Everywhere We Ate in Paris 

Photo of a puff pasty stuffed with salmon on a plate from Angelina paris.

When it comes to food, Paris knows exactly what to do and how to do it! With over 45,000 restaurants and cafes and 120+ Michelin-Starred Restaurants, there are plenty of delicious options to try. In this blog, I’m going to share everywhere we ate in Paris to give you a sense of the traditional, classic French food scene and to help inspire you to check out a few spots for your next trip.

I’ll also share helpful Paris restaurant tips like, “do you tip in Paris?”, “what food is Paris famous for?” and “how do you ask for the check in Paris?” so you can enjoy your dining experience. Before we begin rattling off the names of awesome restaurants, we first need to understand the dining scene in Paris. Here’s a quick version of what you need to know about restaurants in Paris.

Types of French Eateries

Photo of the Angelina Paris front store façade.
Angelina is not only a popular Parisian Pâtisserie and cultural institution, it’s cute, too!

When choosing a restaurant to dine at, and when eating in Paris, you’ll notice a few different types of establishments. To help you plan well for your trip to Paris, here’s a quick overview each:

  1. Bistros: Casual and cozy, bistros are known for serving hearty, traditional French comfort food in a relaxed atmosphere.
  2. Brasseries: Similar to bistros but often larger and more bustling, brasseries offer a wider menu that includes seafood and regional specialties, accompanied by a lively ambiance.
  3. Cafés: Found on almost every corner, cafés are ideal for enjoying a leisurely coffee or an affordable light meal, often with outdoor seating perfect for people-watching.
  4. Fine Dining Restaurants: These establishments focus on haute cuisine, featuring refined dishes with artistic presentations, often in elegant settings at a higher price point.
  5. Pâtisseries: Specializing in pastries and desserts, pâtisseries tempt with an array of delicate tarts, cakes, and macarons, paired with hot chocolate, coffee, or tea at an affordable price.
  6. Cuisine du Terroir: Celebrating regional ingredients and flavors, these eateries highlight local specialties and traditional recipes passed down through generations.
  7. Michelin-starred Restaurants: Known for exceptional culinary artistry and impeccable service, these expensive, top-tier restaurants offer an unforgettable gastronomic experience, often requiring reservations well in advance.

Each type of French eatery contributes to the rich tapestry of French culinary culture, catering to every taste and occasion, from casual meals to feasts. Also, before we discuss everywhere we ate in Paris, there is a burning question I must answer…

What are Some Classic French Dishes to Try?

Close up photo of Crepe Maison from La Flotille restaurant at the Palace of Versailles.
Crêpe Maison, anyone? Hun ate this crepe topped with vanilla and chocolate ice cream, banana, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream at La Flotille at the Palace of Versailles.

Oftentimes, I select restaurants based on the local cuisine. On this trip I asked myself, what are three foods popular in France? What is the national dishes of Paris? While Paris doesn’t have a “national dish”, there are a few things you should try when you’re in Paris.


  • Baguette: A long, thin loaf of French bread with a crispy crust and soft interior.
  • Croissant: A flaky, buttery, crescent-shaped pastry.


  • Escargot: Snails cooked in garlic butter, often served as an appetizer.
  • French Onion Soup: A rich soup made with caramelized onions and beef broth, topped with melted cheese and croutons.
Photo close up of a bowl of French onion soup at Angelina Paris.
A thick, savory, cheesy bowl of French onion soup at Angelina in Paris.

Meat Dishes

  • Beef Bourguignon: A hearty stew made with beef braised in red wine, often with carrots, onions, and mushrooms.
  • Duck Confit: Duck legs slow-cooked in their own fat until tender and flavorful.
  • Steak Frites/Entrecôte steak (ribeye): A classic dish of grilled ribeye steak served with French fries; order by doneness: “bleu” [blue] (rare), “saignant” [sin-yont] (medium rare), “à point” [ahh-pwohn] (medium), or “bien cuit” [bee-yen-quee](well done).


  • Crêpes: Thin, delicate pancakes that can be filled with sweet or savory ingredients.
  • Macarons: Light, airy almond meringue cookies filled with flavored ganache, buttercream, or jam.
  • Creme brûlée: A creamy vanilla custard topped with a layer of caramelized sugar.
Photo of a bowl of crème brûlée at La Flotille.
One of my all-time favorite desserts – crème brûlée.

We tried a number of classic French foods during this vacation to Paris. I’m happy to report they are ALL amazing. Yes, I said “ALL” and I mean it! Paris has some of the best food in the world and up-and-coming chefs flock to the city to learn classical French cooking techniques. It’s no wonder that the restaurant scene is buzzing with great food, but while you’re dining in Paris there are a few more things you must know. Check out the answers to the most-asked questions below.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Restaurant Etiquette and Dining in Paris

Photo of the menu at La Flotille restaurant at the Palace of Versailles.
There are plenty of options to choose from at La Flotille!

Do you ask for the check in France? How do you ask for a check in at Paris restaurant?

Yes, you must ask for the check in Paris. To do so, you can say, “l’addition š’il vous plaît” [la-diss-ee-on seal-voo-play] which means, “the check, please” or make eye contact with your waiter and signal like you are writing a check.

Do you tip at a restaurant in Paris? 

Not really. Service charge included on the bill, labeled as “service compris”. If you feel led, tip 5-10% for excellent service.

What time do they eat dinner in Paris? What are the breakfast, lunch, and dinner hours in Paris?

In Paris, meal times typically follow the general patterns below. Note that these times can vary depending on the establishment and the neighborhood, but they give a good guideline for meal times in Paris.

  • Breakfast (Petit Déjeuner): Usually between 7:00 AM and 10:00 AM, with cafes and bakeries serving pastries, coffee, and light meals.
  • Lunch (Déjeuner): Commonly from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM, with many restaurants offering 2- or 3- course prix-fixe menus or quick lunch options that will save you money. Just ask for the “Plat du Jour” or check out the chalkboard menu right outside the restaurant.
  • Dinner (Dîner): Typically starts from 7:00 PM or 8:00 PM onwards, with restaurants filling up later into the evening like around 11pm, especially in more leisurely dining settings.

Notice how the typical dining hours don’t seamlessly transition to each meal period. There is a roughly two hour break between breakfast and lunch hours, and five hour break between lunch and dinner hours. It is REALLY important to note that RESTAURANTS CLOSE from 2-6pm, so you may find yourself hungry in between those hours.

I remember during my first trip to Paris, I failed to research restaurants in advance. I’m not sure how, but I naively thought restaurant hours are from 9am-10pm, just like in the U.S. but wow, was I wrong! When I arrived around 2pm I decided to just “pop into” a place to eat. To my utter surprise, I saw a lot of “CLOSED” signs on restaurant windows. It was like a ghost town! What I didn’t anticipate is restaurants close during the day – I mean, “don’t people want to make money?” I thought. Haha, I was sooo wrong! The French work to live, not live to work and as such they take extended lunch breaks for themselves.

If you find yourself in the middle of lunch and dinner, find a local patisserie, boulangerie, or fast food establishment to satisfy your cravings until dinner.

What to wear for dinner in Paris?

Most establishments in Paris don’t enforce a strict dress code, so you have the freedom to wear what you like. However, it’s worth noting that Parisians are known for their impeccable style and preference for refined casual attire. What might pass as casual wear in the U.S. — like hoodies, flip-flops, or shorts — may not fit well in Parisian dining settings. When deciding what to wear for dinner in Paris, consider the restaurant’s ambiance and aim for smart casual attire. Opt for well-fitted simple clothing, such as a stylish dress, a shirt paired with jeans or trousers, or a skirt. It’s best to avoid overly casual outfits such as shorts or flip-flops, especially if dining in upscale restaurants where a polished appearance is appreciated.

What are the best Paris restaurants with an Eiffel Tower view?

Let’s be honest – on a first trip to Paris you want to visit the Eiffel Tower, no? And not just visit the Eiffel tower, you want to see it from all angles of the city and watch it as you dine. With this in mind, here are a few suggestions for restaurants with a phenomenal view of the Eiffel Tower.

Café de l’Homme
Café de l’homme offers a sophisticated dining experience overlooking the Eiffel Tower from Trocadéro Gardens. Visit this café for its stunning panoramic views of the iconic landmark, complemented by French cuisine and a stylish vibe. Located at 17 Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, 75016 Paris, in the 16th arrondissement. The price range is €40 – €100.

Girafe combines seafood specialties with Art Deco elegance near the Trocadéro, offering views of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine. Dine here to enjoy not only exquisite seafood but also breathtaking views of Paris’ most iconic sights. Discover Girafe, situated at 1 Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, 75016 Paris, in the 16th arrondissement. The price range is €50 – €120.

Les Ombres
Located at the Musée du Quai Branly, Les Ombres features modern French cuisine and a terrace with stunning views of the Eiffel Tower. First-time visitors should experience Les Ombres for its unique blend of art, culture, and gastronomy against the backdrop of Paris’ most recognizable landmark. Found at 27 Quai Branly, 75007 Paris, in the 7th arrondissement, the price range is €60 – €150.

These restaurants not only offer exceptional cuisine but also provide an unforgettable backdrop of Paris’ most iconic sights, making them perfect for a memorable dining experience.

Can you drink tap water in Paris?

Yes! The tap water in Paris is safe to drink. When at a restaurant in Paris, the waitstaff may automatically give you a bottled water and add the cost to your bill. If you don’t want to pay for each bottle of water you drink, ask for “un carafe d’eau,” [uhhn-kahh-raff-doe] which is a pitcher of tap water for the table with free refills!

Ok, so now that you know the basics, here’s everywhere we ate in Paris during our 5-day trip to Paris.

Everywhere We Ate in Paris


Photo of a pitcher pouring hot chocolate into a cup on a table at Angelina Paris.
Did someone say, “chaude chocolate?” (hot chocolate?)

Angelina is a historic Parisian tearoom renowned for its luxurious hot chocolate and exquisite pastries. First-time visitors should experience Angelina for its iconic Mont Blanc dessert and the elegant Belle Époque atmosphere that encapsulates Parisian charm. You can visit Angelina Paris at 226 Rue de Rivoli, located in the 1st arrondissement. As far as prices are concerned, Angelina’s menu is divided into Savory items €15 – €25, Sweets & Pastries €6-15; Drinks Hot Chocolate, tea, etc. €5-10The price range is €20 – €50.

Not sure what an arrondissement is or why it’s important to navigating the streets of Paris? After this blog, read my How to Get Around Paris on a Budget blog to learn more.

Au Bourguignon du Marais

Photo of a dark iron pot filled with beef bourguignon at Au Bourguignon du Marais.
There’s nothing like a steamy pot of beef bourguignon at Au Bourguignon du Marai to warm you up during a chilly night in Paris.

Au Bourguignon du Marais is a cozy bistro in the Marais district offering traditional Burgundian cuisine with a warm, rustic ambiance. This restaurant is a must-visit for first-timers to enjoy hearty, authentic French regional dishes in a quintessential Parisian neighborhood. Find out more about Au Bourguignon du Marais at 52 Rue François Miron in the 4th arrondissement, with prices ranging from €20 – €60.

Chez Georges

Photo of slices of ribeye steak on a plate cooked medium at Chez Georges.
This ribeye is cooked “à point” or medium.

Chez Georges is a classic French brasserie known for its timeless decor and hearty, traditional dishes like steak-frites and escargot. For first-time visitors, dining at Chez Georges offers a quintessential Parisian brasserie experience with its lively ambiance and classic French cuisine. Check out Chez Georges at 1 Rue du Mail in the 2nd arrondissement, with a price range of €30 – €40

La Flottille

Photo of the La Flotille restaurant sign at the Palace of Versailles.
Voici La Flotille, a cute garden restaurant at the Palace of Versailles.

La Flottille is a charming restaurant located near the Grand Canal in the Palace of Versailles gardens. It is the perfect, shaded location for a delightful meal after exploring the palace grounds. First-time visitors to Versailles will appreciate the garden setting and the opportunity to dine while enjoying views of the historic gardens and canals. Visit La Flottille at Parc du Château de Versailles. The price range is €6 – €20.

Le Train Bleu

Photo of the interior of Le Train Bleu in Paris.
The interior is just as stunning as their signature lamb dish.

Le Train Bleu is an opulent, Belle Époque restaurant inside Gare de Lyon, serving gourmet French cuisine in a lavish, historic setting. A visit to Le Train Bleu is essential for first-timers to indulge in fine dining while soaking in the breathtaking, ornate decor that epitomizes Parisian luxury. Experience Le Train Bleu at Gare de Lyon, Place Louis-Armand in the 12th arrondissement, with prices from €40 – €150.

Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Dinner Cruise

Photo of the inside of a Bateaux Parisiens dinner cruise boat looking at the street.
Tired of dining on land? Try a Seine river dinner cruise.

Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Dinner Cruise offers a romantic dining experience on a riverboat, providing gourmet meals and stunning views of Paris landmarks along the Seine. First-time visitors should not miss this unique opportunity to see Paris’ most famous sights illuminated by night from the tranquil setting of the Seine.

Guests may choose from a lunch or dinner menu offered at a few different times. We chose the Premier Service at 6:15pm for €135 that came with champagne, premium seating, and an additional appetizer. At the end of the cruise the boat dropped us off in behind an illuminated Eiffel Tower at sunset! Explore more about Bateaux Parisiens departing from Port de la Bourdonnais in the 7th arrondissement. The price range is €100 – €200.

That’s everywhere we ate in Pairs! Each place added new flavors and energy to our trip, and we were thankful to enjoy every meal in Paris! Speaking of a terrible meal…you also need to know what to do – and not to do – when dining in paris.

Paris Restaurant Do’s and Don’ts


  • Make reservations, especially when in a group
  • How to make reservations: FIRST, go on the restaurant website. Some places want you to call, others email, others an online form. You can use Dining Apps, like La Fourchette (aka – “The Fork” in the U.S. I made two reservations here, it’s the French version of The Fork), or Open Table.
  • ALWAYS greet staff with a simple “Bonjour” (hello/good morning) or “Bonsoir” (good evening). Knowing a little French can really elevate your experience.
  • Have patience. Dining out is a slow, well-timed event. Parisians value the experience, so slow down and enjoy dinner! Expect to stay for at least 2-3 hours.
  • Ask for the check. As stated earlier, “L’addition, s’il vous plaît” will do the job.
  • Know that a decent amount of restaurants are closed on Sunday and Monday, and some may take the entire month of August off (or Late July-August) for vacation. ALWAYS check the website or call in advance to determine if the restaurant is open during your trip.


  • Call waiters “GARÇON”. I don’t know where this came from, but the word garçon means “boy” in French. It’s like yelling “BOY, GET OVER HERE!” and is VERY rude. Don’t do it. I understand wanting to get the waiters attention because in Paris the waiters will serve you then seemingly disappear. Dining is meant to be enjoyed, so the staff will do their job then leave you to enjoy your meal. To get a waiter’s attention, simply make eye contact and nod your head or raise your hand.
  • Be too loud. Parisians are respectful of other people’s dining experiences, so be mindful of your tone and volume of your voice.
  • Expect massive portions or ask for more food. The meal sizes in Paris are perfectly portioned, so don’t expect more food unless you pay for it.
  • Wait until the last minute to book reservations, especially at Michelin-starred restaurants that book up month sin advance. If you want to eat at a place, make your reservation an early as possible!
  • Assume every meal you eat in Paris will be excellent. I’ve had a terrible meal on my first trip to Paris because I failed to research restaurants in advance. Thankfully, you won’t have that problem because this blog gives you a few restaurants to kickstart your Paris vacation itinerary!

As you plan for your culinary adventure in Paris, remember that the city offers a dining experience like no other. From the casual charm of bistros and bustling brasseries to the refined elegance of Michelin-starred restaurants, Paris truly knows how to party when it comes to your taste buds! With over 45,000 restaurants and cafes, and 120+ Michelin-starred establishments, you’ll never run out of delicious options to try. I’ve been to Paris a few times and tried all new restaurants each time, confirming my love for this city!

Want to SEE everywhere we ate in Paris? Watch this video!

By following the tips shared in this blog, I hope you can navigate the Parisian dining scene with ease. Knowing exactly when to eat, what to wear, and how to order is key. So, take your time, savor each bite, and immerse yourself in the depths of French culinary culture. One you return, don’t forget to share your dining experiences in the comments below!

Bon appétit (enjoy your food),
Antoinette | Frolic & Courage

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