Les Halles: It's Still Nicknamed 'The Belly of Paris,' and Here's Why

Among the many excellent restaurants in and around Les Halles, there are two that are so emblematic of Paris that any time spent in the city without stopping in at either or both of them is a missed opportunity. These two restaurants are Au Pied de Cochon and Georges.

Au Pied de Cochon, now in its 68th year, is not just a true Les Halles tradition but also a veritable Parisian institution. It has never once closed its doors since opening and it is open 'round the clock, 24/7. That alone is a spectacular singularity in this town where meal times are strictly set. It's to Au Pied de Cochon where you come for a hearty meal, whether at noon or at 2 a.m., of the best onion soup you'll find in Paris, a plate of homemade pork charcuterie and some of the best cuts of meat, fish and poultry to be found anywhere.

The other emblematic restaurant of Les Halles district is Georges. This true jewel sits atop the Centre Georges Pompidou and is considered one of the most romantic, upscale dining spots in Paris. The sweeping views over Paris from the glass-encased dining room provide an unforgettable backdrop. The chef here turns out asian-fusion dishes of fish, filet mignon and duck.

The other stellar Les Halles restaurants on this list are also not to be missed. In short, dining at any of these establishments before, after or while enjoying the nightlife or shopping in this district is an excellent choice.


4ème Arrondissement


There is nothing quite like this place anywhere else in the world. Started in the early 2000s, this restaurateur had the enticing inspiration to not just provide dinner-theatre to his guests, but to provide live opera with their meal. What makes...  Read More

1er Arrondissement
Joe Allen


This is for when you're craving a slice of NYC while in Paris. The oldest American restaurant in Paris, Joe Allen is the restaurant near Les Halles where you go when you absolutely need a Reuben Sandwich and a slice of authentic NY cheesecake....  Read More



If the smell of roasting meats and plump chickens cooking on a slow rotisserie whets your appetite, this is the place to come when you're hankering for a hearty meal. There is a reason that this restaurant is featured in all the guidebooks:...  Read More

3ème Arrondissement


This is one of those places where your French friends take you when they want to share a warm, traditional meal with you. Everything served here is a specialty of the Auvergne and Aveyron regions, two areas that the French tend to romantice for...  Read More

3rd Arondissement - Marais


To understand a bit why this is such a cult restaurant, especially with our English brethren, it is essential to note that the 15th c. alchemist, Nicolas Flamel, is said to have once lived in this very building. If you haven't read the Harry...  Read More

1er Arrondissement


The interior of Chez Vong combines Chinese pottery, lanterns and bamboo screens and Parisian exposed stone walls to make a comfortable, relaxing atmosphere. Although your check can grow quickly if you choose too many of the great offerings, the...  Read More

1er Arrondissement


Established first in 1832 in the Les Halles quarter, this restaurant has stood at the very same location since 1879 where it is still today. It has witnessed the Belle Epoque, the Roaring 20s, two wars and all the decades since while dishing up...  Read More



Besides serving hot, tempting, overflowing plates of food until 5 a.m., Chez Denise is most well known for its hot, tempting, overflowing plates of French traditional food. The proper name is what you see written here above but everyone just...  Read More

4ème Arrondissement


Considered one of Paris' most romantic restaurants by locals and visitors alike, Georges offers sweeping views of the city's skyline. In fact, from up so high, on the top of the Centre Pompidou,you get the sense that the whole city is at your...  Read More



You can't say you've really been to Paris until you've dined here at Au Pied de Cochon. The name of the restaurant means "pig's foot" literally translated, or pig's trotters for the culinary translation. And that is what the restaurant became...  Read More


Meet Paige Donner

Paige first arrived in Paris as a young bride in the early 90s, having uprooted herself from her native California.

Paige's latest novel, I'll Take Paris, is available on Kindle and Amazon....  More About Paige