11 Romantic Restaurants and Bars in Paris

Amour Restaurant. Image via Hotel Amour website

Romance, lust, and love abound in the French capital: Paris is the city of love. For the day of love — Valentine’s Day — take your special someone, whether it’s your boyfriend, best friend, or self, someplace special. Here’s a roundup of 11 romantic restaurants and bars in Paris.

1. For a rustic hidden gem: Le Petit Châtelet

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Near the Notre-Dame Cathedral you’ll find a little house nestled between two tall buildings. Le Petit Châtelet is like stepping back in time amidst the hustle and bustle of the modern era. Plus the duck confit is amazing! 🦆 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – #4tharrondissement #paris #france🇫🇷 #lepetitchatelet #parisarchitecture #parisrestaurant #parisphotography #travelstories #travelphoto #cityphotography #exploretheworld #exploreparis #travelholic #travelgram #travelbug #travelphotography #travelstory #travel #travelblogger #photooftheday #januaryphotochallenge #blackandwhite

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At first glance, you’ll think it’s a tourist trap. Le Petit Châtelet is right next to Shakespeare & Co. in the 5th arrondissement, but this restaurant is as authentic as they come. Located in a very old building, Le Petit Châtelet is small, cozy, and warm. And when we say warm, we mean it: there’s a stone fireplace inside and they’ll cook your meat right over the flames. The food is excellent, and the price point (around 25 for a main) is reasonable for such good fare and location. Reserve your spot and ask for a table on the second floor. Out the windows, you can see Notre-Dame perfectly. — 39 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005

2. For enjoying the modern food scene: Le Petit Cadet

The new Paris is about fusion food, trends, and upgrades to the old classics (including the French bistro decor). Enter Le Petit Cadet, a small brasserie in the 9th arrondissement with chic brass accents and a lofted area for a more intimate dining experience. The menu boasts unique creations and French classics, a mix of French and Italian cuisine. If the fact that the bar takes up an entire wall wasn’t sign enough, Le Petit Cadet offers an exceptional selection of drinks and happy hour from 6pm to 8:30pm. — 9 Rue Cadet, 75009

3. For an intimate drink: Bluebird

Yes, there is the very sexy Little Red Door bar, but is any location ever really that sexy when it’s crowded? Bluebird, a cocktail bar in the 11th arrondissement, offers the quiet intimacy you want for a night out at a bar with someone special. The decor is ultra 50s, with a fish tank, big bar with vertical paneling, geometric carpet, and an overall orange glow. Between the bar, in front of towers of liquor bottles, bartenders banter as they concoct their exquisite cocktail creations (9 to 11€ each). Snack on small bites like olives or hummus and chips. The majority of the seating is at the bar or on the wall, so the set-up is perfect for quiet corner talks and stealing a few kisses. — 12 Rue Saint-Bernard, 75011

4. For heaping servings of Italian: Il Farniente

Paris is loaded with Italian restaurants. The main ones everyone knows are from the Big Mamma group, but it’s the little hole-in-the-wall spots where you’ll find the quiet, intimate atmosphere with personal service, and no wait time to get in. Il Farniente is just larger than a crêperie, with front windows that open to the street in summer. The portions are generous, the prices are fair, and the food is authentic Italian. It’s the kind of underrated, romantic Italian restaurant you’ll go back to again and again. — 250 rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine75012

5. For a classic brasserie experience: Bofinger

Brasserie Bofinger is exactly what you expect from a restaurant founded in 1864: mirrored walls, banquettes, white tablecloths, brass accents and dark wood. The food, all the French classics, is quite good and the price isn’t nearly as bank-breaking as you’d expect for such a traditional Parisian establishment. A major draw: the location. Bofinger is located right near the Place des Vosges, perfect for a romantic after dinner stroll. — 5-7, rue de la Bastille, 75004

6. For a (pricey) view: Ciel de Paris

The special February 14th prix-fixe at Ciel de Paris is a jaw-dropping 215€ per person. But don’t lose hope at getting into this restaurant on the 57th floor of Tour Montparnasse with a panoramic view of Paris. The bar is open from 12pm to 6pm and 7pm to 11pm, so grab a seat and cheers your date with a 19€ cocktail. If you’re there from 2:30pm to 5:30pm or 7pm to 10:30pm, order one of the plates to share off the bar menu. (There’s an affordable 14€ cheese plate if you blow all your money on drinks.) Of course, the highlight really is the view. It’ll take your breath away. — Tour Montparnasse, 56 étage, 33 avenue du Maine, 75015

7. For an unconventional evening: L’Avant Comptoir de la Mer

If your Stateside tradition is to spurn the prix-fixe menus and gifts for sushi and a movie, head to L’Avant Comptoir de la Mer. The attached restaurant, Le Comptoir, has a waiting list months long, but you can just walk right into this bar-restaurant. Once you find the entrance, that is. Through flaps of plastic curtains next to a seafood counter on the street, you’ll find a bar and a few high-top tables. Sitting knee to knee at the counter with your date, order a glass of wine, dig into your basket of bread and mound of butter, and enjoy a tapas-style seafood dinner. Three dishes is about enough for each person (sharing is encouraged — and romantic) and with wine you’ll have a waiting-list worthy meal for less than 30€ each. — 3 Carrefour de l’Odéon, 75006

8. For a romantic courtyard: Amour Restaurant

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🌿😍 more Parisian winter gardens

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Make your reservation quick. This restaurant, downstairs in the Hotel Amour, is about as romantic as they come, with a distinct West Coast carefree vibe. Amour Restaurant is warm and feels a bit like a living room turned restaurant. The cozy banquette-tables line walls of packed bookshelves and the private courtyard is jungle-like and jovial. The menu of French-Italian options, plus a few outliers (like a cheeseburger), will do just the trick. — 8 Rue de Navarin, 75009 

9. For a dark wine bar: Compagnie des vins surnaturels 

Small plates, cheese boards, wine, cozy couches, dim lighting. These are the elements that together make Compagnie des vins surnaturels. It’s not cheap, but it’s certainly not expensive. You’ll be sipping on excellent wines served by waiters who actually know about wine. You’ll be dining on carefully curated products, elegantly served. Best of all, they take reservations. Send an email to reserve your seats around a low table and look forward to your Valentine’s Day bubbly. — 7 rue Lobineau, 75006

10. For an old-world throw-back: Le Coupe-chou

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La salle de la bibliothèque…

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Le Coupe-chou has been in existence since 1962, but it seems more like 1692. A 17th-century interior, with huge plush seating and low ceilings and historical decor, the restaurant is a time machine. The prices are too: most main courses are around 20€. Sit by the fire, in high-back chairs in narrow halls, or in the covered winter garden. A modern-day plus for this old-world restaurant: they take reservations. — 11 rue de Lanneau, 75005 

11. For a Lost Generation classic: La Closerie des Lilas

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💐Bon week-end à tous😘💐 📸@judwayblog

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It must be said that none of the Lost Generation bars — Le Dome, La Rotonde, La Coupole — are known for their food. It’s their history and stature that make them notable. La Closerie des Lilas, while not the best dining experience in Paris, is the best option of the Lost Generation locations. The food is good, the options largely classic French fare. It’s pricey, but that’s because you’re paying for food and location. The restaurant is in what feels like a greenhouse, filled with leafy stalks and big red chairs around tables, the brasserie is indoors, with more red seating, dark wood, and everything tinted warm in the lighting. Only the restaurant takes reservations, but fear not, the inside and outside are equally romantic. — 171 Boulevard du Montparnasse, 75006