The Most Romantic Restaurants in Paris, According to a Chef - Full-Time Travel

The Most Romantic Restaurants in Paris, According to a Chef

Gourmet Guides: The Most Romantic Restaurants in Paris, According to a Chef

In Gourmet Guides, food industry insiders serve up recommendations on where to dine in their town.

By Esme Benjamin

Originally hailing from New Orleans and raised amid the city’s French-influenced culture, Karl Wilder felt immediately at home when he first visited Paris 40 years ago. The multilingual chef now spends six months of each year in the city of lights, uncovering the best restaurants and dishes for his role at food tour company Eating Europe.  

Though he’s forever on the hunt for new (or new-to-him) establishments, Wilder approaches each dining discovery with a reverence for French culinary tradition and historical significance. 

“Paris is not a place of rapid experimentation,” explains Wilder, “things do not change all the time, we keep our traditions and techniques because they are some of the best in the world. French food has been recognized as one of the best cuisines for a couple of hundred years, so why would we want to mess with that?”

Perhaps because of its reputation for refinement, French cuisine has long been thought of as romantic, and Paris, with its low-lit restaurants tucked away down cobbled streets, is a particularly atmospheric destination to savor indulgent dishes. 

“We have so many romantic places, and I discover more every day,” Wilder says. “They’re cozy, they’re warm, the service is good, and when you dine in Paris you have the table for the night. You make a reservation at 7pm and if you’re still there at 10pm that’s fine. Until you say “l'addition, s'il vous plaît,” the check will not come because that would be bad service in their eyes.” 

Here, Wilder shares his recommendations for the best date night spots. So clink glasses, brush knees and linger until closing time at one of the most romantic restaurants in Paris.

Plateau de Fruits de Mer at La Mascotte | Courtesy of La Mascotte

La Mascotte

This gorgeous old world restaurant is great for a celebration or splurge meal. Order the delicious oysters and the mussels and frites, which are better than anyone’s (I go to La Mascotte once a year just for this dish), but be prepared to spend more than is typical in Paris. With a glass of wine and plate to share, a couple can get away with spending 100 Euro ($108) total and enjoy all the great service and romantic ambiance, but you can easily spend much more if you treat yourselves to three courses and a wonderful bottle of wine.

Le Petit Moulin

Le Petit Moulin is the perfect place for a young couple who can have a drink at the bustling bar downstairs, then get a table upstairs by the window and enjoy a beautiful view of Montmartre. The food options here are as simple as a cheese board to share or as filling as a beautiful duck confit, and the owner is a wine expert who brings in varietals of stunning quality for as little as 24 Euro ($26) a bottle. 

Pont des Arts Bridge in Paris | By Celine Ylmz

La Cave des Abbesses

The kind of place only locals know about, La Cave des Abbesses is a little bar hidden behind a well-curated wine store. Come here for an affordable date that’s also an impressive experience. There’s no proper kitchen but you can drink the most delicious wine with a cheese and charcuterie board, then head down the street to the Wall of Love where you’ll find a crepe stand. Enjoy your dessert while strolling Paris’s beautiful, historic streets.  

Café de Flore

Café de Flore is very famous for good reason. It’s definitely popular with tourists but I would never call it a tourist trap – the standards and service are impeccable. Ask to sit on the second floor so you’re surrounded by flowers and order an amazing bottle of wine to share. You’re going to have a “wow” experience here – with the price tag to match. 

Vins des Pyrénées 

My personal favorite! Vins des Pyrénées is known for its oysters (it was originally an oyster bar) but the whole menu is out-of-this-world delicious, especially the seabass, oeufs du diable AKA “eggs of the devil,” and housemade foie gras. Sommelier Eric Duhard can help with inexpensive wine selections from the list or their wine store located just across the street. After your meal, if you’re in the mood to get cozy, head upstairs to Le 1905, the former family residence turned bar.

Brasserie le Bourbon

Brasserie le Bourbon is old as time and as comfortable as your favorite pajamas. This is where Julia Child used to come with her husband on Valentine's Day, and you can even get the same corner booth as they had. The restaurant is known for its steak tartare, which is one of my favorite dishes to order, and with most entrees costing around 20 Euro ($21.70) it won't break the bank. Set on a beautiful square by the National Assembly, it’s a quiet spot to enjoy quality time with your favorite person. 

By Eddie Junior

Picnic on the Seine

Pick up some cheese, a baguette and wine (it’s legal to drink in public in Paris), and head to the bank of the river Seine, which is the most romantic place to picnic in the whole city. Join the hundreds of other lovers down by the river and if you have a beating heart you’ll feel romance in the air. 

Chocolat Illèné

Those with a sweet tooth should visit Chocolat Illèné – a wonderful place to pick up dessert. It does hand-made macarons, which is becoming more and more rare as Ladurée’s mass-produced ones corner the market. In the summertime Chocolat Illèné puts fresh fruit in their macarons with a little bit of cream. You’ll fall in love at first bite! 

In the latest episode of our podcast, author Meg Stafford joins her daughter on a high school project to Nepal and Bhutan researching happiness. It was a mother-daughter trip that pushed Meg outside of her comfort zone. She found herself avoiding avalanches while climbing to Annapurna basecamp and dodging paint at the Holi Festival in Kathmandu. It also gave her the opportunity to examine what it means for a parent to love and to let go. 🎧 Link in bio to listen! ...

18 0

Istanbul`s beauty lies in its historic architecture, the Bosphorus Strait`s scenic charm, vibrant neighborhoods, bustling markets, rich cuisine, Sufi traditions, captivating sunsets, street art, and its unique blend of cultures as a crossroads of Europe and Asia.

Reel: @samisrt

151 0

Sweeping mountain views of the Dolomites, beautiful wildflowers, and the most delicious dinner included with your stay at @hotel_dolomitenhof_u_altepost.

Reel: @tc.travels

257 3

In the latest episode of our podcast, Christine Winebrenner Irick, entrepreneur (@lotussojourns) and podcaster (@souloftravelpodcast) shares the story of her first big trip to Asia. In the midst of a period of rebirth, as her career and marriage were crumbling, Christine took inspiration from Alex Garland`s book, The Beach, and set off for Thailand with one good friend and no solid plans. What unfolded was a perspective-shifting experience that would, in Christine`s own words, "reveal who she would become." 🎧 Link in bio to listen!

#tttcm #traveltok #thetripthatchangedme #podcast #travelpodcast #thailand #travelthailand

41 0

Is it too early to think about Fall? Daydreaming of autumn in Patagonia.

Reel: @ramirotorrents

692 5

A lovely town on the French Riviera, Menton is known for its beauty, mild weather, colorful buildings, and lemon production. Enjoy beaches, history, and a laid-back vibe.

Reel: @sofikulin

101 0

Full-Time Travel`s sister brand, @kingdomgolf, invites you to a join special guests from the world of golf and entertainment, including Jack Nicklaus and Annika Sörenstam, for a luxury island experience. Play the incredible courses at Wexford and Palmetto Hall Golf and Country Club. ⛳️ Link in bio to reserve your spot at the 2023 Kingdom Cup on Thursday, September 21st thru Sunday, September 24th. ...

49 4

One night in the desert inspires a corporate worker to follow her dream of becoming a travel journalist.

In the latest episode of our podcast, The Trip That Changed Me, travel journalist, podcaster, and entrepreneur Yulia Denisyuk (@insearchofperfect) shares the story of a career-altering trip to Morocco. It`s an ode to the power of looking for signs when you need confirmation you`re on the right track. If you`re harboring a dream but it never quite feels like the right time to make the leap, this episode is for you. 🎧 Link in bio to listen!

#fulltimetravel #travelreel #ftt #thetripthatchangedme #podcast #travelpodcast

23 1

Submerged beneath the ocean waves or inside a kaleidoscopic aquarium, these rare underwater restaurants serve meals alongside a cast of aquatic creatures. Book a table and enjoy a whole new spin on dinner and a show. ...

121 1

Bike through the world`s largest salt flats in Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia.

Reel: @islayjoy

1113 8

Known for its stunning sand dunes that create a landscape resembling white sheets (lençóis in Portuguese), Lençóis Maranhenses is a unique national park located in the state of Maranhão, Brazil.

The park`s most iconic feature is the series of turquoise lagoons formed by rainwater that collects between the dunes. These lagoons are a stark contrast to the surrounding white sands and provide a refreshing oasis for visitors.

Reel: @melly_ba

1910 208

A travel entrepreneur rows 3,000 miles in 36 days, completely unsupported.

In the latest episode of our podcast, The Trip That Changed Me, travel entrepreneur, Jimmy Carroll (@jimmyalexandercarroll), shares his experiences of participating in the world’s toughest rowing race: the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge.

For 36 days, Jimmy and his three teammates rowed in alternating two-hour stints for 24 hours a day, through storms, sleep deprivation, and an unexpected attack from a 12-foot blue marlin. It was an experience that pushed them to the limit of their resilience but one that was also full of profound beauty and awe.

🎧 Link in bio to listen!

#thetripthatchangedme #fulltimetravel #ftt #travelpodcast #podcast #jimmycarroll

114 7