The sun is starting to break through the clouds, new addresses are springing up everywhere and outdoor terraces are making their first tentative appearance in the streets of the city.
Tracking down the best foodie haunts this summer has become something of a national sport, and whether you’re looking for a gastronomic restaurant, a rooftop with a view or a shady terrace, the hunt is on!
The renaissance of Les Halles
Since it first came into being in 1137, Les Halles has always been associated with food. In 2016, following the complete renovation of the district, the leading names in fine dining and bistro cuisine have invested heavily in this buzzing corner of Paris.
This spring, Alain Ducasse opened his contemporary Champeaux brasserie under Les Halles’ majestic Canopée, in a setting bathed in delightful natural light and enhanced by a charming terrace overlooking the garden. On the menu here you’ll find traditional dishes given a new lease of life including delicious sweet and savoury soufflés.
Just a few steps away, Philippe Starck has combined with Philippe and Fabienne Amzalak (of Bon and Ma Cocotte fame) to create ZA, a contemporary canteen-style fast food outlet with a focus on "light" dining, where customers can order and pay for their Zalade or Zartine via their smartphone.
Restaurants with a view
It has been two years now since the legendary Piscine Molitor, an outdoor swimming pool renowned for its Art Deco atmosphere, re-opened to the public. After stopping to admire the city’s swimmers, why not head for a relaxed bite to eat on the colourful terrace where chef Julien Mercier, appointed by the great Yannick Alléno, is on hand to prepare barbecued dishes which add a real holiday feel.
Following in the footsteps of Serge Gainsbourg, you can enjoy the culinary delights of La Terrasse at the centrally located Hôtel Raphael on Avenue Kléber, offering without doubt one of the best views of Paris. Just a couple of rooftops away, the Maison Blanche boasts a sun-blessed à la carte menu which can be savoured on one of its two terraces with their spectacular views.
If you’re keen to explore elsewhere in the city, why not head to the 18th arrondissement and the seventh floor of the Terrass'' Hôtel, where the light seasonal cuisine on offer brings the "Dolce Vita" to Paris!
The places to be…
Since the summer of 2012, Parisians and tourists alike have flocked to the newly pedestrianised banks of the Seine, including 2km along the Left Bank, to the joy of walkers, joggers and food-lovers alike. Two barge options await between Alma and Solférino: thetrendy Rosa Bonheur with its tapas-inspired menu, and Le Flow. Alternatively, choose your spot by the river to grab a bite to eat, enjoy a drink, take in a concert or just relax in a deckchair in what has become the perfect chillout zone in the city!
More urban and unusual in feel, the Brasserie Barbès’ gamble to base itself in the popular Goutte d’Or district in April 2015 has well and truly paid off. This impressive four-storey industrial building, which is open from early in the morning until 2am every day, is popular with an eclectic crowd who flock here to enjoy a coffee on the ground floor, lunch on the patio, a few rays of sunshine, followed by dinner, a drink on the rooftop, and dancing on the third floor. The menu here will undoubtedly entice your taste buds with its fresh summer flavours.
Equally unexpected, but with a more family-style ambience, is the Grand Train experience. Housed in a disused train depot at La Chapelle, the collective behind this initiative has created a whole host of activities for customers (including pétanque, a cinema and a library), with a key role for another vital part of French culture, namely its cuisine. Here, you can shop for food or choose between eight restaurants, an excellent gluten-free patisserie (Helmut Newcake) or enjoy a unique tasting experience in the first-class carriage of a Corail train!
You’re spoilt for choice this summer, so go out and enjoy yourself to the full in keeping with the "curious and independent" spirit of the Ground Control bar team.
Champeaux, la brasserie d'Alain Ducasse 12, passage de la Canopée, 75001 Paris – Za Passage de la Canopée, 75001 Paris – Toit Terrasse Piscine Molitor 2, avenue de la Porte Molitor, 75016 Paris – Hôtel Raphael 17, avenue Kléber, 75116 Paris – La Maison Blanche 15, avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris – Terrass Hôtel 12-14, Rue Joseph de Maistre, 75018 Paris - Rosa Bonheur Sur Seine Port des invalides, 75007 Paris - Le Flow 4 Port des Invalides, 75007 Paris - Brasserie Barbès 2, boulevard Barbès, 75018 Paris - Grand Train 26 ter, rue Ordener, 75018 Paris