The Best Restaurants In Paris – Hand Picked By Us

How do we choose the best restaurants in Paris for 2020? It's certainly a subjective selection. The restaurants had to be new to us, they had to be in Paris proper (inside the périphérique), and they had to leave a favorable, lasting impression. They are the restaurants, brasseries, and bistros we'll return to and recommend to friends.

Did we eat at every restaurant in the city? Of course not. (If we had we wouldn't be able to sit upright at our desks and type this!) Last year we traveled by Metro to practically every arrondissement and, of the restaurants we sought out or chanced upon, these are the Paris eateries we want to tell you about. Let's start with the top three, which are among our Best Restaurants in France 2020.

The Top Three

Le Jules Verne – The Eiffel Tower

Le Jules Verne

It's a fresh slate for this restaurant on the most popular monument in the world. Out with the heavy furnishings and distant rule of Alain Ducasse and in with the lighter, hands-on approach of Chef Frédéric Anton.

The improvements start at ground level with a short-cut entry (avoiding the long Eiffel Tower lines) to the private elevator for Le Jules Verne diners. The new color scheme is light and breezy and includes 2,500 sheets of gold leaf applied by hand. Even better, though is the food. It's bold, daring, and as architecturally stunning as the tower itself. As soon as you book your flight to Paris, book your reservation at Le Jules Verne for what will be a meal of a lifetime. It's never been so delicious on the Eiffel Tower.

Les Climats

Restaurant Les Climats, photo by Mark Craft

A temple to the wine of Burgundy, Les Climats, the impressive Art Deco restaurant with young chef Emmanuel Kouri newly installed at the helm, is turning out carefully constructed, delicious French classics, like lievre à la royale and ris de veau. But, there are also fresh, light offerings featuring lobster, sardines, scallops, and line-caught bass with unique, modern flavors and flourishes. We have many fond memories of our meal here, but even amongst all that goodness one dish stands out — the towering soufflé.


L'Assaggio, photo by Mark Craft

Although we usually don't seek out Italian cuisine in Paris, L'Assaggio changed that for us. In the refined restaurant of the Castille Hotel, on the elegant rue Cambon where Coco Chanel set up her headquarters, L'Assaggio is combining Italian flavors and refined French techniques. Chef Ugo Alciati from Piedmont and Executive Chef Sasha Arandjelovic are creating exemplary dishes. We urge you to try their memorable tasting menu.

Other Top Paris Restaurants for 2021

Brasserie Bellanger

Brasserie Bellanger

In a quiet corner of the 10th Arrondissement Victor and Charly are revitalizing the French brasserie. They've spared no expense in transforming a tired corner cafe into one of the best examples of an old-fashioned brasserie.

Nothing fussy or fancy about the food — but it's stick-to-your-ribs French grandmother classics made with high-quality ingredients sourced from every part of France. Hams from the Auvergne, rich butter from Brittany, and fish from the shores of Normandy on a short, fun menu at bargain-basement prices. Worth the Metro ride.

Les Cocottes

Les Cocottes, photo by Mark Craft

A culinary visit to Paris isn't complete without a meal at one of Chef Christian Constant's restaurants. And, if you're staying near Rue St-Dominique by the Eiffel Tower, it's hard not to dine at one of them — three of his restaurants dominate the last block of the street. Among them is Les Cocottes.

There's a lot to love at Constant's interpretation of a casual diner. Les Cocottes feels like a reliable old friend; sidle up to the bar where no reservations are needed and enjoy the conviviality of a neighborhood eatery. The three-course daily lunch menu, at around €25, is a bargain. On recent visits we feasted on seared duck with Asian vegetables, scallops served in the shell with a purée of celeriac, flavorful roast chicken (served on Sundays only), and Basque cheese with black cherry jam.

  • 135 Rue Saint Dominique
  • 7th Arrondissement
  • Metro – École-Militaire
  • Website

La Verriere

La Verriere, photo by Mark Craft

We dined at La Verriere by chance when we were looking for a place to have lunch before visiting the new Musée de la Libération de Paris (Museum of the Liberation) in the 14th Arrondissement. The neighborhood is funky but lively while the renovated Hilton hotel Curio, where the restaurant is located, is swish and modern.

Chef Kayori Hirano brings her Asian flavors and integrates them with French culinary savoir-faire. There are some very good dishes — like the foie gras a la plancha in a dashi broth, and the canette with garlic, ginger, and a Japanese pepper sauce called Sanshoe. Worth a Metro ride.

  • 4 Rue Niepce
  • 14th Arrondissement
  • Metro – Pernety
  • Website

More Paris Restaurants For 2021



In any other circumstance, seafood restaurant Antoine would be included in the top section of this page, as one of the Top Four of 2020. We had a memorable lunch there, on the banks of the Seine, gazing at the Eiffel Tower in the distance, just before the Covid-caused lockdown in France, which forced all restaurants to close. By late summer 2020 the restaurant, still closed, posted a notice on its website telling sad patrons (like us) that they would not be reopening.

Nonetheless, it's still a pleasure to look back on our memorable meal, and we do just that in our retrospective review.

Hotel Particulier Montmartre & The Grand Salon

Hotel Particulier, photo by Mark Craft

If the crowds milling around the Grand Magasins are getting to you, hop on the Metro and head up to the top of Montmartre to tuck yourself into the Hotel Particulier Montmartre's comforting restaurant, Le Grand Salon. It's found in a quiet, secret garden that's far, far away from that madding crowd. Sip champagne from vintage flutes, dine on the refreshing vegetable-forward menu, and wonder what it was like to have lived here when it was a private mansion.

Chez Janou

Chez Janou, photo by Mark Craft

Bask in the sunny flavors of Provence at this popular bistro in the Marais. It's a crowded scene at lunchtime with regulars filling up on casual-fare favorites like roasted goat cheese rounds in a rich, flavorful tomato sauce; petite friture de poissons (deep-fried, bite-size fish); and a lamb, rabbit, or duck main course. Yes it can get packed, and sometimes the service can be sloppy, but it's worth it.

Autour du Monde at Restaurant La Gare

Restaurant La Gare

When your taste buds are in need of a boost of spice head to the beautiful La Muette neighborhood in the 16th Arrondissement to dine at the very large, international kitchen at La Gare. The Moma group brought on top designer Laura Gonzalez to bring in the colors and textures of the Mediterranean and hired Peruvian chef Gaston Acurio to bring the flavors from around the globe.

Brasserie Lutetia – Hotel Lutetia

Brasserie Lutetia, photo by Mark Craft

Four years and a zillion euros (approximately) in the making, Hotel Lutetia has revealed its new look and feel, including the restored restaurant, Brasserie Lutetia. Chef Gérald Passédat has brought his seafood sensibilities from his Michelin 3-Star restaurant in Marseille to launch the renovated brasserie. This is the place to fill up on fresh oysters, with seafood platters and whole fish as the stars of the show.

L'Escudella – The Flavors & Colors of the South

Restaurant Escudella, photo by Mark Craft

In the 7th Arrondissement, among the French government ministries and foreign embassies, is the modern bistro, L'Escudella. On a rainy, chilly day in Early March we booked a lunch in this pleasant space, where everything is inspired by the flavours and colors of the Occitan region of the south of France.

Bonus Paris Dining Experience for 2020

Seine River Lunch Cruise

Seine River Lunch Cruise

This may not be haute cuisine, but for your first trip to Paris (or your twenty-fifth) we can wholeheartedly recommend this lunch cruise on a bateaux along the Seine. The food was prepared from high-quality ingredients, the boat ride itself was a relaxing as a spa massage, and the ninety minutes on board will be some of your most idyllic minutes in Paris.

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