Where to Go for the Best Lunch in Paris

The notion of Ladies who lunch takes on a whole different dimension here in Paris. In Paris, there are loads of fashionable women, of a certain age, who dine out for lunch as much to display their impeccably coiffed hair and their perfectly groomed Fifi as to enjoy a meal outside their high-celinged apartments.

Then there are all the businessmen and women who lunch. This is a serious group who dine out at least five days a week and at the best restaurants, notably in the 1st, 2nd, 8th, 7th and 6th arrondissements. In fact of the restaurants here, Laurent, noted for its best terrace dining, though it's only steps off the Champs-Elysées, is a favorite among politicians and businessmen because they have perfected keeping within the two-hour business lunch time frame.

That's not to say, however, that fashionable bistros and little lunch eateries haven't popped up all over. Indeed, a few chains, like Cojean and Exki have become serious contenders because they cater to the office worker. Those two chains have found their audience by underscoring healthy, seasonal items on their casual food menus and also providing more of a self-service style atmosphere. They aren't listed here because in Paris, they are everywhere.

If you do have a bit of time to lunch, however, there are a couple of bistros, both very French, that are not to miss. You'll find those on this list under the names Metropolitain and Bistro Belhara respectively.


4ème Arrondissement

This young chef, Paul-Arthur Berlan, who hails originally from Toulouse in Southern France, already has years of experience under his belt, which include a stint in Oslo, Norway as well as working under 2 and 3-star Michelin chefs. Acquiring a...  Read More

You could say that it's worth coming here for lunch just for the ambiance and the setting. But not to highlight Chef Thierry Vaissi�re's cuisine would be doing him and yourself an injustice. This is one of those places, hidden in plain...  Read More

4ème Arrondissement

Gluten-free waffles? Sort of sounds paradoxical, doesn't it? But leave it to the French to make something so delicious that is altogether non-fattening. You could allmost even say these waffles are good-for-you health food. Almost. Waffles -...  Read More

4ème Arrondissement
Mon Vieil Ami
Photo courtesy of 10BEST Paris

This is Alsatian chef Antoine Westermann's beloved bistro on the '�le St.-Louis. The menu privileges fresh, seasonal vegetables but offsets with, say, big hunks of roasted and saut�ed bacon. Just coming here feels homey. And the...  Read More

18th Arrondissement - Montmartre
Terrass' Restaurant And Bar
Photo courtesy of Terrass' Restaurant and Bar

This is one of the few rooftop restaurants in Montmartre. And perhaps the only one that has a view of the Eiffel Tower. It's open for lunch on weekdays and offers tres discreet dining since the restaurant is on the rooftop of the Hotel (of the...  Read More

7ème Arrondissement

Started in 2013 by an American expat, this lunch and tea room in the tony St.-Germain district of the 7th arrondissement is tucked away just enough in its pretty little courtyard to make you feel like you've discovered something all your own....  Read More

6ème Arrondissement

One of the hot tables to book in St.-Germain-des-Prés, chef Cyril Lignac's bistro offers atmosphere, great location and good food. His signature dishes here vary somewhat from his first bistro located on the other side of town, Le Chardenoux,...  Read More

7th Arondissement - Eiffel Tower

Nestled up a side street in the rue St. Dominique area not far from the Eiffel Tower, is where you find Chef Thierry Dufroux's bistro. The look and feel inside gives you the sense that this is an institution that has always been in the...  Read More

Like your meat and seafood served raw? Good! Here you have it sliced paper thin and served to your table uncooked. Of course, this means that the products are all of the highest and freshest quality. Two more bonuses: The terrace is magnificent...  Read More

The restaurant of the ultra-hip fitness club and well-being center, is nestled in the glass rooftopped atrium-like inner courtyard. The real overhaul though is with their new menu which caters to the body-conscious, health-conscious clientele....  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