10 Best French Restaurants in Paris for Authentic French Cuisine
Zimbeck and his colleagues have been running walking tours in the French capital and scouting out the best tables in town for years. With his help, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 French restaurants in Paris:
1. Bistro Paul Bert
For authentic bistro cuisine with a Parisian atmosphere of yesteryear, head to Bistrot Paul Bert.
Courtesy of Heather Sperling/Creative Commons/Flickr
“This is one of the restaurants I always recommend when people ask for a classic bistro experience,” Zimbeck says. Located in the eastern part of town, the bistro has a lively atmosphere and serves delicious steak frites and apple pie. Also worth seeing: the modern version of the café by the same owner, Le 6 Paul Bert, just down the street.
Bistro Paul Bert, 22 Rue Paul Bert, 75011 Paris. Tel +33 1 43 72 24 01
A perfectly poached egg with corn and parmesan at Septime. The non-choice menu changes seasonally.
courtesy lindsey tramuta
“Septime is where you can go and expect wonderful service that makes you feel special and welcome,” says Zimbeck.
Septime, 80 rue de Charonne, 75011 Paris. Tel +33 1 43 67 38 29
3. Chez Casimir
The little brother of the famous Chez Michel, Chez Casimir shares a kitchen with its more expensive counterpart, although it serves more affordable dishes. Located near Gare du Nord, it is particularly convenient for Eurostar commuters or those looking for an affordable restaurant, and what Zimbeck calls the best cheese board in town.
“This is where locals go for high-caliber bistro cuisine,” she says.
Chez Casimir, Gare du Nord, 6 rue de Belzunce, 75010 Paris. Tel +33 1 48 78 28 80
4. Entrecote Relay
Served with a secret sauce and crispy fries, the portions seem skimpy until the waiters arrive with the much-loved second serving. Families with picky eaters or those looking to avoid reservations will appreciate the restaurant’s three locations.
Relais de l’Entrecôte, 15 rue Marbeuf, 75008 Paris. Tel +33 1 49 52 07 17
“They take the ingredients that morning and put them together in interesting ways,” Zimbeck says.
Book a table, if you can, but unless you plan well in advance, you’ll have to join the crowds on the sidewalk waiting for a spot in line. The small venue and the portions don’t make for a casual meal, but one that will surprise and excite.
Le Chateaubriand, 129 avenue Parmentier, 75011 Paris. Tel +33 1 43 57 45 95
In Verjus, rediscover romance with… fried chicken.
Courtesy of Verjus Paris
“There’s a lot of engagement and conversation,” Zimbeck says.
Restaurant Verjus, 52, rue de Richelieu 75001 Paris +33 1 42 97 54 40
Semilla, 54 Rue de Seine, 75006 Paris. Tel +33 1 43 54 34 50
8. Joel Robuchon’s Workshop
The counter looks like a sexy sushi bar at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon.
Courtesy of Kent Wang/Creative Commons/Flickr
The executive chef is now Axel Manes, a protege of Robuchon. While continuing the classic dishes, Manes placed a new emphasis on seasonality.
A recent sampling on the menu includes clams (clams) stuffed with pink garlic and mushrooms and veal liver with crispy onion rings.
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, 5 rue Montalembert, Hotel Pont Royal, 75007 Paris Tel +33 1 42 22 56 56
Fancy a glass of French wine? Les Papilles is the place to go.
Courtesy of Papilles
A hearty four-course set menu includes a main course served family-style in a copper pot and usually a cheese plate. The plates change daily.
“A lot of chefs like to come here on their day off because they don’t have to think about it,” says Zimbeck. Reservations recommended.
Les Papilles, 30 Rue Gay-Lussac, 75005 Paris. Tel +33 1 43 25 20 79
10. Breizh Cafe
The best place for an authentic Breton crepe.
Courtesy of Cody and Maureen/Creative Commons/Flickr
According to Zimbeck, Bordier butter-stuffed buckwheat pancakes are a world apart from what you’ll find at most street creperies. Reservations are required, as usual, for the best French restaurants in Paris.
Breizh Café, 109 Rue Vieille du Temple, 75003 Paris. Tel +33 1 42 72 13 77
Editor’s note: This article was first published in 2013 and updated for 2019. CNN’s Forrest Brown contributed new material to this article.