Boasting a gleaming mosaic floor, crystal chandeliers and rich damask curtains, this is one of the most magnificent restaurants in Paris, with its plush decor inspired by the Salon de la Paix at Chateau de Versailles. The food is incredible too, combining the traditional ingredients of French cooking with the creativity of nouvelle cuisine. Dishes range from sea bass and scallops with potato puree and caviar, to fillet of beef with pasta in black truffle juice. Food this tasty comes with a price tag – the appetisers alone start from €78 (US$101.80).
Insider Tip: Request a table near the wine cellar, which is open to the dining room and contains 616 bottles. Or, if you come for lunch, ask for a table by the windows overlooking the Tuileries Gardens.
Semilla is a new modern bistro space – all natural stone, brick, polished concrete and exposed pipes – with an open kitchen manned by students from the renowned Ferrandi culinary school who serve up contemporary cooking using some of France’s best produce. Expect dishes such as a rib steak for two with bordelaise sauce and squid risotto with a persillade (a parsley-based sauce). Desserts are terrific, too – with sweets such as citrus fruit soup with orange flower ice cream, and aloe vera cream with exotic fruits and a caramel tuile.
Insider Tip: If you're in the mood for fish, come here on a Friday when they replace all the meat dishes with fish.
54 Rue de Seine, Tel: 33 1 4354 3450
With its modern interior of pale wood and pop art paintings, and its impressive range of artisanal ciders, this isn't your typical creperie. Perched on a street corner in the Marais district, and buzzing with fashionable locals on weekends, this is the place to come for organic buckwheat pancakes. Whether you prefer the sweet or savoury, you can expect premium ingredients, without the premium prices. One of the most popular dishes is the savoury buckwheat crepe with eggs, cheese and mushroom.
Insider Tip: Make sure you leave room for a dessert – the salted butter crepe with apple filling and served with vanilla ice cream is a winner.
Opened in autumn 2012, this is a value-for-money Japanese-run restaurant that bagged a Le Fooding award only six months after opening. Behind the simple blue door beneath a sign with a coffee cup, young chef Katsuaki Okiyama and his team prepare exquisite food in an open kitchen with a plancha (flat-top grill). Abri is popular for its €22 (US$28.70) four-course lunch and €38.50 six-course dinner tasting menu, where you can expect dishes like potato soup with coffee-cardamom foam, and grilled yellow pollack with Chinese cabbage and squash in smoked-salt butter sauce.
Insider Tip: If you're in town on a Monday or Saturday stop by for a “katsandwich”, or gourmet sandwich, which will set you back €13 including either a glass of wine, organic juice or tea. It's even available to go.
92 Rue du Faubourg-Poissonniere, Tel: 33 1 8397 0000
Situated a few steps from the Palais Garnier Opera House, the latest venture by two-Michelin-star chef Alexandre Bourdas of SaQuaNa in Honfleur is a restaurant inspired by a provincial dish called a pascade (a crepe/ pancake originally from Aveyron and was once served as a quick snack on farms). Here, the pascade is served all year round as a base for fine gourmet combinations – both sweet and savoury – such as pascade with duck, egg and foie gras, followed by pascade with crunchy hazelnuts and chocolate mousse.
Insider Tip: Crowds often squeeze around the communal table that takes pride of place in the middle of the restaurant. If you're after a quieter meal, reserve one of the tables that line the walls instead.