If you’ve visited major metropolises worldwide, you might find Paris’ view on restaurants open on Sundays surprising. Whereas in most major cities, things generally remain open, particularly in neighborhoods frequented by visitors, the seventh day of the French week is a day of rest, and many shops and restaurants in Paris are closed.
So where should you go for lunch or dinner on Sundays? It depends on where you are in the city!
15 Paris Restaurants Open on Sundays
When you’ve finished seeking out the phantom at Paris’ beautiful Palais Garnier and have turned your sights on somewhere to eat, why not try the restaurant at the Opera itself? L’Opéra’s kitchen is run by chef Stéphane Bidi, who reinterprets French classics with a unique blend of authenticity and novelty. The menu is divided into acts, a cute nod at the primary use of the building. Acts I and II combine French, Italian, Spanish and even Japanese influences, while the pastries and cheeses of Act III tend more towards classic French.
A bit further south, not far from the luxurious Place Vendome, sits L’Ardoise, a modern bistro run by Pierre Jay. While closed for lunch on Sundays, dinner is au menu: the 36 euro prix-fixe menu boasts original dishes like red mullet with creole sauce, mushroom ravioli with tarragon butter, and poached quince.
Brasserie Mollard was founded in 1895 and still boasts classic décor, with large frescoes, marble columns and mosaics decorating the room. Many brasseries have let cuisine fall to the wayside thanks to their renown, but this is not the case at Mollard, where fresh seafood, like oysters and bouillabaisse, as well as classic brasserie dishes like andouillette and steak tartare feature on the menu.
Saint Germain and Saint-Michel
In this classic Left Bank neighborhood, avoid the touristic restaurants near Notre Dame and lining the boulevard Saint-Germain; while they drew the Lost Generation, they have lost their sparkle in the 21st century.
Instead, try Le Christine, a small restaurant not far from Odéon métro. The prix-fixe menu changes with the seasons and combine innovative flavors and French technique. Choices may include homemade terrines and foie gras, beef fillet with homemade mashed potatoes, and crème brulées infused with a variety of herbs and spices.
Oyster fans will love the Bar à Huitres, just a few steps from the Sorbonne university building. Oysters are the stars of the menu but far from the only choice. Seafood like mussels and traditional French fish soup also feature, as well as escargots with garlic butter.
Les Bouquinistes, on the quais of the river Seine, is a Guy Savoy restaurant proposing the best in French gastronomic cuisine. The restaurant highlights some of the best national products, including foie gras, langoustines, lamb, pork and artisanal cheese. Ascribing to the current fad for foreign influence on the menu, many of these French products have international accompaniments, like exotic chutney for the foie gras or Thai broth for the langoustines.
Joël Robuchon is one of France’s most famous celebrity chefs, as well as the chef with the most Michelin stars in the world, so it’s only fitting that he would have a restaurant on one of the world’s most famous avenues. L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon can be found inside Publicis Drugstore, where his gastronomic menu shines. Ingredients are worthy of the address, with lobster, scallops, langoustines and quail featuring on the pricey but delicious menu.
Steak fans should be sure not to miss Le Relais de l’Entrecôte, a famed restaurant proclaiming its love for nothing other than classic steak-frites. The accompanying sauce is so delicious, rumors hint that the restaurant may burn its garbage to ensure that no one discovers its secrets. No choices here: just steak, cooked rare or medium, delicious French fries, and a starter frisée salad topped with walnuts. An extensive dessert menu follows. No reservations either, so you may need to wait in line to snag a table.
Maison Blanche couldn’t be more Champs-Elysées if it tried, with its location on the roof of the theater that shares the name of the famous avenue. A view over Paris and the Seine can be had from its two terraces while you browse Hervé Nepple’s menu, offering a handful of classics like foie gras and oysters, but also readily tackling other more varied fare like baby squid tempura with black rice, John Dory in a hazelnut crust with buttered cabbage and chestnut gnocchi, or roasted figs with Maury wine, sheep’s milk cheese and gingerbread.
The neighborhood around the Eiffel Tower is home to more than a handful of excellent restaurants. On Sundays, try Café Constant, a small restaurant owned by Christian Constant, whose name is plastered on menus up and down this street. Chef Constant the is a famous face thanks to his spot on the jury of French Top Chef, a place he earned with his distinctive approach to classic French cuisine. The menu here changes frequently and is written on an old-school chalkboard, usually featuring gastronomic versions of bistro classics.
To try some French regional cuisine, take a taste of Pottoka, a little Basque restaurant with a big heart. Sébastien Gravé hails from Bayonne and creates the menu with his native terroir in mind, featuring dishes like an excellent gazpacho with basil sorbet and pigs’ trotters, grilled octopus with beans, and crispy pork belly with chanterelle mushrooms. Basque cheeses and Basque cake both make the dessert menu.
If you’re going to be dining near the Eiffel Tower on a Sunday, you could always dine in the Eiffel Tower! The Jules Verne restaurant is famous for its views overlooking the Champ de Mars as well as for its “Experience” menu, signed Alain Ducasse, with several successive dishes including an amuse-bouche, two appetizers, two small mains and two desserts.
Montmartre is almost idyllic in its perfection, which is why you need the perfect restaurant to end your Sunday stroll through one of the only neighborhoods to remain opened on Paris day of rest. Try the historic Moulin de la Galette for a taste of classic French bistro food in an atmosphere that inspired Renoir’s painting of the same name.
Le Bon Bock is Montmartre’s oldest restaurant, built in 1879 and formerly frequented by Picasso and Toulouse-Lautrec, amongst other famous artists who lived in the neighborhood. The beautiful restaurant’s menu is just as tempting as the old Paris décor, with classic sole meunière, entrecote steak with béarnaise sauce and duck confit. Classic and bohemian, le Bon Bock doesn’t disappoint.
Le Coq Rico – a play on the French for “cock-a-doodle-doo” is known, as its name suggests, for its rotisserie. Dishes include a platter of different poultry offal like liver and heart, but fainter of stomach may choose to opt for the various egg-based appetizers, terrines and salads. As for mains, most are roasted, like Bresse chicken and Dombes duck. Many dishes are meant to feed a crowd, so bring like-minded friends and come hungry.
L’Opéra, 1 place Jacques Rouché, 9th
L’Ardoise, 28 rue du Mont-Thabor, 1st
Brasserie Mollard, 115 rue Saint-Lazare, 8th
Le Christine, 1 rue Christine, 6th
Bar à Huitres, 33 rue Saint-Jacques, 5th
Les Bouquinistes, 53 quai des Grands Augustins, 6th
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, 133 avenue des Champs-Elysées, 8th
Le Relais de L’Entrecôte, 15 rue Marbeuf, 8th
Maison Blanche, 15 avenue Montaigne, 8th
Moulin de la Galette, 83 rue Lepic, 18th
Le Bon Bock, 2 rue Dancourt, 18th
Le Coq Rico, 98 rue Lepic, 18th
What are your favorite restaurants in Paris? Comment below!