Gastronomy at reduced prices

Big-name chefs sometimes operate in smaller restaurants, which are less pricey but just as good as Michelin-starred places.

Dessirier - Michel Rostang Paris, plat, Paris © OTCP - DR

A mecca for haute cuisine, the French capital boasts no less than 97 starred restaurants!

And if you would like to discover star-rated gastronomy in a more informal way then that is possible. Numerous chefs awarded stars by the Michelin Guide also work in the kitchens of non-starred restaurants: bistros, steakhouses, brasseries, regional restaurants … and there is something for all tastes and styles. In these places, there is no white cloth, gloved waiters or silver cutlery, the accent is on a more simple and relaxed style. Here is a small roundup of several smaller addresses with the star-quality of top chefs in Paris.

Long live the tradition!

For hearty appetites, enjoy Lyonnaise regional specialities brought up to date with talent and flair at Aux Lyonnais. The menu features the Lyon speciality quenelles (poached dumplings) served in Nantua (crayfish, butter and cream) sauce; oven-roasted leg of lamb, Lyon charcuterie and strawberry melba.

A stone’s throw from Notre Dame Cathedral is Atelier Maître Albert, a contemporary rotisserie designed  by the architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte. The menu features classic favourites selected by owner Guy Savoy (whose eponymous restaurant boasts three stars in the Michelin guide), notably spit-roasted free-range chicken served with creamy potato purée.

Thanks to thrice-starred chef Éric Fréchon of the restaurant Epicure at the Bristol, gastronomy can has now made its way into a railway station … Saint-Lazare. Since 2013, Lazare has served up authentic, homely brasserie staples such as chicken fricassé, croque-monsieur and îles flottantes. Don’t miss the paris-deauville, – a dessert specially created by this chef of Normandy origins, – whose name is a nod to trains that used to leave the Gare Saint-Lazare daily to go to the Côte Fleurie.

Yannick Alléno, who has won three Michelin stars for his cuisine at the Pavillon Ledoyen, is also at the helm of other restaurants such as Le Terroir Parisien, which is set to re-open in the first half of 2018. From the Meaux mustard to green lentils from Brie or spinach from Viroflay, the cooking of Yannick Alléno brings back specialities and vegetables from the Paris Basin that have been forgotten.

Father-and-son teams

Restaurant Hexagone, bar, Paris © Jérôme Galland

Gastronomy is sometimes a question of family history. Besides co-running L’Ambroisie with his father Bernard, Mathieu Pacaud has his own restaurant, L’Hexagone in the 16th arrondissement (one Michelin star). The decor is cool and contemporary and the menu pays tribute to French cuisine, another modern touch.

The bistro culture

Le Chardenoux des prés - Cyril Lignac, intérieur, Paris © Yann Deret

Another starred-chef Christian Constant, who orchestrates the cuisine at the Violon d’Ingres, has opened several establishments. He cultivates the bistro culture through two addresses: Les Cocottes, which serves up traditional French dishes such as spring vegetables and pigeon in cast-iron cocottes (pots). The star dish on the menu, the Vraie salade César Ritz.

On the ground floor of Hélène Darroze’s starred restaurant the Salon d’Hélène, you can enjoy chic tapas-style food and a selection of signature dishes in mini portions in a relaxed atmosphere with lounge music.

Cyril Lignac runs several restaurants with a focus on bistro fare, often with a modern twist: Le Chardenoux, in a listed historical building and, on the Left Bank, Aux Prés.

As for Jean-François Piège, he has also opened a more intimate restaurant with his wife Clover, in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, where you can enjoy instantly and spontaneously cookeddishes

In addition to his starred restaurant  Sur Mesure at the hotel Mandarin Oriental, the high-media profile chef Thierry Marx also oversees the menu at the Camélia, which serves French cuisine with an Asian touch. There is a fixed-price menu ‘Daily Marx’, which serves dishes from the cookbook of the same name. The extra bit of luxury: all the herbs come from the vegetable garden of the Mandarin Oriental.

Michel Rostang, at the head of the eponymous two-starred restaurant, has several restaurants in Paris. Among these, Dessirier, a seafood bistro, is an institution in itself, and the Oyster Bar which adjoins it, with its Happy Oyster, a kind of offbeat happy hour to enjoy eating oysters. At the Café des Abattoirs, the same programme, but different food: meat lovers will find a good selection of quality products in three 100% meat fixed-price menus.

The new generation

Restaurant Septime, assiette d'endives, Paris © François Flohic

If we take a look at the new generation, there are two highly-promising and already starred chefs. Bertrand Grébaut, a marvel in the realm of nouvelle cuisine and chef at Septime, with one star in the Michelin Guide, already has two other addresses: Clamato, a trendy seafood bistro and Septime La Cave.

Extremely gifted chef David Toutain, formerly at L’Agapé, offers diners a culinary experience at Identi-T, a table d’hôtes restaurant adjoining his starred restaurant, for groups of friends. The chef has carte blanche to create new flavours and textures.

Ze Kitchen Galerie, William Ledeuil’s restaurant (one Michelin star) has spawned two offshoots: Kitchen Galerie Bis (KGB) and Kitchen Ter(re). The menu at the latter is crafted around the foods that Mother Nature provides; for example, the homemade pasta uses ancient and flavourful varieties of wheat.

Young prodigy of French cooking, the chef Akrame Benallal, already awarded one star for his eponymous restaurant Akrame, has opened two subsidiary restaurants. For meat eaters, the place to go is the Atelier Vivanda, a steakhouse that puts the accent on meat.

Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx 2/5 MICHELIN

Gastronomic restaurant | In a hotel
Mandarin Oriental Paris - 251 rue Saint-Honoré, Paris, 75001

Imagined by Jouin-Manku agency as a cosy cocoon, a white space away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the gastronomic......

Camélia par Thierry Marx

Traditional French cuisine | In a hotel
Mandarin Oriental Paris - 251 rue Saint-Honoré, Paris, 75001

Exquisite tastes and a striking design; Camélia by Thierry Marx is an eco-conscious contemporary restaurant. Using the freshest......

Akrame 1/5 MICHELIN

Gastronomic restaurant
7 rue Tronchet, Paris, 75008

A few steps from the place de la Madeleine and the department stores, the restaurant Akrame welcomes guests in a chic and modern......

Alléno Paris - Pavillon Ledoyen 3/5 MICHELIN

Gastronomic restaurant
Carré des Champs-Élysées - 8 avenue Dutuit, Paris, 75008

Located in the picturesque gardens of the Champs-Elysées, Alléno Paris - Pavillon Ledoyen is one of the oldest gastronomic......

Atelier Maître Albert

Traditional French cuisine
1 rue Maître Albert, Paris, 75005

The Atelier Maître Albert is an annexe of the famous maison Guy Savoy. This rotisserie situated in a small street in the Latin......

Vivanda Burger by Akrame

Traditional French cuisine
20 rue du Cherche Midi, Paris, 75006

A favourite spot for meat lovers is over towards the Bon Marché Rive Gauche department store, on the picturesque rue du......

Café des Abattoirs

10 rue Gomboust, Paris, 75001

Michelin-starred chef Michel Rostang is behind the Café des Abattoirs. In this friendly restaurant in the centre of Paris, the......


Traditional French cuisine
80 rue de Charonne, Paris, 75011

The team behind the restaurant Septime have opened a new place: Clamato. Chef Bertrand Grébaut is in charge of this seafood......

Dessirier - Michel Rostang Paris

Traditional French cuisine
9 place du Maréchal Juin, Paris, 75017

Michelin-starred chef Rostang is a major figure in Parisian gastronomy. In his restaurant in the 17th arrondissement, Dessirier,......

Épicure 3/5 MICHELIN

Gastronomic restaurant | In a hotel
Le Bristol Paris - 112 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris, 75008

Epicure, the restaurant at Le Bristol, Parisian palace on rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, is regularly featured in the most......

Masha Paris

Gastronomic restaurant
85 avenue Kléber, Paris, 75016

The Hexagone opened its doors in late 2014, not far from the place du Trocadéro. The luxurious and contemporary decor of this......

KGB - Kitchen Galerie Bis

Restaurant original for its venue or entertainment
25 rue des Grands Augustins, Paris, 75006

William Ledeuil has opened this restaurant and contemporary art gallery, located only 150 metres away from the original Ze......

L'Agapé 1/5 MICHELIN

Gastronomic restaurant
51 rue Jouffroy d'Abbans, Paris, 75017

The name of this starred restaurant, ideally situated in the 17th arrondissement of the capital, comes from the Greek and means......

L'Ambroisie 3/5 MICHELIN

Gastronomic restaurant
9 place des Vosges, Paris, 75004

This restaurant, run by father and son Michelin-starred chefs Bernard and Mathieu Pacaud, opened at the heart of the Marais under......


Traditional French cuisine
Parvis de la Gare Saint-Lazare - Rue intérieure, Paris, 75008

Situated on the square in front of the Gare Saint-Lazare, Lazare is a lively place, somewhere to meet up at any time of the day.......

Le Chardenoux - Cyril Lignac

1 rue Jules Vallès, Paris, 75011

The Chardenoux, first opened in 1908, is one of the last authentic Parisian bistros to have been listed as a historical monument.......

Cyril Lignac - Aux Prés

27 rue du Dragon, Paris, 75006

Celebrity chef Cyril Lignac's latest project! You can enjoy authentic French bistro cuisine in a retro-chic restaurant at......

Le Grand Restaurant Jean-François Piège 2/5 MICHELIN

Gastronomic restaurant
7 rue d'Aguesseau, Paris, 75008

In the heart of the Golden Triangle, between the places de la Madeleine and de la Concorde, a stone's throw away from the rue du......

Les Cocottes - Tour Eiffel

Traditional French cuisine
135 rue Saint-Dominique, Paris, 75007

Michelin-starred chef Christian Constant serves all his dishes in verrines or the cast-iron casseroles they were cooked in.......

Clover Green

Traditional French cuisine
5 rue Perronet, Paris, 75007

Clover is the name that starred chef Jean-François has chosen for his new restaurant, situated in the heart of......

Restaurant David Toutain 2/5 MICHELIN

Gastronomic restaurant
29 rue Surcouf, Paris, 75007

The young chef David Toutain has a restaurant of the same name near Invalides. The decor is simple but the food is an explosion......

Marsan par Hélène Darroze 2/5 MICHELIN

Gastronomic restaurant
4 rue d'Assas, Paris, 75006

Michelin-starred chef Hélène Darroze offers diners a gastronomic experience in a dining room with 30 covers, a private table in......

Septime 1/5 MICHELIN

Traditional French cuisine
80 rue de Charonne, Paris, 75011

Septime is one of the best restaurants in rue de Charonne, which nevertheless already has plenty! Up-and-coming chef Bertrand......

Septime la cave

Bar à vins & bar à champagnes
3 rue Basfroi, Paris, 75011

Septime la cave is tucked away a stone's throw from the restaurants Septime and Clamato. This wine bar, run by the same team, is......

Violon d'Ingres 1/5 MICHELIN

Gastronomic restaurant
135 rue Saint-Dominique, Paris, 75007

In his tastefully renovated gourmet restaurant, chef Christian Constant revisits the major classics of French cuisine using......

Ze Kitchen Galerie 1/5 MICHELIN

Restaurant original for its venue or entertainment
4 rue des Grands Augustins, Paris, 75006

This restaurant done up like a contemporary art gallery serves uncommon fusion cuisine with Southeast Asian influences. As its......