Paris is a big city (nothing new so far), with so many places to see that you don’t really know where to go. How to choose between the famous spots, the unknown spots, the hidden ones, and those you wouldn’t have believed to exist … you still have a lot to see in the City of Lights. Refined restaurants, original pubs, and nightclubs … the following list gathers but a few examples of where you can go when you are in Paris.
Places to eat
1) Bustronome – Gastronomic
2, avenue de Kléber, 75016
To visit Paris while eating French cuisine is rather tempting, but you must admit, eating and walking at the same time is never easy.
Yet every problem has a solution and the Bustronome solved this one by enabling us to eat while we discover Paris from a bus (not the public transport buses… you have to have standards).
You will discover both the French capital and its cuisine thanks to Vincent Thiessé’s gastronomic meals.
You can have a taste of foie gras in front of the Louvre, savor a sea bream under the Eiffel Tower, and discover a pastry around the Trocadéro.
It is far better than traveling by metro.
Budget: Around €65 for lunch and €100 for dinner.
2) Le Procope – Historical
13, rue de l’Ancienne Comédie, 75006
The oldest café in Paris is a must-see for all those who want to see the authentic Paris.
This café has a long history, as it was founded in 1686 and saw centuries, styles, and celebrities.
It first was a coffee shop and an ice cream maker, and soon became the first literary coffee shop in the world and saw Voltaire, Balzac, Rousseau, and Verlaine in its walls. In the 18th Century, the French Revolution took place in Paris and new faces like Robespierre, Diderot, and Napoleon Bonaparte would go there.
Today, Le Procope has been renovated but still bears traces of its glorious past for history and literature amateurs to see.
In this authentic decor, you will find traditional cooking which, while not sparkling with fantasy, is not in want of quality.
Budget: Three-courses-meal for 28,90€
3) Bouillon Chartier – Historical
7, rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009
It is historical, yes, but for a small price!
Not far from the Grands Boulevards and its many shops, this brasserie (both pub and restaurant) is absolutely not recent.
It was founded in 1896, opens every day, and its main room has been classified as part of the French Historical Heritage since 1989.
During all those years, the menu has almost never changed: snails, eggs and mayonnaise, camembert, baba au rhum …
Why would they change the recipes that worked for a century?
Even if they only serve traditional meals, they have many Parisian customers.
You have to come early if you don’t want to queue up with an empty stomach.
Budget: About 15 € for three courses.
4) La Cantine du Troquet – Traditional
“Pernety”, 101 rue de l’Ouest, 75014
“Dupleix”, 53 boulevard de Grenelle, 75015
“Daguerre”, 89 rue Daguerre, 75014
“Cherche midi”, 79 rue du Cherche Midi, 75006
“Pereire”, 46 rue Bayern, 75017
Chef Christian Etchebest chose to glorify “bistronomic” food (unexpensive meals but expertly made) through his restaurants and opened three “cafeterias” in Paris.
The friendly atmosphere and French Southwestern meals will allow you to experience the soul of French cuisine.
Among the cafeterias’ specialties, we’d like to point out the roasted quail served with bacon, the lentil cream with foie gras and its golden croûtons, and chocolate quenelles, along with many (and tasty) wines.
It is a cafeteria indeed, but far better than those we are used to.
Budget: Around 35€ (three courses).
5) Le Chalet Savoyard – Traditional
58 rue de Charonne, 75011
There are no mountains nor is there any permanent snow in Paris but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any Savoyard restaurants; such as is the great Châlet Savoyard.
This restaurant provides true Savoyard cuisine in a wooden atmosphere giving you the feeling of being in a mountain chalet for the time of a meal.
Whether you want raclette, tartiflette, pierrade, fondues or any other Savoyard specialties -not to mention their incredibly exquisite desserts, you’re definitely sure to find something that will satisfy both your taste and your empty stomach.
Budget : appetizers are 9,50€ (la petite) 16€ (la grande)
Menu « le Chalet » 31€
See more on le Chalet Savoyard (website in French)
6) Le Sergent Recruteur – Traditional
41, rue Saint-Louis en l’ïle, 75004
Le Sergent Recruteur is an old inn on the Ile Saint-Louis but it has managed to keep a touch of modernity thanks to the renewed traditional cooking.
Chef Antonin offers a gastronomic journey, including truffles and foie gras ravioles (some big crusted ravioli), roasted turbot or lemon pie.
It is definitely not cheap, but the fresh products and their delicious taste are worth the price.
Le Sergent Recruteur comprises of a bar where you can drink a glass of champagne, wine, or a cocktail and start out your French cuisine through some appetizers (oysters, foie gras, caviar, cheeses …).
Budget: About 39€ for lunch and 49€ for dinner.
7) La cave de l’Os à Moelle – Traditional
181, Rue de Lourmel, 75015
The os à moelle is a classical French dish but also the name of a restaurant you must absolutely try out in Paris.
Chef Thierry Faucher began in famous hotels such as the Bristol and opened his own restaurant in 1994: L’os à moelle.
The Cave de l’os à moelle, just in front of the restaurant, opened a few years later and is now one of the main table d’hôtes of Paris.
You can savor meals from your childhood or from the countryside in a friendly atmosphere.
Country terrine, tripes, rice pudding, and many others … There are so many choices!
Budget: Around 25€ (all-you-can-eat buffet).
8) Les Fils à Maman – Traditional
57, rue des Batignolles, 75017
With old-fashioned toys, table soccer, cartoons … The five friends who opened this restaurant really bring us back to childhood.
The decor is charged with many memories; and so are our meals.
The first courses mix tradition and innovation such as, for example, breaded Babybel croquettes, chicken fingers, and a plate of diverse pork deli.
The courses follow the same guidelines: smoked pork belly in a cordon bleu, mushroom lasagna, or the daily special, written on a blackboard, just like in school.
The desserts are closer to birthday cakes than anything else: you can choose between a Kinder tiramisu, a plate of biscuits, Nutella, banana and whipped cream, and more delicacies.
Budget: Around 20€ for a 3-course meal (this menu is only available on weekdays)
9) Nos ancêtres les Gaulois – Traditional
39, rue Saint-Louis en l’Île, 75004
This cave will transport you back to antiquity and to a Gaulish buffet.
The all-you-can-eat formula (wine included) will make you feel like you are at a Gaulish feast.
This idea was born in this very place in 1969, and it worked so well that, today, you can find the “cave” in three different buildings, in 7 rooms welcoming up to 300 people.
In this cheerful atmosphere, you can have raw vegetables, meat pieces grilled in front of you, cheese, dessert, as much all you can eat!
You can even go pour yourself a glass of wine from the wine cask (all-you-can-drink as well).
Perfectly fitting for the atmosphere of this restaurant, the place also offers a few menus with a special option: axe throwing. Yes, you read that right. Please note that you will need at least 3 of your friends to come along, and to make a reservation beforehand.
Budget: “Festin Gaulois” (Gaulish Feast) menu for 40€
Lunch menus: 14€ to 24€
Axe throwing menus: 25 to 60€ per person (only at dinnertime, not available on Saturdays).
10) Dans le noir? – Random
51, rue Quincampoix, 75004
Social networks are overflowing with nice and colorful food pics.
The taste can sometimes seem less important than the first impression of the meal, which is how it looks.
Dans le noir? offers to eat again with your senses of taste and smell, as it was long ago or … as blind people would do, because the room is completely dark.
During this blind taste, the visually impaired or blind staff will serve 2, 3, or 5 courses depending on your choice.
The game is to find out what is on your plate!
After you have eaten, you can see a photo of every meal you had and the ingredient list. If you’re afraid of cooked vegetables, you may be surprised.
Budget: Around 50€ (three courses).
11) L’Îlot – Sea products
4, rue de la Corderie, 75003
Of course you can have seafood in Paris!
Normandy and Brittany are not far and they are full of shellfish and fish to supply the French capital.
If you like to have a bit of everything, the plateau is ideal but it may not be enough and it serves only as an appetizer.
On the menu, you’ll find oysters, mussels, and tarragon or whelks with aïoli (garlic-based sauce).
For those who do not like seafood very much, L’Ilot has also composed meals with blinis, potatoes, or mozzarella and rocket.
You can have a smoked, marinated, grilled, or raw meal, or a soup … Everyone should be satisfied.
Budget: Around 40€.
12) Le Grenier de Notre-Dame – Veggie
18, rue de la Bûcherie, 75005
Despite its name, this restaurant is not in an attic, but on the ground floor of an establishment in the 5th district full of appeasing plants.
Le Grenier de Notre Dame is the first vegetarian and macrobiotic restaurant of Paris.
We all know what “vegetarian” means, but what about macrobiotic?
It is a way of eating to supply your body without any defaults nor excess (more or less).
Your meals will contain spelt, bulgur, vegetables, and agar-agar cooked in such a way that meat-eaters won’t even notice its absence.
Budget: Around 25€.
Somewhere to drink
13) La fine mousse – Beer bar
4 bis, avenue Jean Aicard, 75011
No Heineken or 1664 here and no Guinness either: every beer is homebrewed and the menu changes regularly.
There are 20 different kinds of draft beer and nearly 150 types of beers … you’re going have to choose your own.
The decor is bright, the atmosphere friendly, and the staff knows their stuff.
They can answer every and any question about the beer you are tasting: its confection, its brewer, its history… you ask it, they know it.
In order to discover new beers the best possible way, the bar organizes musical events, meetings with the brewers, etc.
For those who are really interested, La Fine Mousse offers initiation, discovery and perfectioning classes in beer tasting.
Budget: Between 3.5€ and 10€ per beer.
14) Olympe Sport Café – Sports Bar
46 avenue du Général de Gaulle, 94300 Vincennes
The owner of this bar is Bertrand Damaisin, An international judoka who received the Bronze Medal in the 1992 Olympic Games and was the French Champion in 1994 and 1997.
Whether you’re an amateur or professional sportsman and whether you’re coming for lunch dinner or just a good old drink, you’ll definitely enjoy the warm and friendly atmosphere of this bar while enjoying the view of the Chateau de Vincennes.
Decorations are obviously sports-oriented: The walls are littered with medals, prizes, pictures and many other “war trophies” from his time as a professional judoka. The cuisine can mainly be qualified as “good old family food”.
The Olympe café is opened on Mondays from 12 pm to 2:30 pm; from Tuesday to Friday from 12 pm to 2:30 pm and from 7 pm to 2 am; and on Saturdays from 7 pm to 2 am
For more information, click here
15) Little Red Door – Cocktail bar
60, rue Charlot, 75003
As the name implies, you’ll enter this bar through a little red door.
Once inside, one might think he just went back to the Prohibition: subdued light, stone walls, more alcohol than ever behind the desk and in the glasses.
This is a cocktail bar, so don’t ask for beer, wine, or appetizers … this is not the house’s specialty.
Look at the daily cocktails if you don’t want a bad surprise.
The drinks are a bit expensive, but the quality and the atmosphere are worth the price, especially when performers make a show in the bar.
Budget: Around 13€ and 16€ per cocktail.
16) Wall Street Bar – Theme Bar
17, avenue Parmentier, 75011
A real stock market takes place in this bar of the 11th district.
The rates of wines, beers, and other cocktails change every 100 seconds on a screen in the middle of the room.
There are occasional crashes, and when it happens you better be the first at the desk to order, because it will only last 100 seconds.
On the menu, the names of the cocktails stay in the economic trend with the CAC40, the Dow Jones, or the Nikkei.
As drinking with an empty belly is a bad idea (thank you, Mommy, for the tip), the bar has a variety of tapas for you: nachos, patatas bravas, burrata … the stock market game is not enough for this bar, which organizes other events throughout the year such as blind tests or theme parties (raclette party, tartiflette party…).
Budget: Between 5,5€ and 7,5€ per cocktail (before the stock market at 6 p.m.).
17) Mabel – Rum Bar
58 rue d’Aboukir, 75002
Mabel Rum is the keyword in this bar -a coutesy of its owner, Joseph Akhavan- offering 120 kinds of rum.
Peruvian rum, Venezualan rum, Guetamalan rum… no matter the source, this is where you can get it.
Budget : Cocktails 13€ (between 40mL and 90mL alcohol content)
Les Routes des Rhums (3 x 25ml) between 16€ and 25€
18) Espit Chupitos – Shot Bar
117, rue Saint-Maur, 75011
The idea of a shot bar is unique in Paris, with almost 600 shots on the menu.
Created in Barcelona, the franchise began to expand until it reached Paris, to our greatest joy.
All the names of the shots are written on a wall, with innocent titles such as “Malabar”, and slightly less innocent ones such as “Baiser de la Mort” (Death’s kiss) or “Foutre de Schtroumpf” (Smurf’s cum).
Each of their 600 recipes has been patented; no point in asking what is in your glass.
The shots cost 3€, but you can also order a whole bottle of your favorite for a reasonable price.
Among the 600 recipes, everyone can find the one they’ll love, whether it is flambéd, with a little game, with sweets, etc.
Go and be surprised!
Budget: 3€ per shot.
19) Moonshiner – Hidden pub
5, rue Sedaine, 75011
Paris is full of mysteries and hidden places, little streets, parks, and bars as well.
The idea of hidden just like in New York under Prohibition or in Berlin is very trendy and has arrived in Paris.
You must enter the Pizzeria Da Vito, not order pizzas, but find the pub’s entrance.
It’s just behind the big metallic door of the cold room. Then you enter a temple devoted to whiskey, with 83 declinations on the menu.
They also offer many cocktails and beers for the more traditionalists.
You do feel as if you are in a speakeasy of the ’20s, and you won’t know in which city you are anymore, lost among the subdued light and the jazz music going on all night.
Budget: Between 10€ and 14€ for a cocktail.
Somewhere to go clubbing
20) Le Loft Metropolis – Détendu
Rue du Port des Halles, 94150 Rungis
In 2009 the Metropolis was renamed Loft Metropolis after being renovated.
With a capacity of over 6,000 people, the Loft Metropolis is one of France’s biggest nightclubs
Each of its 4 rooms has a different atmosphere: The Loft has a dancefloor and the Manhattan mainly plays Hip-Hop. The Palmeraie is more classic while the Hacienda will bring you right straight to the tropics.
The space is the main attribute of this club; even Luc Besson used it in one of his movies in 2015.
While away from the center of Paris, this club can easily be reached through public transportation.
Budget : entrance+ 2 drinks: 25€
21) Dandy – Mythical
62, rue Mazarine, 75006
Amongst many other rumors, it is said that Jim Morrison died from an overdose in the toilets of this club in 1971, during the era called Rock n Roll Circus.
The place was very famous and welcomed guests such as Serge Gainsbourg diving in the sex, rock, and drugs atmosphere of the ’70s and ’80s.
It has changed much today and welcomes students and tourists at night.
The whiskey and rock mix are not trendy anymore.
The famous club has to use commercial and contemporary music to satisfy its new customers.
The place is still mythical, but we warned you about the changes, so don’t be disappointed.
Between ’80s and ’90s parties, salsa classes on Sunday evenings, and some concerts from time to time, all you have to do is choose what suits you best.
22) Djoon – Trendy
22, boulevard Vincent Auriol, 75013
In this loft of two floors, in the 13th district, you can eat, drink and, of course, have fun.
International DJs come one after the other to animate the dance floor for thirty-year-old people avoiding the overcrowded famous clubs.
The entrance is a bit selective, but the effort is worth it.
This trendy place will refresh you from the other Parisian clubs with its music alone.
Depending on the performers, you can have a funk, deep-house, hip-hop, or soul atmosphere.
Budget: 9,5€ for a drink
23) La Baraque – Underground
102 rue de Charonne 75011
The Baraque –a restaurant nightclub- usually sets up evenings with different DJs.
Thursday night is disco night from 8 pm to 2 am.
The restaurant’s menu offers all kinds of food such as Caesar salads, cheeseburgers, or honey-covered duck magret.
Open on Mondays from 10 am to 3 pm; from Tuesday to Thursday from 10 am to 2 am; Fridays from 10 am to 5 am; and Saturdays from 6 pm to 5 am.
Budget: cocktails cost around 10€
For more information on the Baraque, click here (link is in French)
24) L’Arc Paris – famous
12 rue de Presbourg, 75116
If you are dreaming of spending an unforgettable night in one of Paris’ most elegant, chic and luxurious clubs, you won’t be disappointed by your visit at the Arc Paris.
It is located just a few meters away from the magnificent Arc de Triomphe at the Place de l’Etoile and it gives you a spectacular view not only over this impressive Parisian monument but also over the nightlife on the illuminated Avenue des Champs-Elysées.
It has everything an excellent Parisian club should have: good music, which is a mix of our favorite tunes from the past and modern electro music, a veranda with a large panoramic glass roof so you can enjoy the unique environment of the Arc Paris, a little garden which gives the location a touch of freshness and relaxation and unique modern-vintage decoration.
The Arc Paris is open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from midnight to 5 am.
And, by the way, don’t be surprised to come across international stars like Bruno Mars and Rihanna in this world-famous club.
25) Le Pigallion – Undergound
11, place Pigalle, 75009
This old striptease cabaret has had its hour of glory during the roaring twenties and the ’90s as an emergent electronic stage.
Nowadays, it is still crowded every night until morning.
There is no dress code to get in; people go there only to relax and dance very close to each other.
Don’t expect to sit down; there is absolutely no room for that!
Most of the performers play electronic music, but some don’t, so be careful which night to go there.
The bar on the upper floor is very popular, but also very expensive, so you might as well drink before you come.
Budget: 8€ for a soft drink.
26) Les Bains – Trendy
7, rue du Bourg l’Abbé, 75003
Les Bains is one of the most selective nightclubs of Paris.
The same building hosts a gastronomic restaurant and a hotel, which shows you how posh the place is.
The reputation of the place was built thanks to the models, artistic directors, and other celebrities who came there to have a nice time.
The decor is futuristic, very different from the usual Parisian nightclubs, and it even includes a pool (no bathing allowed).
The customers are classy and like to show it.
This place is so well-known it even has permanent DJs and invites people after a careful picking.
Beside the DJs, other events often take place there, such as concerts or private events.
The place is famous but very selective; you must be well-dressed to get in and be ready to spend money easily.
Budget: Quite high.
*Website only available in French
Mona knows Paris like the back of her hand. Its bars, its restaurants and above all, its hotels, whether you want to sleep, eat, party or just take a walk in Paris, Mona knows them (nearly) all. Follow her lead, she will gladly give you all her good tips!