With her culinary wizardry steeped in centuries of tradition, fine dining in the French capital requires little more than a faint appetite to make you swoon. But when you’ve got the iconic Eiffel Tour eyeing your escargot, or a heritage château posing in your periphery, it only makes eating your way through the city all the more pleasureable.
From sky-high salons to perfectly posi’d parlours, here are our fave French eateries that’ll have you equal parts sated and captivated.
What: Les Ombres
Best For: Tower teasers
Want to get up close and personal with the city’s most beloved beacon? This glassy Jean Nouvel-designed rooftop perch is located on the top floor of the Musée du Quai Branly, and derives its name (meaning ‘shadows’) from being, quite literally, cast over by the webbed iron work of the awe-inspiring Eiffel Tower. Gussy up glam and settle in on the swank terrace for Frédéric Claudel’s contempo Gallic plates, or try your luck in the adjoining lounge/bar for tipples – just be sure to arrive after 6pm for prime views of the Iron Lady’s nightly illuminations.
Want more? Sophisticated Monsieur Bleu has the perfect patio to load up before heading out on the town, boasting beautiful peeps and even more beautiful panoramas, while Café de L’Homme offers brasserie plates with a side of second-to none scenes.
Les Ombres, 27 quai Branly, 7th. +33147536800. lesombres-restaurant.com
What: Ore Restaurant
Best For: Versailles vantages
Mere mortals who have only ever dreamed of dining with royalty will fall head over their Loubies for this elegant, contemporary caff-resto in the recently revamped Pavillon Dufour. Touched with design king Dominique Perrault’s glitter stick – suave neutral hues, curved armchairs, and intimate tables backdrop pan-man extraordinaire Alain Ducasse’s enviable culinary treats. And while all eyes could easily rest on the plate and palate, hands down the most impressive asset is the gasp-inducing views of Versailles, captured through full-height shuttered windows that would make even Marie Antoinette blush with envy.
Ore Restaurant, 1/F, Pavillon Dufour, Château de Versailles, Place d’Armes.+33130841296. alain-ducasse.com
What: Pavillon Ledoyen
Best For: Green scenes
Sure, Yannick Alléno can do more with a vegetable than Gaultier could do with a garbage bag, but it’s the verdant gardens encasing this three-Michelin starred stunner that make it extra special. Seasonal plates are complemented by peek-a-boo views of the flora from the main dining room, while the lush surrounds are perfect for post-sup frolics before tottering on to the Champs-Elysées and Grand Palais, both but a short amble away.
Pavillon Ledoyen, 1 ave Dutuit, 8th. +33144581055. yannick-alleno.com
What: Le Jules Verne
Best For: 360-degree thrills
Brace for a multi-sensory adventure in this dramatic, Ducasse-helmed aerie balanced 125m above ground in the handsome steel girders of the Eiffel Tower (so high in fact that the kitchen is forbidden to cook with gas). You’ll have to fork out a hefty amount to dine (five-course tasting menus start at 190 Euro), but who cares when you have wraparound aspects and all of Paris sparkling at your tiptoes?
Le Jules Verne, 2/F, ave Gustave Eiffel, 7th. +33145556144. lejulesverne-paris.com
For more top city spots, snap up the all-new LUXE Paris guide.