Eating out and best restaurants in Paris

The most famous dishes of Parisian cuisine, a guide to restaurant menus and where to buy local products.
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It is a well-known fact that French cuisine is among the most established in the world and for Parisians, good food is a serious matter. French cuisine is often considered a pleasure that has to do with art and not only with the need to eat well.

Paris, therefore, can truly be a gourmet’s paradise.

Delicious starters, exquisite desserts and a wide variety of main dishes will be an essential component of your trip to the French capital, not forgetting wines and cheeses.

A normal meal in a Paris restaurant usually includes three courses. Starters (entrées) include salads, cold meats (jambon de Paris, jambon cru, saucisson salami), oyster platters (huitres), crustaceans (crustaces), as well as some first courses, such as vegetable puree and concentrated broth (consommé). The main course (plats) is usually a second course of meat or fish. No meal ends without dessert, which includes not only desserts but also cheese.

Typical dishes to try include omelette, escargot (snails with parsley and butter), oysters, soupe à l’oignon (onion soup), quiche (a savoury pie with several variations), foie gras (duck or goose liver), boeuf bourguignon (meat stew), galette bretonne (buckwheat sautéed pancake filled with cheese, vegetables or meat).

Restaurant menu

Starters – Entrèes

For starters, you are simply spoilt for choice.

Main courses – Plats

The main course in French cuisine is a single dish of meat or fish accompanied by vegetables, pasta or potatoes.


In France, dessert means either classic desserts or magnificent cheeses to end the meal on a high note!

Where to eat in Paris

In the capital of French gastronomy, you can choose from a wide variety of places to eat and enjoy the different souls of Parisian cuisine.


These small neighbourhood restaurants are perhaps one of the most typical places to enjoy local cuisine. Small in size, they have an informal and picturesque ambience. They are very good value for money and despite not always impeccable service are the best way to try the great classics of French cuisine.

Caves à manger and bars à vin

These are small wine bars with very few seats where you can enjoy a glass of wine accompanied by an appetising charcuterie or cheese board or sophisticated finger food appetisers depending on the level of cuisine.


These are perhaps the biggest trend of the moment: small, lounge-style restaurants where up-and-coming chefs offer their personal reinterpretations of French cuisine, innovative experiments or organic menus with a focus on local and zero-kilometre products.


These are perhaps one of the most typical French establishments and an excellent alternative to a full lunch during a busy day of sightseeing. The variety of sweet and savoury crepes is truly unbelievable and will create a real addiction!


These café-like establishments are another Parisian institution. Originating as breweries in Alsace, they have over time become a kind of classy bistro serving full meals all day until 11pm.

Gourmet restaurants

Paris boasts some of Europe’s best chefs, who make up the star-studded panorama of Parisian cuisine. These top-notch restaurants are a luxury one would be unlikely to indulge in, but in the case of a little madness, reservations should be made well in advance.


A mainstay of Parisian social life, cafés are the cheapest alternative for lunch in the city. The culinary standards are mediocre but you can watch people sit down over a cup of coffee and a pastry.

Ethnic restaurants

Like all big capitals, Paris boasts an impressive number of ethnic restaurants. To vary your gastronomic experience, you can choose cuisines from around the world, which are mainly concentrated in the Latin Quarter, Montmartre and Belleville areas.

Where to buy typical products

Another way to sample typical Parisian specialities and save a little money at the same time is to buy directly from shops and markets.

It is also a way to get into the Parisian mentality: most citizens are not used to shopping in large supermarkets but buy in small neighbourhood shops.


They are a real institution in the city. You can take a real ‘journey’ into the world of French cheese: the country boasts no less than 246 different types of cheese!


Neighbourhood butcheries are another mainstay: you can buy cold meats and pâtés.


Paris boasts 1,200 bakeries, almost 12 per square kilometre. The aroma coming from these small shops will enchant you and in addition to the classic baguette, you can sample quiches, pan au chocolat, croissants, pastries and fragrant pizzas to enjoy on the banks of the Seine.

Patisseries and Chocolaterie

The former are the chic version of bakeries, specialising in cakes, pies and pastries of all kinds, tastes and shapes.

The latter, on the other hand, are comparable to jewellers’ shops: trendy or classy in design, they display chocolates as if they were precious jewels, with which they also share the price! The quality of the chocolate, however, is unequalled.


They are one of the favourite places for Parisians to go shopping: whether weekly outdoor or daily indoor, markets encapsulate all the variety of French cuisine. You can find any typical local food in a small space.


Finally, we find these diners serving ready-made meals, sandwiches, salads and quiches.

How to save on transport and entrance fees

City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.

Paris Museum Pass: 2, 4, or 6 Days
Paris Museum Pass: 2, 4, or 6 Days
Visit more than 60 of the top museums and monuments in and around Paris with a convenient and affordable Paris Museum Pass. Explore famous sites, like the Louvre and Versailles, and visit the Centre Pompidou.
From 79,00 €