You Asked – I'm Seeking Old-School Classic French Cuisine In Paris


In Paris I will be staying somewhere in the 7th, and I want to experience the classics, including at least one fancy dinner. Do you think it will be awkward it I'm eating alone? I'm traveling solo and I'll most likely be eating alone for all my meals.

"As for what I want to eat, I want only French classics like boeuf Bourguignon, foie gras, escargots, crepes, macaroons, coq au vin. So, I guess you can call me an old school diner! What are your thoughts on Alan Ducasse's bistro in St. Germain, and restaurant David Toutain? Thanks for your help."
– Vivienne

We Answer – We Have Some Classic Restaurant Ideas

Chère Vivienne,
If you're after classic French cuisine in Paris, we have a a line-up for you that'll have you soaking up the best of authentic, old-school French classics. sometimes with an inventive twist.

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon

If this is your first time in Paris, you're in for a culinary adventure. You'll be amazed by the abundance of beautiful patisseries and by their displays of classic French pastries like St Honore, Paris-Brest, eclairs, tarte au citron, macarons, religieuse (in the eclair family), baba au rhum, etc. Make sure to try a few each day! One of the best places for eclairs is Fauchon, the gourmet grocer in Place de la Madeleine. Also, here's a helpful overview of Paris patisseries.

The Paris food scene has its highbrow pleasures found in patisseries and luxury restaurants, but there are also delicious moments to be had at the crepe stands near the Eiffel Tower, a croque monsieur at the local bar, or your morning croissant and cafe crème.

Classic French Cuisine at Paris Restaurants

Cafe du Marché

Cafe du Marché

If you're looking for nothing-fancy-yet-delivering-high-quality-French-standards like roast chicken, duck confit, steak frites, escargots, a French onion soup, you're in the right place at Cafe du Marché. Never mind the their website doesn't bother to include an address, we've got you covered! This is the real deal, the sort of restaurant that people imagine when they imagine Paris.

The prices are unimaginably low, the service is hurried yet efficient, but the food has always delivered a classic meal. If you're planning to go for lunch, arrive by 11:30 to score a seat.
• 38 rue Cler, 75007

Tasting Menus at Luxury Restaurants

Forget Alain Ducasse's bistro, go for gold by dining at the real McCoy at Ducasses' restaurant at hotel Plaza Athénée. For instance, this month [when we wrote this], Ducasse is offering a special lunch menu that includes an entrée, plat. and dessert, plus two glasses of wine, for a mere 210€. Considering that on their a la carte menu the Refreshed Brittany langoustines, golden caviar is priced at 195 euros, it shows what a great value the special lunch menu is.
Alain Ducasse Restaurant Website

By doing a little research, you can plot the luxury Michelin restaurants offering similar tasting menus during the time you'll be in Paris. The first time we took advantage a the special menu, many years ago at l'Arpege, we were overwhelmed by the experience, in a good way! Dining alone? Don't be intimidated. These are trained professionals who know how to treat solo diners.

Stellar Cuisine at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon

This chef is a legend and his food lives up to his reputation. There are two locations in Paris — in St Germain & at Etoile. To us, L'Atelier is one of the best places for a solo diner to have a meal. Everyone is seated at the bar, you watch the food being prepared, and there's a feeling of community. Every time we've eaten there, we've ended up having a conversation with fellow diners.
L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon Website

Hidden Gem #1

Here's one of our favourite hidden gems among Paris gourmet restaurants — and most tourists have never heard of it. La Grande Cascade is in the former hunting lodge of Napoleon III, set in the lush green park of Bois de Boulogne. The setting is majestic and the food is sumptuous, classic French food at its best. Chef Frederic Robert is at the helm. One Michelin star.
Check out our review

Hidden Gem #2

Tucked away in a quiet street in the 17th, just a short walk away from Parc Monceau is one of our favourite Paris restaurants, and it's another one many have never heard about. Chef Jacques Faussat's small restaurant turns out classic cuisine from his home region, the southwest of France. The food is homey, comforting, and full of the flavours of the south — foie gras, truffles with a hint of exotic spices from his time as a personal chef in Lebanon. One Michelin star.
La Brassiere Jacques Faussat, Website

David Toutain

To answer your question about restaurant David Toutain — If you're after classic French cuisine in Paris, we'd give this one a pass. The food here is very hipster, edgy, and hit and miss. The decor matches the food. But, he does have a Michelin star.
David Toutain Website