Where to Eat In Paris Right Now guide image


Where to Eat In Paris Right Now

15 hotspots in Paris’s current culinary landscape.

Rebienvenue à Paris! Whether it’s your second visit or your seventh, you’ve likely already been to some of the classic bistros in our first-timer’s guide to eating in Paris. If you’re looking for something beyond that, you’ve come to the right place: Nearly all of the spots here opened in the last year and have built up plenty of buzz among restaurant-obsessed locals.

They also show how incredibly diverse Paris’s dining scene has become, with many cooks coming from outside of France and settling in the capital to chop and dice and braise and sear among the world’s best on their own terms—no toques or chef’s whites required.

One thing is clear: While Parisians will always want to snack on oysters and cheese, an increasing number of locals—especially the younger ones—want to do so in more modern environments. They’re also keen on sampling a range of less-French flavor profiles, like the creamy smoked peanut sauce slathered on encacahuatadas you’ll find at Comer and the spicy shredded papaya salad topped with crispy pork skin that’s on the menu at Bang Bang.

Since the Hemingway Hangouts of today are mostly on the Right Bank, all but one of these mostly new-ish or frequently evolving spots with shifting chef residencies are not only on that side of the Seine, but further from the tourist sites. Reaching them may require a taxi or a metro ride, but you’re not just coming to Paris to see the Mona Lisa or catch a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower—right? 

Consider these destinations a palette cleanser for when you’ve had your fill of foie gras and escargot or just can’t eat another steak frites. We promise your bouche will still be amused from the first bite to the last, and you’ll return home boasting about having eaten at one of Paris’s tables du jour.


photo credit: Lucia Bell-Epstein

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Early June


19 rue Jean Poulmarch, Paris
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This neighborhood wine bar that opened near the Canal Saint-Martin in early 2019 recently shifted its focus from one regular chef and now hosts visiting cooks from around the world to stay for a few weeks (or months) and cook a set menu. It’s taken off with pop-ups featuring the wildly varied cuisines of Myanmar, Denmark, Vietnam, and more—check their Instagram to see who’s next.

photo credit: Le Photographe Du Dimanche

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While the husband and wife team behind this spot on the quiet end of busy Rue Saint-Maur are Israeli, it’d be a disservice to call the cuisine solely Levantine. Yes, you’ll find ingredients and flavors from their home country, such as tahini, dried olive powder, and dukka in the six-course, €55 dinner menu, and there may even be a cold kugel as an amuse bouche. But did your bubby top her noodle casserole with caramelized pears and tarragon? Probably not.

In its former life, the spacious, dimly lit room that both your date or your parents will approve of was a Moroccan restaurant, which explains the lattice woodwork walls that have been painted stark white and give the restaurant a clean, almost spa-like feel. The menu changes seasonally, and when you visit, it’ll hopefully include the tiramisu-like mascarpone, pumpkin, and caramel dessert. We’re not telling you to lick the bowl, but we’re not telling you to not lick the bowl, either.

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Just like The Bangles, this 22-seat restaurant knows there’s nothing sexier than an eternal flame—they have a projection of one against a stone wall, single burning candles on tables set for two to four, and a small working fireplace. The romantic space is very grandma’s attic-meets-17th-century palace, with mismatched velour chairs, twinkling crystal chandeliers, and old sewing machine stands that double as tables.

The modern French cuisine is just as steamy as the decor. Unexpected flavor pairings on the four-course tasting menu might include a creamy brocciu cheese mille feuille topped with a lone capucine leaf or a kiwi pavlova featuring bits of extra crunch thanks to teeny-tiny pieces of celery.

When it opened in 2019, Mokoloco was a low-key sandwich spot from the owners of the popular Mokonuts around the block, which is on our first-timer’s guide. It’s since morphed into a neighborhood joint for rotating chefs to pop up and serve their own cuisine for a few months. Recent chefs have cooked up Palestinian classics like kubbeh grilled on charcoal, North African and Judeo-Arabic dishes like calf’s liver boulfaf and chickpea ragout, Italian twists on classics like veal brain ravioli with briney bottarga, and crispy Korean fried chicken. 

Check their Instagram to learn who’s in residence next and whether the particular chef will be serving lunch and/or dinner. The neighborhood-like atmosphere is lively and loud thanks to the open kitchen, and since the space isn’t huge, book ahead if you can.

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PAR Guide

The Best Restaurants For First-Timers In Paris

From start to Arak digestif, this women-run Lebanese hotspot with rust-colored subway tiles on the walls boasts a raucous atmosphere that’ll make you feel like you’re in the souks of Beirut. Really, though, you’re in the hip upper Marais where seats are in subterranean rooms or at the open kitchen-bar. 

Start with one of their khebez, or bread-accompanied dips like the labné, which comes topped with a pile of greens like broccolini and mint. Other highlights include the Chou Hispi, a grilled piece of cabbage with a supporting ingredient that’s the real star: spicy cream cheese topped with pickled apricot. We also love the gambas, or shrimp, that come sans shell for easy eating in a butter shawarma sauce that’s almost sweet, thanks to a sesame cream. 

You’re going to have to come with a crew to order the giant plate of lamb or beef ribs (€105 and recommended for five or six people) smothered in tahini, tomatoes, and sumac, and you’d be wise to plan your meal around ordering the Osmallié, a sticky nest of shredded phyllo dough topped with creamy ashta and roasted pear, for dessert.

It’s unclear why more restaurants haven’t thought to pair oysters with a margarita shooter, but it’s definitely the best way to begin a meal at this popular new restaurant up near Parc des Buttes Chaumont. Tourists rarely come up this far, so expect to find fashionable locals—dates, families, friend groups—gathering on the later side for a dinner of small, seasonal plates that are predominantly sea-based. 

Service is friendly and attentive, and the cuisine ranges from simple plates like bulots with mayonnaise to more creative dishes, like whole mackerel doused in tandoori sauce and served with a broccoli puree and sliced kumquats. With exposed stone walls, a lone candlestick on each table, and a ‘90s throwback soundtrack featuring “I Think We’re Alone Now” and “Dancing in the Dark,” eating here is as much about the fun, feel-good ambiance as it is the food itself.

You won’t find tacos at this sunlit, all-white canteen that opened a block from Gare du Nord station in November. But you will find Mexican dishes like encacahuatadas (theirs features mushrooms smothered in a creamy mole sauce with peanuts and smoked pepper), and huarache, a plate of corn tortillas topped with shredded pork, black beans, and a tower of fresh herbs. 

For now, Comer is only open for lunch Tuesday through Friday, so make it a point to head there during the week and grab one of the cushionless stools for the three-course prix-fixe that’s just €28. (You can order à la carte, too.) Whatever you do, don’t skip the rice pudding with toasted coconut and citrus fruits.

This 18-seat Italian restaurant is located down a dark, cobblestoned passage in the 20th arrondissement, about 15 minutes from where Jim Morrison is buried in Pere Lachaise cemetery. (In fact, it’s the same dark, cobblestoned passage where Amagat, the Spanish tapas sister restaurant on our first-timer’s guide, sits as well.)

Expect buttery carbs in the form of focaccia, as well as sliced bresaola, plus beef meatballs surrounded by an almost sweet marinara sauce. Get a double dose of fromage by ordering the potato and cheese croquette served with a side of stracciatella “sauce” to dip them in. 

All of the plates are meant to be shared, though you can easily polish off the small bowls of pasta like the pappardelle ragu on your own. The same goes for the tiramisu, whose coffee flavor comes in gelato form, and mascarpone, which is doused in so much cacao powder you’ll probably blow your first big spoonful everywhere.

It’s common local knowledge that the French don’t do heat, hence the forewarning from our waiter at this corner spot in Belleville: “Everything is spicy here, but at a welcoming level.” The shredded papaya with crispy pork skin will leave your mouth tingly, but if the tuna tataki is on the menu, expect some tears. 

The chefs at this tightly-packed, year-old restaurant come from Colombia and Denmark, but their cuisine is a blend of Southeast Asian flavors, making this a perfect place to trick your palate into thinking you got on a plane to Bangkok, not France. 

All the plates are meant to be shared, so come with a group of friends and order a bunch of different things—we recommend the platter of sliced pork belly, pickled daikon radishes, kimchi, and a bowl of herbs and lettuce to wrap it all up in. The donut-onion-ring-looking thing that regularly comes from the open kitchen is Pain Malawach, and should not be skipped. Same for Bang Bang’s only dessert: the grilled banana split made with crispy plantains, chai ice cream, dulce de leche, and coconut crumbles.

When your Uber drops you off on the side of this hillside street way up in northern Paris, you’d be forgiven for wondering where, exactly, you are. But you’re still within city limits (just barely) and about to enter the most Frenchiest of rooms: crown moldings, giant mirrors, white tablecloths. 

Whether you opt for à la carte or the five- or seven-course tasting menu, start with the warm focaccia and the oysters served with ponzu and kumquat. After that, maybe you’ll have beef tartare in a raspberry vinaigrette between two pieces of radicchio, or the giant gnocco bolognese that’s almost like an Italian Shepherd’s pie in both presentation and heartiness. Either way, it’ll be executed with precision and plated on second-hand dishes found by the owner at a flea market.

You won’t notice when your carafe of water has been refilled, and a new bread basket arrives without having to ask for it. It’s a truly wonderful dining experience from start to finish, and a perfect choice for a meal with your parents or a special celebration with friends. They even have a hidden back room that can be booked for private groups.

It’s not easy to execute a menu for three distinct meal times, but this newcomer to the higher end of Jean-Pierre Timbaud in the food-frenzied 11th arrondissement hits it on the nose. Come by in the morning for a filter coffee (French for a real American drip, not an Americano), a bowl of their homemade Grammola, or an open sandwich topped with crispy bacon, a fried egg, a dollop of jam, and some greens. 

For lunch, the heartier menu, which changes daily, might also be a sandwich, stuffed cabbage, or rice soup with shitake mushrooms. They also do small plates you can share for dinner starting at 6pm, such as beef meatballs and a French favorite: deviled eggs. 

There are plenty of tables—two tops, plus round ones for groups—as well as a terrace for when the weather’s warm. Inside is where you may hear a throwback playlist of Eurythmics, Culture Club, and more from the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Sing along while sampling something from the sweets selection displayed on the bar, like a slice from a glazed lemon loaf or a sea salt chocolate chip cookie.

Head to this casual oyster and wine bar between Pigalle and Montmartre for a snack after navigating between the windmills and secret passageways of Montmartre (and consider timing your visit for the weekend, when they’re open for continuous service). 

Inside, you’ll find a high-ceilinged space that’s painted ocean blue with red swivel stools and seafood specials scribbled on the mirrored walls. In addition to French oysters, there’s often a cleverly crafted crudo on the menu (think smoked salmon tataki or a dorade ceviche topped with sumac) as well as the requisite shelled shrimp and bulots. The latter come with one of two housemade mayonnaises: a mild one with dashi, and another with tabasco.

There’s only one table and 18 seats at this theatrical, tasting-only restaurant that opened in September 2022 right behind Palais Royale. Chef can be seen slicing and dicing from the sidewalk through the street-facing window, but diners sit far from prying eyes in a cavernous, candlelit stone-walled room towards the back. Despite being sat “separately, but together” around the showpiece table in the center of the room, since arrival times vary, you may be forking your first shakshuka bite (a recipe from the chef’s grandma) while your neighbors are already eating the smoked mackerel marinated in citrus fruits.

In addition to the mystery of sitting with strangers, the verbally described market menu is also an enigma. The only constant is that there will be eight courses proportionately plated on unique handmade ceramics that look more like art pieces than vessels for food. While it may sound pretentious, it’s not. You’ll feel like you’re inside a well-designed home (hence the name), and be encouraged to relax or dance, eat with your hands, or sip soup straight from the bowl. Because of the table’s shape, parties of two are ideal, but seating can work for four people, too.

You’ve likely eaten a Sad Desk Salad at work, but have you had the Sad Train Sandwich? Let’s hope not. To avoid it in France, pop into this new spot across the street from Gare du Lyon before boarding your train to Provence or elsewhere in Le Sud. They’re open all day, with a handful of tables on the sidewalk and three inside along a banquette if you don’t need to grab and go. 

The midday meal is unbeatable: a baguette sandwich made with cheese from their display and a dessert of fromage blanc for €9.50. The options will change regularly, but on a recent visit they included gouda with homemade apple jam and pickled apples, goat’s cheese and tomato chutney, and ham with pistachios and burrata. No extras like lettuce—just straight-up fromage, one topping, and a complementary spread.

Of course, you can also buy chunks of cheese to bring home (or on your journey—sorry seatmates), or enjoy them plated sur place, or to stay, with a glass of wine. In the evening when it becomes more of a wine bar, they offer other small plates to snack on, like green olives, white beans dressed in lemon, and sliced sausage.

These days, it’s rare to find fresh gastronomic cuisine on the Left Bank, which makes this a welcome addition to one of Paris’s most popular and picturesque neighborhoods: Saint-Germaine-des-Prés. While this elegant newcomer, which only opened in March 2023, serves both lunch and dinner, their three-course midday meal is fantastic for the €34 price. And while the French tend to get their own appetizer, main, and dessert, the portions are so generous you could easily do two for €28, with one person getting a starter and a main and the other getting a main and a dessert. And then, voila! You share. (It’s not sneaky—it’s French.) 

Of course, then you’d be missing out on sampling more of the well-balanced, seasonal plates that the skilled Japanese chefs are churning out of their glass-walled kitchen, like a mushroom tarte topped with edible flowers or a tender duck breast served with tri-colored carrots. We’ll leave it up to you. (Another option: come for dinner, when many of the same dishes are offered on the à la carte menu.) Whatever you do, arrive hungry and don’t rush. Their velour banquettes and armchairs covered in Tunsian textiles are not only chic, but comfortable and made for leisurely wining and dining.

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