Recklessly Decadent Restaurants

Perhaps Paris is still the culinary capital of the world, but you’ll never know for sure until you check out these posh Parisian plates. Plus, if you have a thing for Michelin stars and thousands-of-euros-a-pop for every popped champagne bottle (like me), you’ll be right at home amongst the opulence.

Le Meurice

It’s only fair to start things off with the dreami­est Paris restau­rant in exis­tence. Attached to the lux­u­ry hotel of the same name, Le Meurice has two Miche­lin stars, one of the best pas­try chefs orga­niz­ing their dessert menu and their after­noon tea (Cedric Gro­let), and a tru­ly gor­geous din­ing room emblem­at­ic of the Lou­vre. You know, that thing across the street. We’re talk­ing mar­ble walls, gold frilly trim, and del­i­cate roco­co paint­ings as far as the eye can see. The food is a posh mul­ti-course affair, and again, the desserts are as close to divine as human­ly pos­si­ble. Is it expen­sive? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolute­ly. We’d expect not­ing less from Alain Ducasse…

ADDRESS: 228 Rue de Riv­o­li (1st arr.)

MÉTRO: Con­corde (lines 1, 8, 12) or Palais-Royale-Musée du Lou­vre (lines 1, 7)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Lou­vre

PRICE: €€€€

HOW TO BOOK: online (a week in advance babes)

NUMBER: +33 1 44 58 10 55

DEETS: week­end break­fast only, break­fast, lunch, din­ner, after­noon tea, icon­ic, posh, in the Miche­lin Guide, clas­sic French, old school cool, worth the flight, worth the bank­rupt­cy, MOF, awards for days

INSTAGRAM: @dorchestercollection

Epicure

Despite the delight­ful straw­ber­ries-and-cream din­ing room, the breath­tak­ing­ly lush out­door ter­race, and the ritzy hotel locale close to all things Eif­fel, Epi­cure is a restau­rant all about the food. With three Miche­lin stars, Epi­cure has more than earned its hefty price tag and it serves a menu of pass­ably famil­iar French fan­cy food. Like foie gras and veal, cooked with far less famil­iar ingre­di­ents and meth­ods such as the Bresse farm hen poached in a blad­der, or the blue lob­ster served with can­died egg­plant and coral dress­ing. There’s even a show-stop­ping dessert menu cre­at­ed by an in-house pas­try chef con­sid­ered one of the best in Paris that fea­tures items such as fresh­ly-har­vest­ed hon­ey served on pollen short­bread, or sug­ar-spun cher­ries filled with pis­ta­chio cream.

Din­ing at Epi­cure pret­ty much guar­an­tees a swift kick out­side your culi­nary com­fort zone, and almost def­i­nite­ly a spot as the best-tast­ing meal of your trip, if not your life; well-worth the result­ing bankruptcy.

ADDRESS: 112 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Hon­oré (8th arr.)

MÉTRO: Miromes­nil (lines 9, 13), Saint-Philippe-du-Roule (line 9) or Champs-Élysées-Clé­menceau (lines 1, 13)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Con­corde + Elysées

PRICE: €€€€

HOW TO BOOK: online (sev­er­al weeks in advance babes)

NUMBER: +33 1 53 43 43 40

DEETS: break­fast, lunch, din­ner, open dai­ly, haute French, in the Miche­lin Guide, awards for days, out­door seat­ing, bomb AF view, top in town, worth the flight, worth the bankruptcy

INSTAGRAM: @lebristolparis

Restaurant Guy Savoy

Okay, stop scrolling. This is as good (and as expen­sive) as it’s going to get. The Restau­rant Guy Savoy has three Miche­lin stars and was vot­ed the best restau­rant in the world (not Paris, world) by the French rat­ing com­pa­ny La Liste in 2020. For starters, the locale is incred­i­ble: The Restau­rant Guy Savoy is steps from the Seine and locat­ed up a red-car­pet-laden grand stair­case in the Mon­naie de Paris (the old Paris mint that has been refur­bished into a space with muse­ums, shops, and restau­rants). As for the sup­posed finest meal in the world (no pres­sure), pre­pare your­self for some breath­tak­ing­ly pre­sent­ed, incred­i­ble tast­ing food includ­ing dish­es such as arti­choke and black truf­fle soup, dry-ice cooked salmon, caviar and wagyu beef aplen­ty, and a mys­te­ri­ous dessert dish sim­ply called “apples…”.

At, quite real­is­ti­cal­ly, upwards of €500 a pop (they ver­i­fy your cred­it card infor­ma­tion before you can even com­plete your reser­va­tion), din­ing at Guy Savoy is well worth, and pos­si­bly prici­er than, the flight to Paris. But if you can’t quite make the trip, there’s always the Las Vegas location. 

ADDRESS: Mon­naie de Paris, 11 Quai de Con­ti (6th arr.)

MÉTRO: Pont Neuf (line 7) or Saint-Michel-Notre-Dame (line 4)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Berges

PRICE: €€€€€

HOW TO BOOK: online (months and months in advance tbh)

NUMBER: +33 1 43 80 40 61

DEETS: lunch, din­ner, Haute French, clas­sic French, awards for days, MOF, in the Miche­lin Guide, worth the flight, worth the bank­rupt­cy, closed Sun­days, view of the Seine

Le Jules Verne

All things con­sid­ered, the Jules Verne has a ter­ri­ble view of the Eif­fel Tow­er. It has a fan­tas­tic view of Paris though, and at a cool 400 feet in the air, it’s cer­tain­ly the clos­est any gas­tronome in Paris will get to lit­er­al haute cui­sine. Le Jules Verne is as expen­sive as it is close to the Eif­fel Tow­er, but the swanky din­ing room and tru­ly incom­pa­ra­ble view­ing expe­ri­ence more than make up for it. 

ADDRESS: Avenue Gus­tave Eif­fel (7th arr.)

MÉTRO:Bir-Hakeim (line 6) or Tro­cadero (lines 6, 9) if you don’t mind a longer walk with the most spec­tac­u­lar view in the world

NEIGHBORHOOD: Eif­fel Tower

PRICE: €€€€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 45 55 61 44

DEETS: in the Eif­fel Tow­er, haute French, 7th arrondissement

INSTAGRAM: @lejulesverneparis

Le Cinq

Le Cinq has a din­ing room full to the brim with Louis XIV-era mem­o­ra­bil­ia and a wannabe Ver­sailles vibe. The small tast­ing menu of meats, fish, and cheese is designed to be “ephemer­al,” evok­ing sea­son­al tastes of the moment, and has pos­si­bly the best name for an appe­tiz­er in his­to­ry; “a slight­ly cooked egg” (served with rare ham and black truf­fle oil of course). Locat­ed in the Four Sea­sons Hotel in the 8th arrondisse­ment, Le Cinq also has a fair­ly impres­sive wine cel­lar that is avail­able to tour.

ADDRESS: 31 Avenue George V (8th arr.)

MÉTRO: Alma-Marceau (line 9) or George V (line 1)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Champs-Élysées

PRICE: €€€€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 49 52 71 54

DEETS: French, hotel restau­rant, Four Sea­sons, 8th arrondissement

INSTAGRAM: @lecinqparis

Le Taillevent

With a 90€ three-course menu, Le Taillevent might be one of the least reck­less restau­rants on this list. The cheap (by Miche­lin star stan­dards, of which this place has two) prices how­ev­er, are mis­lead­ing. It’s still a fan­tas­tic gourmet expe­ri­ence housed in a gor­geous wood-pan­eled and art-adorned din­ing room. The food offer­ings include irre­sistible French clas­sics like roast­ed duck, cod, lamb, and veal, as well as prix-fixe menus of up to six courses. 

ADDRESS: 15 Rue Lamen­nais (8th arr.)

MÉTRO: George V (line 1) or Charles de Gaulle (lines 1, 2, 6)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Champs-Élysées

PRICE: 

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 44 95 15 01

DEETS: Fine din­ing, lunch, din­ner, 8th arrondisse­ment, closed Saturday-Sunday

Pavillon Ledoyen

Pavil­lon Ledoyen, splen­did­ly locat­ed along the Champs-Élysées, is con­sid­ered one of the old­est restau­rants in Paris. Today, this gourmet restau­rant with three Miche­lin stars, focus­es on extrac­tion and fer­men­ta­tion tech­niques to pro­duce sauces and veg­eta­bles pre­pared with extreme care. The absolute­ly stun­ning neo­clas­si­cal build­ing the restau­rant calls home was built in the late 18th cen­tu­ry and the restau­rant itself has exist­ed since 1792. It also has a sto­ried cus­tomer base from the rev­o­lu­tion­ary Robe­spierre to Napoleon and Josephine, who appar­ent­ly met there — a his­to­ry almost as delec­table as the cuisine.

ADDRESS: 8 Avenue Dutu­it (8th arr.)

MÉTRO: Champs-Elysées-Clé­menceau (lines 1, 13) or Con­corde (lines 1, 8, 12)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Champs-Élysées

PRICE: 

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 53 05 10 00

DEETS: Fine din­ing, French, 8th arrondissement

Apicius

Let’s start with the obvi­ous attrac­tion, the stun­ning, sprawl­ing gar­den ter­race. If the weath­er does not coop­er­ate how­ev­er, fear not. The indoor restau­rant is pret­ty snazzy too, with a sim­ple, if kooky, ele­gance (trans­la­tion; chan­de­liers and leop­ard print chairs). Named after an ancient Roman cook, and own­er of one Miche­lin star, Api­cius fea­tures a small menu pri­mar­i­ly con­sist­ing of fish and pigeon. For a cool 95€, an appe­tiz­er of foie gras, an entrée of mar­i­nat­ed cod, and a rhubarb dessert could be yours. If you’re feel­ing some à la carte adven­ture though, you could always try the 155€ gold­en caviar. The love­ly, peace­ful, out­door din­ing expe­ri­ence will eas­i­ly erase your wal­let woes.

ADDRESS: 20 Rue d’Ar­tois (8th arr.)

MÉTRO: Saint-Philippe-du-Roule (line 9) or George V (line 1)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Made­line

PRICE: 

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 43 80 19 66

DEETS: French, ter­race, open dai­ly, 8th arrondisse­ment, mid-day clo­sure (2–6pm)

INSTAGRAM: @apiciusparis

Arpège

Veg­e­tar­i­an­ism and French haute cui­sine tend to not mix well. If one is lucky, a restau­rant may have a dish con­sist­ing of some cooked veg­eta­bles placed gin­ger­ly on an unfla­vored grain, which is per­fect­ly edi­ble, but lacks the inge­nu­ity afford­ed to dish­es for meat eaters. Arpège, with its won­der­ful­ly cre­ative and almost entire­ly veg­e­tar­i­an gourmet menu, seeks to change all that. Min­i­mal­ist, steps from the Rodin muse­um, and award­ed two Miche­lin stars, Arpège has a sea­son­al­ly chang­ing, veg­etable-for­ward menu that fea­tures inven­tive dish­es like cab­bage lasagna, green aspara­gus with pink pome­lo goat curd, and many more. This is the per­fect ven­ture for epi­cu­ri­ous veg­e­tar­i­ans (or picky eaters) that’s just as fan­cy (and pricey) as any­thing else. 

ADDRESS: 84 Rue de Varenne (7th arr.)

MÉTRO: Varenne (line 13)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Saint-Ger­maine

PRICE: €€€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 47 05 09 06

DEETS: haute French, veg­e­tar­i­an friend­ly, closed Sat­ur­day-Sun­day, 7th arrondissement

Lasserre

Supreme­ly locat­ed between the Seine and the Champs-Ely­sees and graced with one Miche­lin star, Lasserre is a wall­pa­pered neo­clas­si­cal dream. The din­ing room, with its stun­ning white columns, pas­tel col­or scheme, and Char­lotte Perkins Gilman-approved yel­low wall­pa­per, gets only that much bet­ter when you real­ize the roof opens. If you love the the­o­ry of out­door din­ing much more than the prac­tice, this is the place for you. Said din­ing includes sev­er­al mul­ti-course prix fixe meal options all aver­ag­ing under 200€, or menu offer­ings like mac­a­roni stuffed with foie gras and truf­fles, veal filet mignon, or orange-glazed duck. Classy food for a classy, clas­sic venue.

ADDRESS: 17 Avenue Franklin Delano Roo­sevelt (8th arr.)

MÉTRO: Franklin D. Roo­sevelt (lines 1, 9) or Champs-Elysées-Clé­menceau (lines 1, 13)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Champs-Élysées

PRICE: €€€€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 43 59 02 13

DEETS: Fine din­ing, clas­sic French, 8th arrondissement

INSTAGRAM: @restaurantlasserre

Pierre Gagnaire at Hotel Balzac

Locat­ed in the chic Champs-Ely­sees Hotel Balzac, Pierre Gag­naire (named after its founder with about 20 restau­rants to his name) is a three-Miche­lin-star expe­ri­ence in cut­ting-edge French cui­sine. Uncon­ven­tion­al­ly dec­o­rat­ed with walls cov­ered in torn out pages of books, Pierre Gag­naire fea­tures sev­er­al prix-fixe options run­ning up to 335€, as well as sev­er­al à la carte options aver­ag­ing at about 160€ each. These deca­dent options of homard, veal, and oth­er meats and fish include jaw-drop­ping nov­el­ty gar­nish­es like oys­ter ice cream, crys­tal­ized cur­rants, fen­nel con­som­mé, coral-coat­ed pota­toes, and oth­er bizarre foods only attain­able and at home at a place like this. The cre­ativ­i­ty alone, let alone how it may taste, makes the expe­ri­ence worth the exor­bi­tant prices.

ADDRESS: 6 Rue Balzac (8th arr.)

MÉTRO: George V (line 1)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Champs-Élysées

PRICE: €€€€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 44 35 18 00

DEETS: French, hotel restau­rant, closed Sat­ur­day-Sun­day, 8th arrondissement

INSTAGRAM: @restaurantpierregagnaire

Astrance

I would love to tell you what the food at Astrance will be like when you vis­it, but because their menu changes dai­ly, there real­ly isn’t a way of know­ing. Giv­en the restaurant’s two Miche­lin stars, what­ev­er meals are on tap for the day will inevitably con­sist of inter­est­ing and unex­pect­ed pair­ings and fla­vors, a high­ly skilled lev­el of  prepa­ra­tion, and a lux­u­ri­ous atmos­phere with which to enjoy them. This is the high-end expe­ri­ence for adven­ture junkies, mys­tery read­ers, and any­one else who enjoys a thin thread of sus­pense in every­thing they do. The only cer­tain­ty here is that the food will taste amaz­ing (and will cost a fortune).

ADDRESS: 32 Rue de Longchamp (16th arr.)

MÉTRO: Bois­sere (line 6), Iena (line 9) or Tro­cadero (lines 6, 9)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Chail­lot

PRICE: €€€

HOW TO BOOK: no reservations

NUMBER: +33 1 40 50 84 40

DEETS: French, 16th arrondissement

INSTAGRAM: @astranceparis

L’Ambroisie

Sub­lime­ly locat­ed next to the Place des Vos­ges, L’Ambroisie (Ambrosia) is a three-Miche­lin-star affair that, despite the Greek-inspired name, is a pure­ly French ode to haute cui­sine (the epi­graph “Food of Civ­i­liza­tion” rests over their online menu). L’Ambroisie has clung to their Miche­lin stars for more than thir­ty years and, with menu items like Lob­ster served with pump­kin, or sea bass escalop­ines served with gold­en caviar, it’s easy to see why. Their blend of top-tier ingre­di­ents, inter­est­ing fla­vors, beau­ti­ful plat­ing, and decades of exper­tise can be enjoyed in their glitzy and classy din­ing room best described as art-deco-renais­sance-hybrid chic.

ADDRESS: 9 Place des Vos­ges (4th arr.)

MÉTRO: Saint-Paul (line 1) or Chemin Vert (line 8)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Le Marais

PRICE: €€€€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 42 78 51 45

DEETS: haute French, 4th arrondissement

Le Pré Catelan

If you’re a lover of sprawl­ing, curat­ed estate gar­dens, you’ve prob­a­bly con­sid­ered the hour-long dri­ve to Giverny. It’s a beau­ti­ful place and well worth the dri­ve, but much clos­er to your home-away-from home is Bagatelle Park: a botan­i­cal gar­den con­struct­ed in the 18th cen­tu­ry com­plete with a mini-château. At the cen­ter of the gar­den is Le Pré Cate­lan, a stel­lar three Miche­lin star restau­rant that’s a cas­tle in its own right, which evokes its set­ting with a stun­ning white mar­ble din­ing room accent­ed with lush emer­ald green vel­vet. The restau­rant offers a visu­al­ly strik­ing 10 or 12 course meal that can con­sist of any­thing from egg­plant stuffed with caviar to cod cooked with sea­weed. Between the plat­ing, the restau­rant, and the gar­den itself, the whole expe­ri­ence is an incred­i­ble feast for the eyes.

ADDRESS: Bois de Boulogne (16th arr.)

MÉTRO: Ranelagh (line 9)

PRICE: €€€€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 44 14 41 14

DEETS: haute French, 16th arrondissement

INSTAGRAM: @fredericanton

Le Gabriel

Back in the famil­iar lux­u­ry restau­rant play­ground of the 8th arrondisse­ment, Le Gabriel offers mod­ern French cui­sine in a gor­geous­ly taupe mid-19th cen­tu­ry din­ing room. The restau­rant has two Miche­lin stars and three prix-fixe menus, one for each meal, each with its own theme (sea­sons, Bre­ton cui­sine, and glob­al fla­vors, at the moment). Offer­ings include items like white aspara­gus with wasabi for break­fast, Mack­er­el in white wine for lunch, bli­n­is with had­dock for din­ner, and miso vanil­la sor­bet for dessert. With its deli­cious rigid­i­ty, Le Gabriel is the ide­al fine din­ing expe­ri­ence for the adven­tur­ous yet inde­ci­sive, but it’s sure to be great for every­one involved (except the dogs: no dogs allowed).

ADDRESS: 42 Avenue Gabriel (8th arr.)

MÉTRO: Franklin D. Roo­sevelt (lines 1, 9)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Champs-Élysées

PRICE: 

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 58 36 60 50

DEETS: mod­ern French, hotel restau­rant, 8th arrondissement

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