Paris has hundreds of fabulous restaurants. Nevertheless, it can be hard to find a good venue among the dining options around Notre Dame, the most visited site in all of Paris. However, if you avoid the mediocre establishments lining the Latin Quarter and drift a little further afield, there are some hidden gems. Enjoy a delicious meal at one of these best restaurants near Notre Dame, all within a five to ten minute walk from the world-famous cathedral.
Found on a small sidestreet around the corner from Notre Dame, this is one of the best restaurants on Île de la Cité. With wooden benches and tables and a traditional bistrot ambiance, local islanders keep coming back for more of this restaurant’s tasty foie gras and fig terrine, garlicky snails, savory coq au vin, and asparagus risotto. At around 18€ for a main course, the prices are reasonable and the quality reliable.
26 rue Chanoinesse, 75004 Paris
On the other end of the island is this divine gastronomic table, where Senegalese-born chef Eugénie prepares refined dishes and her husband Philippe whips up fresh bread and exquisite pastries. Their seasonal menu changes regularly and features beautifully presented dishes that include vegetables from their very own patch, like eggs with summer truffles, Challans duck with leeks, wild flounder with sorrel greens, and Senegalese mango with chocolate. Come for lunch to enjoy these gorgeous and delicious creations in their excellent-value lunch formules: 24€ for two courses and 32€ for three.
72 quai des Orfèvres, 75001 Paris
This old favorite is a stone’s throw from Notre Dame on the Left Bank. A former bookstore turned tea salon, “The Winged Ant” has a whimsical feel with its shelves of books, fireplace, stoic Buddha statue, and lofty ceilings painted with a blue sky and clouds. On its newsprint menu you’ll find a wide variety of dishes including creative salads, quiches, stuffed peppers, vegan lasagna, lamb shank, blanquette de veau, and other daily specials. You can get some of these dishes during the afternoon as well as their excellent cakes and pies, which go best with their refined teas.
8 rue du Fouarre, 75005 Paris
Amble a few blocks further south and you’ll find one of the Left Bank’s most attractive new bistrots. Formerly Le Pré Verre, the venue has been reinvented by two friends: Guillaume, who’s worked as a pastry chef and in luxury gastronomy for 15 years, and Romain, who pushed pause on his career in film for this culinary adventure. The new look features a luminous and stylish dining room in muted sea blue tones and a refined menu of seasonal modern cuisine with an Asian twist. Options might include green pea panna cotta sprinkled with country ham chips, beetroot and wakamé salad, tomato stuffed with quinoa and black rice with a wasabi vinaigrette, suckling pig with crisp cabbage and spices and, if you dare, damson plum tart with beer sorbet. Come by during the week to make the most of the incredibly low priced two-course lunch menu with coffee for only 16€.
8 rue Thénard, 75005 Paris
The vegetarian scene in Paris is gradually improving and a short walk west down the quai is one of the Left Bank’s best contemporary veggie eateries, unmissable thanks to the large (fake) cow grazing on its terrace. Once inside this bright and friendly space, dig into a copious salad Marguerite, a vegetarian take on the classic croque-madame, a succulent veggie burger with homemade fries, or zucchini pasta in a red bean “bolognese” sauce. Be sure to save room for the rich chocolate brownie or flavorful vegan ice cream.
29 quai des Grands Augustins, 75006 Paris
If you’re looking for a more gastronomic meal (without going all out at nearby Tour d’Argent), then this chic and cozy restaurant is for you. Tucked away in the little-visited cluster of medieval streets to the south of the cathedral, the Atelier Maître Albert occupies the ground floor of a building dating back to the 1400s. The menu itself is more modern, designed by Michelin-starred chef Guy Savoy, but it does evoke the olden days with its focus on roasted meats, and in winter you can even sit by its toasty fireplace. On the spit is pork, pigeon, or farm-raised chicken, served with an array of veggie sides. Lunch menus come to 28€ and 36€.
1 rue Maître Albert, 75005 Paris
On the other side of the Seine, you can find a few stunning quality restaurants within a short stroll of the cathedral, including this historic brasserie. Situated at the base of the Chatêlet Theatre, the café was opened in 1896 by an Alsatian brasserie baron, responsible for many of the other classic cafés of the Belle Époque. The gorgeous interior, decked out in gilded wood paneling, dainty ceilings paintings, and velour curtains, gives the impression of opulence. However, this is not reflected in their reasonably priced menu, which includes a lunch formule at 22€. You’ll find something for all tastes among the oeuf mimosa with crab, the guinea fowl with tarragon cream, sweet potato purée, or the vegan bowl.
1 place du Châtelet, 75001 Paris
Travel back to the early 20th century at this swanky historic bistrot, part of star chef Alain Ducasse’s culinary kingdom. Dating back to 1912, the restaurant was owned by the Petit family until 2005 and was a neighborhood institution when the nearby Les Halles market was in its prime. These traditions are upheld today with well prepared French classics like pâté en croûte, parsnip velouté with croutons, pan-seared black pudding with apples two ways, and casserole of sweetbreads with foie gras and Armagnac savarin topped with lightly whipped cream, some of which are included in their three-course lunch menu at 39€.
20 rue Saint Martin 75004 Paris
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