19 of the Best French Bistros in Paris Locals Love

Paris is not only famous for its iconic sights but also for being one of the world’s gastronomic capitals.

During my slow travel to Paris, I indulged in their famous baguettes, pastries, chocolates, and cheeses. I even set up a picnic at the Eiffel Tower to enjoy them.

I also discovered some of the best local spots where Parisians dine for lunch and dinner — bistros.

In this guide, I will share the top French bistros in Paris, their locations, and their best dishes to help you experience authentic Parisian cuisine like a local.

What is a Bistrot in Paris?

A French bistro, or bistrot, is a casual dining establishment where you can enjoy affordable and filling meals for lunch or dinner.

Unlike a restaurant, bistros have a more informal atmosphere and quick service. They typically operate during lunch and dinner hours, and not in between. 

Bistros are known for their traditional dishes, including bœuf bourguignon, onion soup, and œuf-mayo (egg mayonnaise).

They were first established in the 19th century to provide cheaper food for the French working class.

Today, bistros have become a popular neighborhood spot for locals to relax and unwind after a long day.

Here are some of the best French bistros in Paris where you can grab a quick and hearty bite.

Top French Bistros in Paris

1. Le Jourdain (4.7 ⭐)

Interior of Le Jourdain, one of the famous French bistros in Paris with wooden tables and chairs. A chalkboard menu is visible on the wall.
© Le Jourdain
A plate of meat dish with garnish on a wooden table at Le Jourdain, a French bistro in Paris.
A feast for the eyes and taste buds!
A slice of Floating island and custard on a plate with a glass of wine on a wooden table. A delicious dessert from Le Jourdain, a French bistro in Paris.
Can you resist this dessert?

Le Jourdain is located in the hilly neighborhoods of Belleville. Its cozy dining area is the perfect spot to unwind after a long walk in the green parks that overlook the city.

At lunch, you can enjoy a special menu, which changes daily and is prepared by the chef using fresh market ingredients.

In the evening, you can indulge in highly-rated tapas, perfect for sharing with your friends and family.

Don’t forget to save room for their delicious desserts, which include traditional fromages affinescreme au chocolate, and pavlova aux agrumes.

The average price for an entree is €10 while their desserts cost around €8. Reserve a table at least a day in advance!

2. Les Arlots (4.7 ⭐)

Les Arlots near Gare du Nord is always teeming with people as lunch and dinner time roll in. That’s why reservations are a must if you want a taste of their famous herby mashed potatoes and homemade sausages.

The restaurant has a seating capacity of 28. It is owned by Chef Thomas Brachet and sommelier Tristan Renoux, who specialize in bistronomy — fine dining quality food in a bistro setting.

Their menu changes daily and includes bistro classics and new creations, inspired by the owners’ backgrounds. The average price of their generous entrées is around €20.

3. Le Mermoz (4.5 ⭐)

A close-up image of the bar counter at Le Mermoz, a French bistro in Paris.
© Le Mermoz
A close-up of a plate on a wooden table at Le Mermoz, a French bistro in Paris. The plate contains sliced meat with a green garnish.
A whole pie on a piece of parchment paper. The pie crust appears to be golden brown and the filling is visible through a lattice crust on top from Le Mermoz, a French bistro in Paris.
Oh, this pie!

Le Mermoz is a ‘neo-bistrot’ that serves elevated bistro food between €9-€23 that jives with the current season. They also serve organic wines that perfectly complement the food. 

The head chef, Thomas Graham, and his team of accomplished chefs do an excellent job preparing any ingredient, but seafood and fruits are their specialties.

Their most popular dishes include scallops, cockles, kiwis, and apples. If you have extra time, look at their extensive wine list and stay longer in their bar.

4. Le Bistrot du Maquis (4.5 ⭐)

The interior of Le Bistrot du Maquis, a French bistrot in Paris, France. The image shows wooden tables and chairs with a glimpse of a menu on the wall.
© Le Bistrot du Maquis
Gourmet plated dish from Le Bistrot du Marquis featuring a round mold of finely chopped vegetables topped with a dollop of whipped cream and garnished with parsley, surrounded by a vibrant orange sauce with dots of green and red coulis on a white plate against a blue background.
Vibrant food and atmosphere at Le Bistrot du Maquis
Inside Le Bistrot du Maquis, Paris, with wine bottles on shelves beside a dining area with set tables and chairs.

Montmartre is home to Le Bistrot du Maquis, a cozy restaurant that welcomes you with warmth even before you take your first bite.

This famous bistro in Paris has a glass exterior that showcases its small but charming dining area with vibrant blue accents. 

The hospitality of the owners, Chef Andre Le Letty, and his wife is a big part of the Le Bistrot du Maquis experience. They often pour wine for newcomers and walk them through their special menu.

Some of Le Bistrot du Maquis’ must-try dishes include the cassolette d’escargots, veal kidneys in mustard, and their signature dish, pressed duck served in two stages. A main course and dessert will cost you around €37.

5. Joséphine Chez Dumonet (4.5 ⭐)

Joséphine Chez Dumonet is a classic French bistro in Paris famous for its large servings. This truly lives by the classic bistro tradition of leaving every diner well-fed.

If you’re in the 6th arrondissement’s Rue du Cherche Midi and looking for a filling meal, this is the place to go.

The rack of lamb, beef bourguignon, and Grand Marnier soufflé are must-try. They also have a large selection of wine to complete the experience.

Pro tip: Order your dessert at the beginning of your meal as they take time to cook.

6. Le Petit Pontoise (4.5 ⭐)

Charming street-side dining at Le Petit Pontoise with red and white rattan chairs, reflecting the quaint and casual elegance of Paris bistro culture.
Relive the old with this famous bistro in Paris © Joséphine Chez Dumonet
Cozy interior view of Le Petit Pontoise, featuring a well-stocked bar and chalkboard menus, creating an inviting atmosphere typical of a Parisian bistro.
A gourmet plate of lotte with chorizo served at Le Petit Pontoise, paired with red and white wine, highlighting the bistro's fusion of French culinary traditions.

The Latin Quarter is full of surprises, one is Le Petit Pontoise, a postcard-worthy bistro that takes you back to life in Old Paris.

The bistro is popular for its traditional French recipes using fresh ingredients sourced daily. The wooden interiors and red-white tableware give the meals an extra seasoning of nostalgia.

Le Petit Pontoise is one of the best budget bistros in Paris, with prices starting at €23 for a main dish and dessert.

The duck confit with pan-fried foie gras is a favorite among many. The restaurant can get quite busy during lunch and dinner. I highly recommend making a reservation in advance to avoid the rush.

7. Restaurant Cinq-Mars (4.5 ⭐)

Warmly lit dining space at Cinq-Mars bistro in Paris, with tables ready for guests and a wall featuring a wine list, a large 'CRU' sign, and a framed collection of vintage photographs.
© Restaurant Cinq-Mars

Have you ever been to a restaurant with an extensive wine list that fills up an entire wall?

Upon entering Restaurant Cinq-Mars, that’s the first thing you’ll see: a ceiling-to-floor blackboard dedicated to Les Vins de Cinq-Mars (The wines of Cinq-Mars).

However, Cinq-Mars’ food is just as impressive as their wine selection. They’ve mastered the magic of chocolate mousse (Mousse au chocolat), a specialty that must be on every sweet tooth’s radar. Many have RAVED about this huge bowl of happiness.

The main dishes are priced at an average of €25, while desserts cost around €11. Restaurant Cinq-Mars is located in the same neighborhood as Musée d’Orsay.

8. Bistrot Marloe Paris (4.5 ⭐)

Interior of Bistrot Marloe in Paris showcasing a sleek bar area with wine glasses, a red meat slicer, and a wine bottle display in the background.
© Bistrot Marloe Paris
Close-up of a fresh seafood salad at Bistrot Marloe in Paris, served in a ceramic bowl with a glass of red wine in the background.
Chic dining area at Bistrot Marloe in Paris featuring blue velvet chairs, wooden tables, and modern gold pendant lights, with a large mirror reflecting vibrant pink orchids and wine bottles.

The Bistrot Marloe Paris has caught the attention of the Michelin Guide. Located in the posh 12th arrondissement of Paris, this vibrant bistro is following the ‘bistronomie’ trend that’s all the rage in France. 

The restaurant uses luxurious ingredients like black truffle (a star ingredient in Marloe!) and dry-aged beef but at affordable prices for bistro diners.

Their menu also shows how meticulous they could be, with each dish having the applicable allergy symbols.

Ala carte dishes average at €45. They also offer starters and multi-course meals for sharing (or not!). 

9. Chez Georges (4.5 ⭐)

A gourmet French bistro dish elegantly plated with a grain and vegetable salad garnished with herbs, beside a basket of freshly sliced baguette, served at Chez Georges in Paris.
© Chez Georges
A succulent roasted leg of lamb garnished with whole garlic cloves, presented in a rustic skillet on a wooden surface, showcasing the classic cuisine at Chez Georges, a traditional French bistro in Paris.
Flavors in every detail.
Elegant dining setup at Chez Georges with white linen-covered tables, polished glassware, and wooden bistro chairs, embodying the quintessential Parisian bistro experience.
Tell me, how can I eat this beauty?

Chez Georges is not ashamed of keeping its 1960s atmosphere and interiors. Why should it be if it still serves outstanding food?

For nearly 70 years, this classic French bistro in Paris kept what it does best: big portions of traditional French cuisine.

The warm lighting and big mirrors of Chez Georges set the scene for their all-time favorite dishes: escargot, pomme frites (potato fries), and mille-feuille (puff pastry with cream), all with reliable decades-old recipes. These dishes can be enjoyed at reasonable prices ranging from €17 to €45. 

Chez Georges is a popular dining spot that attracts crowds of Parisians, tourists, and even famous artists like director Wes Anderson. 

10. Bistrot Rougemont (4.7 ⭐)

Exterior view of Bistrot Rougemont in Paris with its green facade, outdoor bistro chairs, and a chalkboard menu inviting patrons into the warm atmosphere.
© Bistrot Rougemont
The interior of Bistrot Rougemont in Paris, featuring a serene color palette, green seating, patterned cushions, brass lamps, and a mirrored wall reflecting the inviting bar area.
A calming atmosphere with quick service.
A dish at Bistrot Rougemont, Paris, presenting braised meat with lentils and fresh vegetables, paired with a glass of red wine on a wooden table.

With its green facade and calming interiors, Bistrot Rougemont offers a relaxing place to enjoy generous portions of gourmet dishes.

The chefs behind Bistrot Rougemont received training from some of Paris’ most prestigious restaurants.

It’s no wonder their menu is fresh and refined, from the entrée to the extensive dessert list (including lemon tart or lemon trifle!).

The bistro is located in the 9th arrondissement, and they offer a set menu of the day that includes an appetizer, a main course, and a dessert for €22.

11. Le Bon Georges (4.6 ⭐)

The corner of Le Bon Georges, a classic bistro in Paris, with a navy blue exterior, golden lettering, bistro chairs outside, and a traditional Parisian building facade.
© Le Bon Georges
Two customers seated at an outdoor table of Le Bon Georges in Paris, reviewing a chalkboard menu framed by lush greenery.
A patron at Le Bon Georges bistro in Paris enjoys a meal of layered vegetable terrine topped with shrimp, served on a patterned plate, with a side of fries and a glass of red wine.
A perfect blend of bistro and gourmet.

Le Bon Georges is a bistro located in the Saint-Georges neighborhood in the 9th arrondissement of Paris. It is known for its dynamic energy and serves as a local bistro and a gourmet destination.

This famous bistro in Paris is committed to using locally sourced ingredients from French producers, whether from the central regions, the countryside, or the city.

Le Bon Georges offers an award-winning wine list (Wine List of the Year 2024 France) to complement their dishes.

The average price of the main dishes is around €37, and they also offer a gourmet Chef’s Table which requires reservations.

12. Bistrot Des Tournelles (4.7 ⭐)

he vibrant red facade of Bistrot Des Tournelles in Paris, with a sign advertising 'Vins du Beaujolais' and 'Spécialités de Viandes.
© Bistrot Des Tournelles
A plate of sautéed mushrooms served at Bistrot Des Tournelles in Paris, with a glass of white wine on a terrazzo table.
A classic crème brûlée with a caramelized top and a spoonful taken out, served at Bistrot Des Tournelles in Paris on a bistro-branded dish.
Bistrot Des Tournelles’ famous Madagascan vanilla crème brulée

Le Fooding, a French publication on food and travel, named Bistrot Des Tournelles as “The Best Bistro of 2023”.

With a century of experience, Bistrot Des Tournelles has perfected their game. Even today, the old-fashioned charm of their humble bistro near the Place de la Bastille remains. 

Their à la carte main course items cost between €28 to €43, such as beef filet or cordon bleu, and come with the diner’s choice of topping. Can your dish get any more comforting than a plateful of french fries, mashed potatoes, or spinach?

Finish with a Madagascan vanilla crème brulée and savor the unforgettable flavors that remind you of home.

13. Janine (4.8 ⭐)

A rustic dining setup at Janine Restaurant, a French bistro in Paris, with a meal for two, multiple wine glasses, and artfully arranged wall shelves with various decorative items.
An Italian-French fusion © Janine
An intimate bar setting at Janine Bistro in Paris with a selection of liquors on shelves, freshly baked bread on a cutting board, and a glass of red wine in focus on the counter.
A man carefully selecting a bottle of wine from a wine fridge at Janine Restaurant in Paris, with traditional patterned floor tiles.

Everything is better with an Italian touch, and that’s what you’ll find at Janine Bistro in Les Batignolles, located in the 17th arrondissement.

This unique restaurant is a fusion of a trattoria, an informal Italian dining establishment, and its French counterpart, the bistro.

The mastermind behind the Italian-French dishes served at Janine is Senegalese chef Soda Thiam.

A perfect example of her expertise in this fusion cuisine is the fried gnocchi with olive and white butter sauce. Main dishes like this cost around €26-€30. 

One of the newer desserts at Janine is the Paris-Brest, a baked almond ring with praline cream that is a favorite among diners for its delicious taste and gorgeous presentation.

14. Les Parisiens (4.6 ⭐)

The sophisticated interior of Les Parisiens in Paris, with plush seating, geometric-patterned flooring, and warm lighting.
© Les Parisiens
An appetizing dish at Les Parisiens Bistro in Paris, with a sauce being poured over it, on a white plate with the bistro’s name.
Dessert at Les Parisiens Paris, featuring a panna cotta topped with hazelnuts and caramel sauce, served on a branded plate.
A bistro with a touch of luxury

Les Parisiens is an up-and-coming classic French bistro in Paris. It is located inside the Hotel Pavillon Faubourg Saint-Germain in the 7th arrondissement.

Despite being a new establishment, they have already gained a lot of traction over the past year.

Thanks to the famous French chef Thibault Bombardier, who created the Les Parisiens menu and has many fans from his previous culinary ventures. 

Their entrées are priced at around €25, and one standout dish is their take on the classic French escargots served with generous butter and herbs. Les Parisiens might be the next best bistro in Paris.

15. Parcelles (4.6 ⭐)

View through the glass window of Parcelles in Paris with the restaurant's name in gold lettering, reflecting the bustling street outside.
© Parcelles
A charming table setup at Parcelles Bistro in Paris, positioned by an open window with a street view, inviting a quintessentially Parisian dining experience.
Perfect wine pair for your meal? Parcelles’ sommelier will help you pick one.

Parcelles is a famous bistro in Paris located in the Le Marais area that specializes in wine. A sommelier is available every meal to help diners find the perfect wine pairing.

The menu changes frequently to incorporate fresh ingredients that arrive daily. Regular diners love Parcelles’ veal sweetbreads priced at €42. Other main dishes start at €25.

Parcelles takes pride in using homemade ingredients, which sets them apart. They also have an epicerie (grocery) that offers cured meats, spices, and other fresh ingredients that budding cooks can try at home.

16. Des Terres (4.8 ⭐)

Elegantly plated pâté en croûte accompanied by a salad garnish, served in a ceramic bowl on a wooden table at Des Terres Bistro in Paris.
© Des Terres
A gourmet dish featuring fried morsels on a bed of vibrant green sauce and garnished with kumquat slices, presented on a slate-colored plate at Des Terres, Paris.
This looks and tastes like home.

The exposed brick walls of the Des Terres bistro in Belleville in the 20th arrondissement give us a peek into the intimate and home-like experience the bistro diners are about to have.

Despite being located in a less popular neighborhood, Des Terres is quickly becoming one of the best French bistros in Paris, thanks to its affordable prices, discreet wine list, and consistent hospitality.

For just €21, you can enjoy a menu with an entrée, a main dish, and a dessert. And while you’re at it, why not let them tempt you with a few glasses of wine straight from their overhead wine bar?

17. Les Canailles (4.7 ⭐)

The chic interior of Les Canailles, a classic bistro in Paris, featuring a blackboard menu, exposed brick walls, and comfortable seating under soft lighting.
© Les Canailles
A perfectly cooked steak served with root vegetables on a white plate at Les Canailles bistro in Paris, paired with a glass of red wine, creating an inviting meal setting.
A perfect feast.
Gourmet profiteroles filled with cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce, served on a dark ceramic plate at Les Canailles Paris, ready to delight any dessert aficionado.

Les Canailles is a famous bistro in Paris located in the 9th arrondissement close to the Moulin Rouge. This place is different from other French bistros in the city.

It used to be a butcher shop but has now been restored into a lively yet relaxed atmosphere. The restaurant has tiled chessboard floors that contribute to the joyful ambiance created by the owners.

For €45, you can get an entrée, a main dish, and a dessert. They have been awarded the Michelin ‘Bib Gourmand’ award, a recognition given to restaurants that offer simple yet delicious food at an affordable price. The quality of the three-course meal offering is exceptional.

If you want to try something new, don’t forget to ask for the Chef’s Suggestions menu for specials like the potato gnocchi!

18. Le Grand Bain (4.5 ⭐)

The rustic and inviting interior of Le Grand Bain Bistro in Paris, with an exposed beam ceiling, tiled flooring, a cozy bar area with hanging glasses, and wooden tables ready for guests.
© Le Grand Bain

Le Grand Bain located in the heart of Belleville attracts a specific crowd: the hipster foodies. The bistro has an industrial look and feel, with funky music playing in the background. 

One of the unique features of Le Grand Bain is the center island, where diners can sit at the bar or on the couch seats and enjoy affordable dishes priced between €6 to €13. All while enjoying the buzz of other jeunes gens (youngsters). 

If you’re looking for a fun night out with good tapas like their famous smoked oysters, give Le Grand Bain a try! They’re open on Sundays and many dishes are vegetarian-friendly!

19. L’Ami Jean (4.5 ⭐)

Succulent grilled meats paired with fresh vegetables served on a long rectangular plate at L'Ami Jean bistro in Paris
© L’Ami Jean
Famous creamy rice pudding from L'Ami Jean in Paris, served in a large white bowl with a wooden spoon, accompanied by a glass of whipped cream and a jar of granola.
L’Ami Jean’s famous rice pudding!

L’Ami Jean’s dining room has been well-preserved since the 1930s. However, Chef Stéphane Jégo’s food always takes new and exciting directions.

Chef Jégo understands bistronomie deeply. The full plates of food (a stark contrast with the small servings in fine dining restaurants) and constant loud chatter are proof of this.

The rice pudding is the ultimate must-try in L’Ami Jean. Famous Paris bistros may keep secret recipes of their bestsellers, but this famous bistro in Paris has it easily accessible on their website–truly a gift to the world of food.

The main dishes at L’Ami Jean start at €41.

Wrap Up: French Bistros in Paris

Experience a true taste of local life with these French bistros in Paris. Each restaurant provides a cozy ambiance and serves delicious traditional food with a modern twist.

Choose one (or two!)and let me know which bistro made you feel like a true Parisian!

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