cream Puff: Dune Blanches
- Best Dougnuts: Boneshaker
- Best truffle dish: Gruppomimo
- Best historic bakery: Stohrer Patisserie
- Best afternoon tea: Carette
- Best affordable French Food: Bouillon Chartier
- Best Ambiance: Pizza Popolare
- Best noodles: TranTranZai
- Best vegan bakery: Land and Monkeys
- Best cheesecake: She’s Cake
- Best affordable Michelin star food: Septime
- Best Vietnamese restaurant: Au Vieux Hanoi
- Best fondue experience: Le Refuge des Fondus
- Best romantic dinner experience: A Seine River Cruise
Best Pizza: Sette
Visit for: The most authentic and delicious Italian-style pizza
Set close to Porte Saint-Denis, one of four historic triumphal arches which remain in Paris to this day, Sette is easily one of my favourite affordable eats in the city. The speciality of this restaurant is traditional Italian pizza and the ingredients are fresh and tasty. The prices are not too high, making Sette pizzeria a good place for a fast bite to eat.
Best Cream Puff: Dune Blanches
Those looking for a light and sweet bite to eat need to look no further than Dune Blanches, in the Le Marais district of the city. This pastry actually originates from the the Bassin d’Arcachon in the South of France, where they were created by Pascal Lucas in 2007.
The pastry is a fresh chouquette case filled with Chantilly cream. Since its original creation, the pastry has proved to be so popular that it has been registered as a trademark since 2009. At any one time, there’s the classic flavour, which is a light vanilla and then a changing ‘tourist’ flavour which can be a fruit flavour or the like.
Best Dougnuts: Boneshaker
Visit for: oat milk speciality coffees and doughnuts in ever-changing flavours
Founded in 2013 by professional pastry chef Amanda Bankert together with her husband, Louis Scott, the store in the 2nd arrondissement is the first of its kind to bring American-style donuts to the French capital.
Each time you go in, there are different flavours on offer, including seasonal offerings at various times throughout the year. For example, September is the only month where you can buy the ‘fig and walnut’ flavour. All in all, Boneshaker Doughnuts easily serve up the best doughnuts in Paris.
Best truffle dish: Gruppomimo
Visit for: mouthwatering truffle pasta, a cozy atmosphere
One of the cosiest places to head to for those looking for a fantastic truffle dish in Paris is the Gruppomimo restaurant in the Batignolles. The restaurant only has a handful of tables and so it’s advisable to book well in advance, particularly during the winter months when there is no terrace space available and so even less seating available.
As well as the mouthwatering truffle pasta, there’s also a truffle pizza for those who prefer truffle atop of a bread-like dish. Having tried a large number of truffle restaurants in Paris (including some which I didn’t think were worthy to be on this list!), I would say that Gruppomimo is by far the best place to eat truffle flavoured food in the French capital.
Best historic bakery: Stohrer Patisserie
Visit for: The oldest still-in-operation patisserie in Paris
Stohrer can be found along rue Montorgueil, a charming semi-pedestrianised street in the second arrondissement of the city. Founded by the man who is credited with bringing the iconic dessert of Baba au Rhum to France, is the oldest still-in-operation patisserie in Paris, having been founded in 1730.
Best afternoon tea: Carette
Visit for: The best macarons in Paris, charming atmosphere, delicious hot chocolate
Though there are several locations for Carette across the city, the most iconic of them all is easily that of Place des Vosges, the oldest planned public square in the city and a location where Victor Hugo once called home. I particularly recommend the ‘chocolat chaud’ which is served together with Chantilly cream and pretty much makes for the most (unhealthy) meal on its own!
Best affordable French Food: Bouillon Chartier
Visit for: Cheap French food in a charming atmosphere
If you want to sample French fare but don’t want to drop a lot of money on dinner (after all, how can you be sure you like French food if you’ve never tried it before?) then you’ll want to head to Bouillon Chartier, which can be found in the 9th arrondissement.
Set against the backdrop of a Belle Époque dining room, on the menu you’ll find plenty of French classics at reasonable rates. The restaurant was originally opened in 1896 by two brothers and is called ‘Bouillon’ thanks to the fact that many of the dishes are served in a ‘bouillon’ (broth).
Best Ambiance: Pizza Popolare
Visit for: beautiful decor, friendly staff, fast service
Though I haven’t had the chance to frequent the Big Mamma venue until recently, my friends have been recommending this pizzeria ever since it opened a couple of years ago! Set across two levels, the place fills up fast, especially on weekends when foodie lovers are willing to queue for an hour or more.
You should note that few reservations are accepted and so you’ll need to head to the pizza place at opening time, if possible, so as to spend as little time queuing as possible! Perfect for catching up with friends, or alternatively as a date venue (highly recommended by yours truly!), I particularly recommend the truffle offerings by the Big Mamma group.
Best noodles: TranTranZai
Visit for: Spicy Sichuan style noodles in a fun setting, fast service, friendly staff
Hands down, my favourite noodles in Paris are those to be found at TranTranZai, a Sichuan-style noodle restaurant with multiple branches across the city. The noodle bowls are around €10-€12 and are the portions are so generous that it can be hard to finish your bowl.
What’s more is that you can choose the level of spice you have, meaning that there’s a spice level for everyone to enjoy. Vegetarian options are available and the dumplings are particularly tasty too!
Best vegan bakery: Land and Monkeys
Visit for: All of your favourite French sweets made vegan, light lunches to take away
Land and Monkeys have actually recently expanded and have several branches across the city. Step inside at any given moment and you’ll soon be greeted by the scent of freshly baked baguette and a wide array of sweet and savoury treats.
As well as all kinds of vegan wraps and sandwiches, there are the usual vienoisseries (croissants, pain au chocolat), and salads. I personally recommend taking your purchases to go and heading to the nearby Place des Vosges where you can enjoy a picnic style lunch while watching the world go by. For more meat-free options, check out our guide to the best of vegan in Paris.
Best cheesecake: She’s Cake
Visit for: Delicious cheesecakes in unusual and unexpected flavours
Creamy, sweet, and oh-so-delicious, for those with a sweet tooth, a visit to She’s Cake while in the French capital is an absolute must. After all, they claim to sell the ‘best cheesecake in Paris’!
Located in the Le Marais district of the city, the bakery’s name is a clever take on the word ‘cheesecake,’ and as you can imagine, this is exactly what they sell and specialise in! Step inside the shop created by Séphora Saada at any given moment and you can expect to find a wide array of cheesecake flavours.
As well as the usual suspects like blueberry and vanilla, more unusual tastes on offer include orange blossom, Oreo cookies, a lychee/ rose/ raspberry concoction, cappuccino, and even seasonal offerings such as a Galette des Rois version for January.
Best affordable Michelin star food: Septime
I first visited Septime restaurant in early 2020 for lunch with a friend and certainly wasn’t disappointed. Situated in the 11th arrondissement neighbourhood of the city, the One Michelin Star Restaurant is the kind of place you’ll struggle to get a reservation at but is oh-so-worth-it if you do manage to snag a coveted spot.
Founded by graphic-designer-turned-chef Bertrand Grébaut in 2011 and has since been awarded one Michelin Star. There is little choice when it comes to the menu at Septime.
Instead, you’re presented with a price and the number of courses you’ll receive (though there is also a vegetarian tasting menu available). Lunch-time is a surprisingly affordable five-course tasting menu (for such a luxurious establishment) priced at €60. For more information, check out our Septime Paris review.
Best Vietnamese restaurant: Au Vieux Hanoi
Located in the deep heart of the 14th-arrondissement, a rather off the beaten path district in the South of Paris (Rive Gauche), Au Vieux Hanoi serves up delicious meals in a friendly atmosphere.
. The quaint restaurant has both indoor and outdoor dining space and has plenty of vegetarian options on the menu. I personally enjoyed the Chay Bún which has spring rolls and tofu.
Best fondue experience: Le Refuge des Fondus
If you’re wondering what to eat in Paris, then heading out for a fondue is always a good idea. Le Refuge des Fondus doesn’t serve up the best fondue in Paris but more than makes up for it by offering one of the most fun nights out in the city.
Take yourself out for dinner where there are only two options on the menu (meat or cheese) and the wine is served in baby bottles (yes, you read that correctly!). Le Refuge des Fondus is located in Montmartre and has a fixed price menu. If you want to visit this Paris foodie location for yourself, then be sure to reserve a space in advance as the place fills up fast, especially on the weekend.
Best romantic dinner experience: A Seine River Cruise
If you’re looking to celebrate an extra special occasion (or someone), then I highly recommend taking an evening dinner cruise. The evening cruises take just over two and a half hours and include drinks, as well as a three course meal (with vegetarian options available). Check prices and availability here.
For even more information, be sure to check out our complete guide to the best Seine River Cruises (for pros and cons and comparisons between the various tickets and cruises available).
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Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, travel, pizza, and history. A fan of all things France related, she runs solosophie.com when she’s not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming something sweet. She now splits her time between London and Paris! Follow Sophie on Instagram.