4 Paris Restaurants I Love

I think it’d be impossible to create an “All the Best Restaurants in Paris” post, since there are just so many amazing places to eat in that city. I could honestly go to Paris for a month just to eat. Maybe a year. I’ve eaten at some fancy, world-famous spots in Paris — and some that are more hidden gems. This post is focused more on the latter — or rather 4 of my favorite places from my most recent trip: 2 meat-focused, and 2 seafood. And a special mention at the end to the one great gluten-free bakery in Paris.

1. L’Ami Jean

L’Ami Jean was probably my favorite restaurant, so I’ll start here. It’s a small, cozy bistro well-known to locals and tourists alike — so reservations are a must for lunch or dinner. L’Ami Jean has been around since 1931, making it the oldest Basque restaurant in the city, and it’s been helmed by the gregarious, Brittany-born chef Stéphane Jego since 2002. I’d say the Basque influence is less apparent here than the focus on the best seasonal ingredients, game meats, and generous portions. Think razor clams, quail, duck, pigeon, veal cheek, steak, slow-confit beef, and sweetbreads. Our server said the sweetbreads were not to be missed (pictured along with the razor clams and steak), so that’s what I got, and I’ve never had anything like it — even having eaten sweetbreads before. So tender and juicy, yet crunchy on the outside, in a flavorful sauce and a wonderful herbal thyme flavor. You’ve got to try them! For dinner, you can also get a 7-course tasting menu — which I’ll definitely be doing next time I’m in Paris.

Where: La Tour-Maubourg metro station, or a 15-minute walk from the Eiffel Tower.

2. Arnaud Nicolas

Arnaud Nicolas is the spot to go for pâté. And if you thought pâté was just an appetizer and did did not a whole meal make, think again. At the impossibly young age of 24, Arnaud Nicolas achieved one of the highest honors in gastronomy — the title Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) — for his talent in charcuterie. And he applies the term “Gastronomic Charcuterie” to this haute-couture delicatessen where he offers an incredible selection of meat charcuterie from a variety of animals, all made in-house from only the best ingredients. The chef’s selection platter is absolutely an entire meal, and a delightful one at that — especially paired with a nice bottle of wine.

Where: La Tour-Maubourg metro station, or a 15-minute walk from the Eiffel Tower.

3. Clamato

Clamato is cute, somewhat-rustic little seafood spot that you might miss if you’re just walking by. However, it’s owned by the same owner as the Michelin-starred restaurant Septime, which is just 2 buildings away and impossible to get into. Clamato doesn’t accept reservations, so if you want to have dinner here, stop by and put your name on the list 2 hours early. I highly recommend the crab and scallops (and calling ahead to make sure they haven’t run out).

Where: In the 11th district, near Charonne metro station.

4. Huitrerie Régis

Huitrerie Régis is all about the oysters (you may have guessed this if you know that “huître” means “oyster” in French). Their selection of oysters isn’t terribly long, but it has some great options — trending on the plump side. You can also get cheese, foie gras, prawns, and cockles or sea urchin when they’re in season. They’ll even make a beautiful seafood tower for you if you like. I think it’s the perfect spot for a light lunch if you like seafood.

Where: Saint-Germain-des-Prés metro station, or a 15-minute walk from he Louvre.

Boulangerie Chambelland

I’m giving special mention to the Chambelland Bakery, as they are entirely gluten-free in a city that doesn’t really do a lot of that. And their stuff is good, too! You can get anything from bread to chocolate éclairs here, and the staff is really nice, too (which I’ve noticed can often be hit-or-miss at counter-service spots).

Where: Near Parmentier metro station, on the North end of the 11th district.


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