Weird Wild Wonderful Paris Restaurants

Looking for an outdoor music venue and eatery? Check. How about a café roaming with cats or a fine dining experience on a double decker? Check, check. If you’re a foodie who’s bored with four walls and a table and interested in an ~experience~ as your appetizer, these restaurants are the places to go.

ground control

Ground Control

In Ground Con­trol not only can you enjoy some organ­ic or home­made cui­sine, but also a space made for shar­ing unique ideas and oth­er forms of cre­ative expres­sion. Since 2013, this cul­tur­al oasis aims to recon­nect you to the earth, much like David Bowie’s « Ground Con­trol » wants to con­nect to Major Tom. Unlike how « Space Odd­i­ty » ends, you may not get too lost in a whirl­wind of fine food, delight­ful enter­tain­ment, and oth­er things you may not find any­where else in Paris.

Which is a lot of words to say, « food trucks in a for­mer train sta­tion with indoor and out­door pic­nic, art, and game areas… »

ADDRESS: 81 Rue du Charo­lais (12th arr.)

MÉTRO: Reuil­ly-Diderot (lines 1, 8)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Bastille

PRICE: €€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: N/A

DEETS: food trucks, enter­tain­ment, terrace

INSTAGRAM: @groundcontrolparis

Après at Le Kube Hôtel

Here’s a spot to enjoy an array of bistro­nom­ic bites while sur­round­ed by green­ery.  Don’t wor­ry, in this urban jun­gle there are no creepy ani­ma­tron­ic ani­mals that pop out, but there are DJ sets that will help you dance the night away if that’s more your speed. At Aprés, it’s come for the atmos­phere, stay for every­thing else.

ADDRESS: 1 Pas­sage Ruelle (18th arr.)

MÉTRO: La Chapelle (line 2)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Mont­martre

PRICE: €€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 01 42 05 20 00

DEETS: live DJ, bistro­nom­ic, 11th arrondissement

INSTAGRAM: @kubehotelparis

La Felicità

In this home­made Ital­ian par­adise, you get what you pay for: 9 chefs, 8 kitchens, 3 bars, lots of aisles of tasty smells, and a dash of love (for fla­vor). On Fri­days and Sat­ur­days, you can catch a DJ set while enjoy­ing your food. Ital­ian par­ty atmos­phere — no reser­va­tion required.

ADDRESS: 5 Rue Eugène Freyssinet (13th arr.)

MÉTRO: Chevaleret (line 6)

NEIGHBORHOOD: La Gare

PRICE: €€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: no num­ber listed

DEETS: live music, 13th arrondisse­ment, Italian

INSTAGRAM: @bigmammagroup

Le Bustronome

Afraid you may miss sight­see­ing while catch­ing a quick bite? Why not try a dou­ble deck­er bus tour with a meal includ­ed? For three hours, you can cruise around the city and pass by every famous mon­u­ment you can think of while enjoy­ing some brunch, lunch, din­ner, or a glass of wine. The menu is like the stair­cas­es at Hog­warts: it likes to change. Regard­less of what­ev­er is offered, a splen­did time is guar­an­teed for all. And of all the boat din­ners and touristy ways to have a meal that no native Parisian has ever par­tic­i­pat­ed in, this one has some of the best food in it’s cat­e­go­ry. Every­thing is pre­pared fresh to order on the low­er deck whilst you bask in Paris glit­ter up top, one icon­ic site at a time…which offi­cial­ly grants us per­mis­sion to rec­om­mend it.

ADDRESS: 2 Avenue Kléber (16th arr.)

MÉTRO: Kléber (line 6)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Chail­lot

PRICE:€€€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 9 54 44 45 55

DEETS: French cui­sine, bus, all the views, lunch ride, din­ner ride

Sur un Arbre Perché

If you want your zen fix, we rec­om­mend stop­ping by. You can enjoy a glass of wine or some mod­ern cui­sine while indulging in shi­at­su mas­sages. You can always sched­ule the mas­sages before your meal if you pre­fer. Like a tree, the décor changes with the sea­sons, but it will look mar­velous all the same.

ADDRESS: 1 Rue du 4 Sep­tem­bre (2nd arr.)

MÉTRO: Bourse (line 3)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Vivi­enne

PRICE: €€€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 42 96 97 01

DEETS: French, zen, 2nd arrondissement

INSTAGRAM: @surunarbrepercherestaurant

Le Café des Chats

Call­ing all cat par­ents and enthu­si­asts: we found your par­adise here in the City of Lights with le Café des Chats! You can’t adopt any of them as they live com­fort­ably here in this cozy cafe, but who knows, they might drop in and say hi. Word of warn­ing: don’t feed the cats. The food here may be ter­rif­ic and home­made, but, like Ben Shapiro, it’s not pussy-friend­ly. Aside from that, do enjoy your time here (if it’s night­time puss you wan­na pet, read our arti­cle about the Worst Bars of Paris. One of them has a res­i­dent cat that some­how sleeps through a packed house danc­ing to Celine Dion).

ADDRESS: 9 Rue Sedaine (11th arr.)

MÉTRO: Bréguet-Sabin (line 5)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Bastille

PRICE: €€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: no num­ber listed

DEETS: French, cat café, 11th arrondissement

INSTAGRAM: @lecafedeschats

Dans Le Noir?

Tired of seeing…too much? Then you have to check out the Dans Le Noir? (for the record, it’s not a ques­tion, that’s the restau­rant itself). You don’t just enjoy sea­son­al cui­sine, you enjoy it in pitch-black dark­ness! Here you don’t have to see the food to know it will taste fan­tas­tic (or pret­ty good, let’s not over-sell it). You come here because it’s a crazy expe­ri­ence. They don’t put this place in the top 10 orig­i­nal restau­rants world­wide for noth­ing, so that begs the ques­tion, will you be dar­ing enough to take a chance here? Staffed by blink Parisians that make you check your iPhone at the door, don’t try this at home. 

ADDRESS: 51 Rue Quin­cam­poix (4th arr.)

MÉTRO: Ram­buteau (line 11)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Le Marais

PRICE: €€€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 42 77 98 04

DEETS: French cui­sine, lights-out restau­rant, experiential

INSTAGRAM: @danslenoirgroup

Bel Canto

If you want clas­sic opera but are too hun­gry to sit through one, wor­ry not! Bel Can­to is the place for you. Be amazed at the tal­ent­ed hosts singing in per­fect pitch while serv­ing gourmet del­i­ca­cies. Want to expe­ri­ence the best of both culi­nary and musi­cal worlds, the do this. 

ADDRESS: 72 Quai de l’Hô­tel de ville (4th arr.)

MÉTRO: Pont Marie (line 7)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Seine

PRICE: €€€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 42 78 30 18

DEETS: din­ner the­ater, French, 4th arrondissement

Le Boeuf sur le Toit

It all start­ed with a meet­ing of artis­tic minds in 1922 in a place called Le Boeuf sur le Toit (which means Beef on the Roof…mmmmkay). Even almost a cen­tu­ry lat­er, artists remain at the heart of this place. You can peruse Jean-Pierre Vigato’s clas­sic Parisian brasserie dish­es with a mod­ern twist while immers­ing in some jazz or karaoke/open-mic fes­tiv­i­ties. Yes, if you’re look­ing for a time cap­sule restau­rant to relive a roar­ing decade, look no further. 

ADDRESS: 34 Rue du Col­isée (8th arr.)

MÉTRO: Saint-Philippe-du-Roule (line 9)

NEIGHBORHOOD: L’Eu­rope

PRICE: €€€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 53 93 65 50

DEETS: cabaret, French restau­rant, 8th arrondissement

INSTAGRAM: @boeufsurletoitparis

La Bellevilloise

Born from the end of the Com­mune in 1877, La Bellevil­loise serves as a French cul­tur­al fortress. Since its restora­tion in 2005, it’s been more com­mit­ted to this mis­sion than ever. While rel­ish­ing in a vari­ety of live enter­tain­ment, you can enjoy some bistro eats on the gar­den ter­race. Every dish is made fresh, and there’s a lit­tle some­thing for every­one to love here.

ADDRESS: 19–21 Rue Boy­er (20th arr.)

MÉTRO: Gam­bet­ta (line 3)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Menil­montant

PRICE: €€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 46 36 07 07

DEETS: live enter­tain­ment, bistro, gar­den ter­race, 20th arrondissement

INSTAGRAM: @labellevilloise

Maguey

Look­ing for a lin­guis­tic choose-your-own adven­ture? Then Maguey has you cov­ered. You sim­ply pick two adjec­tives from the menu and go from there. Yep, it’s that sim­ple. Each dish served is orig­i­nal and made from high qual­i­ty ingre­di­ents, so a great time is more than like­ly guar­an­teed. For a sim­i­lar truc but in cock­tail bar for­mat, vis­it Bisou cock­tail bar near Republique

ADDRESS: 99 Rue de Char­en­ton (12th arr.)

MÉTRO: Gare de Lyon (lines 1, 14)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Bastille

PRICE: €€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 9 81 09 48 92

DEETS: fine din­ing, French, 12th arrondissement

INSTAGRAM: @magueyparis

Le Wagon Bleu

In the 1950s, some Corscians res­cued an Ori­en­tal Express train car from the scrap­yard and turned it into a restau­rant and bar. Since then, it’s been refur­bished and used in clas­sic movies such as La Grande Vadrouille. A fine din­ing expe­ri­ence by day and a bustling night­club by week­end night, this is one train you don’t want to miss.

ADDRESS: 7 Rue Bour­sault (17th arr.)

MÉTRO: Rome (line 2)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Saint-Georges

PRICE: €€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 45 22 35 25

DEETS: French, Mediter­ranean, 17th arrondisse­ment, trains

INSTAGRAM: @lewagonbleu

Pierre Sang on Gambey

With Pierre Sang on Gam­bey, you’re invit­ed to a wel­com­ing,  yet min­i­mal­ist set­ting with all the gym­nas­tics Kore­an-Euro­pean fusion cui­sine makes you pine for. You can choose to have a sim­ple lunch or an elab­o­rate din­ner, either way, you might be inspired (or drunk — don’t judge, it was my birth­day) enough that you applaud the kitchen staff. Maybe your Edi­tor-in-Mis­chief did that once after din­ner with French ex-boyfriend. Maybe.

PS: Let them pick the wine to go with the dish­es, which are a sur­prise. ou show up, they make food for you. No menu. Trust us, trust them…

ADDRESS: 6 Rue Gam­bey (11th arr.) / 55 Rue Oberkampf (11th arr.)

MÉTRO: Oberkampf (lines 5, 9),  Rue Saint-Maur (line 3)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Folie-Meri­court + Oberkampf

PRICE: €€€€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 9 67 31 96 80

DEETS: French Kore­an, Asian, 11th arrondissement

INSTAGRAM: @pierre_sang

Derrière

Meant for har­vest­ing good fun, Derrière’s enter­tain­ment val­ue is end­less. Even the name is a play on words as this place is in the back of the 404 and Andy Wahloo, but it also means, your fess­es, your butt, your ass, baby. You choose where you want to sit, then the fun begins. Oh, and you have sim­ple, whole­some French food along the way. 

ADDRESS: 69 Rue des Grav­il­liers (3rd arr.)

MÉTRO: Arts et Métiers (lines 3, 11)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Sainte-Avoye

PRICE: €€€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 44 61 91 95

DEETS: tra­di­tion­al French, 3rd arrondissement

Chez Bouboule

Chez Bouboule is one stop for food and play. You can choose from an array of afford­able com­fort foods while engag­ing in a round or two of curl­ing or foos­ball. If you’re look­ing for some­thing sim­ple and not too ornate, then we got you covered.

ADDRESS: 46 Rue d’Ar­gout (2nd arr.) / 160 Rue Saint-Denis (2nd arr.) / 79 Rue de Dunkerque (9th arr.) / 26 Avenue Jean Aicard (11th arr.)

*mul­ti­ple locations

MÉTRO: Sen­tier (line 3) or Lou­vre (line 1)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Sen­tier

PRICE: €€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 53 16 25 87

DEETS: French, closed Sun­days, curl­ing, 2nd arrondissement

Le Clown Bar

Beware, this name is a bit mis­lead­ing. For when it comes to giv­ing a unique din­ing expe­ri­ence, Le Clown Bar does not clown around (get it? Ha ha….I’ll see myself out now). In 1907, this was the place for all the local and world­wide clowns to gath­er and enjoy some down­time in Paris. Its loca­tion has been declared a nation­al mon­u­ment since 1995 and has one of the largest “nat­ur­al” wine cel­lars out there. With organ­ic ingre­di­ents and friend­ly ser­vice, the only thing this place guar­an­tees is sim­ple sophis­ti­ca­tion. No joke.

ADDRESS: 114 Rue Amelot (11th arr.)

MÉTRO: Filles du Cal­vaire (line 8)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Oberkampf

PRICE: €€

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 43 55 87 35

DEETS: French, restau­rant and bar, 11th arrondisse­ment, wine cellar

INSTAGRAM: @leclownbar

Le Réservoir at Les Bains

Acces­si­ble only by way of a hid­den door tucked in a cor­ner of Roxo, Le Réser­voir at Les Bains is one hid­den gem you want to uncov­er. What once was a water reser­voir now has a table of ten with your name on it. If you’re look­ing for an inti­mate gath­er­ing space, then this is the place for you. Book ahead, obv.

ADDRESS: 7 Rue du Bourg-l’Ab­bé (3rd arr.)

MÉTRO: Éti­enne Mar­cel (line 4)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Le Marais

PRICE: €€€

HOW TO BOOK: email sales@lesbains-paris.com or online

NUMBER: +33 1 42 77 07 07

DEETS: hid­den restau­rant, hotel restaurant

INSTAGRAM: @lesbainsparis

Tata burger

If you’ve nev­er been in an LGBTQ+ themed restau­rant, now is your chance. It is def­i­nite­ly one of the best first expe­ri­ences you could have; cheap burg­ers, polite staff and wall-mount­ed under­gar­ments and phal­lic buns (Paris real­ly loves mir­ror­ing gen­i­tals in their food, I think it has some­thing to do with the sen­su­al­i­ty of the city). Here, you can final­ly try some of that French meat, so to speak. It is def­i­nite­ly a place where you can expe­ri­ence eye can­dy in more than one way. Check out their web­site to see when there could poten­tial­ly be a drag queen performance. 

ADDRESS: 54 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bre­ton­ner­ie (4th arr.)

MÉTRO: Hôtel de Ville (line 1, 11)

NUMBER: 01 48 87 48 71

NEIGHBORHOOD: Le Marais

CHECK IT OUT

INSTAGRAM: @tataburger_restaurant

Inoveat L’insecte Gastronome

Oui, dear read­er: I, whilst zig­ging and zag­ging with a group of out-of-town­ers on a « Best Crois­sants of Paris » walk, decid­ed to stop and take the group up on their offer of free bugs at the insect-activist restau­rant. Many times before, they had beck­oned me with their creepy, no longer crawlies, now ‘food’ accord­ing to some. So, gid­dy with carbs after the pas­try and cof­fee part of the after­noon, we took the leap into a dark place. I had been rub­bing my hands togeth­er in antic­i­pa­tion of tomme and bleu de chèvre, but ask not for whom the bell tolls. We are in Paris so let’s get philo­soph­i­cal: how many times have you eat­en a bug? Well, here you are eat­ing bugs, and you know it. Think about it like this: are escar­gots that far away on the spec­trum? Some refer to my beloved shrimp as « sea insects, » and dammit, I can not longer get the image out of my head. Sup­pos­ed­ly we share most of our DNA with red onions, too, so there’s that.

ADDRESS: 5 Rue Marie Stu­art (2nd arr.)

MÉTRO: Éti­enne Mar­cel (line 4)

NUMBER: 01 40 26 41 65

NEIGHBORHOOD: Les Halles

CHECK OUT THEIR MENU

INSTAGRAM: @restaurant.inoveat

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