Best-of Guides Paris

Paris: Our Pick of Traditional French Restaurants

23 Restaurants
Pâté en croûte, black pudding with apple, duck breast, vol-au-vent, fillet of beef in red wine with crunchy 'pommes Anna', chocolate mousse, iced parfait, rum baba, crème brûlée: who could resist this lineup of dishes as Gallic as the Marseillaise and so emblematic of the traditional cooking that everyone loves? Whether you’re dining alone, with your darling, with family or with your best mates, the following traditional eateries are among the best in Paris!
Updated on 28 February 2024
41 rue Saint-André-des-Arts, 75006 Paris
€€€ · Traditional Cuisine

The entrance to this Parisian culinary landmark, now part of the Ducasse Group, takes you past the counter and the bustling kitchen. Served in a genuine 1900s interior, the food oscillates between bistro classics and perennial favourites, including snails in parsley and garlic butter, pâté en croûte, sole meunière, and profiteroles.

Atelier Maître Albert
1 rue Maître-Albert, 75005 Paris
€€ · Traditional Cuisine

A medieval fireplace and rows of spit-roasts rub shoulders with a handsome designer interior by J-M Wilmotte. Guy Savoy is the brains behind this menu that stars top-quality premium produce. Think crispy-skinned poultry in a gutsy gravy.

Auberge Pyrénées Cévennes
106 rue de la Folie-Méricourt, 75011 Paris
€€ · Traditional Cuisine

Chef Pierre Négrevergne is thriving in this more than a century old establishment. Négrevergne woos us with his grandmother’s recipes that showcase France’s culinary heritage – homemade pâté, traditional veal blanquette and grilled rice, mille-feuille for dessert – all served in hearty portions. This inn upholds the grand tradition of good food and hospitality.

Aux Lyonnais
32 rue Saint-Marc, 75002 Paris
€€ · Lyonnaise

In this exquisite vintage bistro founded in 1890, today’s diners can sample a menu that does justice to Lyon’s legendary culinary heritage. Terrine, quenelles of zander with crayfish and chicken liver cake all take pride of place among the dishes on offer, followed by a procession of fiendishly tempting desserts.

20 rue Saint-Martin, 75004 Paris
€€€ · Classic Cuisine

Originally a 'bouchon lyonnais', it was the Petit family who, for three generations, crafted and nurtured the old-fashioned charm of this quintessential Parisian bistro. The antithesis of today’s trendy ersatz bistros, it lost none of its soul or character when it became part of the Ducasse Group in 2005. The traditional rustic recipes combine country produce, flawless cooking and hearty portions, to the delight of the legions of faithful regulars who flock here to feast like kings.

Beurre Noisette
68 rue Vasco-de-Gama, 75015 Paris
€€ · Farm to table

This flavour-packed bistro with one foot in tradition and the other in the present is beloved by locals. Thierry Blanqui finds his inspiration in market-fresh ingredients: duck and pistachio pâté en croûte; baked cod, raw and cooked vegetables with a black olive dressing; dark rum baba topped with whipped vanilla cream.

Bistrot Paul Bert
18 rue Paul-Bert, 75011 Paris
€€ · Traditional Cuisine

The signage outside this friendly bistro proudly proclaims 'Cuisine familiale' (family cooking), so you can expect dishes like calf’s sweetbread and mushrooms, or roast game with cranberries and celeriac purée. They serve princely portions of tasty fare, simply prepared. You may crave a second helping of your main course, but be sure to save some room for the rum baba.

Brasserie du Louvre - Bocuse
Place André-Malraux, 75001 Paris
€€€ · Traditional Cuisine

Take a seat in the spacious, elegant dining room whose floor-to-ceiling windows command an iconic view over the Comédie Française Theatre, the Council of State and the Louvre Museum. The equally mouthwatering menu cleverly slaloms between hallmark dishes from Lyon (pistachio-flavoured warm saucisson in brioche bread) and timeless brasserie fare (sole meunière). The exquisite terrace is shaded by the arcades of this characteristic Haussmannian edifice.

© Marie-Amélie Tondu / Brasserie du Louvre - Bocuse

Caves Pétrissans
30 bis avenue Niel, 75017 Paris
€€ · Traditional Cuisine

The Allemoz family (Jean-Jacques is the fifth generation at the helm) continues to enthusiastically uphold Gallic traditions. Homemade pâté, calf’s head and ravigote sauce, veal kidneys flambéed in armagnac, rum baba and île flottante – just a few of the many bistro standards on the menu.

Chez Monsieur
11 rue du Chevalier-de-Saint-George, 75008 Paris
€€€ · Traditional Cuisine

This spot has all the trappings of an authentic Parisian bistro, embodied by a ubiquitous zinc bar, velvet banquettes and period tiled floors – paired with a timeless repertoire of dishes to match. Burgundy snails in garlic butter and casserole of veal blanquette are but two of the menu’s hearty staples, without forgetting a wide range of tipples from all four corners of France.

La Bourse et la Vie
12 rue Vivienne, 75002 Paris
€€ · Traditional Cuisine

Run by an American Chef, this bistro only gets better with age. Its secret lies in traditional French dishes given a fascinating spin, while top-drawer produce and flavours are worth writing home about.

28 rue du Mont-Thabor, 75001 Paris
€€ · Traditional Cuisine

This restaurant, whose walls are covered in slate, is aptly named, as 'ardoise' means 'slate'. You can expect a buzzy, friendly vibe and a tribute to hearty bistro fare with dishes such as:  beef fillet in red wine with crispy 'pommes Anna'; crunchy wafers of snails, smoked bacon and mushrooms; lime meringue pie; and chocolate mousse.

Parvis de la gare Saint-Lazare, rue Intérieure, 75008 Paris
€€ · Traditional Cuisine

Established in the heart of the legendary St Lazare Station, this elegant 'railway' brasserie is the brainchild of Éric Frechon. It religiously upholds the tenets of the genre – mimosa eggs, pike quenelles or mackerel in white wine – in a fervent tribute to French culinary tradition. It is irresistibly buzzy.

Le Baratin
3 rue Jouye-Rouve, 75020 Paris
€€ · Traditional Cuisine

Bistronomy owes much to Argentinian Chef Raquel Carena and many of today’s young chefs acknowledge her legacy. This bistro, in original (mint) condition, is an opportunity to get back to the grassroots of bistronomic cooking with a mouthwatering menu, prices that make sense and bottles dying to be uncorked. Booking is highly recommended.

Le Bistrot du Maquis
69 rue Caulaincourt, 75018 Paris
€€ · Traditional Cuisine

Right in the heart of Montmartre, André Le Letty (formerly of l’Anacréon) celebrates bistro traditions with dishes such as cod and sorrel brandade, iced parfait in calvados and his signature dish, pressed duck served in two courses (by pre-order only).

Le CasseNoix
56 rue de la Fédération, 75015 Paris
€€ · Traditional Cuisine

Old enamel signs, clocks and vintage furniture paint the period portrait in the décor here. Authenticity is also the name of the game on the food side, which stars a patriotic lineup of French family favourites such as white pudding and pâté en croûte. The Chef freely admits to being inspired by his dad, who was a Meilleur Ouvrier de France from Orléans. The amusing collection of nutcrackers (the establishment’s namesake) was curated by the Owner’s mother.

Le Comptoir du Relais
5 carrefour de l'Odéon, 75006 Paris
€€ · Traditional Cuisine

This inviting bistro dating from the 1930s is the lair of Yves Camdeborde who offers appetising bistro fare. The painstakingly sourced produce comes mainly from southwest France: roast breast of veal, carpaccio of duck breast and Basque tuna à la plancha. The terrace overlooks the busy Odéon crossroads.

Le Petit Lucas
9 place de la Madeleine, 75008 Paris
€€ · Traditional Cuisine

The upper floor of the Lucas Carton restaurant unveils a subdued Art Nouveau interior, providing the perfect foil for new Chef Hugo Bourny to roll out a no-nonsense menu of purebred Gallic dishes, underscored by his wry sense of humour. Among the dishes on offer are: Apicius-style duck pâté en croute; lightly seared scallops with celery and an apple & citrus fruit sauce; and chocolate pie. Good food and a good time – what more could you want?

Les Canailles Ménilmontant
15 rue des Panoyaux, 75020 Paris
€€ · Traditional Cuisine

In the midst of a former working-class neighbourhood, fast becoming a bohemian hotspot, two partners have set up shop in this colourful bistro. Tradition rules in this temple to good, wholesome food and hearty home cooking, illustrated by the carpaccio of warm ox tongue and gribiche sauce. Additionally, there are many tempting choices of wines by the glass.

L'Os à Moelle
3 rue Vasco-de-Gama, 75015 Paris
€€ · Traditional Cuisine

Thierry Faucher is still at the helm here, where he first came to prominence in the early 2000s as a trend-setting bistronomic chef. Oysters and leek vinaigrette, calf’s liver, mashed swede with ginger, bone marrow, soup of the day – this is good, gutsy and hearty food to a tee.

Nous 4
3 rue Beccaria, 75012 Paris
€€ · Traditional Cuisine

Crisp yet melt-in-the-mouth pork, lentils and mustard sauce; poached egg, cabbage and bacon-flavoured cream: you have probably realised that wholesome food without fussy frills is the goal here. Even better, the pleasure-price ratio is as endearing as the Chef with whom you can chat directly, thanks to the open-plan kitchen. Nous 4 is a decidedly welcoming establishment which every neighbourhood should have.

13 rue Chapon, 75003 Paris
€€€ · Traditional Cuisine

This 1936 bistro, tucked away in what is now one of the hippest districts of Paris, would be right at home on the set of Marcel Carné’s Hôtel du Nord: vintage furniture; bare stone or beige walls; well-worn period tiled floors; and a shiny copper and wooden counter. The food, however, is the real deal, as the country terrine, pork & creamy garlic polenta and dark chocolate pie reveal. Parcelles offers a splendid opportunity to get a taste of 1930s Paris first-hand. Booking is recommended.

Relais Louis XIII
8 rue des Grands-Augustins, 75006 Paris
€€€€ · Classic Cuisine

This historic establishment, built on the cellars of the former Grands-Augustins convent, is where Louis XIII learned that he was the new king of France, one hour after the assassination of his father on 14 May 1610. The dining room – notable for its half-timbered walls, bare stone and wall hangings – is clearly proud of this regal legacy. The prevailing nostalgic vibe is particularly suited to Chef Manuel Martinez, who continues to uphold the tenets of culinary classicism. After a star-studded career at Ledoyen, Le Crillon and Le Tour d’Argent, this Meilleur Ouvrier de France is continuing the establishment’s rich history.

Hero Image: Marie-Amélie Tondu/Brasserie du Louvre - Bocuse