Opening hours in Paris can be something of a lottery. We’ve put together a list of our favorite spots so you can always win the restaurant jackpot.
France is renowned for short working hours and a good work-life balance, and the capital is no different. In Paris, most small, owner-operated restaurants are closed two days a week so the small team can take a weekend off. Now those two days are usually Sunday and Monday, but may also be Monday and Tuesday or even, almost unfathomably, Saturday and Sunday. It’s good to check and reserve before you go, but if you’re looking for restaurants in Paris that are almost always open, these are some great staples you can rely on.
1. Les Philosophes
Les Philosophes is open 365 days a year, and service doesn’t take a break in the afternoon. From midday to past midnight, there’s someone in the kitchen turning out delicious plates of seasonal, farm-to-table fare. Most of the menu changes daily, but some staples remain, like the celebrated steak tartare or French onion soup. Located in the heart of le Marais, Les Philosophes is a welcome respite after hours of boutique shopping or exploring one of Paris’ most historic areas.
2. La Coupole
Montparnasse, to the south of Paris’ city center, is punctuated by the city’s only skyscraper. Boasting unforgettable views of the Eiffel Tower from the top and surrounded by brasseries, restaurants and crepe stands, Montparnasse is a lively area to explore.
We suggest seeking out La Coupole, a classic brasserie open since 1927. Back then Montparnasse was the center of Paris’s literary life, and it’s easy to imagine some of literature’s greatest legends rubbing elbows in this Art Deco dream.
3. Bouillon Pigalle
Bouillon Pigalle nestles at the foot of Montmartre, a stone’s throw from the Moulin Rouge. It’s a reference to an old-school type of restaurant, serving cheerful, classic French fare at great prices. Extremely popular with locals, Bouillon Pigalle doesn’t take reservations, but it does serve food all day from noon onwards. Show up early or be prepared to wait in line!
4. Le Baron Rouge
You can set your watch to Le Baron Rouge and most of its clientele. It’s the type of neighborhood bar where everyone knows each other, and if they don’t, they’re not afraid to introduce themselves! Open every day from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. and every evening except Sunday from 5–10 p.m., they catch the after-market crowd from the bustling Marché Aligre just next door.
In the east of the city, around the 11th arrondissement, you’ll find some of Paris’ best young chefs working. Jones is no different. Here, you can taste contemporary French cuisine with a big emphasis on the seasonal and the local. We suggest going in for small plates to share so you can taste a little bit of everything, and ask for help with their extensive natural wine menu.
6. Le Richer
Hidden in a backstreet near the beautiful covered passageways lies an unassuming neighborhood restaurant: Le Richer. The kitchen is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner service, but you can stop in any time for a drink and a little plate piled high with freshly cut saucisson. At lunch and dinner, expect a small but perfectly formed menu of market-fresh French cuisine with a modern twist.
7. Les Parigots
Just off the Place de la République is neighborhood institution Les Parigots. Its name is slang for “Parisians,” and the decor is what we dream of when we think of Paris. The cozy exposed wood interiors are perfect for the huge plates of cheese and charcuterie and carafes of red wine. The kitchen is open every day from noon to midnight, with daily specials, French classics, and the occasional international inspiration. The terrace, lined with street-facing chairs, is the perfect place to watch the world go by.
8. Les Fines Gueules
Les Fines Gueules is housed at the foot of a 17th-century building just off the regal Place des Victoires. It’s a rare pearl for natural wine lovers, with more than 17,000 bottles in the cellar. If you ask nicely, they even let you brave the treacherous spiral staircase to take a peek at them. Open every day for lunch and dinner, Les Fines Gueules’ proximity to major fashion houses, banks and the Louvre makes it a firm favorite for locals and visitors alike.