French Traditional Dining For A Deliciously Immersive Experience

Some of the top restaurants in town, meaning helmed by renowned chefs and attracting an equally celebrity clientele, all practice a traditional French philosophy towards dining. Mind you, this also leaves room for innovation and signature expressions. Some of the well-known restaurants in Paris that fit this category are Le Clarence, Lasserre, Taillevent, Laurent, Le Gabriel and La Grande Cascade. On this list you'll also find La Dame de Pic and Guy Savoy's new Monnaie de Paris restaurant location which both offer fresh insights into French traditional cuisine. The decor at these two restaurants as well as at Le Clarence and La Grande Cascade will add another dimension to your dining experience. 

Another restaurant keeping to its French traditional cuisine roots is L'Affriole. For those who enjoy traditional Auvergne French food preparation albeit with a lighter touch, you'll thoroughly enjoy your dining experience here in this chic Eiffel Tower neighborhood. La Dame de Pic, Chef Anne-Sophie Pic's restaurant near the Louvre is a statement of elegance and refinement. Here the chef has taken traditional French cuisine and wrapped it into a full expression of aromas and sensory experience. 

A real salt-of-the-earth classic here on this list is Au Pied de Cochon. A fixture in Les Halles since the '40s, this landmark just keeps getting better. It's disinguished, too, by the Maitre Restaurateur label, meaning everything is made in-house. So go ahead and indulge in the pork paté. It's some of the best in the city, not to mention the signature dish, their pig's trotters. For more, refined, fragrant, light and even artistic fare, have a go at this venerable old address whose kitchens today are illuminated by a rising (2-star) talent: Brasserie Thoumieux

We tend to romanticize the inclusion of frogs' legs and escargots (snails) on a menu and call it French. But for visitors to France these seem to be the classic dishes that make us feel like we’ve tried the local cuisine. So, you’ll find the classic Brasserie Thoumieux on this list, a local's favorite since 1923. For a classic French bistro menu, and moreover, the simple ambiance of this place, an absolute favorite with Marais neighborhood locals, is Au Bascou. 

For truly fine French traditional dining, Guy Savoy's still fairly new restaurant location at the Monnae de Paris is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is meant to be repeated as often as you can. This same can be said for Prince Robert of Luxembourg's restaurant, Le Clarence, which re-creates the experience of dining in an authentic Bordeaux Chateau. And the Second Empire sumptuousness of Chef Frederic Robert's La Grande Cascade Michelin-starred dining room whisks you away to an elegant era of horse-drawn carriages Imperial refinement.

3rd Arondissement - Marais


This is one of those places that you'll never hear about until one of the locals ticks off his top favorites in the neighborhood. Here, expect to eat well. The cuisine is rooted in Basque country and the chef-owner toils away in the kitchens...  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

8ème Arrondissement
Photo courtesy of Photo by Paige Donner copyright 2014


The Avenue Gabriel is the small street that fronts between the American and British Embassies. This is where you will find Laurent, the quiet and classy 1-Michelin starred dining establishment that counts Presidents, Ambassadors and the elite of...  Read More

7th Arondissement - Eiffel Tower


Billing itself as a traditional restaurant, its modern interior decor might lead you to think modern bistro. But, have a seat at the table and be prepared to enjoy your large portions of delicately prepared fish, meats, seafood and still-warm,...  Read More

7th Arondissement - Eiffel Tower


This brasserie has been a fixture on the Paris landscape since 1923. It is now helmed by Chef Sylvestre Wahid (two Michelin stars). The decor is still reminiscent of its glorious Belle Epoque past, though with stylish updates. These include...  Read More

6ème Arrondissement
Guy Savoy
Photo courtesy of Paige Donner


Located now at the Monnaie de Paris, this newly opened and already celebrated restaurant serves contemporary haute cuisine in a just redone - though historical space - overlooking the Seine on the Quai Conti. The Monnaie de Paris is the oldest...  Read More

7ème Arrondissement
Photo courtesy of Mathieu Pacaud Group


It's not easy being a Paris institution. Especially when the celebrated chef retires and a new one comes in to take the gilded reins. In this case, it's Chef Mathieu Pacaud (of Hexagone and L'Histoires) who is now running the kitchens. His...  Read More

16th Arrondissement - Auteuil Pa


This dignified 1-Michelin-starred dining room is the domain of the highly accomplished Chef Frederic Robert. The gastronomic menu of Chef Frederic Robert is contemporary traditional French, skillfully prepared and artfully presented. Many of the...  Read More

1er Arrondissement
La Dame de Pic
Photo courtesy of La Dame de Pic


Paris's 3-Michelin-starred female chef, Anne-Sophie Pic, created her menu around perfume and scents. Dining here at this oasis of refinement and elegance is at once a soothing and satisfying experience. The decor is done up with a woman's...  Read More

8ème Arrondissement


This is one of Paris' newest and most elegant restaurants. You may have heard of the Prince Robert of Luxembourg's famous wine estate in Bordeaux, Chateau Haut-Brion? In 2016 he opened these doors to his private mansion in Paris not far from the...  Read More


Meet Paige Donner

Paige's latest book, Paris On 4 Paws, A Dog Lover's Guide To The City of Light follows her acclaimed novel, I'll Take Paris. Both are available on Kindle and Amazon. She is the founder...  More About Paige