The bistros you just have to seek out in each Paris arrondissement

An unofficial list of 100 of the best bistros in Paris has been put together by top French chefs and the city's mayor. We've narrowed it down to 20, one from each arrondissement.

The bistros you just have to seek out in each Paris arrondissement
The Bistrot Vivienne in the 2nd arrondissement. Photo: WikiCommons

As one of the global capitals of gastronomy, Paris is a great place to dine on superb nosh and satiate your tastebuds with French flavours.

And to celebrate the culinary brilliance of Paris, Mayor Anne Hidalgo and seven top chefs released on Wednesday a list of 100 best bistros across the city.

These small, classy restaurants are quintessential to Parisian lifestyle and epitomise the creativity of French cuisine.

From the list we have selected a top choice in each of Paris’s 20 arrondissements. (For the full 100 see bottom of page)

1st arrondissement: L’Ardoise

With its slate covered walls, this gourmet bistro offers an innovative menu and serves game in the winter.

28 rue du Mont Thabor

Photo: Instagram, claraachard

2nd arrondissement: Bistrot Vivienne

In a gallery attached to the bibliothèque Nationale, this bistro pays tribute to very traditional flavours.

4 rue des Petits Champs

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

3rd arrondissement: Elmer

The skillful chef at Elmer produces delicious cuisine with international tones, against a backdrop of canteen style tables and a blazing roasting pit.

30 rue Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth


4th arrondissement: Metropolitain

With an Art Nouveau décor, go here for rich and creative dishes, not far from rue de Rivoli.

8 rue de Jouy


5th arrondissement: Café de la nouvelle Mairie

In this wine bistro, every glass of wine served is paired with typical regional food, at any hour of the day.

19 rue des Fossés Saint-Jacques

Photo: Instagram, wanderwonders

6th arrondissement: Le Timbre

Breaking down barriers between the cooks and the guests, with a big open kitchen, this bistro makes transparency central to a successful feast.

3 rue Sainte-Beuve

7th arrondissement: Plume

In a designer setting, the dishes at Plume are creative and modern, using very French techniques. Precision and freshness all round.

24 rue Pierre Leroux

Photo: Facebook, Plume Restaurant

8th arrondissement: L’Évasion

On the corner of Place St Augustin, the great classics of French Cuisine can be enjoyed on velvet covered sofas and wooden tables. It has a relaxed atmosphere with a large selection on French wine.

7 place Saint-Augustin

Photo: Facebook, L’Évasion

9th arrondissement: Comptoir Canailles

A love declaration to good meat, this little restaurant leaves it to mature for two weeks, finally perfecting it with his meticulous cooking technique.

47 rue Rodier


10th arrondissement: Bistro Paradis

In a minimalist restaurant interior the chef presents, with a smile, the sweet flavours of Brazil infused with the flavours of his own French culinary technique.

55 rue de Paradis


11th arrondissement: Le Villaret

A quaint market kitchen, Le Villaret has a wine list that reads like an invitation to travel. It is the hideaway for fans of good, unpretentious food.

13 rue Ternaux

Photo: Google Street View

12th arrondissement: Table

Every day, the chef sources seasonal produce from local sellers to create artistic dishes.

3 rue de Prague

READ ALSO: If there's one thing you have to do in each Paris arrondissement it's this

13th arrondissement: Tempero

Influenced by French, Brazilian and the Vietnamese cooking, the chef bends herself backwards to titillate all the senses with rigor and passion.

5 rue Clisson

Photo: Instagram, K_2blacka

14th arrondissement: Les Petits Plats

In an atmosphere straight out of the early 20th century, come here to be comforted by generous servings of Aubrac beef, charcuterie and cheeses.

39 rue des Plantes

15th arrondissement: Le Grand Pan

With a mosaic floor and good food on the plate, the chef, a butcher’s son balances generous meals with more delicate dishes.

20 rue Rosenwald

Photo: Google Street View

16th arrondissement: Le Petit Pergolèse

Here the menu features simple and carefully prepared dishes. The options vary depending on what the market has to offer, and the dishes are served in an “arty” atmosphere, as the chef is a passionate art lover.

38 rue Pergolèse

17th arrondissement: Le bouchon & l’assiette

In a setting nostalgic of South-Western warmth, Le Bouchon & l’assiette pays tribute to small producers.

127 rue Cardinet

Photo: Instagram,

18th arrondissement: Le Coq Rico

Here the chef gracefully accepts a celebrity status for their poultry and carefully selected ingredients.

98 rue Lepic


19th arrondissement: La table de Botzaris

In this elegant bistro, the chef recreates classical dishes, playing with herbs, spices and Mediterranean flavours.

10 rue du Général Brunet

20th arrondissement: Le Baratin

The Argentinian chef who works at Le Baratin takes great care, concocting perfectly flavoured dishes.

3 rue Jouye-Rouve

Photo: Instagram, petnathekmat

Here's an interactive map of the top 100 from the City Hall. 




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‘Fully booked for a month’ – France’s bars and cafés prepare to reopen after six months of closure

France's bars, restaurants and cafés will finally be allowed to reopen on Wednesday after six months of closure. But with reduced capacity and a bad weather forecast, it's not be the reopening many were hoping for.

'Fully booked for a month' - France's bars and cafés prepare to reopen after six months of closure
Terraces will be able to reopen at a 50 percent capacity with a maximum of six people per table maximum (everyone must be seated). Photo by BERTRAND GUAY / AFP

Wednesday, May 19th marks phase two of France’s reopening plan, which allows bars, restaurants and cafés to open up their outdoor areas only.

IN DETAIL France’s calendar for reopening 

All booked up

At Pipalottes, a restaurant in the 9th arrondissement, everyone is busy cleaning and getting the place ready for the big day. “We’re trying to make the most of the space on the terrace to be able to get everyone in, but we’re having to cancel some reservations,” said Maximilien, the owner whose terrace will accommodate 48 people. “We’re trying our best to keep everyone happy.”

On Wednesday, large terraces can reopen at a 50 percent capacity with a maximum of six people per table (everyone must be seated), and the curfew will be shifted from 7pm to 9pm. Indoor spaces will reopen on June 9th, when the curfew will be shifted to 10pm.

A ten minute walk away is Sausalito, a wine bar and restaurant that is also fully booked for Wednesday and Thursday night. “We’ve been booked up for the 19th for about a month,” said the owner, Antoine.

He is looking forward to reopening but like many business owners, he hopes this will be the final reopening. “I know that in the UK they are getting worried about the Indian variant, so we need to be careful and play by the rules. We’re crossing our fingers that we will be able to stay open all summer.”

“Parisians love having a drink on a terrasse. Six months without terraces is far too long. It’s just a pity that the weather isn’t great,” added Antoine.

Bad weather forecast

Others aren’t so optimistic, with storms and heavy rain forecast for much of the country.

“I think we’ll have our usual customers who will at least pop in for a drink,” says Alex, the owner of Source Infinie, a restaurant in the 10th arrondissement, which currently has 30 tables facing the street. “But we definitely won’t have the same amount of people we would have if we had good weather.” 

READ ALSO: Storms, rain and strong winds forecast for week France’s café terraces reopen

It’s bad news for François, the owner of Le Bistrot de Madeleine in the 9th arrondissement, who can expand capacity from 14 to 40 if the weather is good enough.

“It’s a real problem, because if it rains I can only seat people in this area,” he says gesturing at the space covered by a blue awning.

“We’ll open on the 19th, it’s important and we are looking forward to seeing our customers again. But we might have to close on some days if the weather is bad, and it’s not worth it for us if we can only serve 12 or 14 people,” he said.

“We are very dependent on the weather. But we are also very happy to be able to reopen, so we’ll have to take it one day at a time,” he said.

Social distancing and strict rules on capacity 

The capital’s bars and restaurants were allowed to stretch their outdoor terraces onto the pavement or the street last summer to allow more outdoor socialising, and these changes have been extended until at least June 2021 – after which they will have to be paid for.

Sausalito is one of the many businesses to have set up a terrance made from wooden pallets in what would usually be taken up by parked cars. “At some point we will have to pay for it, but we don’t know when yet.” said the owner, Antoine. 

Asia, the owner of Les Jolies Mômes in the 9th, has benefited from this measure, which means she can spread out her tables for 50 customers and maintain social distancing more easily. “We are lucky enough to be on a small pedestrian square, and the increased terrace space means we can follow the health restrictions.”

Large terraces will only be allowed to fill up half their space on Wednesday, but last week government officials announced that establishments with small terraces will not be subject to this rule – as long as social distancing measures are followed.

“We will make sure to keep around 1m between tables, but we haven’t been given any precise indications,” said François.

READ ALSO: Paris to keep its expanded outdoor café terraces until summer 2021

Serving food outside

The risk of bad weather, reduced number of tables and the curfew at 9pm makes it very difficult for some restaurants to serve food.

Source Infinie has decided to wait until June 9th, when aside customers being able to sit indoors, the curfew will be shifted to 10pm. “We are a restaurant, but since we are not able to welcome customers inside, and only have 50 percent of the space on our terraces, we’ve decided we’ll only be serving drinks for the time being,” says Alex, the restaurant’s director. 

“It’s far too expensive for the number of customers are allowed to seat, especially with the weather we have at the moment,” he said. “We’ll try to do our best, but I think we’ll have to be patient and unfortunately, even if people are looking forward to eating out again, we won’t be going back to normal straight away.”