Five Michelin-Starred Restaurants You've Probably Never Heard Of

In 1900 the Michelin brothers, who had started out making bicycle tires in France, printed a small guide for the country's few motorists to tell them where to get service on the road, where to buy tires, where to stay, and also where to eat. They even threw in a few simple maps. Their logic was simple. The more people traveled, the faster their tires would wear out. More travel = more tire sales. It was from this simple beginning over a century ago that the Michelin Red Guide to restaurants and hotels evolved.

As we discovered in our visits with two dozen Michelin-starred chefs in France, the Red Guide is the one that matters most to the country's top chefs. "The others," as Chef Frédéric Robert told us, "do not matter." While doing research for a book on the one-star Michelin restaurants of France, we had the good fortune to spend time in the kitchens with some of the most renowned chefs of Paris and France… and to eat in their restaurants. We'd like to share with you our favorite Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris.

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The Top Seine River Dinner Cruises

Privilege Dinner Cruise with Hotel Pickup
This romantic dinner cruise includes pick-up from your hotel a 4-course classic meal, and live music. #1 Traveler Choice.
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Marina de Paris Dinner Cruise on the Seine
Cruise down the Seine on a bateau while being served a 3-course gourmet meal prepared by a French chef. Hotel transportation included.
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La Grande Cascade

One Michelin Star

La Grande Cascade

The Bois de Boulogne hangs off the west end of Paris. It's sometimes referred to as the lungs of Paris, due to all of the trees that supply oxygen to the city. We also like to think of it as the belly of Paris, for the Bois is where you'll find one of our fave dining experiences, La Grand Cascade.

We write about La Grand Cascade in a dedicated review, but it's worth repeating, since a dinner or lunch here is not only an amazing gourmet delight but an elegant, darn near perfect occasion.

  • Allée de Longchamp, Bois de Boulogne
  • 16th Arrondissement
  • tel: 01 45 27 33 51
  • Website…

Nomicos

One Michelin Star

Restaurant Nomicos

Jean-Louis Nomicos has been cooking around the Paris food scene for a long time. He won the star for La Grand Cascade when he headed the kitchen there, he maintained the two stars at Laserre, and here, at his own restaurant, he quickly gathered up his own star. Originally called Les Tablettes de Jean-Louis Nomicos, Chef Jean-Louis' eponymous restaurant is worth a trip to the 16th Arrondissement

He's also famous for inventing the dish we like to call the world's most expensive macaroniMacaroni, truffes noires, foie gras de canard, céleri, jus de veau, parmesan gratinés. That's right, pasta stuffed with black truffles and foie gras. It's something you must eat at least once in your life.

  • 16 Avenue Bugeaud
  • 16th Arrondissement
  • 01 56 28 16 16
  • Website…

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The Most Popular Food Tours in Paris

Taste the Food & Wine of the Marais
Visit the top food & wine shops in the historic Marais, tasting the best of French foods like cheese, charcuterie, baguettes, chocolate, and wine. There's plenty of sampling on this small-group tour.
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Chocolate & Pastry Walking Tour of Saint-Germain
Combine your passion for Paris, chocolate & fabulous French pastries. Spend the afternoon tasting your way through the best chocolate shops, patisseries and boulangeries in Paris.
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L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon – Étoile

Two Michelin Stars

Atelier de Joel Robuchon

This may be the best one on this list. At least if you believe Eric Ripert. Chef Ripert, who knows a thing or two about great restaurants — his Le Bernardin in New York City holds three stars — has called L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon "the best restaurant in the world".

In an interview, Chef Ripert told us that Joel Robuchon is, "In my opinion the best chef we've seen in the last century." And that certainly shows in the food at L'Atelier. How Joel Robuchon was able to run a number of restaurants and still maintain the high level of cooking is a mystery many chefs would like to solve.

For us, we're just content to be able to eat this amazing food in the convivial space Robuchon has created. This restaurant lost one star for a year or two, but has since regained the second. Another not-to-be-missed meal.

  • Lower Level of the Publicis Drugstore
  • 133 Avenue des Champs Elyséées, Entry at 30 Rue Vernet
  • 8th Arrondissement
  • 01 47 23 75 75
  • Website…

Jacques Faussat Regains His Star !

One Michelin Star

La Braisiere

Tucked away in the 17th Arrondissement, on a small street wandering tourists are unlikely to find, is Jacques Faussat, a restaurant owned by one of the kindest chefs we're ever met. The exterior of the restaurant is unassuming, but the dining room has a simple, pleasing elegance to it. The star, however, is Chef Faussat's food. Among the exceedingly delicious dishes we ate was Pigeon a la Pastilla, inspired by the Andulusian meat pie later adopted by Moroccans. His flavor combinations simply are not to be missed.

Oddly. Chef Faussat has lost his star for a couple of years. (We kept telling Michelin they were wrong!) But, this year his star has been restored, and rightly so. By the way, if you read about a restaurant called La Braisiere, it's the same place — that was the name Chef Faussat originally gave his restaurant.

  • 54 Rue Cardinet
  • 7th Arrondissement
  • tel: 01 47 63 40 37
  • Website…

Les Climats

One Michelin Star

Les Climats

Not only did we proclaim that the cooking at Les Climats was worthy of two stars, we also named it one of The Best Restaurants in France 2020. There's a new chef here — thirty-two-year-old Emmanuel Kouri — and in our review we call him a "keeper."

The wine list here (it's literally a book — a coffee-table-book six book) is a love sonnet to the wines of Burgundy. Les Climats may well have the best Burgundy wine cellar in the country. But, even with those great wines, it was the cooking that shone for us. Visually, each course was a work of art. The homard bleu was delicately seasoned with curry and broiled avocado slices and finished with a buttery foam. The belles sardines Bretonnes sparkled with brilliance; the trio was grilled, stuffed with smoked ricotta cheese, fresh herbs, and nasturtium leaves.

We could go on… in fact, we do — in our full review. You don't want to miss this place, set in the street just behind Musée d'Orsay. Be sure to opt for a wine pairing with your meal.

  • 41 Rue de Lille
  • 7th Arrondissement
  • tel: 01 58 62 10 08
  • Website

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