Where to Score the Most Romantic Reservations in Paris
Finding an amorous spot to grab a bite in Paris definitely isn't hard (just look to your left or right), but we have a couple of all-time favorites. From Art Deco-inspired neo-brasseries on the Seine to three-Michelin-starred dining rooms that serve regulars like George and Amal Clooney, these are the 10 most romantic restaurants in the City of Light now.
A Brooklyn-based writer and editor, Chelsea's work has appeared in Matador Network, The Huffington Post, the TripAdvisor blog, and more. When not planning her next trip, you'll usually find her drinking way too much iced coffee (always iced—she’s from New England) or bingeing a Netflix original series.
Looking for a quaint, romantic post that feels more like the Paris of yesteryear? The inside of Le Coupe-Chou, located on a quiet side street in the 5th arrondissement’s Latin Quarter, is intimate and cottage-like, with crackling open fires and tables tucked away in candle-lit corners (and in some cases, in under-the-stairs nooks and crannies). The menu is heavy on rustic, traditional French fare with specialties like boeuf bourguignon, roasted leg of lamb in tarragon jus, and bourbon vanilla crème brûlée.
Where to Find it: 11 Rue de Lanneau, 75005, Paris, France
Le Petit Commines
Chic restaurants are around every corner in the trendy Haut Marais, but this warm neo-bistro makes a name for itself with an entirely from-scratch menu (of modern French fare like pigeon terrine, beef tartar, and sweet dessert risotto) and walls upon walls of wine. Take a seat at one of the candlelit tables and don’t worry about being overwhelmed by all the drink prospects. While you can peep the handwritten chalkboard menu or skim the wine list to make your own pairing, the choice is best left to Le Petit Commines’ sommelier and co-owner, Mathieu (the other partner being his longtime pal, chef Flavien Carucci). Aside from the regular questions, like whether you prefer sweet or dry, Mathieu manages to choose the ideal wine for each guest with prompts like _”What do you like to do on weekends?” and “What type of perfume do you wear?”_ His method might sound out there, but trust us—it works.
Where to Find it: 16 Rue Commines, Le Marais, 75003, Paris, France
After capturing the appetites of in-the-know New Yorkers with handsome West Village hotspots Buvette Gastrotheque and Via Carota, James Beard-nominated chef (and certified Francophile) Jody Williams took her laid-back café concept to Paris’ Pigalle district, in the ninth arrondissement. A near spitting-image of its Manhattan sibling (think: pressed-tin ceilings, worn brick walls, and a marble bar topped with patisserie stands), the intimate café pumps out pared-back romance as well as any French bistro. On the diminutive-and-delicious menu? Dishes like tartines topped with boudin noir or walnut pesto, coq au vin, and bowls of mussels. And, of course, there’s a perfectly honed wine list to accompany it all.
Where to Find it: 28 Rue Henry Monnier, 75009, Paris, France
Pop into the super-cool 2nd arrondissement and you’ll find chef Gregory Marchand’s mini-empire. Sitting shoulder to shoulder on Rue de Nil, there’s posh Frenchie, a convivial wine bar (Bar à Vins), and elevated takeout (Frenchie To Go). The main restaurant’s ambience is quirky and cozy, with raw brick and stone walls (some gallery-style with white frames and mirrors), rose-gold light fixtures, simple black Bentwood chairs, and sprays of fresh flowers. While the décor sells the spot immediately, the food just as pleasing. Revolving daily tasting menus might include bites such as burrata with peach and purple basil and duck foie gras served with rhubarb chutney.
Where to Find it: 5 Rue de Nil, 75002, Paris, France
This Art Deco-inspired neo-brasserie has a lot going for it, not least its posh address in Palais de Tokyo, on the quays of the Seine just across from the Eiffel Tower. Follow the Parisians’ lead and dress up like it’s date night—lest you feel out of place against the green marble, velvet benches, and geometric chandeliers of the chic-but-not-snobby (important distinction) dining room. In the kitchen, Chef Benoit Dargere whips up dishes that adhere to a “timeless, international, and playful” approach to cuisine. On the menu, you’ll find light bites like Burgundy snails, filling main courses of traditional beef filet with béarnaise, and indulgent desserts like bourbon and vanilla millefeuille.
Where to Find it: 20 Avenue de New York, Palais de Tokyo, 75116, Paris, France
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Given its locale—inside the ultra-decadent Four Seasons Hotel George V, just off the Champs-Elysées—it should come as no surprise that Le Cinq’s design is far from subtle. Date night here is of the dress-to-the-nines variety, as brocade carpets meet gold-leaf Louis XVI chairs, crystal chandeliers, fine china, and even Phillipe Starck–designed cutlery. Think that’s dramatic? Dishes have just as much panache; chef Christian Le Squer’s signature courses include such ostentatious plates as crispy Brittany langoustines with citrus emulsion and white turbot with watercress and pear vinegar.
Where to Find it: Four Seasons Hôtel George V, 31 Avenue George V, 75008, Paris, France
Shangri-La Paris’ L’Abeille—named for Napoleon’s beloved emblem, the bee— may have two Michelin stars to its name, but the dining room is refreshingly unpretentious. Understated elegance is the theme here, with beautifully dressed tables, silk brocade chairs, white orchids, and sparkling stemware that all look out onto the hotel’s garden. Haute cuisine from chef Christophe Moret (who used to work alongside bonafide legend Alain Ducasse) is as complex as it is creative; make sure to split the frosted Corsican honey perfumed with lemon and eucalyptus.
Where to Find it: 10 Avenue d’Iéna, Shangri-La Hotel Paris, 75116 Paris, France
Tucked away in the iconic hilltop neighborhood of Montmartre, unassuming Seb’on—run by husband-and-wife duo chef Sebastian Heloin and front-of-house Dorota Okulicz-Kozaryn—is the place for low-key lovers. Simple rustic décor comes in the form of bare wooden tables (there’s less than 10, so get reservations in early), white brick walls, handwritten chalkboard menus, flower-filled watering cans, and unadorned candlesticks. The small space’s minimalism isn’t reflected on the menu, though; complex, well-plated courses include foie gras cooked in red wine with tomato chutney and raspberry vinaigrette and homemade black squid ink pappardelle with shrimp.
Where to Find it: 62 Rue d’Orsel, 75018 Paris, France
Le Jules Verne
The Eiffel Tower is synonymous with Parisian romance, but instead of opting for a table with a partial view, why not dine inside the monument itself? Beyond taking in 360-degree panoramas from behind the iconic structure’s wrought-iron lattice, diners at Alain Ducasse’s Michelin-starred Le Jules Verne are treated to modern sensual design (think: low-lit, all-white tables, and chairs by the same company behind Ferrari’s interiors) à la Patrick Jouin and ambitious, contemporary French cuisine from executive chef Pascal Feraud. Come for the sultry venue, but stay for an ace meal: five- and six-course menus (with optional wine pairings) feature elegant dishes like blue lobster with tender baby leeks and truffled vinaigrette, cocotte-cooked free-range chicken with lemon confit, and vacherin cheese with peach currant.
Where to Find it: Avenue Gustave Eiffel, Tour Eiffel, Second Floor, 75007 Paris, France
Le Bristol Paris’ Epicure is the place to keep in your back pocket when you’re feeling particularly fancy— like suit-jacket-required, dining-next-to-regulars-like-George-Clooney-and-Anne-Hathaway fancy. Consistently named “The Best Restaurant in the World” by multiple international publications, the three-Michelin-starred dining room moves under the expertise of celebrated French chef Eric Frechon. Dishes like red mullet stuffed with eggplant caviar and cumin are the real draw, but you’ll also be blown away by the design—19th-century marble fireplaces, Louis XVI moldings, bronze chandeliers—courtesy of architect Pierre-Yves Rochon.
Where to Find it: 112 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Le Bristol, 75008 Paris, France
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