25 March, 2022
Elegant spots to eat, drink and shop: the ultimate Paris travel guide by Charlotte Chateau
My favourite part of Paris has to be the food. This is a city built upon its dining legacy: everywhere you turn, you’ll find a wealth of amazing food options. Whether you’re searching for world-class restaurants, sophisticated bistros, artisanal boulangeries or Old World dining halls, you’ll find them all here in the City of Light. From laid-back spots for dinner with friends to café terraces just made for enjoying the afternoon sunshine, here is my guide to Paris’s very finest foodie spots.
If you’re craving a catch-up with your nearest and dearest over a table of great food and a glass of wine or two, then Yakuza will not disappoint. Located in the heart of the Maison Albar Vendome hotel in the centre of the city, you’ll find an array of excellent Japanese cuisine and other Asian fusion specialities here. What’s more, you can watch the chef cooking the sushi fresh in front of you - the perfect mid-dinner entertainment!
From here we can go onto Amagat, which is my latest restaurant crush. A little further from the centre, in the 20th arrondissement, your journey will be well-rewarded by this gorgeous ‘dining-cellar’ complete with a picturesque terrace and a menu bursting with delicious tapas. Start with the delicatessen meats and croquetas before moving onto the runny tortilla and carabinero prawns. The atmosphere here is every bit as good as the food - the waiters are so relaxed and friendly, you’ll feel at home from the moment you step through the door. Just one word of advice: you must book in advance because the rest of the world knows how good Amagat is too.
When my taste buds are craving creative, flavourful cuisine I always know where to head: Matsuhisa Paris. Set in the sumptuous Hotel Royal Monceau, this special spot is a true culinary wonder, taking you on a voyage through endless dishes of excellent Peruvian-Japanese fusion cuisine. With an incredible menu crafted by the legendary chef Nobu, it’s hard to know which dishes to pick (I can help you out here though - the Black Cod and Crispy Rice dishes are both utterly unmissable, trust me). The menu isn’t the only eye-catching thing here either, the setting itself is gorgeous too. And, if you’re lucky enough to visit in summer, you’ll be able to dine out on the magical terrace, complete with a tranquil pool in the centre of the courtyard.
Workaholics will be happy for the chance to head straight back to the office now… just kidding! L’Office is actually a super chic and super petit bistronomic restaurant in the 9th arrondissement, famed for its phenomenal Beef Wellington and heavenly cheesecake. The menu here is small, but excellent, changing regularly with the season. The wine list, on the other hand, is vast, boasting over 150 different options - perfect for any connoisseurs in the group.
For those seeking a trendy lunch spot, Brasserie Dubillot more than fits the bill. Somehow managing to be both traditional and hip at once, the décor of this restaurant is astounding. An intoxicating mix of vibrant colours, light-filled space and pretty little features, every last detail has been considered here, from the intricate ceiling molding all the way down to the eye-catching tiled floor. To balance the decadent décor, the cuisine here is simple and generous. You’ll find plenty of typical French dishes on the menu, such as Saucisse Purée, Oeuf Mayo, Steak Tartare and, for dessert, Paris-Brest.
There are so many good dinner spots in Paris, it’s hard to choose a favourite… However, if I really had to pick, then Brasserie Rosie would definitely be top of the list. With delightfully old school interiors, the menu here is a skillful fusion of traditional elegance and gourmet flavours, resulting in simply beautiful (both in looks and taste). Start with the homemade tarama and move onto the truffle pasta -absolutely divine. When it comes to dessert, the profiterole has to be one of the best I’ve ever tasted.
Speaking of summer, it’s now time to take a look at one of Paris’s most iconic establishments: the café terrace. Café de la Paix has to be one of my all-time favourite terrace spots. Opened in 1862, the place still retains its special atmosphere to this day. Outside, the small but perfectly formed terrace boasts an unbeatable view of the grand Opéra Garnier. While inside, the décor is simply fabulous. Boasting soaring columns, intricately frescoed ceilings and large gilded mirrors, the space transports you all the way back to the reign of Napoléon III, which was indeed when the café first opened its doors. My favourite time to come here is in the morning - sip on a coffee and nibble a pastry while watching the local Parisian life pass you by. In my opinion, there couldn’t be a better way to start your day in Paris.
Another Michelin star spot, Palais Royal Restaurant is a vision of white tablecloths, soft wicker chairs and a calm, neutral colour palette. Right in the heart of Paris, the setting here is quite extraordinary as it is located in the gardens of the Royal Palace itself. In winter, you can enjoy the peaceful interiors, while in the summer the terrace beckons, offering you the chance to dine beneath the ancient arcades of the palace. The incredibly talented chef Philip Chronopoulos has crafted a show-stopping menu that manages to be both innovative and refined while still paying homage to his Greek roots. One bite and you’re instantly transported to the Mediterranean coast.
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