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Where to eat in Paris

Out with fussy dining, in with flavour: from Israeli cuisine to reimagined French classics, Paris is now a go-to for the adventurous foodie traveller

Where to eat in Paris
The team at Balagan. Image: Studio l'Etiquette

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Top 3: New world orders 

SPOON 2: Alain Ducasse takes his inspiration from all over the world with dishes from Brazil to Indonesia and numerous places in between, all keenly priced for the less affluent globetrotter (mains from €22/£20). For all his multiple Michelin-star accolades, the Ducasse empire also includes more affordable options: try Le Jules Verne, on the Eiffel Tower, Restaurant Champeaux at Les Halles, or Aux Lyonnais, a Parisian version of the historic Bouchon restaurants of Lyon.

BALAGAN: This Israeli restaurant is currently the hottest table in town, with a great team led by chefs Assaf Granit and Dan Yosha, offering a decadent mix of small dishes (from €13/£12) in which fresh vegetables, tahini and spices take centre stage. The staff’s energy is infectious and a seat at the counter table offers as much entertainment as it does flavour.

GRANDS BOULEVARDS: Rome-born chef Giovanni Passerini remains a little closer to home with his Italian-French menu celebrating country cooking, peppered with fresh, exciting flavours. This new hotel and restaurant is also the latest Parisian outpost for London’s Experimental Cocktail Club, and comes with an opulent bar and suitably inventive cocktail menu. 

Top 3: Classic cuisine 

For Burgundy snails, steak frites and other French classics, try these Parisian bonnes addresses.

LE TRAIN BLEU: Opulent Gare de Lyon must-dine. Its opulent frescos, dazzling chandeliers and gold and brass fittings combine for true belle epoque splendour. Its menu features every French classic from steak tartare (prepared by the maître d’ at your table) to gratin dauphinoise and an enormous leg of roast lamb. Book a table and plan for a long, lazy, wine-fuelled lunch.

LA FONTAINE DE MARS: Trusted bistro just a stroll from the Eiffel Tower. Barack Obama dined here in 2008, and its menu features Burgundy snails, steak frites and îles flottantes — a dessert that is close to every French person’s heart.

CAFÉ TRAMA: The Left Bank locals’ top spot for croque monsieur — the truffled version is the pièce de la resistance.

Published in the May 2018 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)