No visit to Paris is complete without a taste of the city’s finest dining, which can easily cost you a small fortune. However, many travelers cannot afford (or justify) spending an exorbitant amount on just a single meal.
Luckily, a growing number of chefs and restaurateurs in the City of Lights believe that extraordinary dining experiences don't necessarily warrant hefty price tags. Instead, many restaurants are embracing locally-sourced ingredients, classic French cooking techniques, and innovative flavor pairings. If you're looking for a culinary experience like no other, consider booking a table at one of these five up-and-coming Parisian restaurants.
It’s hard to imagine an intimate Parisian eatery in the middle of the city’s 8th arrondissement, given its proximity to the tourist-heavy Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Élysées. However, chef Mickael Poyault has managed to achieve just this with Bistro Brute. This small eatery (there’s just 20 seats total) embraces healthy, responsible eating through the medium of modern, yet authentic French bistro cuisine. Here, the shareable plates range in price from €7 to €15 ($8 to $17 USD): a steal when it comes to authentic French dining. 36 Rue de Berri: open Monday through Friday for lunch at noon and for dinner from 6 p.m. to midnight, closed Saturdays and Sundays. Make a reservation by calling +33 1 42 25 02 76.
Feel right at home in Paris at Astair, which is helmed by world-renown chef Gilles Goujon. Think of Astair as modern-day take on the classic French bistro. Situated on a bright and airy corner in the 2nd arrondissement, the eatery certainly won't disappoint in terms of value, style, service, or cuisine. Come for the satisfying three-course lunch (offered Monday through Friday), which is a bargain at just €25 ($28 USD). Here, prepare to feast on traditional French staples including buttery escargot, tender frog legs, and juicy quail. 19 Passage des Panoramas, open daily starting at 10 a.m. Make a reservation.
Chefs Anne Legrand and Jonathan Caron have teamed up to bring sustainable, vegetable-focused dining to L'innocence, which is located in the 9th arrondissement (where you’ll also find plenty of shops and an array of theaters). Themes of simplicity and sophistication are elevated, but neither are compromised. Each dish is intricate, creative, and beautiful, like edible works of art. The weeknight meal and wine pairing option is just €29 ($33 USD). However, if you can’t make it during the week, consider reserving a table on a Friday night to sample the Innocence tasting menu, which offers phenomenal value at €59 ($67 USD). 28 Rue de la Tour d’Auvergne, open for lunch Fridays and Saturdays, dinner served Tuesday through Saturday starting at 6:30pm, closed Sundays and Mondays. Make a reservation.
Tannat is the brainchild of former catering school classmates, and was borne out of the belief that the elements of quality and service of fine dining should be affordable and unpretentious. The extensive (but uncomplicated) wine selection, warm lighting, exposed brick wall, spacious bar, modern aesthetic, and relaxed ambiance are what makes this restaurant ideal for either a romantic first date or a small group celebration. After a day of sightseeing, be sure to reserve a table and order the three-course dinner, which will set you back €45 ($51 USD). 119 Avenue Parmentier: dinner served Monday through Friday for two services (7:30 p.m. or 9:30 p.m.), and Saturday after 7p.m., closed Sundays. Make a reservation.
At the Michelin-starred Saturne, diners can expect a creative menu that celebrates and reinvents traditional French cuisine. The food here pays homage to organic farmers who work and preserve the land, and the menu’s focus on quality and simplicity extends into the restaurant's sparse yet elegant Scandinavian-inspired design. While the dinner and wine pairing option costs €160 ($180 USD), you can also opt for the more moderately priced three-course lunch, which includes a starter, a main, and a dessert for €50 ($56 USD). 17 rue Notre-Dame des Victoires: lunch and dinner served Monday through Fridays, closed Saturdays and Sundays. Make a reservation.