Restaurant Reviews

Paris’ Best (New) Small Plate Addresses

by Lily Heise

Parisian dining habits have been changing over the last decade or two, largely in part thanks to innovative international chefs. One trend that is sticking, and becoming increasingly popular also with French chefs, is small plates. Forerunners like Mary Celeste and Inaro are now making way for a new wave of nibbles with both French and foreign influences. Here are some of the best new small plate restaurants in Paris.

French restaurant Les Française in the Batignolles neighborhood of Paris comes with cozy interiors of banquettes with plump cushions (left) and serves delicious small plates in Paris (right).
Top image: A L’Ombre – Pierre-Lucet Penato / Above images: Les Françaises

Les Françaises

It’s worth trekking to the 17th arrondissement just to go to this fabulous, fun, and stylish new Parisian small plate venue, which has injected a much-appreciated dose of chicness and originality to the Batignolles nightlife scene. The long dining room is both elegant and relaxed, the perfect setting to sample their range of tapas à la francaise and cocktails.

Cocktails at Les Françaises restaurant in Paris' 17th arrondissement (left) and small plates with tasty veggies (right).
Les Françaises

The seasonal menu highlights exceptional ingredients in beautifully presented dishes such as organic œuf mimosa topped with trout caviar, bass, and clementine ceviche and confit de canard with roasted pears. Their inventive cocktails are inspired by great French women, such as Françoise Sagan and Simone de Beauvoir, and include original liquors and homemade syrups.

87 Rue Legendre, 75017 Paris

A l’Ombre

Enjoy the flavors of Provence without having to jump on the TGV at this attractive addition to the vibrant food scene in the 11th. The luminous dining room has an inviting feel with exposed brick walls, colorful cushions, and typical South of France straw accessories—not quite a terrace in Aix or Arles, but close!

One of our favorite places to go for small plates in Paris is A L'Ombre (literally 'In the shade') restaurant, which serves tomato and mozzarella salads as well as ham and cheese (left). The interiors of A L'Ombre restaurant in Paris are cheerful with eye-popping turquoise tiles and timber tables and chairs (right).
A L’Ombre – Pierre-Lucet Penato

Their menu features traditional Provençal small plates including tapenade, Tomme de Provence with onion confit and exquisite Château d’Estoublon olive oil, pissaladière tart, and pastis-infused terrine. They also have a few seasonal main courses and an épicerie section.

10 rue de la Folie-Méricourt, 75011 Paris

One of go-to places for having small plates in Paris, is A L'Ombre restaurant for the food, like tasty gambas salad (right) and the bright and light interiors, along with the wine collection,which lines the back wall (left).
A L’Ombre – Pierre-Lucet Penato

La Reine Mer

Some of the best-quality fish and seafood in Paris is served up at this unique fishmonger/small plate joint also in the 11th arrondissement. Grégory Areinx has scanned the coastlines of France to find the highest level and most sustainable produits de la mer. These can be bought to cook yourself at home or enjoyed around their stainless steel countertops, in keeping with the look of a fish shop.

La Reine Mer small plates restaurant in Paris serves delicious seafood salads, all made fresh.
La Reine Mer

Small plates on offer at lunch include seafood salads, house-smoked salmon, and their trademark “sandfishes,” spring rolls filled with raw fish and marinated vegetables. Dinner features more elaborate tapas like lobster gyozas, grilled scallops with carrot and Tonka bean purée, or smoked squid with hummus and roasted Datterini tomatoes.

1 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 Paris

LAvant Comptoir du Marché

A precursor to the small plate movement in Paris, star chef Yves Camdeborde has expanded on his two popular Avant Comptoir venues with this new branch at the Marché Saint Germain. In line with its location, the focus here is on small plates made of traditional market products with a contemporary twist.

L'avant Comptoir du Marché does great small plates in Paris and has an impressive wine collection (left) and tasty tapas-like bites for pre-dinner drinks (right).
L’Avant Comptoir du Marché

The chalkboard menu changes often and features shareable portions such as ham croquettes, boudin noir macarons, pig trotters, and even charcuterie made by his brother. These high quality bites are wonderfully paired with a commendable list of mostly natural wines.

14 Rue Lobineau, 75006 Paris

The huge handmade butter and a glass of biodynamic wine at small plates restaurant in Paris, L'Avant Comptoir du Marché (left) where the names of the dishes hang from the ceiling (right).
L’Avant Comptoir du Marché

Raw Saint-Germain

After the success of their restaurant in the Marais, Marie and William Pradeleix have crossed the river with this fresh new Left Bank outpost. A concept little explored in Paris, as you might gather from its name, the restaurant only serves food that is either raw or lightly cooked.

Raw restaurant in Paris serves some of city's best small plates, from caviar served on a rustic wooden board (left) to fresh veggies presented on bright blue plates (right).
RAW

The  couple’s origins from the Basque country are apparent in their pintxos and jamon iberico, while their love of Asian cuisine is seen in the cod sashimi with pickled mango and the veal tataki with edamame and granny smith apple, and quintessential French is not overlooked with their scallops with foie gras—all of which go very well with the house sangria.

44 rue de Fleurus, 75006 Paris

Small plates in Paris at A L'Ombre restaurant, served on bright yellow plates on a long wooden table (left). Seared beef small plates at A L'Ombre restaurant in Paris (right).
A L’Ombre – Pierre-Lucet Penato / La Reine Mer

Related Links

Delicious French dessert at Les Françaises restaurant which also does small plates to share (left). Potted flowers on a table at Les Françaises small plates restaurant in Paris (right).
Les Françaises

Written by Lily Heise for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation, or long term, rental in Paris, Italy, France or elsewhere in Europe.

Written By

Lily Heise

Lily Heise has been living in Paris for more than 10 years. When she's not getting into romantic mischief, she writes on dating, travel, and culture. Her writing has been featured in Frommer’s Guides, the Huffington Post, Conde Nast Traveler, City Secrets, DK Eyewitness Guides, and other local and international publications. She is the author of Je T'Aime, Me Neither, and Je T'Aime... Maybe? lively novelized memoirs on her romantic misadventures, and continues to share dating tips, stories and travel features on her blog www.jetaimemeneither.com. View Lily Heise's Website

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