Every cuisine in the world has a touch that makes it special and recognisable. It could be the use of spices, the spiciness or the preparation of its dishes. However, French cuisine has many nuances that define it and have made it one of the most famous cuisines in the world.
The mixture of sweet and savoury, the raw materials, the mastery of doughs, the subtlety of butter and the mastery of meat and fish have made eating in Paris a culinary experience. That's why, if you're thinking of visiting the French capital, I'm going to give you a list of ten places to eat that you can't miss. Let's get started!
1.Enjoy a private gastronomic tour with French products
If you want to taste in a unique and exclusive way all the delicacies that Paris has in store for you, one of the best plans I offer you is to book a private gastronomic tour so that you can have a personal guide who will take you to different places to taste the characteristic products.
From a famous macaroon with a good coffee, to tasting a glass of local wine with a French cheese. Let your taste buds fall in love with this worthwhile experience on your trip to the French capital. You can choose to do the private tour with your group of friends or family or, if you are travelling alone, in a small and exclusive group, which will be guided through different markets and key places where you will make the obligatory stops to taste the most famous local product of the city. Bon apetit!
- Price: between 140€ and 150€.
- Duration: around 3 hours of gastronomic tour.
- Direction: with this type of tour you will visit different typical places around Paris.
- Recommended for: groups of friends or families who want to taste and get to know the local gastronomy of France.
2. Taste the delights of the Marché d'Aligre in small groups
If you want to get off the beaten track and discover the gastronomy of Paris in a way that is authentic and close to its people, one of the best places to visit is the Aligre market, located in the 12th arrondissement. Six days a week, there is a large market in this sector, divided into an open-air part and a covered part, where you can stroll around to discover the fresh, local products that the Parisian on foot eats.
Fortunately, so that you don't feel so lost, you can find tours for small groups that take you for a morning to get to know this picturesque place and, of course, to offer you a gastronomic experience by tasting the food and ingredients from the market stalls. It's an experience for your taste buds that goes off the beaten track and gives you a deeper insight into the flavours that predominate among the local residents.
Details of interest
- Price: between €60 and €70.
- Duration: approximately 2 hours.
- Address: Marché d'Aligre, Place d'Aligre, 75011.
- Recommended for: groups of friends or families who want to try local flavours and experience a more everyday experience.
3.Wine and cheese tasting in the heart of the Latin Quarter
Paris may have many places and interests that make it unique but, within its gastronomy, two of its main pillars are wine and cheese. If you want to get to know and taste these two raw materials in a special and unique way, you have the opportunity to do so at some of the tastings organised in the Latin Quarter, a place full of history and French culture.
In this way, you will not only taste the different types of wines and cheeses that are most famous in Paris, but you will also be guided at all times by expert chefs and sommeliers who will advise and instruct you on the nuances you will be tasting. There are different tours that organise this type of French-style tasting and, if you like the world of wine, it is definitely a plan to take into account.
Details of interest
- Price: between €40 and €50.
- Duration: the tastings usually last around 2 hours.
- Address: Latin Quarter of Paris.
- Recommended for: couples and groups with a taste for wine and cheese.
4. Discover the Moulin Rouge with a spectacular dinner
The Moulin Rouge is one of the biggest shows in Paris and, as well as offering a show full of excitement and music, it also offers a delicious dinner that you can enjoy to the rhythm of the cancan. This place has been a hotspot of Parisian bohemian life for decades and continues to offer performances every week.
If you are interested in seeing this spectacular performance and enjoying a glamorous dinner, you should plan ahead, as tickets and table reservations are usually bought well in advance. That's why I recommend having a tour or ticket already organised where you can usually choose from several menus inside the Moulin Rouge, as well as enjoying France's most famous cabaret.
Details of interest
- Price: between €190 and €200 including dinner and show.
- Duration: approximately 4 hours.
- Address: Moulin Rouge, 82 Boulevard de Clichy, 75018.
- Recommended for: Couples who want a special dinner.
5. Taste the gourmet cuisine at L'Atelier Maître Albert
If you are visiting the centre of Paris and want to be sure of a first-class dining experience, I recommend L'Atelier Maître Albert, a restaurant located just a few steps from Notre Dame with a classic, cosy style and traditional, gourmet-style food that will make your mouth water.
Decorated around a large dining room with a fireplace, and with dishes based on slow-cooked meats, fish and vegetables, it's not only comforting, but also of a quality befitting the French capital. I recommend you book a table in advance as it is a very popular place in Paris.
- Price: around 25€ per person.
- Address: 1 rue Master Albert 75005 Paris.
- Recommended for: Romantic dinners, couples.
6. Food and history at Brasserie Lipp
If you want to taste the most traditional dishes of Paris in a place with more than 130 years of history, you should definitely come and visit Brasserie Lipp, a restaurant located in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighbourhood and specialising in typical food and brasserie.
Some of its most typical dishes are Bismark herring, cod brandade, sauerkraut and roast free-range chicken. The popular restaurant is open every day and has a continuous service for both lunch and dinner, so if you get the chance, don't miss the chance to try its delicacies.
Details of interest
- Price: around €35 per person.
- Address: 151 Bd Saint-Germain, 75006.
- Recommended for: Couples and families who want to try traditional dishes.
7. La Criée, the authentic taste of the sea
If you are passionate about seafood and seafood products, you cannot miss La Criée, a chain of restaurants specialising in fresh seafood products that will offer you, for a very reasonable price, both lunches and dinners of very good quality, as well as take-away food.
Fresh oysters, tuna tartare, grilled prawns, even a French version of Fish & Chips. Whether you're travelling with friends or family, this place has top-quality produce and you can find it all over the city, although one of its larger venues is located right in the centre.
- Price: around €20 per person.
- Address: 31 Bd de Bonne Nouvelle, 75002.
- Recommended for: Families and groups of friends.
8. The croissants Du Pain et des Idées
The French are true masters at making dough, whether for their delicious baguettes or their famous croissants. For this reason, you can't leave Paris without trying one of the most popular bakeries in the city, the Du Pain et des Idées.
This place sells the most famous croissants in Paris, but it also has a varied selection of breads and other sweets, and you even have the option of asking them to prepare a sandwich to take away so you can enjoy it while you walk around the city of light and love. Without a doubt a unique and very typical experience.
- Price: approximately €10 per person.
- Address: 34, Rue Yves Toudic, 75010.
- Recommended for: lovers of bread and sweets.
9. The famous crêpes at the Creperie Bretonne
One of the most typical foods to be seen all over Paris is undoubtedly crepes. These delicious pastries, which can be eaten both sweet and savoury, originate from France and are popular with tourists and locals alike, so you will find many establishments and stalls selling them.
However, I recommend you try them at one of the best places in the city, the Creperie Bretonne, one of the most famous places located in the heart of Montparnasse, which attracts thousands of sweet-toothed people every day who want to try this delicacy for a very affordable price.
- Price: between 4€ and 9€.
- Address: Rue de Montparnasse.
- Recommended for: families and couples with a sweet tooth or a sweet tooth for pancakes.
10. Romantic date at Altitudes 58
Going to Paris and not going up the Eiffel Toweris like not going there at all. This huge and internationally famous monument is the icon of the city and from the top you can not only see fantastic views of the entire city, but you can also enjoy a romantic dinner or lunch at its high-rise restaurant.
The Eiffel Tower has its own restaurant, Altitudes 58, where they offer menus and a menu full of traditional French dishes and products. The price, as you might have guessed, is higher than that of a regular restaurant, but it's not every day you get to toast and eat a gourmet meal at the top of one of the Wonders of the Modern World.
- Price: approximately €45 per person.
- Address: Champ de Mars, 5 Av. Anatole France, 75007.
- Recommended for: Romantic dates and couples.
Typical Parisian dishes
Paris enjoys being the capital of one of the richest countries in the world and, in addition to being geographically positioned between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, it has a very versatile climate that gives rise to top quality products. This means that the raw material is excellent and the base of its dishes has an extra flavour.
Paris has also been one of the cradles of haute cuisine and of the world's great chefs. This city has known how to mix tradition and the products of the sea and the land with the most innovative culinary techniques of each era, giving rise to typical dishes such as:
- Foie gras
- Coq au vin
Approximate budget for eating out in Paris
You should bear in mind that Paris is an expensive capital compared to other European countries. That's why, when calculating a budget for eating out on your visit to the city, you have to decide what kind of places you want to visit and the plan you want to go with.
You can find restaurants that cost around €35 a fork, but you can also opt to eat at more local stalls or restaurants where lunch can cost around €15.
Lunch, dinner and restaurant opening times in Paris
Paris, like other northern European cities, tends to wake up early and go to bed early, and mealtimes are also reflected in this. As a general rule, shops usually open at 9am and close around 7pm, so, as you might expect, lunch and dinner will fit in with these times.
The local Parisian tends to have lunch between 12 and 2 noon and dinner around 8pm, so restaurants will offer their menus at these times. However, being in such a busy city, you'll never have a problem finding any place open where you can get a tasty meal at a reasonable price.