Paris has some superb Bistro’s that are just perfect, offering impeccable cooking on a little terrace just fit for eaves dropping. Here are my six favourites.

Le Chateaubriand

Another screamingly obvious member of my favourites club, but Le Chateaubriand is inextricably entwined with some of my most delicious moments of the past decade. Inaki Aizpitarte was Paris’s first truly rock and roll chef, with zero pretence and incredible talent. He has managed to stay true to the values behind his cooking, keeping a tight ship amongst the Le Chateaubriand and Le Dauphin teams, while making a name for himself and subsequently influencing gastronomic experiences worldwide. I love that you can still have an off night at Le Chateaubriand when they fiddle with the tasting menu of the day and maybe go too far, and that they have not made things easier for themselves with signature dishes and the rolling out of concepts.

How to get there: 129, avenue Parmentier – Paris 11 – Tel+ 33 (0) 143574595


The room feels a bit stiff, a bit 1980’s bland, but Akrame Benallal’s spontaneous, buzzy cooking, which he learnt in Adria’s and Gagnaire’s kitchens, is always a tonic for a working lunch in a 16th arrondissement very lacking in pettites addresses sympas.

How to get there: 19, rue Lauriston – Paris 16 – Tel. +33 (0) 140671116

Au Pied de Fouet

Possibly a dubious choice, given its tourist trap notoriety. But this was more or less my ‘local’ when I lived in the 7th and I grew to love the grumpy, crowded camaraderie of the place. It is still a very cheap, cosier version of, say, Chartier, and I think deserves a mention. So here it is!

How to get there: 45, rue de Babylone – Paris 7 – Tel. +33 (0) 147051227

L’Avenue and Café de l’Esplanade

It sometimes seems that all the beautiful Parisian avenues lead me to a Costes establishment. These are my two absolute favourite terrasses for breakfast meetings, late night after-dinners with unrepentant smokers, or simply soaking up the sun with a superb view.

How to get there: 41, avenue Montaigne – Paris 8 – Tel. +33 (0) 140701491, Café de l’Esplanade – 52, rue Fabert, Paris 7 – Tel. +33. (0) 147053880


L’Astrance was quite the Michelin trailblazer when it was awarded three stars in 2007, just seven years after opening – the first Parisian address to pick up the ultimate prize without the usual accompanying silverware and stuffiness. In their place – in a rather glacial part of the 16th – came a quiet, affable confidence from a young team, en sale Christopher Rohat and en cuisine brilliant chef Pascal Barbot, a former pupil of Alain Passard. In the first, crazy days of fusion spice overload, Barbot showed a true sensitivity towards Pacific Rim flavours when everyone else was piling them on. The original style remains, despite many imitators, though the cooking is now more floral and vegetal. The tall room and properly spaced tables make this a great place to come for an intimate dinner or peaceful lunch.

How to get there: 4, rue Beethoven – Paris 16 – Tel. +33 (0) 140508440

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Kate writes for a blog dedicated to bringing you the highlights of worldwide chic dining.

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