Paris food and drink has an international reputation for excellence, complexity and incomparable refinement. This is a city home to some of the world’s leading culinary schools where Michelin-starred restaurants abound and renowned chefs come to hone their art.
While Paris more than lives up to the reputation that precedes it, it’s not all haute cuisine, fine-dining and multi-course meals. The capital of gastronomy also features a vibrant cafe scene, sumptuous street food, and fresh food markets that are destined to delight.
Meanwhile, the multi-cultural influence means there’s flavours to suit all palates and dining to suit all tastes.
With such a wealth of wonderful cuisine around almost every corner, narrowing down the best Paris restaurant precincts is truly tough. The truth is there’s no shortage of great venues to wine, dine or grab a casual meal in this culinary haven. Head to the 6th arrondissement on the left bank of the Seine for upper class restaurants, the Latin Quarter next door for more affordable traditional Parisian bistros and a range of vibrant cafes, or start in the Marais, home to the city’s Israeli population, and hence where you’ll find a number of delicious Jewish eateries.
Come sunset, this city transforms into a haven of festive cafes, cocktail lounges, and elegant venues; Paris’ bars and nightlife will keep you entertained long after the sun goes down. From the top-end bars of Place Vendome to renowned entertainment icons like Moulin Rouge, the quaint bars of Place de la Contrescarpe in the Latin Quarter, and the ever-trendy district of Oberkampf, Paris by night is just as enchanting (if not more so) than Paris by day.
Paris is synonymous with cafe culture. Hours can be spent just watching the passing parade. In fact, the history of the Paris cafe scene goes back centuries to include intellectuals pondering the philosophical wonders of the world. While the cafes have always been a mainstay, the coffee has been less highly regarded – but that’s all changing as the artisanal coffee movement makes its presence felt. Start your search for the perfect cafe in the trendy Marais district, or Rue des Martyrs in the 9th arrondissement.
There are many reasons Parisian food is renowned. Aside from pure skill, much of it comes down to the wealth of fresh food and regional ingredients readily available at traditional food markets. From the moveable feast of Marche Mouffetard to the massive Marche de Bastille, there are a wealth of Paris food markets to delight your senses and whet your appetite. For a more local experience, head to the Marche d’Aligre in the 12th district.