Dining in Paris is a cultural experience just as important as the artwork lining the halls of the Louvre. Since you will likely find yourself meandering towards the Eiffel Tower once or twice, you may as well know how to avoid the tourist traps and revel in the nearby gems.
Whether you’re looking for a trendy brunch spot, a 3 Michelin starred fine dining experience, or to dine al fresco while overlooking jaw-dropping views of the Eiffel Tower, here are the 7 best restaurants near the glorious Tour Eiffel.
Café de l’Homme
For a swoon-worthy view of the Eiffel Tower, Café de l’Homme is the perfect perch for a cocktail, lunch, or dinner. Be sure to reserve a table on the terrace (recently renovated in September 2020). Open-air dining with this gorgeous view is only open for the summer, starting in April. Sip Champagne beneath the 1937 statue of Hercules taming a bison while gazing at the sparkling Tower.
A “cocotte” is a Dutch oven, and most main dishes at Les Cocottes are served in adorable tiny Dutch ovens. They’re open seven days a week (a rarity), and the staff is friendly and accustomed to speaking English without making you feel bad about it. The only catch is that there’s no reservations, but if you get there on the early side, you shouldn’t have to wait long. This is a no-brainer for a Sunday or Monday when many other restaurants are closed. You can’t go wrong with slow-braised beef or lamb, “pied de porc” stuffed in little potatoes as a first course, and the chocolate tarte for dessert. It’s also a necessity to order the waffle dessert which comes with a salted butter caramel that will make you move to France.
David Toutain **
For the adventurous eaters out there, this is a contemporary fine dining experience with artistic expression. David Toutain changes his menu according to seasonal freshness. He plates like he’s painting on a canvas and makes you wonder why you’ve never tried that wild combination before. If you’re up for anything, the no-choice menus provide a delightful culinary journey through modern French cooking that you’re sure to remember.
La Fontaine de Mars
Everyone wants that “Pinch me, I’m in Paris” feeling, and La Fontaine de Mars will give it to you. Red and white checkered tablecloths, traditional French cuisine, servers with black vests and ties. It also happens to be situated next to a fountain that dates back to 1806, a fountain constructed by Napoleon himself as an homage to Mars, the Roman god of war. Hence the name, “La Fontaine de Mars”.
Three Michelin starred chef Alain Passard is a legend. If you’re intrigued by a vegetable-centric fine dining experience, Arpège delivers. Of course, he’s a master at meat and seafood as well, but his vegetables are grown and delivered from his garden in Normandy every morning, so you can’t beat the absolute freshness and technical execution delivered by this culinary powerhouse.
This American-owned brunch/lunch spot is a short jaunt from the Eiffel Tower, and it’s small but mighty. Light, bright, and airy, Zia is owned by Justin Kent, a French-American with a chef pedigree hailing from the likes of Arpège, David Toutain, and Verjus. In a short time, Zia catapulted to being known as one of the best brunch spots in Paris, worth crossing town for. Get the Dutch baby pancakes, breakfast burrito, or avocado toast. Don’t forget coffee, because this will blow any typical French café out of the water. Reservations will help you avoid a long wait.
If you dream of dining with a truly spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower, then Girafe, located on the Place du Trocadéro in the 16th, can’t be beat. This contemporary seafood brasserie is filled with class and elegance, from the crisp white tablecloths on the terrace to the stylish marble bar. If the langoustine raviolis are on the menu, they are not to be missed. The divinely buttery sole meunière is filleted tableside, and its decadence can only be matched by the equally decadent view of Lady Eiffel, almost close enough to touch.