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Paris Restaurant Recommendations

Cafe at XXXX Museum  It happens every Spring.  I can count on it.  Friends and acquaintances start sending me emails asking for recommendations for where to eat  in Paris.We like Paris, try to get there every other year, and so it  is a natural we get requests.

 But it is hard for me for me to make suggestions.  A restaurant I love is probably not one someone else will like…..and yikes, there are so many restaurants in Paris.  Where to begin?

But I decided to make a stab at it….listing a few favs and a couple of comments.

 Outdoor Cafe with Dog

 1. I recommend a couple of books I look to for information about food in Paris.

First, my favorite guide book is the “The Unofficial Guide to Paris”by  David Applefield. I haven’t tested his restaurant recommendations but I think the advice about dining in Paris is terrific.  Worth the price of the book.  It’s important to learn and follow the foodie rules in the City of Light.

2.  The other book I recommend is “Clothide’s Edible Adventures in Paris” by Clotilde Duseulier —If you like food, you’ll enjoy the side bars and the recommendations.   Click here for her  web site.

 Le Petite Zinc

3. I love Le Petite Zinc in the 6th ARR.  I don’t love it  so much for the food, although it is fine.  I love  decor.  It is authentic Art Nouveaux. This style of design was prevalent around the turn of the century in Paris.  Most of the Metro stations are Art Nouveaux Style.

Metro Stations

4. For a blast from the past go to La Coupole in the 14th ARR.  This and the other cafes on this street are ones Hemingway, Fitzgerald and those guys hung out in during the 20s.  Click here for more about this area.

La Couple

Le Dome--another famous cafe from the 1920s

 5. I like restaurants with a view.  If you’d like to dine with view of Paris, try Les Ombres on the top of the Branley Museum with great view of the Eiffle Tower,  George’s on the top of Pompidou and Le Zyriab on the top Arab World Institute.  Do make reservations for all three.

Great view of Seine from the top of Arabe World Instittue

View from restaurant on top of Arabe World Institute

Lovely restaurant on top of Branly Museum


Lovwly dining on top of Pompidou

6. A charming spot right on the Left Bank  is Les Bouquinistes, a Guy Savoy restaurant. (left bank).  We enjoyed going there after attending a concert at Saint Chapelle.   (see two blog posts about these concerts….it’s really my favorite thing to do in Paris).


Attend Concerts at Sainte Chapelle

 7.  Mostly though, I like to wander into little cafes and Bistros and enjoy authentic French Food.  As long as you avoid any establishment with the menu in multiple languages you are probably going to be fine.  Also, look for the chalk board.  If they don’t have a chalk board with the specials of the day–indicating that the chef is on his or her game, getting the freshest ingredients you’ll be ok.  Stay away from eating on Champs-Élysées or anyplace with huge buses parked near by.

Paris Dining

Look for the chalk board

 8.  We’ve enjoyed a couple of different spots on Ille Sainte Louis or over in the Marais.  You might take yourself there and see what looks good.

9.  You usually can find good stuff to eat on Market streets.  These are two or three block streets, typically pedestrian, devoted to food.  We’ve had good experiences on Rue Cler, Rue Mouffetard and Rue Montorgueil. Also look for Le Marche Les Enfants in the Marais.

Market Streets

 9.  I love the Art Deco period.  If you know of a restaurant, cafe or bistro decorated in this  aesthetic, let me know.  I’m always on the hunt for a wonderful new spot.  Or please add your favorite Paris restaurant to the comment section for our blog readers to enjoy.  Thank you.


Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.


  1. posted by
    Barbara Rohwer
    Apr 14, 2014 Reply

    What a treat to see this!! Thanks….one can always use restaurant suggestions in Paris or anywhere for that matter!

    • posted by
      Susan J. Smith
      Apr 14, 2014 Reply

      Do you have any suggestions to add? I’d love your recommendations. sis

  2. posted by
    Susan J. Smith
    Apr 14, 2014 Reply

    My friend Claudia sent me this comment via email and agreed that I could post it for DesignDestinations readers.

    ” This may be corny, but we loved Le Grand Colbert ! The restaurant is beautiful, the food was very good, reasonably priced and the wait staff was
    the most entertaining and friendly – we had a blast! Only one thing we
    didn’t realize…there really isn’t a bar to set at to have a drink before
    dinner like we Americans are used to doing. They use their bar to prepare
    meals, drinks etc. They cleared a place for us at the end of the bar and
    entertained us while mixing martinis and oysters on the half shell for our
    pleasure. It was such a delightful evening we will definitely go there

  3. posted by
    Jun 6, 2014 Reply

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