Bonjour, gourmets and bon vivants! Dreaming of the magic of a Parisian bistro, the rich smell of coq au vin wafting through the air, the perfect, buttery crumb of a freshly baked baguette, or perhaps the indulgent luxury of escargot drenched in garlic-parsley butter?

Welcome to our journey through the heart of Parisian gastronomy, where the food scene remains one of the most envied and inspiring in the world.

Paris, the ‘City of Light’, is not just famed for its romance-laden atmosphere, renowned museums, or fashion-forward ethos. A quintessential part of its charm lies in the gastronomical adventure it offers, rooted in centuries-old tradition, unyielding quality, and the passion of its people for good food and wine.

We will explore the crème de la crème of traditional French restaurants in Paris, places that have stood the test of time, where you can savor not just a meal, but an experience.

Whether you are a seasoned traveler or planning your first visit, a gourmand, or a simple lover of good French food, we invite you to join us on this culinary tour of the best traditional French restaurants in Paris.

From the classic bistros of Le Marais to the luxurious dining rooms in the heart of the city, each restaurant offers a unique portal into the soul of French cuisine. So, loosen your belt a notch, and let’s embark on an epicurean journey through the enchanting streets of Paris!

Traditional French Restaurants in Paris France for classic french dishes

Le Train Bleu

Begin your culinary expedition at Le Train Bleu, an opulent dining room in Gare de Lyon. Not just a restaurant, it’s a historical monument boasting Belle Époque charm and grandeur. You’ll be awed by its stunning frescoes and chandeliers, but the food is equally captivating. Delight in classics like foie gras, veal kidney, and Chateaubriand with béarnaise sauce, an homage to traditional French cuisine that has been preserved in its grandest form.

Brasserie Lipp

Brasserie Lipp in Saint-Germain-des-Prés is a literary and political haunt since 1880. The beautiful Art Nouveau décor will allure you, while the menu retains an Alsatian focus. Try the choucroute garnie, a generous plate of sauerkraut topped with various types of pork, a testament to the French love for simple, robust flavors.


A stone’s throw away from the Seine, Allard in the heart of Saint-Germain has been serving traditional French fare since 1932. The family spirit of this establishment is encapsulated in the rustic and hearty dishes on offer. Don’t miss their classic roasted Challans duck with olives, an Allard signature dish. I discovered this place thanks to French food blogger Mimi Thorisson. 

La Closerie des Lilas

Frequented by legends like Hemingway and Picasso, La Closerie des Lilas is a staple of Parisian life. The brasserie menu features French classics like sole meunière and steak tartare prepared tableside, whilst the tranquility of the tree-lined terrace offers a serene dining experience in bustling Paris.

Restaurant Drouant

Restaurant Drouant in Place Gaillon is steeped in literary history, being the traditional host of the Goncourt and Renaudot literary prizes. Its seasonal menu offers inventive takes on French classics, with beautifully presented plates to match the sleek, modernist dining room.

La Fontaine de Mars

Nestled in the 7th arrondissement, La Fontaine de Mars offers a cozy atmosphere and hearty Southwestern French cuisine. A favorite of locals and celebrities alike, its menu is laden with classics such as cassoulet and duck confit. Their tender rabbit stew with tarragon will transport you to the French countryside, making it a truly immersive dining experience.

Aux Crus de Bourgogne

Aux Crus de Bourgogne is a historic bistro in the 2nd arrondissement founded in 1900 and serving a true taste of Burgundy, from escargot to beef bourguignon. Aux Crus de Bourgogne is renowned for its traditional recipes and extensive wine list. The warm, wood-paneled interior invites patrons to relax and enjoy an evening of indulgence.

Le Square Trousseau

Located in a former metal workshop in the 11th arrondissement, Le Square Trousseau is known for its elegant, yet laid-back atmosphere. It offers a daily-changing menu of seasonal dishes inspired by traditional French gastronomy. Their mussels and duck confit are standout dishes that keep locals and tourists coming back.

Restaurant Aux Lyonnais

In the heart of Paris, Victoria Boller’s Aux Lyonnais serves up traditional Lyonnaise cuisine. Delight in quenelle de brochet, sausage with pistachios, and the famous Cervelle de Canut, all of which transport you to the bistros of Lyon.

Au Pied de Cochon

Au Pied de Cochon is a beloved traditional French food restaurant located in the central Les Halles neighborhood of Paris. With a traditionally decorated interior and menu full of classic old-fashioned French food, you’ll surely find your heart’s delight. It’s also notable for being open 24/7!

Le Voltaire

This classic Parisian restaurant by the Seine is the epitome of upscale French dining. Le Voltaire, with its cozy booths and marble-topped tables, offers an exquisite menu of timeless dishes such as blanquette de veau and baba au rhum, paired with an impressive wine list.

Le Dôme

Once the gathering place for artists and intellectuals, Le Dôme in Montparnasse is an institution of seafood in Paris. The seafood platter, the restaurant’s signature dish, boasts a stunning array of freshly shucked oysters, clams, and other marine delicacies, exemplifying French maritime cuisine.

La Coupole

La Coupole, an iconic Art Deco brasserie, celebrates Parisian culinary and cultural history in the historic and artistic Montparnasse neighborhood. Famous for its seafood and curry lamb, this lively restaurant is a gastronomic spectacle. Painters once paid their meals here with their artworks, a testament to its longstanding bond with the Parisian art community.

Aux Vins des Pyrénées

Dating back to 1905, Aux Vins des Pyrénées is a traditional bistro in the heart of Le Marais. Offering classics like onion soup, beef tartare, and crème brûlée, the menu is a tribute to timeless French cuisine, accompanied by a carefully curated selection of natural wines.

Bouillon Julien

Ending this list with a journey into the Belle Époque, Bouillon Julien offers affordable traditional cuisine. The stained glass and peacock frescoes provide a historical backdrop to classic dishes such as escargots de Bourgogne and pot-au-feu, making it an unmissable Parisian experience.

Which is your favorite of the best traditional French restaurants in Paris?

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