There's nothing as dispiriting as a bad dinner in what is supposed to be the 'food capital' of the world. Sadly, though, it can happen quite easily here. These places I like; I hope you do too.

Brasserie Balzar, Paris

Brasserie Balzar

IMHO one of the loveliest, and more intimate brasseries. You can also just sit down for a coffee in the enclosed terrace.

49 rue des Écoles
5th Arrondissement

+ 33 1 43 54 13 67

Métro: Cluny - La Sorbonne (line 10)

Chez Georges restaurant, Paris

Chez Georges

An institution.

1 rue de Mail
2nd Arrondissement

+ 33 1 42 60 07 11

Métro: Bourse (line 3)

Terminus Nord brasserie, Paris

Terminus Nord

Opposite the Gare du Nord; if you're early for your train or have just arrived, settle in for breakfast, lunch, dinner and just about anything in between. It's a great way to say hello or goodbye to Paris.

23 rue de Dunkerque
10th Arrondissement

+ 33 1 42 85 05 15

Métro: Gare du Nord (lines 4 & 5)

Anahuacalli Mexican restaurant, Paris


You may not come to Paris for the Mexican cuisine but this place is great.

30 rue des Bernardins
5th Arrondissement

+ 33 1 43 26 10 20

Métro: Maubert-Mutualité (line 10)

Le Cette restaurant, Paris

Le Cette

This is my idea of a perfect restaurant. The room is simple and chic and the staff friendly. The cuisine is French bistro interpreted by a Japanese chef.

7 rue Campagne Premiére
14th Arrondissement

+ 33 1 43 21 05 47

Métro: Raspail (lines 4 & 6)

Fontaine de Mars restaurant, Paris

La Fontaine de Mars

Try to get a table on the ground floor. The food is good and the room is perfectly Parisian. Book well ahead.

129 rue Saint-Dominique
7th Arrondissement

+ 33 1 47 05 46 44

Métro: École Militaire (line 8)

Le Dome restaurant cafe oysters, Paris

Le Dôme

The room personifies Parisian grand dining with its panelled wood polished to a high patina, soft lampshades and comfortable banquettes. The cooking and service are impeccable. It also has a café. It is expensive, even by Paris standards.

108 bd du Montparnasse
14th Arrondissement

+ 33 1 43 35 25 81

Métro: Vavin (line 4)

L'Alimentari Italian restaurant, Paris


Fantastic, tiny Italian bistro in the Marais.

rue des Ecouffes
4th Arrondissement

+ 33 1 42 77 24 59

Métro: Saint-Paul (line 1)

Brasserie de l'ile St-Louis, Alsatian brasserie, Paris

Brasserie de l'ile St-Louis

Since 1952 this has been one of the few family owned and run brasseries in Paris, serving classic French and Alsatian brasserie fare. On a warm day, its terrace is great for a drink.

55 quai de Bourbon
4th Arrondissement

+ 33 1 43 54 02 59

Métro: Pont Marie (line 7)

Le Grand Colbert restaurant, Paris

Le Grand Colbert

A Parisian institution.

2 rue Vivienne
2nd Arrondissement

+ 33 1 42 86 87 88

Métro: Pyramides (lines 7 & 14)

Les Botaniste restaurant, Paris

Les Botanistes

A proper, local restaurant. Simple dining room, great food and service.

11 bis rue Chomel
7th Arrondissement

+ 33 1 45 49 04 54

Métro: Sèvres - Babylone (lines 10 & 12)

Le Square Trousseau restaurant, Paris

Le Square Trousseau

The food is good (although not noteworthy) but the Belle Époque room is probably what most visitors to Paris long to experience. There is seating outside when the weather's warm.

1 rue Antoine Vollon
12th Arrondissement

+ 33 1 43 43 06 00

Métro: Ledru-Rollin (line 8)

Bofinger restaurant, Paris


A grand, archetypal brasserie near the Bastille, it is the epitome of French dining. Try to book a table in the main room on the ground floor.

5-7 rue de la Bastille
4th Arrondissement

+ 33 1 42 72 87 82

Métro: Bastille (lines 1, 5 & 8)

Chez Janou restaurant, Paris

Chez Janou

A relaxed, convivial atmosphere is what you'll find at this Provencal restaurant in the Marais. The food varies from excellent to just okay but it's a great place to hang out.

2 rue Roger Verlomme
3rd Arrondissement

+ 33 1 42 72 28 41

Métro: Chemin Vert (line 8)

Philosophes restaurant, Paris

Les Philosophes

Drop in for lunch at this lovely small bistrot in the Marais, which serves well-made, classic French food. In the warm months the outside terrace is perfect.

28 rue Vieille du Temple
4th Arrondissement

+ 33 1 48 87 49 64

Métro: St Paul (line 1)

Métro: Hotel de Ville (lines 1 & 11)

Freddy's tapas, Paris


Wine and tapas bar serving flavourful small dishes. No reservations, just turn up and take a seat at the bar. The charming staff and delicious food make Freddy's a lively and relaxed destination.

54 rue de Seine
6th Arrondissement

Métro: Mabillon (line 10)

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