I know we’ll offend a few here but we think good restaurants in Paris are surprisingly hard to come by – unless you are happy with a steak frites that is! It takes some work to find a place with ‘the tri-factor’: food prepared with love + friendly service + cool decor.

The local restaurant scene has been too long under the ruling of the ‘grandes tables”and their formal dining codes but thankfully there is now a new generation of French chefs with NY and London experience who are dragging the Paris food scene forward.

Inaki Aizpitarte is one of those innovative chefs who ‘gets it’ – his first restaurant Le Chateaubriand was voted best restaurant in Paris several consecutive years by the foreign media, which seemed to set the Michelin people off (Mais quoi??). We are big fans of Le Dauphin – the tapas bar he’s opened a few doors away from ‘Le Chateaubriand’. His latest joint looks amazing – a 70’s restaurant facade over a floor-to-ceiling marble box designed by starchitect Rem Koolhaas, with an spectacular marble bar as centrepiece. The atmos is buzzy, the service immaculate, his Mediterranean-influenced food divine and surprisingly affordable – you have to love a gastronomic restaurant that offers €5  glasses of wine!

For something a bit more traditionally French, try Racines, a old-style bistro which serves yummy and cosy terroir food with great produce in an enchantingly retro, hidden passageway near l’Opera.

For more ideas and the latest reviews check out the foodie blog Paris By Mouth.

Le Dauphin
131 Avenue Parmentier
75011 Paris
Tel: +33 1 55 28 78 88

8 Passage des Panoramas
75002 Paris‎
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Tel: +33 1 40 13 06 41