Where to Eat in Paris

Your guide to the best restaurants and cafés in Paris, with tips for families with children.

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Where to Eat in Paris

Whilst Paris might be a food mecca for anyone who loves to eat, that’s not to say that a good meal can be found everywhere in Paris; a lot of restaurants and bistros are merely tourist traps, serving underwhelming food with questionable service to match.

It pays to research the restaurants and cafés in the area where you will be staying or visiting and to make reservations ahead of your arrival.

I always find comfort in knowing that lunch and/or dinner has been planned in advance, allowing us to fill the time in between for some sightseeing or other touristy activities.

Favourite Restaurants in Paris

I started writing this post about where to eat in Paris a while back, but found that I could never finish it. There was always another restaurant to add, another place to visit, more photos which had to be taken.

This post on Paris just never felt complete to me.

But then it dawned on me that, well, I suppose I am not done with Paris; that there will always be another charming café to discover, another cluttered kitchenware store to visit, another flavour-bursting macaron to devour.

So I thought it was best to just hit the publish button and come back frequently for any updates.

If you have visited any of the places mentioned below, or you have some recommendations of your own, I would love to hear from you!

The Best Cafés in Paris

carette paris review

CARETTE

25 place des Vosges, 75003 Paris
www.carette-paris.fr

If you’re looking for a place for breakfast or brunch, you won’t be disappointed with Carette. They have delicious breads and pastries on offer, as well as great coffee and hot chocolate. Before you leave, treat yourself to a selection of their macarons – they are a must. And grab a bag of chouquettes while you are there. High chairs are available for small children – a rare find in Paris!

boot cafe paris review

BOOT CAFÉ

19 rue du Pont aux Choux, 75003 Paris
www.instagram.com/bootcafe

Tiny cafés in eclectic locations seems to be the trend at the moment in Paris, including the Boot Café which is housed in a former cobbler’s workshop on a secluded street in the Marais precinct. With just enough room for three small tables, this cosy café is occupied by a steady stream of clientele who either pop by for a quick caffeine hit or who linger by the shopfront on one of the colourful stools. A selection of cakes and biscuits are on offer, as well as (at the time of writing) the interesting inclusion of Asian-style buns for those wanting a savoury snack. Definitely a place to visit for serious coffee lovers.

café de flore paris review

CAFÉ DE FLORE

172 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris
cafedeflore.fr

This is a well-known touristy spot, but it happens to be a nice place to grab breakfast, or maybe just a cup of tea in between shopping. Our kids love the ice-cream here.

café kitsuné paris review

CAFÉ KITSUNÉ

51 Galerie de Montpensier, 75001 Paris
www.maisonkitsune.com/mk/find-a-store/cafe-kitsune-palais-royal/

This a café chain with several locations worldwide. I find it a convenient place to buy takeaway coffee, especially near the Palais-Royal or the Jardin des Tuileries.

ob la di cafe paris review

OB-LA-DI CAFÉ

54 rue de Saintonge, 75003 Paris
www.instagram.com/obladicafe/

Ob-La-Di Café is currently the hippest hangout for Instagramming coffee lovers in Paris. There is nothing particularly French about this café, but the coffee is excellent, as is the small selection of cakes, pastries and light meals on offer. There is a somewhat Scandinavian feel to the concept behind this café, no doubt due to one of the owners being Swedish. The place seats maybe only 10 people or so at a time, but the service is friendly and the ambience is great. If you’re fed up with the stuffy French waiters at the more typical Parisian bistros, you might want to give this place a try.

le fore en i'lle paris review

LE FLORE EN I’ILE

42 quai d’Orléans, 75004 Paris
lefloreenlile.fr/en

If you love ice-cream, then you will love Berthillon ice-cream. This French brand of ice-cream, made using only natural ingredients, has its premises on the the idyllic Île Saint-Louis, just around the corner from the Notre-Dame. Many cafés and restaurants in Paris sell Berthillon ice-cream, and one of our favourite spots is Le Flore en I’Ile. I think we come here mostly out of habit; even in the middle of winter will we find an excuse visit this café for a small bowl of ice-cream, even if it means having to rug up outside under one of their heaters. Their food menu is standard café fare and the service can be a bit questionable (or maybe it is typically French), but the ambience is always lovely.

le pain quotidien paris review

LE PAIN QUOTIDIEN

www.lepainquotidien.fr

You may not know this, but Le Pain Quotidien (which means “the daily bread”) actually originated in Belgium. They have over 200 branches worldwide but I felt it was worth mentioning it here because they have great bread and pastries, a solid breakfast/brunch menu, and they are child-friendly. This is one of the few places in Paris where you will find a high-chair for your little one and a baby-changing station (maybe not at all locations but certainly at the branch at Saint Honoré). Maybe, for me, it is the comfort of going somewhere familiar in a foreign city (we are regular visitors of Le Pain Quotidien in Zurich), but when you are a parent and want your child to be suitably strapped to a seat for at least 5 minutes so you can enjoy your café au lait while it is still hot, that’s a good enough excuse for me.


The Best Restaurants in Paris

bistrot paul bert review

BISTROT PAUL BERT

18 rue Paul Bert, 75011 Paris
bistrotpaulbert.fr

This is classic French bistrot fare at its finest. We’ve tried the Pork Terrine, Asparagus with Vinaigrette, Sole Meunière, Paris-Brest, and Crème Caramel – everything was just excellent. Reservations by telephone only.

la fontaine de mars paris review

LA FONTAINE DE MARS

129 rue Saint-Dominique, 75007 Paris
www.fontaine-de-mars.com

Several years ago, we were kicked out of La Fontaine de Mars during our meal because our crying baby was apparently disturbing the other patrons, even though the restaurant was half empty. We were not brave enough to venture back to this restaurant until during Covid when Paris was eerily empty of tourists, and it was suddenly possible to walk into any restaurant without a reservation. After bribing our kids to be on their super-best behaviour, we nervously survived an entire three-course meal without being kicked to the street! During Covid, the waiters were extremely nice and accommodating, and the food was exquisite. Their menu changes frequently, but it’s worth seeking out their Cassoulet and Duck Confit. I would highly recommend La Fontaine de Mars for traditional French bistrot cuisine, but I can’t make any promises about their hospitality post-Covid 😉

le soufflé paris review

LE SOUFFLÉ

36 rue Mont Thabor, 75001 Paris
www.lesouffle.fr

If you fancy soufflé for entrée, main and dessert, Le Soufflé is the place to eat! Their famous dish is the Soufflé Henry IV – a cheese soufflé served with a creamy chicken and mushroom sauce. For dessert, I highly recommend the Soufflé with Apple and Calvados, as well as the Soufflé Grand Marnier. Children can order the entrée-sized soufflés, and there are also non-soufflé options available (such as Boeuf Bourguignon).

le café central paris review

LE CAFÉ CENTRAL

40 rue Cler, 75007 Paris
www.lecentral-paris.com

Le Café Central is a pleasant find for anyone travelling with tiny tots. Not only do they have a few high chairs on site and a baby-changing table in the toilets (two rare finds in Paris), but their menu is pretty darn good too. Their Duck Confit with fried potatoes is my regular order, but expect to find a decent choice of bistro classics, including burgers with French fries. And on top of all of that, we’ve always had wonderful service.


The Best Vietnamese Restaurants in Paris

pho 14 paris review

Pho 14

17 rue Molière, 75001 Paris
pho14paris.fr/en/

No trip to Paris is complete without a bowl of Pho, and Pho 14 is one of our favourite Vietnamese restaurants. They have several locations around Paris, but we always go to the one near the Opéra. I highly recommend their Pho Tai (beef Pho with raw beef slices), Cha Gio (spring rolls/egg rolls) and Papillots aux Crevettes (prawn spring rolls). The decor is cheap and cheerful, and the service is always friendly. They also serve a simple Pho without meat – it’s just a big bowl of noodles in beef pho broth, which is sometimes just all that you need.

le lotus paris review

LE LOTUS

121 avenue d’Ivry, 75013 Paris

This modern Vietnamese restaurant recently had a facelift by way of an enclosed dining terrace installed at both of their entrances, allowing more tables to be squeezed into this popular restaurant, as well as more natural light. The staff are loud but friendly and the food has always impressed. The bowls of Pho are generous but a bit light on fresh herbs, and their Cha Gio (spring rolls/egg rolls/nems) are quite tasty. The only time I was disappointed was when they saw us coming with a toddler in a stroller during their busy period and turned us away. But luckily, there are many options on this street.


The Best Bakeries and Pâtisseries in Paris

poilâne paris review

POILÂNE

8 rue du Cherche-Midi, Paris 75006
www.poilane.com

A visit to Poilâne is worth it just to breathe in the wafting scent of freshly baked buttery pastries. My favourite is their apple tart. Softly cooked apples, gently spiced with cinnamon, sit atop a crisp and flakey puff pastry base which tastes of heaven at the first bite. These tarts are not for sharing, although a family-sized apple tart is also sometimes on offer, but even then I would want to claim it all for myself. Grab a few pastries and a packet of their shortbread biscuits for snacks on the go, or to sustain you on a long train journey out of Paris.

ladurée paris review

LADURÉE

21 rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris
www.laduree.com

You can’t go to Paris and not try a macaron from Ladurée. And if this happens to be your mission, you should visit one of their tea salons and make yourself comfortable with a cup of Earl Grey tea and a selection of their pastries.

angelina paris review

ANGELINA

226 rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
www.angelina-paris.fr

This is a lovely tea salon to visit for their exquisite pastries. It also happens to be opposite the Jardin de Tuileries, so it’s a good place to stop with the kids for afternoon tea. I highly recommend their signature pastry, the Mont Blanc, which is whipped cream encased in chestnut purée. The kids love the éclairs, giant macarons, millefeuilles, as well as the ice-cream.

PIERRE HERMÉ

www.pierreherme.com

The macaron phase looked to be a fleeting one, but even I have fallen victim to these petite morsels of heaven. I once thought I had tried every possible flavour combination that could be squeezed into these coin-sized bites, and even thought my quest for the perfect macaron was over when I discovered Ladurée, but the macarons of Pierre Hermé will make you understand why he is considered the most creative and gifted pastry chef in Paris. Enticing flavours include milk chocolate with passionfruit, or rose and lychee, but the simple salted caramel is an enduring classic. If you’re not a fan of macarons, his chocolates are also highly regarded. Be prepared to part with some hard-earned money for these delectable but worthy delights.

l'éclair de génie paris review

L’ÉCLAIR DE GÉNIE

14 rue Pavée, 75004 Paris
www.leclairdegenie.com

If you are a fan of éclairsL’Éclair de Génie is the place for you. The name of this venue is a smart play on French words which translates to “a stroke of genius” in English, something which you won’t deny the moment you step foot on the premise. On offer are an assortment of vividly colourful éclairs with equally bold flavour combinations, such as pistachio with orange, vanilla with blackcurrant or passionfruit with raspberries. While you are there, you may as well try all of them.

odette paris review

ODETTE

77 rue Galande, 75005 Paris
www.odette-paris.com

I’m quite a fan of choux pastry, so when I saw that this shop proclaimed to have the best choux puffs in Paris, we popped by for dessert one evening. Unlike other pâtisseries specialising in choux, the choux puffs here are not made to order but are ready-filled. However, there are so many mouth-popping flavours to choose from – they are definitely a delight to eat. The store occupies a tiny shopfront with most of the seating outside on the pavement. In good weather, it’s a great place to sit outside with a cup of tea or coffee and a small selection of choux puffs to nibble on.

Update

This article was first published on 22 July 2014. It has been updated with new photos, as well as new listings.

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28 comments

  1. Lenzie 22 July 2014

    Boulangerie Patisserie Suffren 55 and Le Bistrot d’Henri are two of my favorites! You should definitely try them 🙂
    Le Pain Quotidien in Brussels is phenomenal, so I imagine the one in Paris is lovely as well. La Souffle is delicious and of course Laduree is amazing!!!

    Thank you for your list, this is wonderful!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 23 July 2014

      Thank you for your recommendations! I’ve put them on my list for our future visits to Paris 🙂

      Reply
  2. Michaela 23 July 2014

    I just got back from Paris a couple weeks ago! I hit a lot of places on your list but you’ve introduced me to some new places for next time 🙂

    Reply
  3. What a great post Thanh!!! So many tips. I’ll definitely be keeping this on file for the day I finally get to Paris. My parents are there at the moment though (they are spending 5 wonderful months travelling around Europe) so I’ve sent it to them and I’m sure they will make the most of your tips.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 23 July 2014

      Oh your lucky parents! I hope they will find a few useful places on this list 🙂

      Reply
  4. Carole 23 July 2014

    Great list, thanks! Can’t wait to go back to Paris and try some of these addresses. We also always go for a good pho when we are there and I believe we ate at Pho 99 last time. We will try le Lotus next time. In Paris, we always go to one of the Afghan restaurants too since it’s one of my favorite cuisines and we cannot find it here in Zürich.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 23 July 2014

      That’s funny to know that you also try to eat some Pho when you are in Paris 😉 I’m sure my husband think it’s odd to go to Paris for Vietnamese food, but it’s pretty good there. I’ve never tried Afghan food but you’re right to point out that there are many good ethnic eateries in Paris.

      Reply
  5. Prits 23 July 2014

    Oh how I miss Europe! Wonderful post- I was salivating as I read it. Do you have something similar for Vietnam? Finally going to HCMC this weekend – we having a cooking class and a street food tour lined up but any other restaurant/cafe tips would be greatly appreciated. Hope all is well with you and the family!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 23 July 2014

      Hi Prits! Lucky you to be going to Vietnam! I keep dreaming of going there just to eat. Unfortunately, I don’t know HCMC well at all to recommend any specific places. I’m sure you’ll get some good tips from the street food tour. I’m so jealous! Have lots of fun and I hope you are keeping well 🙂 xxx

      Reply
  6. Denise | TLT 23 July 2014

    Oh yes! I remember so many of these places, but also many new ones that I’m definitely gonna check out on my next trip. Thanks for that. Paris is always special and culinary inspiring to me.
    I adore Septime and Pirouette for dinner, love Rose Bakery for breakfast or lunch and am in love with the choux from Popelini. And after your suggestions, I really need another trip to Paris soon!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 23 July 2014

      Thanks for your tips on Pirouette and Popelini – I’ve added these to my list! We keep trying to go to Septime but it’s always booked out when we are there. Hopefully next time!

      Reply
  7. Dani 23 July 2014

    I love the vietnamese bakeries here in Australia. The chicken and pork rolls with pickled carrot and pate and herbs and chilli… its making my mouth water just thinking about it!

    Great tips on Paris too! Wish I had them when I was there a few years ago… it would have been a very different trip if I had your blog posts to go by 🙂

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 23 July 2014

      Ooh I miss a good Banh Mi too! I’ve had to resort to making my own at home but it’s not the same without a good crusty Vietnamese baguette.

      Hopefully you will have another reason to pass through Paris in the near future 🙂

      Reply
  8. Rushi 30 July 2014

    Ooooh Thanh what an informative post and I can’t wait to read the post on travelling in Paris with kidlets…. Speaking of places to shop have you visited Mora (it’s quite close to E. Dehillerin and has a whole range of verrines, I went crazy. Must find time to head to the Vietnamese restaurants you suggested 🙂
    xx

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 2 August 2014

      I’ve heard of Mora but it was always closed when we visited 🙁 Perhaps just as well because I would risk going home with too much hand luggage! 😉

      Reply
  9. Paula 29 August 2014

    I hate you!! I mean, I envy you!! My mom was not a person of sweets, and she was a disaster making dessert (she can make brownie…), so I had not connection with such little sweets when I was a child. Althoug when she realized, she rewarded me with some delicious sweet treat. Even if she’s not very sweet, and she uses no sugar in coffe, she’s very nice!! 😛

    Whell, I keep in a safe place this guide, always take a big list of places to eat and buy when I travel, my boyf is scare, someday it will be even longer than museums guide 😛
    And of course, there are places (as Pho99, for example :P) that I didn’t know!!
    Oh, La Grande Épicerie, would you like to be locked up there one night when they close the shop!! I would!!!

    If you accept recommendations of someone like me, AOKI desserts and Eric Kayser bakery are one of my favorites!!! Too favorite!!

    Reply
  10. Thalia @ butter and brioche 7 September 2014

    I am so glad that I stumbled across your site.. I am planning a big Paris & England trip for next June and this list has really given me some great inspiration of places to visit!

    Reply
  11. Sandrine 10 August 2015

    Love all the places you posted on this entry. We really enjoyed Le Souffle.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 10 August 2015

      That’s great to hear! I love the area where Le Soufflé is located.

      Reply
  12. Kate 1 October 2016

    We just got back from Paris and reading this, I want to take your list with me and try each one! They all sound amazing. I’ll try to book another train as soon as possible. Can’t wait to try them all.

    And I love your reward pre and post in law visit! Hilarious. Take care and see you soon.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 5 October 2016

      I can’t wait to hear all about your Paris trip! I loved the photos which you posted on Instagram (as always). We go to Paris at least 2-3 times a year, so this list keeps growing and growing 🙂 P.S. Rewards work great for kids and just as well for adults, ha ha 😉

      Reply
  13. Laura Lynch 9 March 2017

    We’re going to Paris this weekend and I was just hoping to find so many great places to visit! Thanks for putting this together. It’s very useful.

    Reply
  14. Diana 9 March 2017

    I adore your blog, nearly as much as I adore Paris!! Thanks for sharing. It might be time to go back soon…

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 9 March 2017

      Thank you, Diana! And how did I not know that you had a lovely blog yourself?? Please come back to Paris (or Zurich!) soon – I would love to meet you 🙂

      Reply
  15. Pakej Percutian Aceh 6 October 2021

    France indeed one of the best to find best food.

    Reply
  16. Amy 15 April 2022

    Thank you for the suggestions! We are going to Paris next week and I am trying to work out where to eat, shop etc. I can’t wait!

    Reply