Words: Lucy Connors
With twenty arrondissements to explore, trying to find the perfect café, restaurant, or bar in Paris can feel an overwhelming task. We have compiled together our favourite spots to take away your stress and guarantee a good experience – no getting ‘hangry’ necessary. In short, a carefully curated Paris food & drink tour.
Cafés, Croissants, Crepes:
Café culture in Paris, and in France as a whole, is arguably undefeated, and any exploration of the city should be punctuated by stops here for caffeine or sugar induced kick-starts and pick-me-ups.
Café De Flore
One of the oldest coffeehouses in Paris has not survived for so long without good reason. In the heart of the Left Bank, Café De Flore is entrenched with a mythology that stems from its golden days of the 1930s when it was the haunt for writers and artists including Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, cementing its place as somewhere to see and be seen even today. It won’t be the cheapest coffee you can have in Paris, but the experience and elegance of it will be worth it.
Carette stands as another of Paris’ most iconic patisseries. While they have recently opened two new locations in Montmartre, and Le Marais, their historic Trocadero location is the one to visit – offering views of the Eiffel Tower. If you’re an avid TikTok user, you’ll have seen videos of the iconic ‘Chocolate Carette’ hot chocolates; rich,as velvety and so luxurious you’ll be unable to resist having one even in thirty-degree heat over the summer like we did. The magnificence of their pastry case inside is undeniable, and, like Café De Flore, the experience alone makes it worth a visit.
This brunch spot, tucked in just across from Notre Dame and around the corner from the iconic Shakespeare and Co, is the perfect place to refuel after a morning exploring this iconic area. With sweet, savoury, and seasonal options, these brunches are picture perfect and taste as good as they look – the French Toast is a particular favourite of ours and their claim of having ‘the best pancakes in Paris’ can’t be refuted.
Au Clairon Des Chausseurs
Situated in Montmartre’s Place du Tertre or Artist’s Square, this bustling bistro is the perfect location to sit back and observe the buskers and artists at work. While the interior is stunning, their outdoor seating offers a special experience in the heart of an iconic place. Stop for a crepe or an Aperol in the early afternoon, or return in the evening – from 7pm – for their live jazz music.
In the heart of the Marais district, this vibrant and colourful restaurant joins multiple others taking over wide pavements with their outdoor terraces. Lively and bustling, with rainbow canopes and fairy lights, you’ll feel drawn in as you walk past by both the clientele and the decor, and its popularity is solidified by the food.
Dinner and Drinks:
French cuisines and wines are world renowned for good reason. Whether you’re looking for dinner, an aperitif, or late-night drinks, these recommendations will allow you to get a feel for the local Parisian experience.
This arthouse cinema and bar is tucked away in the Montmartre hills and was a truly special find, having begun its historic and avant-garde approach to film in 1928. The interior is unique and ambient, balancing a moody art deco influence with the oasis of its hidden internal garden, making it is the perfect place to sip on a cocktail.
This cocktail bar is situated on the Rue de Trois Freres - a must visit road lined with bars and restaurants, and a real local’s spot. Our favourite to drop into was Benelum. With a €5 spritz during happy hour, and Parisians spilling out onto the street enjoying their after-work drinks, it’s hard to resist a visit here, and even harder to leave.
This bistro offers authentic French dishes, and as everyone knows, you must try escargot in Paris, we would suggest doing so here. This is an inviting and atmospheric restaurant, and the service they offer goes above and beyond, ensuring you have an excellent experience (and their generosity means you may leave tipsier than intended). Everything about this hidden gem made it a must visit for us.
Le Bar a Bulles
This bar is situated on top of the iconic Moulin Rouge, but is hidden in an alleyway behind it, making its existence a secret to know about rather than stumble upon. The leafy garden terrace offers views of the windmill’s arms, and the vintage vibe of the interior makes it a perfect place to nestle in for a few drinks – at any time of the night.
The best place to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night is from the Parc du Champ de Mars, and if you’re going to do this, we’d recommend you do it either after having dinner at, or over a takeaway pizza from Firmine. The restaurant itself is beautiful and only minutes from the Eiffel Tower and you certainly won’t be compromising on quality for this location.